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How And Why DTC Brands Should Leverage Prime Day 2021


Amazon Prime Day, the annual shopping event for bargain-hungry consumers, which was created to increase Prime memberships, takes place right after Father’s Day this year, on June 21 and 22.

If you’re a DTC brand or shopper thinking this is one sale you can cross off your list (Hey, your favorite BlendJet portable blender and Spongellé’s body-wash-infused body buffers have great deals year-round), think again. It’s not just for deals on mass-produced electronics from household names.

In this post, the MuteSix advertising experts weigh in on all the questions you may be asking yourself if you are a DTC brand cautiously eyeing Prime Day and wondering if it has the potential to generate considerable revenue and garner brand recognition for your smaller business. 

Why Is Prime Day 2021 Primetime for DTC Brands?

It’s true the vast majority of products sold on Prime Day include big-name electronics like Echo smart speakers and displays, Kindle e-readers, Ring security devices, and Fire TVs and Sticks.

However, many DTC brands are strategically deciding to leverage the retail giant’s mega-event because consumer intent to purchase is at an all-time high, as is the sense of urgency to score a limited-time deal. That can be through creating their own sales on their website during these popular shopping dates … or actually participating in Prime Day on Amazon.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. In 2020, Amazon shifted its focus heavily to align with consumers’ interest in supporting small and local businesses, especially at the height of the pandemic when SMBs were affected. And the proof is in the numbers: Amazon drove $900 million in sales for small businesses and third-party sellers saw sales north of $3.5 billion, nearly a 60% increase from the year prior.

Smaller e-commerce brands can and should capitalize on this shopping extravaganza by both getting their names in front of eager consumers with competing offers and marketing their sales across all their major advertising channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, SMS, and email. However, many DTC brands continue to be reluctant about participating or simply do not know how.

Can DTC Brands Still Benefit from Prime Day If They’re Not on Amazon?

Absolutely. If a brand is not selling their products on Amazon, they should still offer “Prime Day” deals on their website to capitalize on the high purchase intent of consumers during this narrow window. This is why other bigger retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Wayfair have run their own “anti-Prime Day” deal events during the 48 hours of Prime Day on Amazon and are expected to do so again this year. DTC brands should consider doing the same.

What Should DTC Brands Do on Their Own Website to Promote Their Own Deals During Prime Day?

A few website advertising tactics include sticky bars that tower over your landing pages, welcome and exit popups that collect SMS and email information, and countdown timers to create a sense of urgency. Another best practice if you’re hosting a sitewide sale is to show discounts on individual SKUs by slashing the prices on the product level. Generally speaking, make your offers prominent, concise, and eye-catching. Celebrate exclusivity, which is something that can’t be replicated by Amazon during Prime Day.

How Can Lesser-Known DTC Brands Stand Out and Appeal to Prime Day Shoppers?

If you’re participating in Prime Day, there are different advertising and assortment tactics that can be leveraged on Amazon, such as limiting assortment to only a few SKUs, advertising select products, and using Amazon’s first-party data as an incremental targeting option so they do not clash with other off-Amazon advertising efforts. 

What Should Your DTC Amazon Prime Deal Strategy Be?

First, fill the funnel ahead of Prime Day by driving consideration traffic leading up to Prime Day to reach new consumers weeks before the event. Next, maximize conversion on the days of the event by upping budgets on high-converting Amazon advertising strategies. Finally, continue to retarget consumers who viewed your deals throughout the lead-up and event itself at least one to two weeks after Prime Day to capture buyers who regret missing out on the deal or are now interested in that brand upon seeing it again.

We also encourage DTC brands to enroll in a Prime Exclusive Discount, which is different from a standard coupon on Amazon because it gives you the Prime Day badging throughout a portion of the event. Being an official Prime Day deal also makes your brand / product more discoverable and allows it to be featured in curated deal lists and gift guides. The Prime Day deal badge also appears on your Sponsored Ads placements or Amazon DSP creative.

How Can DTC Brands Advertise for Prime Day If They’re Not Participating on Amazon?

Even if you’re not participating in Prime Day on Amazon, it’s important to complement—not try to compete with—the heavily discounted products so as to interrupt the purchasing cycle of the ready-to-buy consumer. This way, when they see a DTC ad on Facebook or Instagram, for example, you disrupt the process and lure them to enter into your full-funnel marketing while they’re in this ready-to-spend mindset.

A full-funnel approach and channel diversity are key. Ensure your messages are consistent between channels and the website. Make sure you’re present where the consumer is, which is via SMS, email, Facebook, Instagram, etc. 

Which MuteSix Clients Have Successfully Participated in Prime Day?

One example we look to is MŌDA, the “beautifully bold” DTC makeup brush kits from Royal & Langnickel, who have successfully leaned into Prime Day without compromising their DTC success thanks to very aggressive discounts, which include coupons and fast and free shipping for Prime members.

Another example is HEX Performance, the active-wear-protecting line of laundry products that clean your stretchiest gear without losing that new-clothes feeling. To support aggressive 2021 goals, they are offering 20-30% off the entire catalog and exponentially increasing budget for Prime Day 2021. 

One DTC Prime Day success story we encourage DTC brands to look toward is Paul Mitchell, who saw their first $1MM same-day spike during Prime Day 2020. The success was due in part to the Programmatic experts at MuteSix, who launched Amazon DSP creative (video and display ads), which they had not previously been using. The team also optimized the brand’s search campaign elements to leverage more machine learning and created a more robust campaign architecture. Collectively, this resulted in a major single-day revenue generator for the e-commerce hair-styling-product brand. 

A Final Word: It’s Time to Embrace Prime.

DTC brands may, understandably so, be wondering if advertising for Prime Day will cannibalize sales. Here at MuteSix, we coach our brands to track their marketing efforts holistically as their omnichannel “e-commerce performance,” not their channel-specific performance. 

Prime Day and Amazon aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, they’re only continuing to evolve. Since Amazon’s first Prime Day event in 2015, the hype only continues to increase year over year. If you’re a DTC brand with high-quality, limited-quantity products, there are many ways you can piggy-back off the deal-shopping frenzy. 

Whether it’s taking a full-funnel, omnichannel approach to disrupt the purchasing cycle for ready-to-shop consumers or participating in Prime Day with aggressive discounts and eye-catching DSP creative, leveraging Prime Day is not only strategic, but essential to keeping your brand top of mind during one of the highest revenue-generating shopping events of the year. 

Need help deciding what the smartest move is for your DTC brand? Reach out to our Amazon and Paid Social strategists through our website today.

Special thanks to our friends at MuteSix for their insights on this topic.
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