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Prime Day Search Trends Update

Find out valuable insights from last year's Prime Day search trends, how you can use this information alongside your customer data to succeed on Amazon.

Rael Cline

Last updated:
February 9, 2022

The delayed Prime Day 2020 is around the corner, and you need to get ready. We’ve already outlined our Prime Day 2020 strategy guide — which you should check out. But here, we are going to augment that guide with a data deep-dive.   

Given the importance of Prime Day, we thought we would step away from our normal monthly search trends update to look back at Prime Day 2019, and see what trends we can find in the search data. 

It’s worth noting that due to current events, Prime Day will not even be in the same quarter as last year — making it just one of several Q4 sales -- and are still experiencing ongoing COVID-related disruptions to normal shopping patterns. But keeping that in mind, we still believe that there are valuable insights to be learned from last year’s trends. 

Prime Day 2019 was July 15th. The following analysis will:

  • See whether there were any trends to pick up.  
  • Assess the impact of the most significant increases in search.
  • Compare the top searches from the period with the weeks leading up to it.

Trend 1: No early signs of searches pre-event

There was no discernible change in search terms pre or post-Prime Day in 2019. Certainly “gin”, “iPad” and “Apple Watch” didn’t appear in the Top 20 before Prime Day. Also, the Top 20 search terms settled back down to almost the same as pre-Prime Day. But there didn’t seem to be any “long-tail” of Prime Day initiated searches.

Trend 1- No early signs of searches pre-event

What to do with this information:

As top search terms were not changing that much pre- and post-event, increasing bidding on your targeted Prime Day listings may be worthwhile. The fact that you can be somewhat certain that new terms won’t break into the top 20, you can also be certain that your standard cost-per-click isn’t going to skyrocket… probably.  

Trend 2: Sudden move to buying larger ticket items

What we have seen on Prime Day(s) is for the Top 20 searches to move from the more expected headphones and accessories searches to specific large ticket items. For example, laptops, Apple products and Nintendo Switch all move into the top 3. Laptops went from an average rank of 17 to number 1. Although it’s interesting to see the UK fixation with Gin moving it up to the Top 10 in searches during Prime Day — something we’ve also seen during the lockdown period.

Trend 2- Sudden move to buying larger ticket items

What to do with this information:

If your product portfolio covers one of the key success categories (Electronics, Home, Health) beware of large retailers coming in with substantial discounts and high bids. 

If you sell complementary products, you could look to target specific big brand ASINs to sell your products alongside while customers are in buying mode. It might also mean not having to discount to win a sale.

Trend 3: Browsing rather than searching?

Given that the focus of Prime Day is the promotion of Amazon products and its ecosystem, it’s surprising that Amazon-specific search terms don’t feature heavily in the Top 20. To look at this closer, we decided to look specifically at Prime Day in the Electronics and Photo category. 

Even here, there are only four Amazon search terms in the Top 20:

Trend 3- Browsing rather than searching (1)

What this might indicate is that the sign-posting on the Amazon landing page and promotions, in general, are causing buyers to navigate and browse through the site rather than search. That means “search trends” aren’t necessarily the same as “buying trends”. Considering that fourteen of the top 20 products with the most substantial increase in units sold were Amazon devices (compared with the previous six weeks before Prime Day), we would expect Amazon-specific search terms to be higher. 

What to do with this information:

Maybe don’t only focus on discounted sales during Prime Day. Rather, consider the value of building brand awareness for the run-up to Q4 and the holiday season. Prime Day’s positioning within Q4 actually presentes an interesting opportunity to use Prime Day as an brand awareness-building opportunity to build momentum into the holidays. Keep this in mind and plan to develop an “always-on” campaign to carry momentum into the next Q4 event.

Consider Sponsored Brand and Display advertising to increase awareness of your products. 

Keeping the Momentum Post-Prime Day and into the Holidays:

Retargeting should be a critical component of your Amazon Prime Day 2020 strategy. There are two main types of post-Prime Day retargeting: retargeting past purchasers and retargeting shoppers who viewed your products with Amazon DSP. 

Prospecting campaigns can be developed to retarget high-intent shoppers. Your ability to do this will depend on your region, and whether or not some of the remarketing options offered in Sponsored Ads as a beta in the US are rolled out to other regions before Prime Day. Otherwise, you will have to do it with Amazon DSP, if you have the budget and expertise. Either way, they are both valuable strategies to pursue. 

Trend 4: Fast fall off for brands post-event

When we look at the most substantial decrease in search ranking from July 15th to July 18th, 2019, brand names stand out. This seems to indicate that shoppers were looking for specific offers from specific brands that no doubt had offers running on Prime Day.

Trend 4 - Fast fall off for brands post-event (1)-2

What to do with this information:

If you are a brand, or shadowing one, be very aware of changing your search campaigns quickly after Prime Day. It may also be worth looking for the brands that will make big offers on Prime Day to pitch your associated products. It’s also a moot point as to whether brands will go all-in on Prime Day when there is a range of events coming up quickly in Q4.

Start planning now

No matter how you want to deploy this information, it’s important to get started early. Your momentum on the platform (your ability to win the Buy-Box, the number of reviews you receive, your Best Seller Rank) all make a big difference to your listings. Set out your strategy, understand your customer data, and act. PPC should play a big role in both your Prime day and pre-Prime Day actions. Get in touch if you want help auditing your campaigns and finetuning your strategy for Q4 on Amazon 2020. 

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