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Prime Day is over – what have we learned?

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I do so like the run up to Prime Day: the hyperbole about Amazon and how well it is going to do; the anti-hyperbole about how Amazon won’t do as well as it likes to think and how it doesn’t rule the world – all good fun and games.

But contradictions aside, Prime Day does tell us a lot about the state of ecommerce and how shoppers shop online – it also gives stark warning to those that have bricks and mortar stores that things have changed.

I won’t bore you with the details here – I’ll do it here instead – but in essence, Prime Day shows us that shopping is a shifting activity and that technology is key to keeping pace with shoppers. But is Prime Day that big a deal?

According to a survey results from Maru/edr on Tuesday 10th and 11th July 2017, While more than 80% of UK respondents were aware of Amazon Prime Day 2017 yesterday, 50% also said that they were not considering getting an Amazon Prime membership to take advantage of it.

77% of UK respondents claimed to have never purchased on Amazon Prime Day previously, and despite Amazon’s marketing efforts over the last 24 hours of the campaign before Prime Day started, and 43% of all UK respondents still said that they were not considering making a purchase on Amazon Prime Day this year.

While Amazon Prime Day doesn’t look to be as big of a deal as expected, the retailer has certainly seen an increase in shoppers considering deals. Last year, 20% of UK respondents purchased on Amazon Prime Day, while yesterday, nearly twice as many (39%) said that they were considering purchasing on Amazon Prime Day.

The increase in interest has come from a strong digital and traditional marketing mix. The top three sources that helped raise awareness of Amazon Prime Day among UK customers are TV (37%), Amazon’s own website (36%) and Facebook (28%).

Good news for other retailers: it seems all this talk of “deals” has created a halo effect. It encouraged shoppers to browse elsewhere today: over 50% of UK respondents admitted to visiting other retail websites this morning, other than Amazon.

What has proved interesting is that other retailers are actually doing better in many ways out of the halo effect surrounding Prime Day. Data released by Adthena, a source of competitive intelligence for search, has revealed the paid search bidding patterns of major retailers in the build up to and on Amazon’s Prime Day.

Interestingly, despite the day being Amazon’s own, other retailers were able to beat the online giant and achieve greater clicks and higher spots on retail based search terms on the day itself.

The event, exclusive to Prime members and billed as ‘The Black Friday of the Summer’ saw Amazon launch significant discounts on a selection of product ranges. This in turn has sparked other retailers to offer discounts in summer sales also at this time of year.

Among competing online department stores, Amazon was only able to secure a 6% share of the clicks on Desktop shopping terms on Prime Day. Marks and Spencer dominated with a 7% share.

Where it gets interesting is on mobile. Here we can see a different trend. The Adthena data places Amazon with a 17% share of clicks compared to 5% for the nearest competitor, highlighting a prioritisation of mobile over desktop.

The data shows that Amazon has been able to generate significantly higher clicks on mobile through a strategic approach to PPC. The company has successfully managed to spend less than many competitors but still dominated the SERP and received the highest share of clicks on its ads. The result is impressive and shows the value that can be generated by taking a highly strategic approach to PPC management.

This domination of mobile is an important lesson to all retailers. The consumer certainly views mobile as the go to tool to compete in bargain hunting events such as this. But more importantly, as Prime Day is essentially a loss leader for Amazon to sell Prime membership, this mobile spike also acts to convert ever more shoppers to using mobile to do the purchase.

It is s also process, but events such as this are starting to drive mobile conversion – and this perhaps is the most important lesson that Prime Day has taught us: mobile conversion is coming down that pipe.

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