Media Insights

Marketer’s Recap Holiday 2020 | Prime Day

Prime Day looked different this year: from occurring in October for the first time, unique consumer shopping behaviors driven by COVID-19 pandemic, and increased media competition from holiday retailers and a presidential election just a month away.

Prime Day marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Armed with Prime Day data and insights, marketers have their first glimpse of how consumers may act this holiday season and key media trends to be aware of. 

We’ve curated the key findings from Prime Day 2020, observations across our clients, and implications for your evolving holiday planning. 

Prime Day 2020 Key Findings

2020 Prime Day drove more sales than ever before

  • The annual sale took place October 13th-14th and drove an estimated $10.4billion in sales, up 45.2% from 2019 Prime Day1
  • Amazon increased focus on marketplace sellers (small businesses) with curated small business collections and a promo offering $10 to spend on Prime Day when shoppers spent at least $10 on marketplace sellers earlier in the month, driving more than $900million in marketplace sales1

Prime Day event halo impacted non-Amazon retailers

  • 51% of top 100 retailers ran additional promotions during Prime Day2
  • Traffic on non-Amazon sites increased 51% compared to Prime Day 20191
  • CVR (Conversion Rate) on non-Amazon sites increased 16% compared to Prime Day 20191
  • Sales on non-Amazon sites in the U.S. grew 76% for the first day of Prime Day compared to 20191

Increased competition from Holiday retailers and political ads drove up Paid Digital Media costs

  • Facebook Paid Social costs increased 30-40%, and with a 39% higher CVR drove a 4% increase in ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) for Ovative clients compared to average pre-period
  • Google Paid Search costs increased 15%, however a 68% drop in CVR led to a 61% decrease in ROAS for Ovative clients compared to average pre-period

Consumers’ “stay at home” behavior impacted top categories sold and key messaging strategies

  • Top 5 Product Categories Overall3:
    • Electronics
    • Household Essentials
    • Health + Beauty
    • Toys + Video Games
    • Home + Garden
  •  Top Product Categories for Marketplace Sellers on Amazon1:
    • Home Goods (specifically bedding products)
    • Electronics
    • Nutrition
    • Crafts
  • Key Messaging Strategies:
    • Gifting
    • Membership
    • Time Sensitive

Implications for Evolving Holiday Planning

Implication 1: Monitor heightened Paid Media costs coming out of Prime Day

Paid media costs are likely to remain higher than normal through the early November election. Marketers should be especially watchful during weeks leading up to the election on November 3rd, where political ad spending is likely to be highest and dominating consumer attention. Our clients have already observed decreased CTR (Click Through Rate) over primary election periods with consumers browsing for news updates and not in the buying mindset. Marketers must continue agile budget planning, adjusting channel allocations to maximize budgets within channels with strongest return.

Additional consideration should be taken when planning October 27th to November 3rd (Election Day) on Paid Social as Facebook rolls out advertising limitations in attempt to reduce confusion or abuse around the election. Advertisers on Facebook will not be able to create new ads about social issues, elections or politics in the US between October 27th and November 3rd. Only ads in the US that are approved and delivering impressions prior to October 27th will be allowed to continue through Election Day. Organic posts will not have these restrictions. Following the election Facebook will also be enforcing a temporary dark period on all US social issue, electoral or political ads after the polls close to stop misinformation. Advertisers should expect this to last ~week, subject to change. With these additional advertising limitation on Facebook, marketers should be prepared going into the periods with key ad sets and get ready to act quickly to take advantage of potentially lower costs and less noise during the dark period4.

Implication 2: Execute consumer-first site experiences and ensure seamless transactions 

With media costs rising and expected to continue coming out of Prime Day, site optimization and user experience improvements will become even more critical to drive performance. Utilize messaging strategies and feature products onsite that both resonate with the at-home digital consumer and drive strong margins. Build site retargeting pools to maximize traffic and drive users to conversion. Feature BOPIS and other omni-channel services (e.g. curbside pickup, store locator) clearly onsite and in marketing messaging to allow consumers to choose how they want to shop.

Are you ready to crush this holiday season? Interested in reading more from Ovative on how to prepare? We’ve put together The Marketer’s Guide to Holiday 2020 | Edition 1 Playbook available here to share key consumer insights and trends, potential complications to plan for, and actionable recommendations to win.

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!

Sources: 1 | DigitalCommerce360  2 | DigitalCommerce360  3 | Numerator  4| Facebook

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Will is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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