The Importance of Dayparting in Your Walmart and Amazon Advertising Strategy

Are there certain times of the day when running Amazon and Walmart Connect ads simply doesn’t make sense? In today’s post, we are going to cover the concept of daypart bidding, commonly known as dayparting, which is turning your ads off and on during certain parts of the day. The goal of dayparting is to be more efficient with your ad spend, but is it really worth your time and effort? Absolutely. If you don’t set up dayparting well or do not set it up at all, you will end up running out of budget too early during the day.  

The following use cases can help aid your Walmart and Amazon advertising strategies to reduce wasted ad spend, boost ROAS, and more.

Showing Ads During Peak Times

Peak times may vary by category (confirm with your buyer or WMC/Amazon Ads partner). Purchases tend to peak between Thursday as people prepare for weekend activities, and Sunday as shoppers stock up for the week ahead. We know that there can be an increase in clicks during infomercial hours (12am to 5am), but there tends to be low conversion levels during that time as users are more focused on window shopping during that timeframe. If you have limited budgets, one effective strategy is to pause campaigns from 12am to 6am, then decrease bids from 6am to 12pm to conserve funds, boost slightly from 12pm-6pm and then run freely through the end of day. This strategy should allow you to stay live during peak hours and by pausing at the start of the day, you can reserve your budget to stay live longer throughout the day. Additionally, you can schedule dayparting by day of week to make sure you’re leaning into peak shopping periods. You can also set start and end dates on dayparting rules in the event that you have a promotion or other key period where you are willing to spend more in order to win bids.

Get a Cheaper Cost-Per-Click

Let’s say you have a highly competitive product and you’re targeting a high-relevancy competitive keyword or target. Dayparting is particularly useful for smaller sellers and brands with limited budgets. It’s important to determine the top 5-10 keywords that your brand must be winning on, where you’re willing to bid more aggressively. You can then make sure you’re applying more stringent dayparting on lower-priority keywords, while boosting on the keywords your team determines as highest priority, whether they be competitor, category, or branded terms.

Eliminate Browse-Based Traffic

Shoppers may be browsing at odd times of the day when your ads reflect the least number of sales, which can result in ACoS reduction, higher ROAS, and improved click-through rates and conversions. This comes back to not pushing spend during infomercial hours. However, there are a few categories that it may be impactful to spend during these hours. Parents tend to shop after children are in bed and spend time placing orders/shopping while in bed themselves, so after 10pm. It’s important to understand your shopper demographics and mimic their activity within your dayparting and campaign structure to support their shopping habits at all relevant hours.

Pacvue Dayparting Feature Hourly Spend Chart
An example of what an Hourly Spend Chart in Pacvue’s dayparting feature looks like.

Dayparting Optimization

Pacvue’s dayparting feature allowed Hisense to control what time of day their ads ran on Walmart. By only advertising during certain hours of the day, they were able to cut wasted ad spend and focus their budget on hours where they saw greater results. After employing a dayparting strategy through Pacvue’s Walmart advertising platform, they saw significant improvement in their campaigns. Post Dayparting optimizations, Hisense saw a 227% increase in ROAS, 184% increase in CVR and an 18% decrease in CPC.

In another case, Pacvue’s dayparting feature allowed a leading global pet brand to control what time of day their ads ran on Amazon. The brand monitored their hourly ROAS performance as they adjusted their ad strategy and increased remarketing during peak periods.

Are you interested in learning more about how the Pacvue marketplace advertising platform can help you improve conversions and ROAS with dayparting and other ad optimization features? Request a demo today and one of our managers will walk you through our dayparting tool to show you how it could benefit your ad strategies with Walmart Connect and Amazon Ads.

New DSP Audience Research & Creative Creation Tools in Pacvue

Audience Research

We are thrilled to announce that you can now conduct DSP audience research in Pacvue! This tool helps users create the right custom audiences more efficiently and is made possible by integrating Helium 10 data into the Pacvue platform.

DSP audience research tool in Pacvue - Helium 10 data integration

Users can begin their audience creation using two inputs: ASIN or Keyword.

Inputting an ASIN should feel more familiar to DSP users as you do typically create custom audiences based off an ASIN.

The tool will:

  • Suggest audiences of various lookback windows based off the ASIN you input (Views, purchase, similar product views, searches)
  • Automatically curate a competitor list (Via Amazon Brand Analytics/Helium 10 data) to use for competitive audiences
  • Provide premade audience/strategy templates

Pacvue’s keyword audience creation tool will allow you to create these same competitor audiences based off the ASINs that show up for a keyword (according to Helium 10 data).

dsp competitor audience asins in pacvue - helium 10 data integration

The audience creation by keyword can help to bridge the gap between search and DSP for those who are familiar with search but not with DSP.

Logical audience creation is very time consuming in the Amazon DSP native UI and Pacvue’s tool allows for that process to be sped up, cutting down on research and implementation time. Pacvue also offers some additional strategy/audience segmentation recommendations for novice users which are solid ways for new DSP advertisers to get off the ground.

DSP Creatives

Another exciting new development is that Pacvue has released a DSP Creatives tool. This is a huge step towards more efficient campaign creation for Pacvue users.

You can create two types of creatives:

  1. Static image (regular image, mobile O&O, and mobile AAP)
  2. REC (responsive eCommerce)
DSP creative creation tool in Pacvue

The creative setup process mirrors the process to make creatives on the native Amazon DSP console. Advertisers should have their static images ready if they would like to create image creatives.  

Bringing this workstream into Pacvue should save users time and allows the workflow to be solely in Pacvue.

Creative Asset Library

Alongside the creative creation piece, there is a new creative asset library. This library assists with enabling visibility and easy editing across all creatives.  

You access this view from the creative tab in the campaign manager (see below).

DSP creative asset library in Pacvue

The creative asset library will show the following data, which allows users an easy way to keep track of all the creatives they have made:

  • What creatives do you have?
  • What is their approval status?
  • A thumbnail
  • Advertiser
  • Size
  • Type
  • Which line items are associated/active
  • Edit functionality

See Pacvue for Amazon in action today. Request a demo and we’ll walk you through Pacvue’s customizable dashboards, five levels of automation, retail data integration, Share of Voice reporting, and more!

Win Your Category: Make Smarter Decisions with Retail Media Triggers

Pacvue President & Co-Founder, Melissa Burdick, led an interesting session on the explosion of eCommerce and retail media alongside Diana Haussling, VP of GM Digital Commerce-North America for Colgate-Palmolive, and Amy Lanzi, Commerce Practice Lead at North America Publicis Groupe, Publicis, at Advertising Week 2021 in New York City.

