Amazon’s site-wide promotion, Prime Day, rewards members with big discounts and publishers from around the internet are capitalising on the affiliate marketing opportunity.

Since its debut, the shopping ‘holiday’ has continued to grow in length to reach a full 48 hours, increasing not only Amazon’s opportunity but also that of publishers.

According to Digiday, Verizon Media Group, the owner of AOL, HuffPost, and TechCrunch, among others, has increased its participation in the holiday versus last year. In 2018, the company hosted Prime Day content on just two of its sites (AOL and HuffPost), sending 27 million of its readers to shop on the site. This year, it has tripled its participating sites with TechCrunch, Yahoo’s Finance, Sport and Lifestyle verticals, as well as Engadget creating and syndicating content around the day.

The tactic involves writers from across the business finding and curating deals relevant to each site’s verticals. It is, in some cases, an operation large enough to justify requisitioning the majority of an editorial department. For CBS Interactive’s CNET, as many as 50 people were dedicated to the Prime Day effort across its US and international bureaus. Mark Larkin, the publication’s general manager told Digiday, “if you work on the editorial side, you’re not not touching Prime Day.”

CNET has seen significant success from the tactic, driving one of the highest rates of referral traffic in 2018; this year, it aimed to increase its output by just under a third (30%).

As well as revenue, the benefit to publishers involves data – lots of it. The affiliate conversion data will feed into affiliate conversion strategies. It’s not just Amazon, either; publishers are increasingly feeding in non-Amazon retailers that are capitalising with their own Prime Day deals.

The holiday’s power across the industry makes sense. WARC data shows that in 2018, Amazon Prime Day generated 8.7% more transactions than Black Friday and Cyber Monday, despite receiving 1.4 million fewer visitors to the site, making it the site’s most valuable shopping holiday.

Of course, for Amazon, the whole point of Prime Day is to advertise its Prime Membership program, which debuted in the US as far back as a two-day delivery service. As the quality of the basic service has improved, so has the Prime offer, which now includes video content, discounts, and even faster delivery times.

“Prime members buy more frequently than non-Prime members, they buy across more retail verticals and they just spend a lot more”, said the Cowen equity analyst John Blackledge in comments to the FT. What’s more, “they generally don’t turn off their subscriptions”. According to 2016 estimates from Cowen, the average lifetime value of a Prime user was roughly $3000; the global value of the membership scheme is huge.

It is pulling in big names, too. This year, the musician Lady Gaga debuted a beauty brand available for Prime members to pre-order exclusively, as reported here by Rolling Stone (in an article that, tellingly, contains affiliate links).

“The company is gearing everything at Prime,” Blackedge added. Now, publishers are reaping the rewards of gearing towards it too, as the world of e-commerce forms in Amazon’s wake.

Sourced from Digiday, WARC, FT, Rolling Stone