Prime Day 2021: Insights and Strategies for Success

By Michelle Meleskie, Alec Tulett, Amber Chong on May 19, 2021

Prime Day is quickly approaching. As one of the biggest events of the year for Amazon, Prime Day is the perfect opportunity to reach a massive audience of motivated shoppers, engage with new-to-brand shoppers who have recently entered your product category, and grow your retargeting audience pool to maximize your conversions and drive incremental sales.

For both Sponsored ads and the Amazon DSP, sellers, brands, and agencies should be deploying Prime Day strategies early to make the most of this annual event. We took a look at performance data from past Prime Days to help you build the best strategy for your brand that can help drive success year-round.

Sponsored Ads: Prime Day Strategies

For advertisers leveraging Sponsored ads, one of the top questions often asked is "how should I manage my budget"

Based on previous years, we anticipate an average increase in Sponsored Product spend of close to 100% on the first day of Prime, with a slightly smaller increase on the second day.

In order to ensure your campaigns run throughout the entire day, Perpetua recommends a budget increase of at least 100% for these 2 days.

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Note: If campaigns go dark earlier in the day, lower competition later in the day will result in lower CPCs. This means that if your budget runs out early in the day because you didn't increase it, not only are you missing out on sales, but you may be missing out on lower CPCs.

How Categories Perform on Prime Day

Another important consideration for Prime Day is what category you are in, and how that category performs on Prime Day. Below we show how much categories increased in sales over Prime Day:

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So why did Toys + Kids see such an increase in ranking in 2020 compared to 2019? Due to Prime Day occurring in October last year (2020), many shoppers may have been looking for gifts for the holiday season - something that they usually wouldn't have in mind in June. We predict that Prime Day 2021 will look more like what we saw in 2019 - with electronics seeing the largest increase in sales. If you are in this high traffic category you may need to increase your budget by more than 100%.

How Early Should You Increase Your Budget Prior to Prime Day?

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How far before Prime Day should you be increasing budgets? When it comes to Prime Day, shoppers don't seriously start browsing until 1 or 2 days before the event, with the largest increase of traffic on the first day of Prime Day. Due to this, we don't recommend increasing your budget until the day before Prime Day for Sponsored Ads.

Amazon DSP: Prime Day Strategies

Make the Case to Spend More

For advertisers on the Amazon DSP, Perpetua recommends spending considerably more (2-3x higher) on impressions to capture Prime Day's uniquely purchase-driven audience.

Ad engagement and purchase rate skyrocket (2-4x), which causes enormous spikes in sales and advertising efficiency - every additional dollar you spend is garnering exponentially more sales than your current ROAS.

DVPR by Inventory

Baseline made up of average from previous 30 days.

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Purchase Rate by Inventory

Baseline made up of average from previous 30 days.

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By leveraging Prime Day, you can set your brand up for an upwards trend in advertising success and total brand growth throughout the rest of the year. Attracting ~3.5x the Detail Page View Rate (DPVR) while spending considerably more on advertising means your retargeting pool will explode - we see a continually sustained lift in ROAS and scale at the Bottom and Mid Funnel in the weeks and months following Prime Day. Furthermore, the percent of new-to-brand (NTB) purchases increases 200% on average.

Additionally, if you don't increase your bids for Prime Day, you risk losing market share to competitors who are raising their coverage on Amazon at this time. To achieve this, middle funnel tactics are extremely important in the days leading up to Prime Day.

So, how can you leverage the Amazon DSP prior to Prime Day?

14 days Prior to Prime Day: Generate Awareness for Your Products

Amazon tends to announce the dates for Prime Day approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the event. This is your chance to proactively increase awareness of your products and brands, and to increase your Views Remarketing (retargeting) audience pool you will go after during Prime Day.

Reaching Audiences Who Are in the Market for Products Like Yours

Amazon's vast amount of first party consumer data allows us to have access to exclusive and coveted shopper segments called In-Market and Lifestyle audiences.

In-Market and Lifestyle Audiences are pre-built audience segments of shoppers that have recently considered products in a given category, also referred to as shoppers who are "in the aisle". For brand awareness efforts, this is a crucial piece of the puzzle as we have the ability to reach people who are in the market or who have stronger affinity towards your products.

Engaging Audiences with High Impact Brand Awareness Units

OTT Video Ads

IAB's brand study shows that streaming video viewership accounts for over 80% of all online traffic. As high intent shoppers consider which products to purchase during Prime Day, you should focus on making your brand stand out so that your products remain top of mind to your audiences. Employing OTT ads is a great way to execute this.

