For the first time, Prime Day didn’t take place in mid-July. Amazon, instead, refocused its efforts on meeting high consumer demand for products like PPE, cleaning supplies, dry goods and more. As an alternative to perhaps the most anticipated sales event of the year, the company hosted what it dubbed the “Big Style Sale.” Shoppers were treated to deals from Shobop, Adidas, Superga and others. It’s unclear if the event had a significant impact on ROI for these retailers.

Heading into Q4, as consumer confidence remains shaky, it’s crucial for marketers to plan for the rescheduled Prime Day and beyond. This article and others to follow will help brands navigate these tent pole events by first crafting an effective advertising strategy, then developing content and allocating inventory wisely.

Prime Day 2020 can’t be considered a single day or month. For many brands, it will define their Q4. And strategy is the first step to both short- and long-term success.

Anticipated Prime Day Timeline

While official dates have yet to be announced, below is a rough timeline to begin aligning your marketing efforts.

  • ASAP: Budgeting for this time of year is a marathon. Not a sprint. Pace your spend throughout October and leave enough time to build your campaigns up until Prime Day, the week of Prime Day and the halo period. Your budget should also be flexible if you need to shift your strategic approach.
  • Early August: With the current warehouse restrictions in place, ship your Prime Day inventory to Amazon as soon as possible. Checking products in on that end can take up to eight weeks depending on the size, weight and quantity of the shipment. It’s important to keep in mind, too, that storage fees during Q4 may be higher than normal.
  • Early October: Prime Day is expected to take place the week of October 5. There’s still no word if it will be a one- or two-day event.
  • Halo Period: Retargeting can be an effective post-Prime Day tactic. If you can’t afford to run ads in the immediate days and weeks that follow, you’ll have the opportunity leading up to Turkey 5.

 Note that the submission for Prime Day Deals deadlines has already passed. However, Amazon may offer an extension.

Maximize Available Resources

If your advertising budgets have been cut, consider leveraging the three free resources described below. You can also combine these with paid advertising to strengthen your efforts.

  1. Amazon Live: This free streaming service is still an underutilized feature. Consider running an Amazon Live for any products that you’d like to highlight leading up to and on Prime Day to increase traffic.
  2. Amazon Posts: A simple, easy way to repurpose your social content, Amazon Posts appear on your product’s PDPs as well as comparable competitor products.
  3. Social Media: If your advertising budget is tight, or has been diminished completely, lean into your social media following, optimize content and link to both your brand store and specific PDPs.

Measuring Success

It’s difficult to forecast how Prime Day will perform in 2020. It’s possible that sales volume will be lower in comparison to 2019, but it’s helpful to take into account the halo-effect leading up to and following the event. Additionally, since it will likely occur so near Turkey 5, strategize when your big push in Q4 will likely be most effective.

Stay tuned for more articles on planning for Prime Day and beyond.