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PMG Client Portfolio Trends During Amazon Prime Day 2020

3 MINUTE READ | October 20, 2020

PMG Client Portfolio Trends During Amazon Prime Day 2020

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Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

Amazon Prime Day broke online sales records (again), with this year’s mega-sale dubbed the “the two biggest days for small and medium businesses ever,” significantly outperforming last year’s Prime Day. According to Amazon, third-party sellers surpassed $3.5 billion in sales, with Prime Members saving more than $1.4 billion across more than one million deals worldwide. This year was only the second time the event spanned across two days.

A few performance highlights from PMG’s client portfolio: 

  • Retail sponsored product campaigns on competing sites, such as Target and Best Buy, yielded impressive results, though PMG retailers holding their own sales — by-and-large — did not initially see a significant boost during the two-day event. It is yet to be seen whether a notable halo will emerge to help kick off an early shopping season in the U.S.

  • For brands participating in Prime Day, CPCs were much higher than forecasted (+$1), likely due to increased competition.

  • In both the U.K. and the U.S., demand was far greater on Day 1 of Prime Day than Day 2. 

Amazon did not disclose total sales figures across first-party and third-party sellers. Leading up to the event, eMarketer forecasted that worldwide sales on Amazon Prime Day would top $9.91 billion, a roughly 43 percent increase above last year’s approximate $6.93 billion in sales. By comparison, Amazon Prime Day in 2019 was also named the “largest shopping event in the company’s history,” selling more than 175 million products, which was more than its total sales for 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined

According to Amazon, 2020’s top-selling categories included Bedding, Wireless Accessories, Nutrition & Wellness, Arts, Crafts & Sewing, and Health Care. 

  • The Amazon Echo Dot was the most popular item purchased on Prime Day globally.

  • U.S. top sellers included iRobot’s Roomba Robot Vacuum, the MyQ wireless garage opener, LifeStraw’s personal water filter, Goli Vitamins, and the Kids Against Maturity card game.

  • U.K top sellers were Shark Vacuum Cleaners, celebrations chocolate bulk box, Halloween party bag fillers, and Oral-B smart electric toothbrushes. 

Pent up consumer demand (referred to as “revenge shopping” in APAC markets), the acceleration of ecommerce growth and changes to what consumers are purchasing, as well as plenty of new gadgets and product lines, were all likely tailwinds availing Amazon Prime Day’s success despite the current economic climate and an unpredictable end to the shopping year

Competing national retailers including Target, Best Buy, and Walmart hosted mega-sales events of their own this week, many of which promoted similar deals and promotions in tech, fashion, and home goods. According to AdExchanger, App Annie predicted that mobile shopping would rise, as consumers would spend 60 million hours on shopping apps this week — a 30 percent YOY increase.

Related: Walmart announced the retailer would spread out its Black Friday deals over three days to reduce overcrowding in stores

Early holiday sales events, like Prime Day, are being held before the 2020 U.S. election and against the backdrop of the pandemic and shifting consumer behavior, prompting more questions than answers on how holiday consumer spending could differ from past holiday seasons. As a result, the NRF delayed the release of its holiday forecast, citing a lack of economic indicators, alongside PricewaterhouseCoopers, the consulting firm, which also did not release annual holiday sales predictions. 

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Fortunately, the successes of Amazon Prime Day 2020 offers promising indicators for how consumers continue to adapt (and shop) during such a tumultuous time and could make early-season online sales a staple of holiday seasons to come.

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