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“Black Friday in July” Learnings Fuel Success for Black Friday in November


Post by Lauren Racine, Media Director, eCommerce

SETTING THE STAGE

Amazon’s fourth annual Prime Day was the largest shopping event in Amazon history, surpassing Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and the previous Prime Day, according to an Amazon press release. The duration of Prime Day has steadily increased from 24 hours up to 30 hours in 2017 and 36 hours in 2018. Amazon leverages Prime Day to not only boost sales, but also Prime membership. Historically, category focus of Prime Day has been on consumer electronics, but this year saw a significant increase in discounts for additional categories, such as CPG and apparel.

With Amazon’s Prime Day success, other retailers have followed suit and launched copycat one-day sales around Prime Day. According to a Target press release, the company reported July 17th as the highest single day of traffic and sales so far this year. In addition to offering discounts on products, Target also offered shoppers who spent $100 on Target.com a free six-month membership for same-day delivery via Shipt. Similar to Amazon’s Prime membership push, Target leveraged the increased traffic to promote a yearlong membership with the retailer.

IMPLICATIONS

  • Amazon has essentially created a new holiday in July, a time that would otherwise have soft sales, dubbed “Black Friday in July”. Brands should adapt media budgets and strategies accordingly.
  • Prime Day has generated increased demand and comparison-shopping that other retailers have begun to capitalize. Brands should consider July as an additional holiday season and increase coverage during this time on Amazon, as well as other priority retailers.
  • Prime Day is no longer limited to consumer electronics. Brands outside of this category should develop a comprehensive Prime Day strategy to remain competitive.

LEVERAGING PRIME DAY LEARNINGS FOR HOLIDAY SEASON

  1. Align on KPIs
    1. As demand grows during these peak seasons, competition has grown, as well, thus decreasing media efficiency. However, coverage should remain strong to exploit the increased opportunity for visibility and sales.
  2. Determine hero products to promote
    1. Analyze product level performance to determine top performing products and sub-categories during Prime Day.
    2. Promote these products with paid media and proactively ensure they are in stock with ample availability.
    3. Offer discounts on priority products, i.e Lightning Deals, Vendor Powered Coupons, etc.
    4. Designate back up hero products in the event that hero products go out of stock.
  3. Develop strategies and investment priorities based on competitor gaps observed
    1. Dayparting Strategies – Gather observations on the time of day that significant optimizations were made, indicating increases or decreases in competition.
    2. Ad Type Strategies – Determine which ad types competitors were prioritizing based on CPC’s relative to evergreen CPC’s.
    3. Keyword Strategies – Identify which keywords had the highest and lowest CPC’s to prioritize investment.
  4. Set sufficient budgets
    1. Gauge traffic and budget increases compared to evergreen to use as a proxy for Black Friday & Cyber Monday budgets.

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