More data is available than ever before. But how do brands leverage this abundance of data to drive smarter decisions and market their products to the right consumers? How are they leveraging competitive data, profit, price, inventory, and other retail variables to drive category results and measure the effectiveness? Learn from this Q&A panel of experts on how they are achieving this through the latest strategies.

Some key takeaways from this session:

  • Accomplishing key objectives beyond ROAS
  • Challenges and opportunities with the proliferation of retail data
  • An integrated approach to sales, operations, and paid media
Net Search Ad Revenue Share in the US, by Company, 2019-2023 - eMarketer

Melissa Burdick: “It looks like Google Search is declining while Amazon Search is increasing. Is that because people are moving their budgets from Google to Amazon, and then can you also demystify eCommerce versus digitally native sales?”

Diana Haussling: “I don’t think it’s necessarily a shift, I think if we look at the full-funnel and how we shop in dynamic ways, no longer are consumers coming in at the start of the funnel and coming all the way down. They’re really coming in and out and the funnel as we know it has blown up. Because of that, you’re seeing manufacturers take a different approach to their search and acquisition plans. There are times when Google makes sense and it’s really about driving that awareness, but there are other times when we’re closer to that point of purchase that we need to convert and think about engaging consumers when they’re at that decision-making point.”

Amy Lanzi: “How you think about your search behavior is how we plan for our clients. It’s about how you’re thinking about your investment strategy of the total pie, and what makes sense for the job to be done. And what makes sense for the way modern consumers shop.”

Melissa Burdick: “Let’s talk about innovation. How is retail media disrupting the space and innovating against traditional advertising channels? Or are traditional channels like tv keeping up with innovation? How do you prioritize investments given there’s just a new retail media platform, new option launching all the time?”

Amy Lanzi: “Some of our friends are very good in terms of how they have the heritage of their loyalty data, which enables us as an agency to tell our clients how consumers are intrinsically shopping by mode. That’s really interesting and very differentiated from traditional media and it’s because they have such powerful data, and they have powerful measurement capabilities that allow us to be able to see that. In terms of investment strategy, the measurement piece is so important because there’s some convincing some more traditional orgs that this is a place to invest in and it’s not just lower funnel. It is actually something you can move from brand building all the way to the sale in just one touch point because the data is so great.”

Diana Haussling: “What the retailers have that really differentiates them from traditional media is that they do have access to all of this data. Actual tendered sales. So, the ability to get access to that data and really see that somebody saw my ad three days ago and they bought the item in store, or they saw my ad three seconds ago and not only did they buy the item, but they cross shopped across my portfolio. It’s powerful in several ways because it allows you to not only make a smart media decision, but it transforms the retail media environment into one that allows you to think about your strategy from a different perspective.”

Melissa Burdick: “Are retailers really making their data actionable, and how can they make it more actionable?”

Diana Haussling: “I’m a huge fan of Instacart and the potential and I think there is a ton of data out there and we’re hoarding it all. But do we have the right folks that have the right minds looking at the data, and really extracting what’s valuable.”

Amy Lanzi: “The retail media data in particular really bolsters capability. We’re not there yet because now it seems to be focused on how the data informs the media when we think about media strategy. When you think about it, all of that data helps your category and leadership story, it helps to bolster innovation, it helps to think about how the investment you should be making around brand building versus at the point of search. These are fundamental things that also have a knock-on effect because if you look at that you’re able to then think about how I’m investing in experiences for in-store or online. All of these things need to be looked at together.

Melissa Burdick: “ROAS isn’t always the metric. Would you mind going into that kind of detail where it just depends on your goal and how you think about that?”

Diana Haussling: “For my folks that are digital commerce aficionados, you have probably had this conversation in your company about ROAS not being the only metric that we think about when it comes to media. A lot of folks hear the term, they know it, so they’re comfortable with it. But the reality is, it really does depend on the job to be done. So, often times, ROAS when I’m trying to drive growth within a category really is like me just going after the easy, low-hanging fruit. If I want to expand growth, I have to drive more traffic in, which means my ROAS might not be as high and I’m okay with that. There are some instances where ROAS is going to be the drive but more likely than that, you really have to align the KPI to the job to be done or else you’re just going to spend a lot of money and not get a lot of results.”

Amy Lanzi: “These relationships we have with retailers are very nuanced. They’re different than some of the relationships we have with our traditional media friends, and it’s important because there are some things that may not be the most efficient way for us to be spending our quote media dollars or we’re doing it because of the importance of the relationship. We’re doing it because it something we know will maintain our category leadership position. Those, when you get down to a ROAS metric, it doesn’t make sense, but it does make sense for the broader strategic imperative of an organization to maintain a relationship with the key retail customer.”

Melissa Burdick, Amy Lanzi, and Diana Haussling at Advertising Week NYC on October 18, 2021.

Latest Data

In Q3 there were a lot of challenges – supply chain constraints, costs continued to increase, more customers than we thought were actually shopping in stores than eCommerce, and then Prime Day was pulled into Q2 this year. The metrics were flat quarter-over-over but year-over-year the numbers are still aggressively growing. Items like “Disposable Face Mask” and “Poppets” topped the queries in Q3, as children began to return to school. You can download a copy of the 2021 Q3 CPC Report and see how your performance stacked up against the benchmarks.

Pacvue Q3 2021 CPC Report Sponsored Products Recap

During the session, I announced the exciting debut of two really exciting products. Pacvue Commerce for total eCommerce management, our brand-new intelligent marketplace management software to optimize your sales, inventory, listings, and promotions for a retail-ready digital shelf. And Pacvue Amazon Marketing Cloud integration for better data-driven discovery and deeper measurement to make smarter decisions.

How Ad Spend Impacts Competitors’ Share of Voice

In any advertising environment and marketing channel, the competition is tough. However, if you know what Share of Voice (SOV) is and how to measure it, you can better develop strong ad spend strategies to prevent your competitors from building a loyal customer base with a high lifetime value.

This blog post analyzes how a top leading brand in the Tools & Home Improvement category’s ad spend changes drove industry shifts in share, allowing competitors to capitalize on more efficient sales, ultimately leading to missed revenue and profits.

CASE STUDY – How a Brand’s Budget Changes Drove Industry Shifts in Share

First, let’s look at Paid SOV. This is the percentage of total paid placements that the brand won on the eCommerce search result page. This competitive analysis metric can be calculated by dividing the number of paid placements won by all available paid placements.

