Media Insights

Amazon Prime Day 2020: How to Win with Digital

Prime Day official dates were announced early yesterday morning sharing the event will run October 13th-14th, 2020. With Prime Day just around the corner, brands selling on and off Amazon must have a smart digital strategy in place to win.

In just five years Prime Day has grown to be the third largest shopping day of the year1. In 2019, this event generated more sales for Amazon than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined with over 175 million products sold2. During the same days, large retailers off Amazon saw daily revenue increases of 68% according to Adobe indicating the strong halo impact of this event1.

Prime Day will be even more important this year. Normally held in July and delayed due to COVID-19, Prime Day marks the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. The 2020 holiday shopping season has already been disrupted due to COVID-19 and rising concerns about safety of shopping in-store. Amidst the pandemic, consumer shopping behavior continues to shift towards digital setting Amazon up for the biggest Prime Day yet.

To win during Prime Day marketers must develop a strong digital strategy to capture the digital shopper, nurture them, and drive conversion in this key time period. Prime Day learnings from 2019 are important to consider when developing your 2020 strategy. Check out Ovative’s key considerations for Prime Day below.

Prime Day 2020 Considerations for Marketers

1. Promotional Schedule: Build Your Budget with Fluidity

  • 2019 Key Insight:

    Percent off deals were the most common message in 2019 supported by free shipping from most retailers. Retailer promos off Amazon lasted beyond the Prime Day event.

  • 2020 Considerations:

    Build your budget with fluidity to capture performance in the moment. Feature strong deals or offers on your site during the Prime Day event dates (October 13th-14th) with budget and creative to support. Allocate additional budget for increased media support in the days following Prime Day to retarget and capture audiences who did not convert during the core event.

2. Targeting: Open Up Audience Targeting

  • 2019 Key Insight:

    During Prime Day consumers are heavily researching and comparison shopping for both themselves and gifts for others.

  • 2020 Considerations:

    Open up audience targeting to capture the increased pool of shoppers (target audience + gift givers). Anticipate “shopping around” behavior and heavy up on retargeting efforts.

3. Paid Media: Anticipate Changes in Costs + Efficiency

Paid Social

  • 2019 Key Insight:

    For Ovative clients Facebook costs increased 3%, Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) increased 38%, and Conversion Rate (CVR) increased 77% during Prime Day compared to non-Prime Day average. This trend was fueled by consumer perception of getting better deals from their favorite brands creating an “urgency” buying mindset.

  • 2020 Considerations:

    Assume slightly increased costs due to competition to reach this ready to shop audience. Use dynamic capabilities to reach consumers with relevant products and promo messaging where they are in the funnel to maximize efficiency during this time. Consider tactics like:

    • Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences (DABA): Utilize your sale catalog to serve ads to a broader audience based on their online shopping behavior and fulfill consumers’ desires to find the best deal
    • Dynamic Product Ads (DPA): Capitalize on increased site visitors in the consideration phase and serve this audience dynamically created, relevant product ads to influence a purchase

Paid Search

  • 2019 Key Insight:

    Across Ovative clients, Google’s Cost Per Click (CPCs) stayed relatively flat as Click Through Rate (CTR) increased 13% during Prime Day compared to non-Prime Day average. Channel efficiency decreased as this higher volume traffic looked to research and compare prices across sites. CVR dropped 28% and ROAS decreased 27% to non-Prime Day average.

  • 2020 Considerations:

    Understand that increased comparison shopping and researching behavior will decrease ROAS and CVR. Align on on lower ROAS thresholds for this period to win on the right searches, meet traffic goals, and build strong retargeting pools. Develop a strategic keyword approach to ensure you rank for the most valuable searches. Consider tactics like

    • Ramp up top-performing Product List Ads (PLA), non-brand, and local campaigns
    • Increase investment in competitor categories
    • Amplify “Deals” and “Free Shipping” in ad copy to capitalize on relevancy 


  • 2019 Key Insight:

    Affiliate networks play a key role in Prime Day as they share promotions from Amazon and other brands with consumers.

  • 2020 Considerations:

    Share your promotional schedule and goals with Affiliate partners in advance of Prime Day to be included in cash back and loyalty deals.

4. Site Experience: Prepare for High Volume Event Shopping

  • 2019 Key Insight:

    Each year the list of sites crashing on key sale days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day grows. Last year this list included major players like Costco and Nordstrom Rack3.

  • 2020 Considerations

    Execute volume testing in preparation for increased traffic levels to ensure site platform performance during peak periods. Emphasize products across the site that deliver a high marginal return for your business. Ensure product pages are optimized with promotional messaging, strong titles, and rich content to improve ability to rank in SEO. 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.

How will you win this Prime Day? Build your budget with fluidity, open up audience targeting, anticipate changes in media costs and efficiency, and prepare your site for high volume event shopping. Take advantage of learnings from 2019 Prime Day and make sure your digital strategy is setup to successfully capture, nurture, and convert digital shoppers during this key time.

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 | Amazon Press Release  3 | Business Insider 

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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