Last year, it was called the Prime Early Access Sale. This year, it was Prime Big Deal Days. Whatever it’s called, the Amazon event continues to be a companion to the main Amazon Prime Day event in July. So how did the recently concluded online commerce event perform for advertisers and consumers? Just how big of a deal was Amazon’s second prime members event of the year?
Methodology: For measurement of “Prime Day lift,” all Amazon accounts on the Skai platform are included, with averages calculated for the period from September 10 through October 9 and for October 10 through October 11. For year-over-year comparisons, only Skai accounts with spending in both comparison periods are included.
Prime Day Lift
One way we at Skai measure the performance of these events is by comparing performance against the average for the 30 days leading up to the event. By that measure, Big Deal Days did not hit the peak set earlier this year, but did better than last year’s event, both in terms of advertiser spending and ad-attributed sales revenue.
One thing that looked a bit different this past week is the degree to which ad prices increased over the previous 30 days. Typically, we’ve consistently seen a +50% premium on average cost-per-click (CPC), but this time, the increase was more muted. Undoubtedly, some of this is tied to the fact that CPC has been trending higher this year compared to next year, which traces back to increases in consumer shopping behavior that are allowing for higher ad prices without negatively affecting return on ad spend (ROAS). This has been discussed in more detail in the Skai Quarterly Trend Report series.
Last year, the October event saw same-account ad spending levels that were down 41% from the July event, and ad-attributed sales down 49%. This time, those numbers were similar, with spend declining 42% from July and sales declining 45%.
The more useful comparison, however, is a more apples-to-apples look at just the October events, and here we find that on a same-account basis, spending in 2023 increased 41% over last year, and sales were up 26%.
Some of this phenomenon is just math. While the October event is down from the July event by a similar margin as it was last year, this year’s July event was up 65% over last year in terms of spending and 39% for ad-driven sales.
Results by category
Computers & Consumer Electronics and Home & Garden stood out in terms of Prime Day lift for both spending and ad-attributed sales. Health and Apparel also performed well, along with a Business & Industrial category that includes items like office supplies.
One reason why the sales lift for Computers & Consumer Electronics is so much higher than other categories is Average Order Value. The average size of a purchase in this tech-focused segment jumped from $86 in the 30 days before the Prime Big Deals event to $170 across the two days of the promotion. That’s a big deal!
Amazon DSP performance
A newer wrinkle in the Amazon tech stack for advertisers is the growth of the Demand-Side Platform (DSP), which extends the reach of Amazon ads beyond the walled garden of Amazon’s website and family of apps. Here, as with Amazon Sponsored Ads, the lift for the October event is somewhat less than the July event.
For DSP, however, we do see a bigger difference between the increase in spend and the increase in sales. This does make some sense, as DSP may be considered more upper-funnel, and with all the attention drawn to the event from Amazon itself, spending on upper-funnel tactics may not be as critical for advertisers.
Overall, the October Amazon Prime event, whatever it is called, will always be secondary to the main event earlier in the year. But it has now proven itself over the last two years as another valuable way for advertisers to reach an audience of customers who are, if you’ll forgive the pun, primed to buy.