Brand A is a leader in the Tools & Home Improvement category and owned 60% SOV in the industry until 2021. They reduced their ad budget in Q1 with an attempt to capture cost-savings, and as a result, they suffered a 44% decline in Paid SOV. They reversed course in Q2, and Paid SOV increased 37% as budgets and spend increased. Brand B’s Paid SOV increased 76% in Q1, and then declined 30% in Q2 of 2021 as Brand A’s budget rebound led to increased spend. Brand C’s Paid SOV doubled in Q1 to 34% but then declined 18% in Q2 as Brand A increased their Paid SOV and dominance in the space.

Industry Organic Share of Voice

Now, let’s look at Organic SOV, which is the percentage of total organic placements that the brand won on the eCommerce search result page (non-paid placements). You can find this percentage by dividing the number of Organic Placements Won by All Available Organic Placements.

Brand A’s Organic SOV declined 6.5% in Q1, and another 4% decline in Q2 as less traffic & Sales were driven to the SKUs with budget declines. Brand B’s Organic SOV increased 2.5% in Q1, and then another 2.5% in Q2 with the momentum of increased Share in Q1. Brand C’s Organic SOV increased 57% in Q1, and another 17% in Q2 in-line with their Paid SOV gains Quarter-over-Quarter.

Brand A’s Spend Impact on the Landscape

Brand A’s decline in Q1 budget shifted the entire landscape, giving their competitors the opportunity to increase their ad presence with less competition. The increased traffic and sales to Brand A’s competitors increased their Organic Ranking, giving them more long-term efficiencies within the space.

Shifts in Trended Share

Brand A’s decline in budget led to a large decline in Paid SOV that directly correlated to a decline in traffic and sales over the quarter, resulting in a decline in organic ranking. This hurt Brand A, as their historic organic ranking has driven efficiencies in the account. But the more competitors continue to grow their organic ranking, the more expensive clicks and sales will eventually become. As Brand A has regained the highest Paid and Organic SOV in the category, they’ll need to continue growing share to win in the space.

Brand B’s Paid & Organic Share increased in Q1 of 2021 as Brand A’s budget decline created more opportunity and at a lower cost. Their product position in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) increased in Q1 with Brand A’s decline and have continued to maintain momentum. Their share has since declined as Brand A has re-entered the space with healthier budget levels.  

Brand C doubled their Paid SOV in Q1 due to stronger budgets and were able to capitalize big on Brand A’s decline in SOV. In March, Brand A regained the highest Paid SOV with an increased budget, driving a 30% decline in Brand C’s Paid SOV.

Key Takeaway

Cutting your advertising budget can cause you to miss choice opportunities to raise awareness about your brand and products. As advertising is labeled as an expense on the profit and loss statement, it is often one of the initial areas to cut in your budget when your business experiences financial setbacks. This may appear to provide a short-term boost to profitability but will come at the expense of future growth. Your budget cuts and decision to make major declines in ad spend can have long-term consequences that affect your ROI and ROAS.

SOV is a surefire way to accurately gauge the eCommerce market share of your brand. Consider leveraging SOV tools, so you can perform a competitive analysis on a market-wide scale and better understand where your competitors are more vulnerable to market share loss. By looking at the SOV of your competitors, you can adjust your budgets accordingly to eventually win the space. This metric is key in deciding which tactics will ultimately help your brand reach its goals. Furthermore, knowing how much market share belongs to your brand will ensure budget is allocated as efficiently as possible. 

2021 EMEA Marketplace Trends and Data Insights

During the 1st quarter of 2021, Amazon’s sales grew faster internationally than they did in North America, with International revenue up 60% year over year, while North America revenue climbed 40%.  

In other words, there is a huge opportunity for European sellers on Amazon to step into this market and gain a competitive advantage.  

Last week, we put on a webinar with Salsify to help European sellers understand how to best optimize their product pages on Amazon – Amazon PDPs (product description pages) impact where the Amazon A9 algorithm places products when consumers search for them, so this is a critical piece for sellers to understand.  

The webinar was presented by Pacvue’s Sales Director Daniel Harris, and Salsify’s Justin King, VP of Industry Marketing. The two of them had some really great data-driven insights as to what makes a “Perfect PDP,” and today we’ll be sharing some of that insight with you.  

Notably, the U.S. has a higher average cost-per-click on Amazon advertising than Europe does. This indicates that the U.S. market is more mature, but for sellers in Europe, this means that there is tremendous opportunity for first-movers to drive product adoption.  

After New Years 2021, the U.S. experienced a larger CPC rebound than in Europe, indicating that there is more competition for Amazon advertising in the U.S. market. For European brands, then, perfecting Amazon A9 SEO means a bigger potential competitive advantage as fewer brands have their product pages optimized.  

So, how does one optimize their product description page? There are several trends that brands can jump on to improve how Amazon skews search results towards their product: the first is to use product descriptions that are concise and precise. Next, titles have to include essential SEO words for the Amazon algorithm (different from Google SEO!)  

The above should be considered table stakes. To differentiate, brands should look to include enhanced content (what Amazon calls “A+” content) below the fold on their product description pages.  

What is enhanced content? It’s the broader story of the product and the brand. How is the product different? What is the brand story? Is the brand ethical and sustainable? What lifestyle is the brand tying their product into?  

These pieces add differentiating value from other, similar products. They can be in the form of images, videos, charts – any medium that allows a brand to build out the ethos of the product.  

The last part of the webinar went through different product categories for the UK, Germany, and France, and noted some places where products in those categories often failed to have optimized PDPs. One example is that only 24% of the top 100 consumer electronics products in France have video content. If you make cameras and sell them on Amazon France, putting a video on your page would be a huge competitive advantage!  

The key takeaway from this last segment is that it’s important to do the market research on your specific category before posting your product. In many popular European categories, there is room to optimize your PDP far more than the category average. This will put your product in front of more people, as the Amazon search algorithm will like your product better, and means that consumers are more likely to connect to your product when they see it.  

Bottom line: there is a great opportunity to be an Amazon seller in Europe. Just make sure you optimize your product page!  

If you want to learn more, and get specific insights about the UK, Germany and France’s top categories, check out the webinar here: https://youtu.be/hv4KIKP6p8U  

How Amazon Retail Promotions Affect Marketing Metrics

When it comes to Amazon Retail promotions, not all deals are created equal. We’ve talked in the past about optimizing Amazon marketing campaigns by finding the right mix of ad types. Each deal and ad type performs differently and can achieve a variety of goals for your brand.

