While shoppers may be thinking “back to school” for sellers, September means it’s time to set a strategy for key Q4 sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, if you haven’t started already. To help marketers get a better handle on how to maximize their sales and profit over these high-traffic periods, my colleagues and I examined Prime Day 2019 sales activity across our client base of thousands of Amazon sellers. The results showed that the biggest trends to watch are the increase in volume not matching cost-per-click increases, product discounting not being a barrier to revenue growth and the impact of organic sales.

The data below is based on two separate studies comparing Prime Day and non-Prime Day performance. Vertical-specific data is derived from sales and advertising activity across more than 1,300 products sold by our clients in each of the “Clothing Shoes and Jewelry,” “Health and Household” and “Home and Kitchen” categories on Amazon.

Non-vertical specific data is reflective of sales and advertising performance data across more than 1,100 products sold by our clients.

In both data sets, the Prime Day period represents data collected on July 15 and 16, 2019. The “non-Prime Day” period represents data collected over the four Mondays and Tuesdays prior to Prime Day. Specifically, these ‘non-Prime Day’ dates were averages across June 17, 18, 24 and 25, along with July 1, 2, 8 and 9. Finally, all products included in the study averaged at least one weekly sale over the ‘non-Prime Day’ period.

Expect markedly higher volume – but not (necessarily) CPCs or conversion rates

Events like Prime Day obviously generate a massive increase in traffic and sales on Amazon, but the corresponding increase in advertising activity doesn’t necessarily cause cost-per-clicks or conversion rates to rise at the same rate. Within the “Clothing Shoes and Jewelry” category, conversion rates stayed the same, and cost-per-clicks actually dipped 5.7% on Prime Day, despite ad spend rising 33% and revenue rising 540%.

average cost of sale only decreased by an average of -3%. We saw similar trends in other verticals as well.


About The Author

Teikametrics. In his current role, Andrew manages the analysis, editorial direction and strategy for Teikametrics’ reporting on online retail advertising and the larger online retail marketplace. Prior to his time at Teikametrics, Andrew served as the manager of data insights and media relations at Salsify, the manager of market insights and media relations for advertising automation software provider Nanigans, and as the market analyst and lead author of reports for Chitika Insights, the research arm of the Chitika online ad network. Andrew’s commentary on online trends has been quoted by the New York Times, Re/Code and The Guardian, among other outlets.


Amazon Prime Day is the hard start to the back-to-school shopping season – this year more than ever.

But the bigger trend is that Prime Day is no longer confined to Amazon. It pervades the entire retail industry, with shopping interest heightening across multiple marketing channels.

Including Google search.

My colleagues and I took a look at some of the biggest trends influencing back-to-school search marketing, from Prime Day and its halo effect, to newer Google Ad formats and targeting capabilities. Here are some results of Prime Day’s impact in the Google search channel, what they mean for the coming weeks and other major trends to capitalize on this back-to-school season and beyond.

1. Prime Day led to high search interest on Google

It’s no surprise Prime Day hype reached a new high this year, and Google Trends demonstrates it. Google Trend scores are relative to one another, meaning a 100 – which occurred during this year’s Prime Day week – represents the peak popularity of a search term over a period of time. Relatively speaking, searches for “Prime Day deals” on Google were 26 percent less popular in 2018.

Google continues to chip away at traditional shopping ads that display for broad queries on mobile. The replacement is the more visually engaging Showcase Shopping ad. This trend accelerated prior to the holiday season last year, meaning this is the first back-to-school shopping season where Showcase ads will be a major traffic driver.

Here’s a look at Showcase Shopping ad impressions for a sample of several hundred retailers over the past 18 months:

Showcase Shopping how-to’s I’ve shared on Search Engine Land for help on navigating the format.

7. Back-to-school is a key use case for Detailed Demographics

Back-to-school is also a good time to use Google’s Detailed Demographics with your shopping campaigns. Of particular interest during this season is the segment for parents—broken down by parents of infants (0-1), toddlers (1-3), preschoolers (4-5), grade-schoolers (6-12), and teens (13-17).

If your catalog spans all these age groups as well as adults without kids, it might make sense to segment your campaigns or ad groups by demographic targets, to hone in on the products most relevant to each audience.

Back to school, back to holiday planning

Once back-to-school reaches its end in September, the year-end holidays will enter the consumer conscience. Drive the best performance from your back-to-school campaigns now, while starting to shift your time into holiday planning mode. More to come in my column as the holiday season nears.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Sidecar. He analyzes digital marketing performance and strategic direction for large retailers across verticals, focusing on data visualizations and advanced account segmentation. He is responsible for deriving meaning from numbers and determining how to use those insights to drive marketing decision making. Steve is especially close to Google’s new innovations impacting Shopping and paid search. He has a master’s degree in data analytics and contributes to Search Engine Land as well as Sidecar Discover, the publication by Sidecar that covers research and ideas shaping digital marketing in retail.


Amazon’s days of owning the biggest shopping day(s) of the summer may be numbered. Large retailers, companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, experienced a 64% increase in sales during the first day Prime Day this year, compared to their average Monday sales, according to Adobe. That’s up from last year when the same retailers saw a 54% lift in sales.

