How retail tentpoles moments can deliver year-round results

September 9, 2023 | By Emma Leibman Baker, Sr. Marketing Manager

Happy woman

At the 2023 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Amazon Ads celebrated nine incredible small businesses by showcasing their products and stories to attendees at Amazon Port.

More than 60% of sales in Amazon’s store are from independent sellers—and almost all of those are small and medium-size businesses. These small businesses selling in the Amazon store are often at the heart of their local communities, and include businesses owned by artisans, women, Black entrepreneurs, and military families. Independent selling partners, entrepreneurs, and small businesses continue to find success with Amazon more than 20 years after the virtual shelves opened.

We had a chance to speak to several of the founders that we partnered with at Cannes Lions about their business growth and experience selling with Amazon. While diverse in their products offerings and their paths to success, these founders share the same commonality: Advertising during retail tentpole moments helps drive their business success on Amazon and helps foster meaningful customer connection when it matters most.

What is a retail tentpole event?

Retail tentpole events, also known as key shopping moments, are large-scale opportunities for brand building and driving sales on the Amazon store and third-party destinations. All year round, brands can capitalize on these events to boost traffic on their product pages, increase sales, build customer loyalty, and drive momentum toward long-term profitability.

Retail tentpole event

Retail tentpole events

Three tips on how small businesses can utilize tentpole events

There are three key ways your business can fuel your funnel, drive conversions, and achieve year-round results. It all starts with utilizing retail tentpole moments effectively.

1. Get your campaign in front of the right audience

Naa-Sakle Akuete, the founder and CEO of Mother’s Shea, a mother-and-daughter social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through nature’s wonder balm, says, “By leveraging targeted advertising campaigns, we have been able to effectively showcase Mother’s Shea products to a relevant audience, increase visibility, and drive more traffic to the listings.” Akuete continues, “The 2022 holiday season with Amazon surpassed our expectations. As a small, Black-owned family business, we depend on high-traffic periods to attract first-time customers and ensure they become repeat customers. Our 2022 holiday sales were up 112% compared to 2021, with traffic up 87% and conversion up by 10% compared to the pre-holiday season.” With robust tools from Amazon Ads for measuring and analyzing campaign performance, Mother’s Shea was able to optimize strategies and improve return on investment.

Grace Li, the founder and CEO of Jumping Fox Design, a creative and woman-owned stationery business in California, says that Amazon Ads has helped a new brand like theirs quickly gain exposure for their private-label products in highly competitive product categories. “When we released our ring binder collection, we were able to gain the No. 1 New Release badge within a few weeks and entered the top 50 in the category within a few months because of our Amazon Ads campaign,” says Li.

2. Leverage multi-product campaigns to drive conversions at every touchpoint

Brian Guadagno, founder of Raw Elements USA, a certified-natural, reef-and environmentally safe sunscreen company, says, “By leveraging Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products, we can tell our brand story at the right time, to the right consumer. We know that, most of the time, consumers are browsing on Amazon for products before making their purchasing decision. Through education and advertising on Amazon, we believe it has fast-tracked the buying decision to purchase clean vs. chemical sunscreen. For example, a customer may be looking for sunscreen for their child and see our tinted products. The combination of products gives us control over the audience we want to reach and when we reach them.”

3. Integrate Amazon Ads across tentpole retail moments to drive conversions and sustain customer interest

From 2021 to 2022, the sales for Cure Hydration, a premium, hydrating electrolyte drink mix, grew 3x on Amazon. Founder and CEO Lauren Picasso says the brand is on a similar trajectory for 2023. “Advertising has helped drive our success during retail tentpole events. We usually see a 35% lift in sales when these events happen,” Picasso says. “We have found that it is important to tailor ad strategies for each event, factoring in category changes, increased traffic, and discounts, all of which are key to ensuring the best possible budget allocation and returns during these events.”

“We’ve been able to reach millions of customers around the world by running ads on Amazon, which has been a huge driver of our revenue growth,” says Caron Proschan, founder and CEO of Simply Gum, a brand that makes treats with simple ingredients in all their products. “Our ads have an extremely high return on investment because we’re meeting our customers where they are already shopping, which helps us focus our ad spend and maximize our returns. For example, Prime Day has really proven to be one of the most important days of the year for our business, not only in terms of sales lift, but also in terms of generating brand awareness and exposure. Running ads simultaneously further amplifies this effect.”