Over-The-Top (OTT) video ads through the Amazon DSP are an awesome way to put your brand in front of the right audiences and grow awareness ahead of Prime Day. OTT ads are pre-roll videos that are placed on Fire TV and Connected TV supply sources such as iMDB TV, Hulu, Roku, and Tubi.

While OTT ads perform well as a brand awareness tactic, they are also powerful drivers of full-funnel performance. With OTT and Perpetua, you can target precise audiences with relevant products for increased consumer engagement and interaction. Our customers leverage OTT with complementary strategies like growing incremental reach, competitor conquesting and re-engaging lapsed purchasers.

Launching an OTT campaign now will allow you to strengthen and boost your Botton of Funnel Amazon DSP and Sponsored Product campaigns' performance as your product stays on top of mind for these shoppers.

Fire Tablet Ads

Fire Tablet Wake Screen ads are an up and coming placement to effectively drive traffic to your branded stores and product pages. The ads are displayed when Fire Tablet users press on the Home Button. These ads guarantee 100% viewability as they take over the entire screen.

Another benefit of Fire Tablet Ads is that you will be paying on a fixed CPM model. In anticipation for Prime Day, CPM prices for Standard Display and Video placements are likely to increase in accordance with higher demand for advertising. However, Fire Tablet ads will remain at the fixed rate and you won't have to pay a cent higher. Hence why this placement is perfect for driving awareness for your products and brands leading up to Prime Day.

7 Days Prior to Prime Day: Dominate Consideration in Your Aisle

A few days to a week before Prime Day, shoppers often compare brands and products to find what best suits their needs - and it's key to get in front of these consumers with contextual targeting and competitor conquesting.

Recommended Budget Increases for Prime Day

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Day Before Prime Day: Maintain a Strong Foothold in Your Aisle

You want to make sure you are dominating as much real estate as possible on Amazon. By this point you will have increased budgets on your Consideration and Awareness tactics by 150-200%. Next, we recommend reminding your Product View audience of your product by starting to increase your retargeting budget the day before Prime Day (similar to Sponsored ads). We recommend an increase of 150% to your retargeting campaigns to accommodate for the increased traffic to your products accumulated up to this point.

Additionally, we recommend running all placements across the full funnel and especially staying active on Contextual Targeting. On the Amazon DSP, Contextual Targeting delivers your display ads on product pages of products that are similar to your promoted products.

Prime Day(s): Double Down on Retargeting to Maximize Sales

Leverage retargeting to attract shoppers that showed interest in your products leading up to Prime Day, to help convert on the day of the event.

7 days following Prime Day: Maintain Momentum

Prime Day has come and come and gone, now what? The momentum that you've built for your brand doesn't just pay off on Prime Day. Consumers who might not have had a chance to purchase your products on Prime Day might still convert for weeks to come.

After Prime Day, your pool of shoppers who are most likely to convert will be larger than usual. Instead of reallocating budget from your awareness campaigns after Prime Day, we encourage you to maintain momentum by continuing to invest in awareness while also ramping up investment in retargeting. You should see a larger retargeting pool, and we want to take advantage of that and continue to drive momentum throughout the rest of the year.

Automate your Sponsored Ads Prime Day Strategy with Perpetua

For Prime Day 2020, we allowed customers to engage with Perpetua's AI-powered ad engine and build custom, AI-powered strategies with Perpetua Recommendations. Advertisers could define budget and target ACOS for their goals, depending on their strategy. This, paired with Perpetua's ability to bid more aggressively during higher traffic times, resulted in significantly higher conversions for those who participated than those who didn't.

Although Prime Day in 2020 did not drive the sales performance we have seen in previous years, companies who opted-in to Perpetua's Prime Day program or implemented a custom strategy on their account saw higher overall conversions across both Prime Days compared to advertisers who did not.

Now, we're bringing this program back:.

Here's how it works:

  • 50% budget increase the day before Prime Day

  • 100% budget increase for Prime Day(s)

  • Budgets back to default and 10% target ACOS decrease the day following Prime Day

  • ACOS targets back to default 2 days after Prime Day

This program was built by our data strategists and product team, and was created from trends we've seen in prior years. For advertisers who want more control, our software allows customers to create a custom, AI-powered smart strategy directly in Perpetua.

To get started with Perpetua for Sponsored ads or the Amazon DSP, or if we can help support your Prime Day advertising strategy in any way, let us know at hello@perpetua.io.