“The first day of Prime Day saw a substantial increase in online spending the U.S., suggesting that Amazon is no longer the sole winner of the summer shopping holiday,” says Adobe.

Sales lisfts for small retailers

Adobe reports small, niche retailers are also benefiting from Amazon’s Prime Day. Businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue saw a 30% increase in online sales during the first day of Prime Day 2019.

Overall, retailers outside of Amazon experienced an increase in web traffic to their sites during the first 24 hours of Prime Day, accounting for 66% of revenue lift.

Email driving revenue

Email marketing efforts delivered big for brands on Prime Day, according to Adobe: “Brands that delivered excellent email experiences saw a 50% lift in revenue. In comparison, those that lacked a good email strategy saw only a 17% lift.”

Adobe said that, overall, email campaigns accounted for a 7.6% higher share of revenue.

Amazon’s results so far

Amazon reported Monday’s Prime Day was the “biggest 24-hour sales day” in the company’s history. This is the first time Amazon extended Prime Day to two days, so there is still another day to go.

“Prime Day is off to a tremendous start for Marlowe with sales up 2,000% over Prime Day last year. Our Pomade – launched yesterday – is the fastest growing product we’ve ever had,” said a representative from Marlowe, an Amazon seller offering a line of men’s facial and hair products. Sweet Water Décor, another SMB on Amazon, reported a 255% lift in sales during the first day of Prime Day.

Why we should care

Adobe’s data shows that Monday’s Prime Day represented the third time e-commerce spending exceeded $2 billion in sales outside of the holiday season. Labor Day 2018 and Memorial Day 2019 were the other days that passed $2 billion. Prime Day is also now considered the kick-off to back to school shopping season according to many in the industry.

Many online retailers find themselves competing with Amazon year round, but the company’s summer shopping extravaganza has proven to be a boon for savvy advertisers who have figured out how to take advantage of Prime Day promotions.

A survey from Adlucent showed 68% of online shoppers plan to comparison shop outside of Amazon on Prime day — giving retailers an opportunity to pull consumers away from Prime Day sales.

About The Author


This year’s two-day Prime Day event has come to a close, and Amazon reported it was the biggest shopping event in its history. Prime Day sales totaled more than Amazon’s 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday revenue combined, according to the company.

“Prime members purchased more than 175 million items throughout the event. Prime Day was also the biggest event ever for Amazon devices, when comparing two-day periods,” said Amazon.

An extended Prime Day means more sales. It’s worth noting this year’s Prime Day was the longest yet, starting 12:00 a.m. PT on July 15 and lasting a full 48 hours. Last year’s Prime Day was 36 hours long, and 2017’s lasted 30 hours. Obviously, the more time Amazon gives Prime members to shop for discounted products, the more revenue it’s going to generate.

It is notable Amazon was able to outperform its Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales during a 48 hour period in the middle of summer — two time periods of the same length. By the end of this year’s Prime Day, Prime members in 18 countries bought more than 175 million items on Amazon.

Big day for Prime Member subscriptions. Amazon said it saw more new Prime Member subscriptions on July 15 than any other day in its history, and “almost as many” on the second day of the shopping event: “Making these the two biggest days ever for member signups.”

Amazon didn’t release member signup numbers, but more than a year ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos confirmed the company had more than 100 million Prime members.

SMBs cross the $2 billion mark. Small and medium sized businesses selling on Amazon generated more than $2 billion during this year’s Prime Day — doubling last year’s more than $1 billion in sales by SMBs.

“Prime Day 2019 was another record-breaking success for independent third-party sellers—mostly small and medium-sized businesses,” said Amazon, “Globally, these businesses far exceeded $2 billion in sales this Prime Day, making it the biggest Amazon shopping event ever for third-party sellers when comparing two-day periods.”

It’s worth noting that from a regulatory perspective, it’s in Amazon’s interest to tout itself as a “friend” of SMBs.

Amazon’s impact on the industry. Amazon launched Prime Day in 2015 to drive Prime memberships, but the shopping event has grown well beyond the company’s original loyalty shopping initiative — and reframed the commerce calendar industry-wide.

The shopping event is now defined as the kick-off to back to school shopping season, with other online retailers piggy-backing onto the sales event and taking advantage of the e-commerce push

Still, online retail forecasts show Amazon will continue to grab a bigger share of the e-commerce market. A report from FTI Consulting predicts Amazon’s online market share will reach 43% this year, with the company positioned to own more than half of all online sales by 2024.

Why we should care. FTI Consulting’s report said, overall, the online retail growth rate is decelerating. “Online sales growth in the mid-teens (14% – 17% YOY) has been as consistent and reliable this decade as the chances of the New England Patriots making the playoffs,” according to FTI, “The script flipped in mid-2018 when online sales growth began to decelerate towards the low-12% vicinity in the most recent two quarters.”

While Prime Day has become a force of its own, it’s also a reminder that as merchants compete for customer transactions with deals, free shipping and other offers, deep discounts will inevitably impact revenue growth. Amazon sellers and retailer competitors, alike, will need to continue to look for growth opportunities and focus on UX and customer experiences throughout the customer journey to improve customer lifetime values. Amazon’s impact on the e-commerce industry is no more evident than on Prime Day, the signature of which is a loyalty program that attracts high-value, repeat customers — and has become the envy of the industry.

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