Amazon’s Prime Day is back for a third year. Prime Day is a huge opportunity for affiliate advertisers and publishers – if they know what will work and what won’t. This blog post examines five strategies for success that affiliate marketers can leverage into their affiliate program.
Prime Day is returning for a third year in a row from Amazon. The “Black Friday in July” shopping day will take place on July 11, with a few new changes. This year, the deals will start at 9 PM EDT (making the shopping period last 30 hours instead of 24), and some deals will be revealed July 9.
For brands and marketers looking to compete with Prime Day, there’s plenty of opportunities to do so. The goal of every advertiser and publisher out there should be to understand what’s effective in getting the attention of consumers, and how to employ those strategies. Last year we reviewed some strategies to compete on Prime Day, but there’s plenty more to utilize!
In this blog post, we aim to help marketers prepare their program in the affiliate marketing channel for Prime Day. We’ll review some key strategies we observed to be successful in 2016, and how you can use them in your own affiliate marketing program.
Strategies for Getting the Spotlight During Amazon’s Prime Day
If you’re looking to leverage this shopping frenzy for your own affiliate program, you’ll need to understand how consumers are shopping. Keep in mind this day falls right at the beginning of the back to school shopping period, so you’ll already have plenty of motivated shoppers looking for deals – it’s just a matter of how you focus your offers.
We looked at some trends we noticed in the Rakuten Affiliate Network from last year to help you develop your own strategies. These are strategies that advertisers, publishers, or both can employ.
1. Start Earlier and Go Longer
Amazon is going a bit longer and promoting deals earlier this year, which means you should be going even further. One Department Store advertiser in the Rakuten Affiliate Network saw an 11% YoY increase in clicks and orders and a 13% YoY increase in sales during a week-long promotion that included Prime Day. This strategy is beneficial because it empowered consumers to shop deals early if they wanted to take advantage of an offer without waiting, while having the security in knowing that if they didn’t find what they were looking for on Prime Day they could come back after and take advantage of the deal.
2. Go for Gadgets
Offers on smart home devices, tablets, wearables, laptops and more are all exciting products for consumers to see discounted, and marketing a sales campaign as such can help with your effort. A Department Store advertiser who focused specifically on tech offers saw a 21% YoY increase in clicks, a 67% YoY increase in orders, and a whopping 126% YoY increase in sales.
3. Free Shipping Whenever Possible…
Free shipping is stressed a lot, and with good reason – customers love it. One advertiser offered free shipping with no minimum in addition to their 25% off all purchases deal and saw a 23% YoY increase in sales for that day. Again, this can’t be overstated – customers love free shipping, and Prime memberships include that. Being able to match that free shipping can win over a customer’s heart – and their purchase!
4. …But Don’t Discount a Good Discount
That same advertiser offered the 25% off all purchases for another four days after Prime Day 2016, but with a “free shipping at $50 or more” component. The threshold was low enough to encourage shoppers to keep shopping and continue to take advantage of the 25% off deal, resulting in a 36% YoY increase in clicks, a 92% YoY increase in orders, and a 93% YoY increase in sales.
5. Focus on Value
Remember that customers look for value in a lot of ways, including cashback offers and loyalty/rewards incentives. Last year one advertiser in the Rakuten Affiliate Network offered a huge increase in the rewards points that a customer could earn (10% in points versus 1%) for a two day period, and customers responded in a huge way. During Prime Day itself, this advertiser increased clicks by 59% YoY, orders by 123% YoY, and sales by 122% YoY.
If you’re an advertiser that doesn’t have a cashback/loyalty/rewards program of your own, you can also partner with a publisher to address that need. For example, one major cashback publisher in the Rakuten Affiliate Network helped some advertisers boost clicks, orders, and sales during Prime Day because customers were able to get additional incentives for shopping with specific brands. This also can help with brand awareness through exposure. Last year we saw that this cashback publisher had increased traffic by 33% YoY during Prime Day.
So, what does all this tell us about consumers, Prime Day, and how to make the most of this as an affiliate marketer? A couple things:
- Shoppers are looking for deals – before and after Prime Day especially. Advertisers looking to compete should focus on getting the attention of customers early, but having deals available after Prime Day is over too.
- Tech and free shipping are both big for customers. Plan accordingly!
- The advertisers who promoted offers on multiple days did well – they didn’t see as much of a result on the actual Prime Day, but their overall campaign resulted in an increase in orders and sales.
- Advertisers who went widespread with their offers by partnering with multiple types of content publishers were able to offer more value in different ways (cashback, loyalty/rewards, coupons, etc.). Advertisers who did not do this did not see an overall increase in orders.
- Over 50% of advertisers who put together deals for Prime Day 2016 saw increases in traffic and YoY sales and orders.
The bottom line? Consumers are ready to look for deals and make purchases now that there’s a buzz around this time of year. Your best strategy is to show customers the value of shopping early, but having those offers available post Prime Day in case they want to return and take advantage of the sale. For more reading, be sure ot review last year’s article on Prime Day on more strategies you can incorporate.