Australian advertisers and Amazon Prime Day

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 14 October 2020

Amazon’s Prime Day has hit Australia, delayed from July because of COVID-19, but increasing in importance to advertisers.

The sale day, still going in Australia from its October 13 start in the US, signals the start of the holiday shopping season, leading into Black Friday, Cyber Monday and then Christmas.

Jon Bird, VMLY&R CEO Australia and NZ, predicts this year will be the tipping point for Amazon Prime Day and Amazon Prime membership in Australia.

“It’s the third Prime Day here and local shoppers will benefit from the time difference with the US – getting access to 66 hours of online deals,” he told AdNews.

For Amazon, it’s a giant recruitment drive for Prime Membership. Just sign up to get a 30-day free trial.

“Once consumers are in the Amazon ecosystem, they tend to quickly become wedded to the platform,” says Bird.

In Australia, Bird says Amazon is being clever with the positioning of Prime Day in 2020, with a Shop Local store, featuring Aussie businesses, particularly those hit hard by bushfires and COVID-19.

Prime isn’t yet a genuine feature on the Australian retail calendar, but it will be, says Bird.

“This year, competitors like and Kogan are drafting off Prime Day, with their equivalent two-day flash sales on their sites," he says.

“The key to how big it will become is how many Prime members Amazon signs up – which should be substantial. Amazon’s largest increase in revenue for 2019 came courtesy of Prime – the subscription service was up by an astounding 723% last year.

“Normally, Prime Day is held in July. Due to COVID-19 it was pushed back to mid-October. Perhaps it will stay at this time, and next year will signal the start of the holiday shopping season, leading into Black Friday, Cyber Monday and then Christmas.”

Ashley Wales-Brown, the local Australian managing director of Podean, an Amazon specialist agency, says Prime Day 2020 marks the start of potentially the biggest quarter in online retail history and is one of three major retail events including Cyber Weekend and Christmas.

“Whilst there will no doubt be a significant increase in traffic numbers, with the behavioural changes that have taken place over the last six months with regards Australian adoption of ecommerce, we anticipate a sizable increase in overall purchases,” he says.

“For many of our clients the strategy is to not only create great retail deals for Prime Day(s) but focus advertising the week before and days after when there is still considerable buzz but also take advantage of generally lower CPMs resulting in greater cost effective coverage.

“Additionally as well utilising the many benefits of Amazon such as free rapid delivery, many of our FMCG brands are leveraging the Subscribe and Save functionality to help drive loyalty and repeat purchase beyond this event.”


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