Prime Day 2022 has come and gone (and so has Amazon’s second Prime Day for the year), banking another massively successful sales event for Amazon and those who sell on its platform. Now that Prime Day is over, the next major events ecommerce brands need to focus their attention on are Black Friday and Cyber Week, with a particular focus on Cyber Monday.
Naturally, properly preparing for these events means that it is vital for brands to review their historical advertising and sales data to inform their strategy. However, analyzing Amazon Prime Day performance can also yield some informative and actionable insights that can help brands to maximize revenue in Q4.
Thus, today, we are going to analyze performance data from Amazon Prime Day and discuss some valuable lessons that can be extracted and applied to ecommerce brands’ Black Friday and Cyber Week strategies to optimize performance and push sales higher.
Let’s start by taking a look at Amazon’s overall results for Prime Day.
Amazon Prime Day Results for 2022
First, it is worth mentioning that, as late as September of this year, a second Prime Day event for 2022 was still rumored and not actually confirmed by Amazon itself. This, coupled with the fact that this was the first year that Amazon held two Prime Day sales, compounded further by the close proximity to major shopping events, resulted in this event not being as much of a raging success as this summer’s Prime Day.
However, it was still a success, nonetheless.
According to Amazon, over 100 million items were sold during the Amazon Prime Early Access sale, which ran for 48 hours across October 11 and 12. While this is indeed less than the 300 million items sold over the summer, this still proved to be a profitable event for the company and the ecommerce brands that participated.
In fact, as Numerator data on the Prime Day Early Access sale reveals, during this two-day period, 48 percent of Prime Early Access shoppers only considered Amazon for their purchases, and 60 percent of shoppers only shopped on Amazon during the event.
Additionally, this same source shows that, of the 44,698 orders placed, 56 percent of households that shopped the sale placed two or more separate orders, with an average order value of $44.68.
Thus, while the event may not have been the blowout that some analysts were expecting, it is certainly not the flop that some are purporting.
With that high-level overview covered, let’s drill down and take a closer look at some consumer and brand behavioral patterns and outcomes to better understand how to approach Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and beyond.
Three Prime Day Lessons to Carry Into BFCM
While the overall Amazon Prime Day Early Access sale data is interesting and shows that such an event can flourish, even with being so close to massive sales days like Black Friday, there are vital lessons that can be learned from inspecting search, advertising, and sales data.
Lesson #1: Optimize Listings for Gifting Terms
Since the Prime Day Early Access sale was so close to the holiday shopping season, many consumers weren’t just shopping for themselves. Instead, they were looking for gifts for family, friends, coworkers, and other people in their lives.
According to data from Helium 10, the top 10 most searched terms containing the word “gift” during Prime Day, in order, were:
- Gift cards
- Gifts for men
- Gifts for women
- Christmas gifts
- Birthday gifts for women
- Amazon gift card
- Grandma gifts
- Gift card
- Men gifts
- Bosses’ Day gifts for women
This data clearly shows that gift shopping is on consumers’ minds. Thus, as we approach Black Friday, search intent will begin to shift heavily in favor of gifting terms. This means that it is critical to start ranking and indexing for these terms by optimizing product listings for these kinds of popular phrases.
For ecommerce brands, using platforms like Helium 10 will be extremely useful for understanding search volume for gifting-related terms, enabling brands to optimize their strategies and better reach customers searching for such phrases.
At the same time, brands present on Amazon can utilize Manage Your Experiments from Amazon to A/B test different elements of their listings to target these terms. Approaching product listing optimization in this way will ensure that brands are altering product titles, images, bullet points, and more to successfully achieve the most visibility and sales possible during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As Amazon states about using Experiments:
“Using Manage Your Experiments can help increase sales by up to 25% (based on observations from experiments created by sellers).”
In addition to optimizing listings to drive clicks organically, it is also vital for ecommerce brands to tailor their advertising campaigns to the season.
Lesson #2: Boost Ad Budgets and Fine-Tune Campaigns
As with any major sales event, it is imperative for ecommerce brands to adjust their advertising efforts to harvest the most clicks and conversions possible.
Looking at Prime Day Early Access advertising data, it is clear that advertisers were attempting to capitalize on the event by hyping up their products.
According to data from Pacvue, in the seven days leading up to Prime Day, the average ad spend was $2254.36 per day. Two days prior to the event, that figure increased by 10 percent, reaching an average of $2488.43 per day. During the Prime Day event itself, advertiser spending increased by more than 128 percent, averaging $5159.13 each day.
Meanwhile, the average cost-per-click in the week leading up to Prime Day was $1.05. That figure jumped up to an average of $1.39 per click during the event.
As a result, return on ad spend (RoAS) suffered. In the seven days leading up to the event, ecommerce brands were generating an average of $4.60 per dollar spent. During Prime Day, RoAS only increased by $0.10, upped to $4.70 per dollar spent.
