The Implications of Pushing Prime Day Back
A few weeks ago, Amazon announced that Amazon Prime Day is now set for October 13th and 14th. While traditionally held in mid-June, Prime Day had been pushed back to early October as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, Prime Day was considered the largest shopping day in Amazon history, until it was quickly surpassed by Cyber Monday later that year.
While the ecommerce evolution had been in the works for quite some time — before the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic shutdown — shelter-in-place mandates accelerated consumers’ shift to ecommerce.
So what does this mean for Amazon Prime Day in 2020, one of the largest shopping days for ecommerce?
Aside from the actual date of Prime Day changing and moving back to October, there are greater challenges for both brands and consumers as they prepare for the traditionally massive shopping event on Amazon. Consumer spending, product inventory, marketing budgets, and seasonality are just a few of the implications that come from pushing Prime Day back, beginning to encroach on the Holiday season.
Will consumers begin their holiday shopping even earlier? The best answer is that we aren’t sure. We do know that consumers are planning to spend less during Holiday, so Prime Day might be the best opportunity to capitalize on heightened demand to kickstart the quarter. According to a Coresight Research update, almost 54% of consumers anticipate spending less on holiday this year than last, due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
The next implication of this pushback is product inventory and potential availability. Will brands be able to keep up with consumer demand after an inevitable slow down on the supply side? The global pandemic has inevitably disrupted global supply and distribution channels. Ahead of Prime Day, brands will need to create a plan and contingency measures to ensure product inventory will be in line with consumer demand.
Lastly, the push back of Prime Day draws the newly disclosed date closer to another major moment during the holiday shopping season, Cyber Week. With two tentpole moments just months apart, brands need to consider and craft strategies to win each moment.
Since these two ecommerce moments are so close together, brands have a lot to gain from an audience standpoint. Who is your audience and how much are they willing to spend are two of the most important questions each brand will need to answer ahead of the event. Brands can leverage Prime Day to build up new audience segments to ultimately retarget and serve a relevant, sequential message based on previous engagement with your brand or vertical throughout the rest of the holiday season. While there’s no crystal ball to see brand performance and consumer behavior, Prime Day is a great opportunity to test the waters earlier than the traditional holiday season while anticipated demand is high. Given the current economic climate, brands should use this moment to set clear expectations for baseline performance and new KPIs this year.
The next key is to ensure you show up for both events this year. According to Mckinsey, “consumers continue to shift their spending to essentials and seek value across (their) purchases.” Knowing that COVID-19 is subtly training consumers to search for the best deal or sale while saving their discretionary income, brands should create compelling offers for Prime Day and holiday. Consider changing your holiday promotions based on performance from Prime Day.
Lastly, ensure that your brand has enough budget to support both of those moments online. With both Prime Day and holiday potentially in the same quarter, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a budget to plan for large demand spikes and higher CPM and CPC prices.
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If there’s one thing we do know, it’s the importance of ecommerce and digital media while consumer behavior shifts and traditional brick and mortar evolves. Retail giants such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Target have stated they will keep storefronts closed during the holiday season, urging advertisers to also shift their focus to the digital storefront. Looking beyond these retail moments in holiday, the global pandemic is accelerating consumers’ transition to online-first, indicating the emphasis for brands and advertisers to follow.
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