One aspect advertisers may not consider is how promotions impact pricing and therefore marketing metrics. Whether a deal discounts the site price or if the discount is applied in-cart can affect your revenue reporting and accurate tracking of advertising efficiency metrics (ROAS or ACOS). Deals also differ in terms of on-site visibility to the consumer, revenue impact, depth of discount, and cost.

As Bobsled Marketing’s Account Specialist, Maria Zarkova, said, “Every type of Amazon Promotion can have its moment in the sun. It’s important to understand the differences between each of them. That way you can make an informed decision about which to use in each situation.”

Let’s look at the two main types of Amazon Retail promotions, see how they affect metrics differently, and discuss the benefits of each deal type.

Point of Sale vs In-Cart Discounts

Depending on your goal, you will have to consider if a site price discount or in-cart discount is best. The main difference between these two is their visibility, as well as when and where the discount is applied. Some Brands may also use the terms “open” vs “closed” promotions – this references who is eligible to receive a discount.  

Closed discounts are point of sale discounts such as Prime Member Promotions, promo codes, and coupons that are only available to specific consumers. One major benefit of closed discounts is they do not affect the site price, and as such, they do not cause channel conflicts with other retailers, which can occur when offering widespread discounts.

Closed discounts are applied when the item is in cart or during the checkout process. At their core, these are based on a buy-x-get-y model (BXGY), where a customer must do something in order to be eligible (join Prime, add 2 items to cart together, clip a coupon, etc). When Amazon reports revenue for items sold during these promotions, they report the site price at the time of the conversion. This means the revenue is reported as the original price.

Open discounts are site price discounts such as Deals of the Day or Price Discounts. These promotions are available to all consumers and visible on the product detail page. Because the discount is applied to the advertised product’s on-site price, revenue is reported at the discounted price.

Site Price Discount (Best Deal):

Site Price Discount (Best Deal)

This distinction is most important when comparing the performance of different deal types and during specific sale periods. The reported revenue for closed discounts will be inflated compared to open discounts, as the sales discount is reflected separately from the Product Revenue.

One common example for Amazon Retail promotions is when comparing Black Friday and Cyber Monday ad performance to Prime Day performance. Since Prime Day Deals are available only to Amazon Prime members, the promotions run during that key drive period are applied in-cart (Prime members may see the discount on screen, as shown in the screenshot below). The common deals run during Prime Day are Prime-exclusive Deal of the Day (PE-DOTD), Prime Member Promotion (PMP), and Prime-exclusive Lightning Deals (PE-LD). In contrast, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals primarily discount site price. The most frequent deal types during Q4 include DOTD, Best Deal (BD), and LD.  

In-Cart Discount (Prime Member Promotion + Coupon):

Non-Prime view
What a Prime member sees

Comparing Prime Day to Black Friday / Cyber Monday  

Prime Day Deal = vendor runs a deal on an ASIN with a $10 site price discounted in cart to $7 for a PE-LD. Amazon would report $10 in Ordered Product Sales (Ordered Revenue, or “OPS”) for this sale vs technically selling $7 of net revenue (OPS less Sales Discount). OPS Less SD = Amazon sales – amazon sales discounts (aka an in-cart promotion).

BF/CM Deal = vendor runs a deal on an ASIN with a $10 site price discounted to $7 for a LD. Amazon would report $7 in revenue for this sale (equal for both OPS and OPS less SD as the discount is netted out in the revenue).  

When comparing these two accounting methods, you will need to account for the resulting imbalance in metrics – Prime Day sales will look inflated compared to Black Friday / Cyber Monday. This doesn’t mean Prime Day is less valuable, just that it will require a deeper understanding given the higher likelihood of leveraging closed promotions. At first look, your OPS and all metrics that calculate off of revenue (Net PPM, ROAS, Average Order Size, etc) will be misleading. To compare apples to apples, you can use Product Cost of Goods Sold (aka, Invoice Cost) to compare the sales generated during the two time frames more appropriately. You can also subtract your sales discounts paid to calculate a truer revenue number; however, this requires a strong understanding of the promotions that need adjusting.

Benefits of Each Amazon Promotion Type

Now that the general differences between open and closed deals are clear, when should you use each promo type? There are many different kinds of open and closed discounts that present different advantages and disadvantages depending on your advertising goals. Here are the most common types and when to use them.

Benefits of Each Amazon Promotion Type | Pacvue

Promotion Types Applied at Point of Sale

  • Deal of the Day (DOTD): DOTD or Spotlight Deals only last 24 hours, and they are typically the best deal type for driving revenue, with the highest visibility of any Amazon deal. However, these deals also come with a high cost per unit. DOTD is ideal for moving a large number of units or achieving max visibility for your product or brand.
  • Wow! Deal: These deals are good for achieving a peak period of excitement as the goal is to sell out as quickly as possible, usually in six hours or less. They aren’t as well suited for driving revenue but are more for improving branding and/or moving through exciting but inventory-constrained products.
  • Best Deal (BD): These deals, which can last up to 28 days, are the best long-term discount for brands looking for more visibility for a longer period of time, at a lower discount threshold. They are good as a topline driver and to improve discoverability due to the extended run-time.
  • Lightning Deal (LD): Lightning Deals are similar to Wow! Deals in the short time window to sell through, However, they have less visible placement on the deals pages vs Wow! Deals and they impact Average Selling Price (ASP) and therefore revenue less due to limited run time/exposure. These can be a powerful tool for high-traffic event days.  
  • Price Discount (PD): At any point you can set a discounted price on SKUs as long as you are willing to fund the discount. This is a good way to improve conversion if your items aren’t moving due to uncompetitive pricing.  

Promotions with Discount Applied In-Cart

  • Prime Member Promotion (PMP): These closed discounts are offered only to Amazon Prime members and are most effective for Prime Day. They are a relatively low-cost promotion that has no impact on ASP.
  • Buy X Get Y (BXGY): Attaching deals to complementary products is a good way to increase visibility and basket building. The cost of these deals is relatively low depending on the products.
  • Promo Code: Promo codes can be used with any SKU to provide a closed discount to a specific audience. Promo codes can also be shared through social and email to improve attribution to your other marketing channels.
  • Vendor Powered Coupons (VPC): VPCs are good for high traffic pages for CPG categories or as a conversion trigger. They can offer an uptick in sales and conversion on upsell items.

