What Sellers Should Expect From Amazon Prime Day 2020
“Longer and longer,” seems to be the one consistent trend online retail giant Amazon seems to follow for its showcase sales event of the year. Since its successful inception in 2015, celebrating Amazon’s 20th anniversary, the world’s largest retailer has been hosting this annual event. In 2019, the event resulted in a mix of discounts on millions of products, a free Taylor Swift concert for Prime members, lightning deals (even larger discounts that take place for short periods during the Prime Day sales event), and ultimately the sale of over 175 million items.
“Prime Day” is in fact a slight misnomer since the most recent event went on officially for 48 hours and unofficially for 60 hours. Amazon started discounting select items 12 hours before the official sales event was to begin. We’ve seen this trend of expanding popular sales events in length in order to maximize the increased attention on both online and brick-and-mortar retailers during these days — Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals extend well beyond their namesake days.
But perhaps the best part for sellers on Amazon Prime Day is not only the fact that there have never been more shoppers on the website at the same time than during this 24 (or 48) hour period, but that it falls in the middle of summer — the period of the year when you likely see the lowest sales volume. Dubbed informally “the Black Friday of summer,” Prime Day sales have, because of Amazon’s ubiquity, impacted market behavior across the retail industry during this period. While the eyes of tens of millions of consumers scour Amazon’s pages for the best deals, customers are also becoming smarter, comparing pricing to other retailers such as Target, Walmart, Macy’s, Best Buy and other large chains. Predicting this market behavior, these other key industry players, led by Walmart, started successfully making their own “counter-sales” in order to capitalize on the increased web traffic.
That being said, as a seller on Amazon, you can take comfort in the fact that there will be no better place to be in mid-July 2020, especially if you want customers to not only see your merch but also buy it. On Prime Day in 2019, 44% of all Amazon members shopped on the site. Considering that total Amazon Prime membership has already extended beyond the 100 million mark, this means that at least 40 million people will be snooping around the site looking for great deals.
So, how can you take most advantage of this upsurge in sales in 2020? Well, you’re in luck if you’re selling electronics, or some other popular trending items.
What were the Hot-Cake Items on Amazon Prime Day 2019?
Amazon electronic products usually receive the biggest push on Prime Days, regardless of the year. More Echo devices, Kindles, Fire tablets, and their related content products in people’s hands all function to get more and more of the market into the Amazon ecosystem and keep them there...this is one of the “prime” reasons for Prime Days. In fact, Amazon Prime memberships are another of the highest-selling items as Amazon pushes more and more people to sign up for their annual-fee based membership that generally ensures members will regularly spend more than twice per year than what they usually do without it.
Televisions, cameras, electronic accessories, bluetooth speakers and home appliances like robot vacuums, Instant Pots and door security cameras are among other high-demand electronics usually find themselves on the Prime Day deals list, so if you are selling any of these items, you can expect a lot of attention in summer 2020.
What do the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter, the 23andMe Health + Ancestry kit, Coke Zero, dishwasher tablets and Crest Whitening Strips all have in common? Well, they were among the top sellers on Prime Day 2019, meaning that the popularity of sale items can vary from super useful, non-perishable everyday stuff that can be bought and kept in the drawer until they’re needed, or viral items that have usually made the rounds on social media and can be bought and tried without making a large dent in the wallet.
So How Can You as a Seller Take the Most Advantage of Amazon Prime Day 2020?
First of all, let’s clarify something: Amazon Prime Day is a sales event, not a profit-making event, which means ultimately it is part of a marketing strategy and not a profit strategy (both for Amazon and for you as a Seller). You will make less per item, but Prime Day’s biggest advantage is that you have the opportunity to get more visibility for your product, and to get your product in more people’s hands. This is key for the longer term growth of your business or product. If you’re already struggling to keep up with demand from buyers and getting more sales would just increase the backlog, participating in Prime Day 2020 is probably not the best option for you. If you decide you want to conscientiously participate, however, these are a couple of good ways to go:
Be a Dealmaker
Amazon allows your products to be eligible for two kinds of deals: Lightning Deals and 7-Day Deals. Both of these thrust your product(s) onto the Amazon Deals page, which, as you probably know from being an Amazon customer, is one of the go-to pages for many shoppers. For obvious reasons, the 7-Day Deals are not applicable to sales events that last one or two days, so submitting a Lightning Deal for Amazon Prime Day 2020 would be the way to go. Due to the popularity of these days, you need to be smart and purposeful about getting one of your deals approved.
First off, you must be eligible to offer a Lightning Deal. Currently, according to Amazon, you must, from the get-go, be a Professional Seller with at least five Seller Feedback Ratings per month and an overall rating of at least 3.5 stars. Then your products need to meet the following criteria:
- Have a sales history in Amazon stores and at least a 3-star rating
- Include as many variations as possible
- Not be a restricted product or offensive, embarrassing or inappropriate product
- Be Prime-eligible in all regions
- Be in New condition
- Be compliant with customer product reviews policies
- Be compliant with pricing policies, and
- Be compliant with deal frequency policies.
An easy video tutorial on how to set up a Lightning Deal can be found here.
It can be safely assumed that the more you exceed these criteria minimums, the better chances of your product being included amongst the approved sales. There are other factors that can help improve the likelihood of your deal(s) being thrust into the limelight, including the fulfillment method, marketability, higher quantity (availability), higher feedback ratings, and so on. You also need to submit your deal specifically for each event that you would like to be a part of, Prime Day being one of them, and the two most famous alternatives being Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Also note that you will be charged a fee by Amazon for running your deal if it is approved (you have the option to cancel the deal if you decide the fee they are charging you is too high).
Be on the Consumer Pulse
Your Deal may not have been approved, or you may not plan to submit one for Prime Day 2020, but consumers’ choices around sales events are not limited to Amazon’s Deal page, as Walmart and the other big dogs have noted. More traffic almost always implies more people trekking around the internet, and so the higher the likelihood of a buyer landing on your page. If you are smart with your regular pricing during this period, savvy with your marketing, adopt best practices from other Amazon Sellers, and choose products from your inventory that are more likely to sell (e.g. see above), you will likely benefit more just from being on the Amazon platform. This is the case even for days before and after the sales events, as users tend to browse the site more often in the lead-up to them, scouting ahead for good deals or seeing what they missed. Furthermore, regular optimization of your storefront and listing on Amazon are perhaps even more important on these high-traffic days than the days before or after, as the competition for consumer attention increases, but these important tactics help regardless of the time of the year.