As Pacvue notes, this event had the lowest RoAS for the past three Prime Day sales events. Additionally, Sponsored Brand RoAS was the lowest when compared to the other Prime Day events.
However, this does not mean that ecommerce brands can afford to ignore advertising on Amazon during Black Friday and the weeks that follow. Instead, it is important to be strategic in deciding where to allocate advertising budgets and prioritize top-selling products.
As with any big sales event like Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and others, brands will want to increase their advertising budgets in meaningful ways to keep pace with the sizable uptick in traffic that these shopping events create.
Going into BFCM, it is critical for ecommerce brands to continue to fine-tune their existing strategy based on their top-performing keywords and phrases during Prime Day 2022. Additionally, it is wise to analyze historical BFCM data from previous years to gain insights into popular seasonal terms for the brand, sales volumes on popular products, and other critical details.
Additionally, given the popularity of gifting terms during the holiday shopping season, it is essential that brands prepare to target these terms with their advertising efforts, particularly as they relate to Sponsored Products ads.
However, to prevent these keywords from taking away from a brand’s primary ad campaign focus and taking on a cannibalistic nature, it is wise to create separate campaigns for these keywords and phrases. Doing so will give brands a higher level of control over the campaign and gain a better understanding of the strategies that are working best.
Moreover, for those that have the budgets to leverage Amazon DSP Ads, the holiday season is an ideal time to deploy these adverts. Remarketing ads like these will help to cut through the immense amount of noise and to get in front of consumers multiple times ahead of and during a brand’s deal periods, which is sure to be an effective approach for increasing sales throughout the Black Friday Cyber Monday shopping block. Partnering this approach with a strong Sponsored ads strategy is sure to yield significant wins for ecommerce brands present on Amazon.
And once again, it is vital for brands to continue to optimize their Amazon product listings to rank higher in the Amazon SERPs. The fact is that, in the time between Prime Day and BFCM, traffic is going to be lower than it will be during those times. Working to increase rank and product relevance in this time will benefit brands when the season hits, as this will work to reduce advertising costs, thereby enabling ecommerce brands to reinvest those savings into their campaigns to achieve a higher RoAS.
However, because RoAS performance wasn’t as robust as many had hoped, it is best for brands to hedge their bets and invest in more than just on-platform ad campaigns.
Lesson #3: Lean into Off-Platform Advertising
While brands cannot afford to ignore advertising on Amazon and need to work to refine their strategies, results are not guaranteed, as was seen with Prime Day’s RoAS.
However, performance marketing strategies like affiliate marketing do guarantee results, as this is precisely what brands are paying to receive. Moreover, because of Amazon’s absurdly high average conversion rate, those utilizing affiliates to drive traffic to Amazon are likely to see a massive boost in their sales.
In fact, analyzing Refersion data clearly shows how effective Amazon affiliate marketing can be, as one of our merchants has seen an 11.5 percent conversion rate since they launched their program on Amazon, which is 2.5x higher prior to implementing their Amazon affiliate marketing program.
However, it is more than the ability to drive conversions that makes affiliate marketing an effective tool for increasing Amazon revenue. The fact is that Amazon loves it when merchants direct off-platform traffic to its marketplace. Thus, the company rewards brands with a 10 percent bonus on sales made from external traffic sources.
Thus, this combination of additional sales alongside a 10 percent bonus can be a massive BFCM boon for ecommerce retailers.
Fortunately, it has never been easier for brands to take advantage of such an opportunity. Through the newly-launched Amazon Affiliate Marketing by Refersion, ecommerce brands enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry program can build an Amazon-specific affiliate program to promote their product listings and gain more sales from qualified off-platform traffic sources.
Through this implementation, brands will not only be able to drive more conversions but achieve a significantly higher ROI as well.
Additionally, finding Amazon affiliates is far more straightforward as well, thanks to our Amazon Affiliate Discovery tool. Amazon Affiliate Discovery gives Amazon-specific and multichannel DTC brands present on Amazon the ability to research, uncover, and connect with affiliates and publishers who focus on promoting Amazon products to their audiences.
However, this only scratches the surface of what brands gain access to when leveraging Amazon Affiliate Marketing by Refersion and the Amazon Affiliate Discovery toolset.
Learning From Prime Day to Maximize Black Friday
Prime Day taught brands and advertisers some valuable, practical lessons that can be utilized to amplify performance over the upcoming sales season. Be sure to integrate the information above into your Cyber Week strategy to help enhance your holiday outcomes.
If you are looking for more ways to increase your Q4 sales, be sure to check out Refersion’s Optimizing BFCM and Beyond on-demand webinar for additional tips, insights, strategies, useful tools, and other methods for making this Black Friday your brand’s most lucrative one to date.
And if you are ready to get started with your Amazon affiliate marketing program, reach out to Refersion to see exactly how we can turn your brand into an Amazon sales powerhouse.