As Prime Day approaches, kicking off an intensive period of retail events, eStoreAcademy explores what brands need to do to succeed on Amazon and other e‑commerce platforms.
The seventh webinar in our eStoreAcademy series focuses on Winning on Amazon – a timely subject given the e-commerce giant has finally announced the date for this year’s delayed ‘Prime Day’ – October 13th and 14th.
The webinar ‘Winning on Amazon, Getting Ready for an Unprecedented Q4’, which was streamed just days before Amazon announced its Prime Day timing, includes presentations from Erik Brignall, Head of eCommerce AI & Automation at RB, Amazon Consultant Adam Palczewski and eStoreMedia’s Lukasz Stebelski.
Amazon says it sold more than 175 million items during Prime Day 2019, more than its sales for the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. With COVID-19 leading to increased e‑commerce business across the board, Adam Palczewski expects this year’s delayed Prime Day will be significantly bigger than previous years’ events
He says 56% of brands surveyed agree. He also cites survey results that show 90% of brands expect to spend the same amount or more on Prime Day 2020 promotion and advertising than they did in 2019.
Optimizing Amazon advertising
In his presentation, focused primarily on optimizing advertising results, Adam says the discipline needed to prepare for a successful Prime Day is equally applicable to other shopping events across the online retail calendar. The key is to start preparations as early as possible – at least four or five months before the event – deciding what products to promote, analyzing data from past events, matching sales forecasting with clear advertising goals, and allocating budget to a wide range of media channels and promotion opportunities, including event specific sponsorships.
Even with all the planning, Adam adds it’s important to allow room for a degree of flexibility right up to and during promotion events such as Prime Day. He says it is essential to monitor your performance during the sales event so you can adjust your tactics to outsmart competitors and align with emerging trends on the fly.
He outlines a ‘Peak Media Planning Framework’, including leveraging custom landing pages and post-event analysis and reporting, to help with planning for future sales events.
Data driven e-commerce
Erik Brignall, Head of e-Commerce AI & Automation at RB echoes Adam’s advice about preparing well in advance of sales events such as Prime Day. “Events don’t start on the day,” he says.
Erik is also a strong advocate of putting data at the center of your e-commerce channel operation. “Getting the data-led approach right is the key to maximizing overall performance,” he says. During his presentation, he outlines some of the data-supported strategies and tactics RB is using to drive search performance on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms.
He says there three key steps to becoming a data driven organization, starting with using data to understand ‘what happened’ in the past, moving to using data to uncover insight and understanding about ‘why it happened’ and finally using data to drive automated action, because ‘speed matters’.
Multiple data sources
He emphasizes the need to get the underlying data infrastructure right, including connecting multiple data sources. It’s not enough to just look at Amazon search data if you want to optimize e-commerce performance; you need to combine it with other sources such as supply chain data, or advertising data for a holistic approach, Erik explains.
Deploying data and automation in this way doesn’t remove the need for the ‘human touch’ in your e-commerce channel performance activity. In fact, AI and automation techniques are best deployed for handling mundane and repetitive tasks to free up skilled personnel for more creative activities.
Lukasz Stebelski concludes by reminding us that brands need to be vigilant about maintaining e-commerce fundamentals. He also stresses that quarter four 2020 will be unlike any final quarter we’ve experienced in recent years. In product manufacturers e-commerce is on senior managers’ radar more than ever before, which is understandable given e-commerce growth in the past two quarters and the fact that so many ‘peak purchase events’, including Prime Day, Singles Day, Black Friday and Christmas-New Year will take place in the coming months.
Thanks to our guest contributors, RB’s Erik Brignall and Amazon Consultant Adam Palczewski, and our moderator, Marc Baker, from Tyde.