Amazon is once again playing its part to kick off the holiday shopping season by hosting yet another Prime Day — this October edition called Prime Big Deal Days — pulling sales up from the traditional Black Friday / Christmas rush. And rightfully so, since consumers seem to have grown accustomed to the big fall sales events from Amazon and a host of other leading global retailers. In fact, data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) suggests that more than 40% of US consumers plan to start their holiday shopping in October or earlier this year.
One good holiday gifting example we saw on Day 1 was the “Best of Amazon” beauty box offered by Amazon in the US, which resembled the kind of luxury Advent Calendar shoppers would expect to find at Sephora in the US or Douglas in Germany.
eStoreMedia’s Insights team has been tracking the Amazon Prime Big Deal Days event. The overarching sentiment has fundamentally been: “Another October, Another Prime Day.” While there are plenty of good deals to be had, much of what we’re seeing we’ve seen before.
Below is a recap of some of the team’s key observations and insights from Prime Big Deal Days.
For more detailed Insights on the Toys category and Beauty category, download our free Insights reports:
If it ain’t broken…
Amazon and participating brands are playing it safe on Prime Big Deal Days. Our overall observation is that brands typically have been deploying similar strategies that have tended to work in the past.
Deals, Deals, and more Deals
On Amazon in the UK, Purina is dominating deals for cats with up to 38% off on Day 1 of Prime Big Deal Days. Purina ONE Adult Cat moved up 24 positions in Best Seller Rank with well-executed Prime Big Deals Day deals, a dedicated category page, and banner ads.
In the US, Purina is off to an equally good start on Day 1 with 38% deals on its premium brands and treats range for cats and dogs. Purina’s Friskies brand dominates organic search results for "cat food," "cat treats," and "wet cat food," owning 30% share of the Top 10 spots, on average.
Cat Food: Share of Organic Search Results – Top 10
(Keywords: “cat food,” “cat treats,” “wet cat food”)
Source: eStoreMedia; Amazon.com, Timestamp: Oct 10 Day 1
Tools & DIY
DEWALT is dominating the Power Tools and Hand Tools category on Amazon.com in the US, nailing the category share of search with compelling product variants and aggressive discounts — up to 72% off, according to our research. On Day 1, the brand owned 21% share of the category’s Page 1. Plus, DEWALT earned the top two spots on Amazon’s Best Seller Rank in the Power Tools and Hand Tools category.
Power Tools and Hand Tools: Maximum Discount Levels by Brand
Amazon Prime Big Deal Days – Day 1 on Amazon.com in the US
Source: eStoreMedia; Amazon.com, Timestamp: Oct 10 Day 1
As we’ve seen during recent past events, the influencers are out in force again this Prime Big Deal Days. They’re active on the Amazon Inspire tab on the US app. And they’re active on TikTok to promote and drive traffic back to Amazon using multiple hashtags (e.g., #amazonprimedaydeals).
On Amazon Inspire
On TikTok and other social media platforms
A bit of “outside the Prime Deals box” thinking
Relevant and timely keywords
When the sun, moon, and Earth align during the same week of Amazon’s big sales event, you need to make that work for you, right? Makers of solar eclipse glasses and 3P sellers did just that, making a timely move in the runup to the Solar Eclipse happening in just a few days on October 14.
Anticipating an increase in exposure during Prime Big Deal Days, brands added relevant keywords to product titles and descriptions, and featured Solar Eclipse information on their PDPs to optimize search, get found, and drive conversion. One manufacturer (below) jumped from #3,630 to #7 — an increase of +1,393% — in the Tools & Home Improvement Best Seller Rank on Day 1.
Focus on Retail Media instead of deals
On Amazon in the UK, we found smoking cessation brand Nicorette in prime position on the “Healthcare” page without even running a deal. Nicorette chose to sponsor a banner instead of investing in deep discounts in an attempt to catch the attention of shoppers visiting Amazon looking for Prime deals.
While this is a tactic brands use to leverage high traffic on Amazon without too heavy of an investment, it doesn’t come without a major drawback: Consumer frustration. Shoppers come to Amazon on Prime Big Deal Days looking for discounts. So, if a competitive brand with similar products are running deals, there’s a good chance you’ll lose out with shoppers most likely opting for discounted brands.
Watch-outs for brands to keep an eye on
While it’s important that brands be head’s down, focused on their own strategies and tactics in winning Prime Big Deal Days, there also is reason to pay attention to what’s happening with competitors, 3P sellers and other retailers during these big events.
Retail arbitrage by 3P sellers
Premium skincare brand LANEIGE is back for another Prime event. The beauty brand found success during Prime Day in July by discounting deep and selling out on Amazon.com in the US. LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask, the brand’s hero product, earned the Best Seller badge in Beauty & Personal Care, jumping hundreds of positions in the ranking.
On Day 1 of Big Deal Days, the reprised strategy seemed to be working again for LANEIGE. LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask was front and center, visible in the top position on the deal page for Beauty.
- The good news: We saw the product gaining momentum, moving it up the Best Seller Rank on Day 1.
- The not-so-good news in running deep discounts on a hot product: We spotted a 3P seller offering LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask at a similar, but not discounted, price on Walmart.com.
Let this be a retail arbitrage lesson for all manufacturers: When participating in big seasonal or promotional events like Prime Big Deal Days and investing in deep discounts, you risk 3P sellers buying up your stock to then turn around and resell it elsewhere at a similar but more margin-accretive price point.
Keyword conquesting at play (again)
Conquesting competitors’ brand terms on high traffic days like Prime Big Deal Days is becoming an all-too-common practice. Using conquesting tactics helps brands benefit from the high level of shopping activity taking place online without necessarily having to run any deals.
We noted multiple instances on Day 1 where brands didn’t protect their own brand search terms on Amazon while running deals. This allowed competitors to swoop in and sponsor banner ads and / or paid placement.
Despite the lack of anything tremendously new or different this go-round, the October 2023 edition of Amazon Prime Big Deal Days proves as a reminder of just how important it is to have Digital Shelf fundamentals and sound strategies in place leading up to big seasonal events.
- Content. Ensure your content is correct, compliant and compelling to give you the best shot at conversion when running big deals.
- Availability. Have enough stock on hand or a backup inventory plan ready so shoppers aren’t disappointed with out-of-stocks when looking for your deals.
- Search. Protect your brand keywords at all costs during these big events. Whether that means constant monitoring of your own brand and relevant generic keywords, either internally or by your agency partner, it must be done. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your Prime Big Deal Days investment if you leave yourself open to conquesting by your competitors.
- Price & Promotions. Deals and discounts are the name of the game when it comes to events like Amazon Prime Big Deal Days. It’s why shoppers turn out. However, strategies like influencer marketing, leveraging social media, getting creative with relevant keywords, etc., can also help keep you in the game without breaking the bank.
Interested in learning how our Digital Shelf solutions can help you win big seasonal events like Prime Big Deal Days? Click here to schedule your demo!