By all accounts, Prime Day 2021 was only a modest success. That is, if you consider an estimated $11.19 Billion in sales during 48 hours to be modest.
There’s already rumors buzzing of a potential “Prime Day 2.0” occurring in October as a competitive teaser to Black Friday. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Amazon has surprised us about Prime Day, but unpredictability is part of its strength. Sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2020 were reportedly $34.4 Billion in the US across all channels, not just Amazon. That’s a five day period in comparison to two days in June solely on Amazon.
Sales trends may come and go on Amazon, but trends on Prime Day can be slightly more consistent. But even the slightest change can be a fairly accurate foretelling of what to expect in the following year. So what should sellers expect from Prime Day in 2022?
Sponsored Advertising Spending Soared in 2021
According to data compiled by Tinuiti, Sponsored Brands investments increased significantly during Prime Day 2021 by approximately 22 percent, with 23 percent of advertisers more than doubling their budget and investing 25 percent in Sponsored Brands video. Interestingly enough, costs per click increased by only 4 percent compared to Sponsored Products—which saw a 19 percent increase, but resulted in an estimated 5 percent increase in revenue.
Sponsored Products listings themselves saw a 16 percent increase in investments compared to Prime Day 2020, with 23 percent of advertisers doubling their budgets. But the largest investment in sponsored advertising on Amazon was in Sponsored Display ads and Amazon DSP. While the former saw an increase of 41 percent in investments, the amount of impressions from the latter was significant. DSP saw a growth of 53 percent in impressions on the very first day of Prime Day 2021.
And the spending paid off for Amazon as well. Revenue in North America may have increased by only 21.9 percent for Q2 2021, but net income skyrocketed by nearly 50 percent. And much of it was boosted by the 87.5 percent increase in revenue generated by Amazon Advertising, leading to a net revenue of $113.1 Billion.
Customer Order Spending Decreased Slightly
According to data from Numerator, customer order spending saw only a slight dip during Prime Day 2021. The average US household spent approximately $52.33 per order in comparison to $54.34 spent during 2020, with 2.8 orders being sent compared to the previous year’s 2.9 orders. Interestingly enough, both pale in comparison to Prime Day 2019 when the average shopper spent approximately $58.77 on only 2.6 orders—well before the start of the pandemic.
That same data revealed that 46 percent of consumers cited Prime Day for being their primary reason for shopping on Amazon, with 36 percent indicating it was a contributing factor. Combined with the dip in the past two years in customer spending, it might seem reasonable to conclude that pandemic-related budget constraints played some role in Prime Day 2021. But as much of the world emerges from the pandemic, it might be even more reasonable to conclude that Prime Day 2022 could look much more like Prime Day 2019—happily for us all.
What Sold on Prime Day 2021
Preliminary research from Salesforce indicates that the sale of handbags and luggage skyrocketed in 2021 by some 74 percent; yet it was furniture which customers spent the most amount of money on, seeing a total increase of 67 percent across 18 different categories as the cost of raw materials increased due to high customer demand.
Salesforce data also noted that one particular top selling category actually saw a 16 percent decrease—general and active apparel. But while trends in product categories are one of the more variable factors in estimating Prime Day’s ultimate consumer value, 2021 proved to be more pronounced by a hidden factor: the crisis of logistics.
The fragility of global supply chains was revealed by the pandemic as high demand affected the entire lifecycle from manufacturing to fulfillment. 2020 saw a spike of over 50 days in the US of businesses having minimal inventory to sell, with 36 percent of small businesses reporting delays with domestic suppliers between May and June of 2021—chiefly in manufacturing and trade segments.
Will 2022 be any different? It’s very likely. Already, supply chains are developing enhanced models of contingency planning to address both current and future disruptions. But it’s also important to remember that despite the successful 16 year run Prime Day has enjoyed, digital retail is still a developing industry. And it’s one which some consumers take for granted. Both Amazon vendors and sellers alike need to be aware of all aspects which can affect sales, from logistics to consumer habits. Will there be a second Prime Day in 2021? Right now, it’s a huge question mark. What isn’t in question is the decisive factor in the success of your business: your customers.
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