Takeaways from Prime Day 2020 and Preparing for Prime Day 2021

    Written by Tristan Williams
    on April 07, 2021

    It’s time to start thinking about Prime Day 2021! We expect this year’s Prime Day to occur in July as it has in previous years, with the notable exception of Prime Day 2020. We summarized takeaways from last year’s event and will review successful Prime Day tactics and promotions.

    Prime Day 2020 Summary and Stats

    Though Prime Day is typically celebrated in July, Prime Day 2020 was delayed until October due to the pandemic and an unexpected surge in deliveries. 2020’s sale was a 48-hour event that started at midnight PT on October 13 and ran through midnight PT on Wednesday, October 14. 

    The first day of Prime Day 2020 was over three times the size of Prime Day 2019! However, the second day of Prime Day 2020, while still outperforming Prime Day 2019, was noticeably slower than the first day. Top categories were Consumer Electronics, Beauty, and Toys. This increase in sales is likely reflective of the increased shift to online shopping that accompanied the pandemic.

    Performance of Third-Party Sellers 

    Amazon Prime Day 2020 marked the two biggest days of all time for small/medium-sized businesses in Amazon’s stores worldwide. Third-party sellers surpassed $3.5 billion in sales on Prime Day, which is a nearly 60% year-over-year increase. Top-selling categories for third-party sellers include Bedding, Wireless Accessories, Nutrition & Wellness, Arts, Crafts & Sewing, and Health Care.

    Top Deals in the US

    Prime Day discounts take many forms, from Lightning Deals that require you to act fast to secure a product, to discounts that last the entire 48-hour event. 

    In the United States, top-selling deals (excluding Amazon devices) were iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum, MyQ Wireless & WiFi Enabled Smart Garage Door Opener, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Vitamins, and Kids Against Maturity: Card Game for Kids and Families.

    Successful Prime Day Tactics 

    • Ensure that the deals you run on Amazon match that of other retailers to prevent your listings from losing the buy box.
    • Self-promote Amazon deals on social media, emails, and external ads - Amazon Affiliate Influencers and Marketers are a great pool! 
    • When creating promotions, note that a 20% off coupon is the minimum to see a significant spike in sales.
    • Create special Sponsored Brand Ads that highlight discounted products.

    Selling on Prime Day 2021

    Amazon Prime day 2021 is predicted to occur in July. You can continue to check Amazon’s Prime Day page for event updates.

    Prime Day is one of the most anticipated e-commerce events of the year, and for sellers looking to participate, it can get expensive. Every year, Prime Day reaches record-breaking sales numbers, so the increase in traffic, sales, and exposure may be worth the initial investment.

    Types of promotions on Prime Day are Lightning Deals, Coupons, Prime Exclusive Discounts, and Price Member Promotions.

    Lightning Deals

    An Amazon Lightning Deal is a promotion with a limited number of discount offers on an item for a limited period of time. These premium deals are available one per customer, and are time sensitive, lasting until either the promotional period (usually 4-hour blocks) for the deal expires or all the available promotional discounts are claimed. These limitations create a sense of urgency, driving consumers to execute the sale quickly. 

    In 2017, Amazon introduced a registration fee of $500 per Lightning Deal. In 2021, sellers will be charged a base merchandising fee for each Lightning Deal. Lightning Deals that are selected to run during the Prime Day event will be charged a $500 fee per Deal. Lightning Deals that run during the week of Prime Day (but not on the actual event day) will be charged a smaller fee of $300 per Deal. Lightning Deals schedules are subject to change, so the fee amount charged will be based on the day your Lightning Deal runs, which may not be the same day you requested or initially scheduled. 

    The high cost of Prime Day Lightning Deals might scare off sellers who worry if the performance of their products can sustain the expense. This may be intentional, as a higher cost will cause Sellers to be more deliberate with their promotions, which will likely increase the overall quality of Lightning Deals on Prime Day.

    Applying for Lightning Deals 

    Lightning deal submissions opened on March 8, 2021, and will close on April 16, 2021. These dates are subject to change. There are two ways to secure a Lightning Deal. Either Amazon will contact you inviting you to accept a deal submission, or you can apply yourself. 

    If Amazon contacts you, to accept a Prime Day Lightning Deal submission Merchandising > Promotions > Recommendations tab. Here you can review and accept your recommendations, and can edit recommendations before submitting them. 

    However, not all vendors will be contacted. To submit a lightning deal for Prime Day consideration, go to Merchandising > Promotions > Lightning Deal, and then select the “I want Amazon to consider my deal for Prime Day” checkbox. 


    A coupon promotion is accessible on the product detail page and the Amazon vouchers page. Customers can click on a voucher and it’s added to their basket. The discount is automatically applied at checkout when a customer purchases an eligible product before the voucher expires. The tentative deadline to submit coupons in the United States, Canada, and Mexico is May 28. Read Amazon’s guide on creating coupons here

    Prime Exclusive Discount and Prime Member Promotion

    A Prime Exclusive Discount is a price discount that is widely used across all nationally Prime shipping eligible FBA products and is exclusive to Prime members. On Prime Day, these deals will display a Prime Day Deals badge. 

    A Prime Member Promotion is a point of sale discount that is widely used across all Retail product categories and is exclusive to Prime members. On Prime Day, these offers are part of the Amazon Prime Day and Today’s Deals page experience and display a Prime Day Deals badge. The tentative deadline for Prime Member Promotions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico is April 16. 

    Start Preparing Now

    It’s not too early to start preparing for Prime Day 2021! Start planning your promotions and keep track of upcoming deadlines. If you want assistance running your Amazon business, or are curious about how to reach your full potential selling on Amazon, click here to see if you qualify for a free audit from Envision Horizons.