Some of the discounts, particularly DOTD, Wow! Deals, and PMPs, involve working closely with Amazon for the most inclusion. This is one of the primary points in time where having that Account Manager point of contact can be most helpful for a vendor. Spotlight DOTDs and Wow! Deals need to be set up by an Amazon point of contact, but they can also be helpful in identifying the right products to include in your LDs and PMPs.  

Depending on your goals and industry, any and all of these Amazon promotion types can have a place in your strategy. As you compare the effectiveness and ROI of each discount type, make sure you understand how each affects your sales and marketing metrics to truly know what is moving the needle. Understanding the revenue and ASP impact of these deal types is key to understanding the subsequent impact on revenue-based marketing KPIs.

All’s Fair in Love and Amazon Sponsored Ads

Whether you celebrated at home, snagged a restaurant reservation, or ignored the holiday altogether, Valentine’s Day 2021 was anything but traditional. So how did consumers spread the love while staying socially distanced this year? Amazon shopping trends give us some clues, and the truly smitten with consumer behavior data were able to react to the shifts this season and land an arrow right in the heart of their Amazon advertising strategy.  

While Valentine’s Day may be behind us, the trends we saw this year can offer some interesting insights into how brands should leverage Amazon Advertising to optimize their strategy before, during, and after microseasons and other holiday events.

Amazon as a Research Tool

Similar to Google, Amazon is becoming a research tool to find and compare products. In fact, both Amazon and Google saw searches containing the phrase “Valentines day gifts for…” start to climb right after New Years Day this year, accelerate rapidly in early February, and peak on February 9.  

Google and Amazon Valentine's Day Search Trends

Consumers are increasingly turning to Amazon as the first stop in their shopping journey, not just to complete their purchase, but also to begin research.

While there was a dramatic drop off the day before Valentine’s Day, searches remained elevated on the holiday itself on both Amazon and Google.  

Trends Within Microseasons

Not all consumers are the same, and even shoppers looking for gifts for the same holiday can have some stark differences, especially when you look at who they’re buying gifts for!  

Looking at Google search trends, shoppers looking for gifts “for her” and “for him” tend to have similar behavior, though with a noticeably higher volume of searches for gifts “for her.”  And while both see a drop off on February 15, gifts “for her” stays more elevated than “for him.” Hopefully these forgetful gifters didn’t get in too much trouble with their significant others on Valentine’s Day……

Google Valentine's Day Trend

On Amazon, the difference was even more pronounced. Consumers buying gifts “for him” got a head start on their counterparts this year, at the number one search frequency rank on Amazon for three consecutive weeks leading up to early February. Consumers buying gifts “for her” finally got serious about their shopping the week before Valentine’s day, taking over in the number one search frequency position, but they were still doing shopping on Valentine’s Day itself.  

Amazon Valentine's Day search frequency rank

Unfortunately for Prime members, the “your gift got stuck in the mail!” excuse doesn’t work as well if your partner knows you have free one-day delivery.  

Responding to Consumer Trends During Microseasons

The trends we saw this Valentine’s Day offer some takeaways for advertisers during microseasons:

  • More and more consumers use Amazon as a research tool, similar to Google. Start promoting early in the lead up to microseasons. Use custom creative and brand stores with seasonal pages.
  • Shift advertised products during the microseason based on search behavior (for example, there were fewer searches for “decorations” and “candy” this year, but “comfy” saw a last-minute surge). Microseasons have their own mini trends. Get granular and bid on variations (there were 804 different “valentines day gifts for…” search variations in the top one million searches in 2021).
  • Prepare for changes in what’s popular – last year, shoppers were more likely to search ‘valentines gifts for XXX’ vs this year’s more common ‘valentines day gifts for XXX’. This subtle difference would have excluded many would-be search expert’s keyword sets that relied on phrase or exact match keywords from a previous event.  
  • Utilize Amazon DSP capabilities to hyper-target based on different consumer demographic segments (A brand might want to keep retargeting shoppers searching gifts “for her” at the last minute, if Valentine’s Day search behavior is any indication).

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, or National Waffle Day (August 24 for those who don’t already celebrate…), make sure you have the tools you need to prepare seasonal campaigns in advance, analyze consumer trends, and adjust your targeting in real-time.  

Taking Advantage of Holiday Trends on Instacart

Whether you’re planning your holiday meals—and wondering just how many sweet potatoes a person can eat—or prepping your eCommerce advertising campaigns for the peak holiday periods, one channel is likely top of mind: Instacart. As another wave of stay-at-home requirements sweeps throughout the US, online grocery is poised to continue the rapid growth it experienced in2020, and increased order volume around the holidays presents a unique opportunity for brands.

On Thursday, November 19, the Instacart advertising team hosted a webinar to help marketers understand consumer behavior around online grocery shopping during the holiday season, and they shared some actionable tips that advertisers should consider to maximize brand awareness and sales inQ4. Here are some of our favorite takeaways.

A Big Year for Online Grocery

This has been a year of accelerated growth for online grocery, and Instacart has emerged as the clear leader in the space. During the COVID-19,Instacart experienced a 500% increase in order volume and a 35% increase in average basket size. Instacart also added over 100 new retailers to its platform. Now boasting over 500 total retailers, Instacart has grown beyond the typical grocery store chains to include Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Staples, and more.

Consumers are taking notice and doing a wider range of their household shopping via Instacart. Food is still, by far, the most shopped category, but other household goods, including cleaning supplies, grew 19% year over year.

This growth trend shows no signs of slowing down. By 2025,in-store grocery shopping is expected to grow by 1.2%, but online grocery is expected to grow by 18%.

Ashley Becker, Director of eCommerce Sales at The Kraft Heinz Company, was one of the panelists on the webinar, and she mentioned why food brands, which had historically been wary of eCommerce, are leaning in now: “It’s about being available and accessible [to consumers] in the places that they choose to shop.”

Increasingly, consumers are choosing to shop on Instacart. 89% of Instacart users say that they see it as an essential service.

Holiday Groceries Create a Q4 Surge

Holiday grocery shopping always creates a Q4 surge on Instacart. In 2019, average monthly orders in Q4 rose by 39% over the August average. This year is sure to bring an unprecedented peak. In fact, just Q3 of this year experience 33% growth over last year’s Q4, so Instacart is entering the holiday period with an already significantly elevated baseline.

Consumer shopping behavior tends to shift slightly during the holidays. Throughout the year, about half of shoppers used Search to find and order products on the platform. That was true for Q4 2019 as a whole, but Search peaked to greater than half on the week leading up to key holiday events: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve. For Thanksgiving, the peak in Search behavior occurred about four days before Thanksgiving, while Christmas and New Years Eve peaked two days and one day before, respectively.

After Search, the next biggest share in terms of where shoppers find and order their products is the Buy It Again feature. That’s why it’s so important for brands to be a first mover on the platform and start getting into consumers’ shopping baskets as early as possible. Once you’re in the Buy It Again mix, your Featured Products campaigns will also push you into the top of these placements.

But It Again item widget on Instacart

Another interesting consumer trend is that orders tend to happen earlier in the day around the holidays, rather than the peak evening periods throughout the majority of the year. That said, 45% of orders still happen after noon Pacific Time, so it’s important to keep your advertising visible throughout the day.

Not surprisingly, certain items experience spikes for the holidays. In 2019, cranberry sauce had the highest spike of orders compared to the preceding quarter. However, the highest search spike goes to “powdered cocoa,” searches for which increased 266% in Q4 2019, compared to Q3.

Search results for powdered cocoa on Instacart

Popular year-round terms still maintained high volumes in Q4,and as more consumers use Instacart for their go-to household shopping due to stay-at-home this year, that will likely remain true.

How Advertisers Can Take Advantage

To take advantage of these holiday trends on Instacart, there are four primary areas advertisers can control: items, keywords, bids, and budget. Here’s how adjust each for the holidays:

Items

o  Pick a broad assortment of items to sponsor in your Featured Products campaigns for Q4. With Search as the dominant placement, make sure you’re giving the customer multiple options in their search results, as if they were looking at different flavors or pack sizes in the store.

o  Promoting a broad assortment also protects against out-of-stock and thus losing visibility for a given item at a given store.

Keywords

o  Target holiday keywords, and lean in to spikes in traffic. Think about complementary items that you can promote on searches. For example, we’ve seen cheese brands bid on wine and other alcohol-related keywords.

o  “Walk the store” to see where you’re winning on Search and Browse and what your competitors are bidding on. Pacvue Share of Voice helps with this and can alert you when an item drops on ranking, or you can uncover gaps in your competitors’ keyword strategy that you can bid on aggressively.

o  Maintaining category share is important to Megan Quinn, Director of Sales at Nestlé, who said on the webinar, “We want to make sure that ultimately, when consumers choose to make their purchase, we’re there.”

Bids

o  The most important place to be in Q4 is Boosted Search, which are the top 3 ad placements at the top of search. These account for the majority of clicks and have a higher ROAS than the Instacart advertising average.

o  Make sure your Featured Products are actually showing up and maximizing impressions by using Instacart’s suggested bid, or greater to fend off the competition. When harvesting new keywords for your campaigns, Pacvue can automatically apply the suggested bid.

Budget

o  In 2019, orders in Q4 were nearly 40% higher than Q3, with spikes around the holiday events, and keep in mind that this year’sQ3 was already at a higher volume than that.

o  Many brands run out of daily budget early in the day. You can increase your budget to stay live, or utilize dayparting in Pacvue to keep your ads visible throughout the day and boost bids during high conversion times.

According to Bobsled Project Manager Jordan Ripley in Bobsled’s Guide for the Holidays, “The key when it comes to promotions during Q4 is integration . . . Time promos across sales channels so that they’re in sync and no one retailer is punishing another.”

Other retailers, especially Amazon, will price match or suppress the Buy Box, but beyond these immediate concerns, you want to make sure you are offering a unified shopping experience for the consumer, as we expect high migration between eCommerce sites this season.

Moreover, Instacart is actually in a unique position, given its distributed model and same-day delivery. Many retailers and consumers alike are worried about shipping delays this year. Instacart’s growth in new categories outside of food make it a competitive choice for beauty, pet supplies, and household goods, where it may be the only channel consumers can get the products they’re looking for on-time. In fact, with its new Best Buy partnership, Instacart might soon be the only place where you can get anew TV delivered in time for Christmas morning.

Best Buy on Instacart

All in all, in order to have a successful Q4, it’s important to show up wherever your customers are ready to purchase. “Once you go into the digital space, categories as you know it, competitors as you know it, are different,” said Diana Haussling, VP of eComm & Omni Shopper Marketing at Campbell Soup Company. Platforms like Instacart enable you to be more creative about reaching consumers, introducing new items, and thinking broader about the consumer shopping experience.

Read more:

eCommerce Advertising Management Guide

[Case Study] Marketing Agency Uses Pacvue to Improve Walmart Advertising Optimization and Reporting

An independent, creative marketing agency was working with a client on a digital media strategy that would increase their share of eCommerce sales on Walmart.com.

They found Walmart’s native ad platform lacked all features they were looking for, so they turned to Pacvue to provide the data, automation, and support needed to give their client the best return on ad spend possible.

After using Pacvue, they achieved:

  1. A 65% increase in ROAS
  2. Time savings of 45% fewer hours per week managing campaigns

The challenge

The launch of Walmart’s self-service advertising platform left the agency with many questions. Primarily, how would they be able to scale their strategy?

“Walmart self-service platform is fine if you have 10-15 different SKUs, but if you are advertising for 250+ products, Walmart’s platform falls short”. – the agency’s PPC team lead

The team found it difficult to do things like adjust keyword bids or item bids for many products at the same time. Walmart’s process was quite manual and involved a lot of repetitive steps that didn’t provide real value and wasted a lot of time. 

The reporting was time-consuming as well. It was difficult to produce the exact reports they needed without compiling individual reports.

The solution

To combat the challenges the agency faced with Walmart’s self-service UI, the agency turned to Pacvue.  

In addition to providing access to managing sponsored ads on Walmart, Pacvue’s platform offered an array of features that were simply not available through the native UI.  

“Pacvue is [already] where I would have expected Walmart to be when they launched when it comes to functionality.” – the agency’s PPC team lead

With Pacvue, the agency was able to go around the manual process of Walmart for adjusting keyword bids and item bids. The bulk editing tool made it possible to prioritize top-selling products with strong ROAS and increase bids at scale. In one month of using Pacvue’s platform, ROAS on those products increased by 65%.

Time savings on optimizations and scale

Switching to Pacvue’s platform didn’t only simplify processes, it also led to significant time savings. The team cut the time they spent optimizing by more than half.

Using Walmart’s UI, the agency could spend anywhere between 10-15 hours a week making manual optimizations. After switching over to Pacvue, the team was able to decrease the time it took to implement those optimizations by 45% with the bulk editing tools that Pacvue provides.

The time saved was put to good use. Moving to Pacvue, the agency was able to increase the number of optimizations on a regular cadence significantly. Additionally, they were able to easily scale up the advertising activities for their clients when it was crucial.

“Our client wanted to increase the spend on their products by 2x. Without Pacvue, we would not have been able to optimize at the scale required to increase spend profitably.” – the agency’s PPC team lead

Data-driven decisions with better reporting

Reporting was another aspect that became easier with Pacvue’s platform. Improved reporting enabled the agency to make data-driven optimization decisions and provide strong recommendations to their clients.

Pacvue reduced the time it takes to gather the right data points, with the ability to look at day over day trends on any level. The time savings were upwards of 4 hours per week, thanks to the ability to consolidate multiple reports in one, rather than downloading individual reports from Walmart and consolidating them after the fact.

Leverage share of voice data

The agency also made use of Pacvue’s Share of Voice data to monitor their client’s SOV and the SOV of competitors. Overall, these metrics gave an indication of how visible their client’s brand is and how saturated the conversations in the industry are. Apart from understanding where the brand truly stands in the market, this hard data allowed them to plan future campaigns that increase sales and ROAS.

“The use of Pacvue’s share of voice analysis gave us confidence in the keywords that we needed to optimize and provide critical information to our clients on how they stack up to competitors.” – the agency’s PPC team lead

With increased data and reporting to help guide their eCommerce advertising strategies, this creative agency is now able to offer their clients a higher level of service and return on their marketing spend.

Early Trends and Insights: Walmart.com Advertising

Since Pacvue launched its Walmart platform in early 2020, we’ve seen brands have strong results with their Walmart advertising campaigns. We consistently hear that brands love being able to manage their own campaigns, especially with the assistance of a powerful software solution. Many advertisers are still learning the platform and wondering how to best manage their advertising on Walmart.com. Here are some early trends and insights from the first three months of Pacvue’s partnership with Walmart.

Page Type Placement Trends

  • Spend on Walmart is primarily driven by three Page Type ad placements. Ad placements on the search page accounted for 43% of total brand ad spend. Coming in second, ad placements on Item Detail Pages accounted for 39% of spend. Browse Page ad placement accounted for 17% of ad spend.
  • In terms of ACoS, Search and Browse ad placements had similar ACoS performance of around 4-5%. Item Page ad placements have shown to be less efficient, with an ACoS that was nearly twice as high at 10%.
  • Item Page ad placements had the highest CPC at $0.56, which was 36% greater than CPCs for the search page. Item Page and search page had roughly similar conversion rates of around 7%. However, the higher CPCs for Item Page placements drove ACoS up and efficiency down.

Device Type Placement Trends

  • Nearly half (49%) of Walmart ad spend was driven by App ad placements. Mobile Web ad placements accounted for 29% of spend and Desktop ad placements accounted for 22% of ad spend. This shows how important mobile device ads are to the success of a Walmart.com paid search strategy.
  • Desktop ad placements had the highest conversion rate at 13%, which was more than double the conversion rate of App and Mobile Web ad placements.
  • Desktop ad placements had the highest CPC at $0.56, which was 16% higher than Mobile Web ad placements.
  • There wasn’t a huge variance in ACoS performance between the three platform ad placements, but App placement did perform slightly better than the other two placements with a 5% ACoS.

Durable Goods vs Consumable Good Trends

Since Pacvue works with brands that span virtually every product category, we took a look at Walmart paid search data by the type of products that Pacvue clients were selling. Since there are vastly differing levels of competition on Walmart.com between product categories, analyzing the data at this level should help give a better sense of where current KPI benchmarks sit and what trends we’re seeing between different segments of the market. For the purposes of this recap, we analyzed durable vs. consumable goods.

Consumable vs. Durable Goods Page Type Placement Trends

  • For both durable and consumable products, search page ad placements had the most efficient ACoS.
  • For consumable goods, there’s a large variance between ACoS for Search, Item and Browse placements.

  • Search page ad placements had the lowest CPC for consumable products, while Browse pages had the lowest CPC for durable goods.
  • Item Page ad placements had the highest CPC for both durable and consumer goods.

  • Durable and consumable goods had consistently different levels of Conversion Rate, but each followed the same trends, with Browse placements driving the lowest Conversion Rate, and  search page ad placements driving the highest Conversion Rate.

  • Advertisers in the consumable space spent the majority of their budget on Item Page placements, while brands advertising in the durables space spent the majority of their budget on search page ad placements.

Consumable vs. Durable Goods Device Placement Trends

  • For both consumable and durable goods, Desktop ad placements had the lowest ACoS.
  • For durable goods, there wasn’t a large variance in ACoS between the different devices.
  • For consumable goods, Desktop had significantly lower ACoS than App and Mobile web placements.

  • CPCs are relatively consistent across device types for both consumable and durable goods.
  • Desktop ad placements had the highest CPCs for consumable goods.
  • Mobile web ad placements had the highest CPCs for durable goods.

  • For both durable goods and consumable goods, Desktop ad placement had the highest Conversion Rate.
  • For consumable goods, the conversion rate on desktop was roughly 3x greater than the other device placements.

  • For consumable goods, spend was fairly evenly distributed across all three device placements.
  • For durable goods, spend was heavily weighted towards App placements. Desktop placements saw very little spend for durable goods.

While this data is based on a relatively small set of advertisers and spend, and only reflects the first few months in partnering with Walmart, it begins to paint a clear picture of how and where advertisers are competing on the platform. Compared to other large paid search platforms, competition is still low on Walmart. Average CPCs are relatively cheap and ROAS has been high for many of our clients. We expect this to change as more advertisers enter the platform. Based on this, we recommend testing out campaigns for your brand as soon as possible, with the goals of benefiting from this brief period of low competition and gaining learnings that will help inform your future strategies. As we continue to gather more data and insights, we’ll keep you up to date on all of the important trends and developments in Walmart’s paid search platform to help enable you to stay ahead of your competition and maximize your marketing performance.

Pacvue Holiday Q4 Planning Guide

It may seem like Prime Day just ended; however Q4 is quickly approaching. To make

your holiday marketing prep as easy and painless as possible, Pacvue has put

together a list of deadlines, deal quality guidance, and best practices on what you

can do to make your 2019 Q4 the best you’ve ever had. In this three-part guide,

we’ll help you prepare your products for the busiest time of the year by focusing on

three key strategic areas:

Part 1: Q4 Planning Timeline

Part 2: Search Strategy

Part 3: Walk the Store

To get started, download the Pacvue Holiday Q4 Planning Guide

now to help your brands achieve maximum success during the holidays and beyond.

Prime Day 2019: Initial Insights

Though described by Amazon as a “two-day parade of epic deals,” it’s clear that the retail and tech giant wanted to position Prime Day 2019 as not just a sale but a party – one that you wouldn’t want to miss, complete with a live concert headlined by Taylor Swift, an exclusive brand launch from Lady Gaga, and a new level of interactivity from both Amazon and brands.

Prime Day 2019 began at 12am July 15th and, as predicted, lasted a full 48 hours for the first time (although not without kinks – for a second year in a row, customers reported a glitch on Monday, unable to add items to their cart for two hours). Now that the party is over, we’re pulling and analyzing all of our data to identify how trends have evolved compared to previous years, with the goal of creating the ultimate Prime Day report for agencies and brands selling on Amazon. In the meantime, we’d like to share some initial insights and impressions based on what we saw go down during Prime Day 2019 and our insider perspective on what this means for Amazon advertisers, vendors and sellers.

Banking on Celebrities

By selecting Amazon to launch her global cosmetic brand Haus, Lady Gaga is capitalizing on the huge amount of traffic generated by Prime Day to boost awareness and drive presales for the brand, which will be released in mid-September. It’s a big statement for Lady Gaga to choose Amazon over traditional cosmetics channels, but it’s also a big statement from Amazon. The retailer has struggled to get traditional luxury beauty brands on the platform, but this has opened the vault to emerging and new brands to take the lead (prestige beauty brands not selling direct on Amazon may regret this later). And it was a huge success: Haus snatched up six bestseller slots, including #1, for products that won’t be shipped until September, and with no promotional offer!

There is every indication that Lady Gaga made the right choice by partnering with Amazon. The fact that the presale will enable Haus and Amazon to accurately project demand ahead of the official release and build out detail pages with Q&As and reviews means that Haus will be able to launch with a pre-built flywheel, a huge advantage for maintaining long-term organic traffic.

This was far from the only example of Amazon leveraging celebrities this Prime Day to drive more traffic and awareness. The second annual Prime Day Concert was headlined by Taylor Swift, complete with exclusive tie-in products (the Taylor Swift Lover Bundles). Exclusive products from JoJo Siwa were also made available during the event. These partnerships help to position Prime Day as more than just a sale but an event that people wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Goodbye to Pricing Transparency

Several striking characteristics of Prime Day 2019 have one thing in common: they limit price matching. The focus on exclusive celebrity tie-in products is part of this strategy since they are, by definition, not available at any other retailer and therefore cannot be price matched. But Amazon exclusives extend far beyond just celebrities, including bestsellers from major brands like Crayola and 3M.

To that end, Amazon also reduced their pricing visibility in 2019. Rather than listing the deal price outright, Amazon listed some products at full produce with a label that reads “Prime Day deal – You save an additional x% on this item at checkout,” only applying the coupon during the checkout process. This not only stops competitive price matching algorithms from identifying the correct price, but also makes it more difficult for shoppers to compare prices on the fly.

Competitive retailers also tried to reduce price matching to combat Prime Day. For example, the same product that listed for $17.99 on Target was listed for $20.69 on Amazon, but Target’s ultimate price was actually $23.98 after shipping, which was not transparent until after you added to cart. On top of that, Target offered a $10 gift card with same day order services – so how do you decide which retailer is offering the better deal?

Price transparency is crucial to providing a positive customer experience and the relative lack of transparency during Prime Day 2019 was a major inspiration for this critical piece from CNET’s Scott Stein: I’m pretty frustrated with Prime Day. Have Amazon and Target become so focused on competing with each other that they have let the customer experience suffer just to combat price matching?

Alternatively, instead of focusing on competition some retailers took the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ approach. Chico’s made their house apparel line available on Amazon with an “Up to 50% off” Prime Day deal, while other major retailers like Lowe’s and Safeway benefitted from Prime Day traffic by selling gift cards for their own stores.

Which Promos are Working?

Despite some confusing pricing tactics, Amazon is still focused on improving the customer experience. In the past, Prime Day has received criticism for how hard it was to sort through so many deals, so this year Amazon focused on improving the experience by encouraging deeper discounts on hero SKUs and reducing the number of ‘% off of a broad assortment’ deals.

We are still collecting data on promotions and paid search, but our initial insights are that brands spent more on branded and competitor keywords in 2019, but with mixed results. Big brands like P&G again invested in expensive home page advertising to drive shoppers, with a focus on bundles to increase the average selling price and basket size.

This year, several CPG brands moved away from one-time coupons and focused instead on driving Subscribe & Save, offering a discount on the customer’s first order. This strategy allows them to offer a deeper discount on the first subscription order, offsetting the initial loss with the great customer lifetime value (CLV) of a subscriber. The wisdom of this strategy is yet to be determined, however, since search data suggests that more people than ever are taking advantage of Prime’s 30-day free trial to cash in on the deals and then cancel their membership before ever having to pay. There’s nothing stopping shoppers from using the same tactic for Subscribe & Save deals, so the efficacy of the deal will depend on the retention rate.

Amazon brought back “Amazon Live” this year with force. A QVC-like experience used live video product demonstrations to tout product benefits and feature deals with prominent placement. Amazon has effectively built up Prime Day’s reputation for being ‘fun’ and brands that took this to heart by leveraging the interactivity of live videos saw their top performers on the Today’s Deals page gain a lot of ground in organic search placement for category keywords. New to the videos this year were product bubbles denoting purchases, similar to Facebook live animation reactions, but many found these confusing and distracting.

Amazon Wins

The first Prime Day was held in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Amazon.com. Since then, the event has been a major part of the cult success of several now ubiquitous products, including the Instant Pot, iRobot Roomba, LifeStraw and FitBit. This year these products are still going strong, along with other ‘classics’ like vacuums, noise-cancelling headphones and video game consoles. However the biggest winner was, unsurprisingly, Amazon itself.

Even more than previous years, when the Amazon Echo consistently topped the list as Prime Day’s bestselling product, Amazon’s own devices were front and center. Not only were their historical products – Kindle, Fire Stick, Smart Plug – performing very well with attractive discounts and strong advertising, but Amazon also really pushed their newer acquisitions – Ring video doorbell, Eero home wifi system, Blink security cameras, etc. Amazon also used one of its busiest events to encourage more repeat shoppers by offering a $5 credit on a $25 Amazon gift card, a sure sign that the retailer sees Prime Day as an opportunity to keep driving revenue well beyond the event itself.