Amazon Prime Day is the biggest annual global shopping event through one of the biggest giants in online retail. All Amazon sellers should be prepped and ready for one of the largest online sale days of the year.
In fact, Prime Day beats out even Black Friday and Cyber Monday on Amazon. If the rumors are true, Prime Day 2018 will be on July 16, 2018:
How should you prepare for Amazon Prime Day 2018?
Amazon Prime Day 101
In order to fully prep for this year’s Amazon Prime Day, you need to understand what it looked like last year. You want to take a global look at the overall numbers as well as your own personal numbers (if you were in business). This can help you predict trends and profits for this year while analyzing and adjusting your strategy accordingly.
In 2017, Prime Day started on July 10 at 9pm ET. Amazon likely started it in the evening because people are recently home from work and more intent on purchasing. The day ran for 30 hours, finishing off at 3am ET on July 11. This offered a full day for purchasing, which offered a number of rotating discounts that encouraged impulse buys.
In that time period, there were nearly 100,000 products discounted across all categories, including tech, appliances, beauty, clothing, and home. In 2017, Amazon Prime Day brought in $2.41 billion, which was up from $1.52 billion in 2016 and $900 million in 2015.
Throughout Prime Day, promotions and discounts don’t remain constant. Amazon’s Prime Day is unique in that there are different discounts on different products at different times of the day.
For example, last year the Echo Dot was discounted by $15 for the entire Prime Day (and it was the top-selling product on the site). But individual products, especially with regards to electronics, were in one-hour lightning deals or “flash” deals until they sold out.
If you’re not preparing for Amazon Prime Day, you’re shooting your business in the foot. With some of the greatest traffic and highest sales of the year, it’s the best way to improve profits, gain exposure, improve ratings, enhance your seller status (BSR), and grow your business.
So, what do you need to do to prep for Amazon Prime Day 2018?
1. Use FBA.
Only Prime members can partake in Amazon Prime Day. In fact, it’s the biggest day of Prime signups throughout the year—simply because consumers see the potential of the discounts.
This means that your business needs to be “Prime ready.” You need to be able to offer your customers all the perks of being a Prime member—like free two-day, one-day, or same day shipping. If you can’t provide this, your customer will almost always buy from a competitor who does.
In order to offer “Prime” delivery, you need to utilize the FBA service. If you use FBA, your products are automatically labeled with the Prime sticker.
With Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), Amazon will handle the warehousing, picking, and packaging of your goods. FBA also handles customer service and any processes after you send them your items.
If you don’t want to use FBA, you can also offer Prime status with Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP). Learn more about FBA vs SFP here.
2. Automate email review generation.
A high volume of sales means a high volume of potential reviews. Amazon Prime Day is one of the best times to boost your number and rating of star reviews on your products. But you can only enhance your ratings if you ask your customers for reviews.
You want to set up an automated email campaign that will request reviews after a purchase. This creates an automatic drip campaign of one to three emails to encourage your customers for their reviews.
Email automation is key.
You’re more likely to get reviews if you remind your customers with a follow-up email. These emails are automated, so you aren’t wasting time or resources tracking down customers and their products. This keeps it clean and simple, and it’s more likely to pull in reviews.
Remember that reviews are critical for future success. You want a high number of good reviews in order to optimize in Amazon searches, boost your seller ranking, and increase conversion rates.
In fact, 92% of consumers report that they read online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Moreover, they’re likely to spend 31% more for a business or product with excellent reviews.
3. Raise your PPC Bids or turn on Bid+.
Amazon Prime Day is one of the greatest sales days—which also makes it one of the most competitive days on Amazon. If you want to stand out and have great visibility on Amazon, you need to set yourself apart from the other sellers.
One of the simplest ways to do this is with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign. This allows you to set up an advertisement based on specific keywords. You pay for the number of clicks you receive, which means you can have a greater return on your investment. Learn more about PPC campaigns and keywords here.
But keywords for pay per click ads can get competitive. If you and your competitors are all sponsoring an ad for the keyword “summer bathing suits,” then the keyword itself is going to be expensive—especially for Amazon Prime Day. You want to ensure you choose the right keywords to bid on.
You want to make sure that you raise your bids for PPC campaigns so you are always the highest bidder for the best keywords, which gets you the most quality traffic. Spending a few extra bucks is worth it on Amazon Prime Day.
Bid+ sets the highest price for certain keywords that are eligible for the top of the Search results. This might be the best option if you’re willing to pay the highest price for the greatest traffic. You can set up the Bid+ feature a few days before Amazon Prime Day and have it run through Amazon Prime Day before the PPC campaign ends.
4. Optimize for mobile.
We expect that the majority of Prime members will be browsing and purchasing on their phones this year. Most Amazon listings are automatically mobile accessible. In fact, Amazon Mobile is one of the most popular apps in the world. But you want to ensure that your coupons and website are also mobile optimized.
Moreover, customers often want to check out your website before they make a purchase. If they can’t browse your website from their phones, they’ll move on to the next lightning deal.
You also want to ensure that your coupons and email campaigns are easily accessible on mobile. 66% percent of consumers open promotional emails on their mobile phones. If your images, text, and coupons aren’t readable, they’ll delete and not come back to your product or brand.
5. Check your images.
Amazon will penalize you on Amazon Prime Day if your images aren’t up to code. In fact, one of their Lightning Deal criteria is that you need to meet all image guidelines or they’ll pull down your deal.
You can review Amazon’s image requirements here.
Plus, images are your number one visual resource. Professional, high-quality photos are significantly more likely to convert than blurry or lackluster ones.
For the greatest conversion rate, your images should:
- Be high resolution.
- Offer at least five photos and angles.
- Have a white background.
- Show only the product being sold.
- Demonstrate demonstrative images with additional qualities.
- Display the unit being used in the brand lifestyle.
6. Create coupons.
Whether you’re running a Lightning Deal, Deal of the Day, or a discount code, you want your customers to know about your specific promotion ahead of time.
It’s easy for customers to get lost in all of the deals and discounts on Amazon Prime Day. You need your product to stand out before Prime Day even starts. If you get ahead of the game, you’re more likely to see success.
This means you want to create coupons that you can share with your email list, social followers, and brand fans. You want this to reflect the exact deals and campaigns you’ll be running on Prime Day with links to your product pages. This makes it easy for customers to keep track of your deal, and they’re more likely to remember to purchase from you if they can “clip” your coupon ahead of time.
Click to learn more about vendor powered coupons on Amazon.
7. Prepare your social media ads.
Share your coupons, deals, and campaigns on all of your social media. This increases the visibility of your deal, which attracts more potential customers before the sale starts.
Now is also the time to consider a Sponsored ad on your key social channels. This can boost your exposure to your current and prospective clients. You can target your social ads to search for your specific demographics and psychographics. You can even send the ad out based on interests, likes, and other personalized tracking measures.
Sponsored ads can also boost your SEO. If you link to your website or product page, you’re creating more inbound links for your site. You’re also increasing the number of people who are clicking on your link, which improves your site’s “credibility” with search engines.
Start running social ads early to get your customers excited for Amazon Prime Day deals.
8. Have enough inventory.
You can’t run a Lightning Deal or Deal of the Day on Amazon Prime Day if you don’t have enough inventory on hand. You want to fill your warehouses with the appropriate amount of projected units, so you can have enough on hand for your discounts. Amazon will actually penalize you if you don’t have enough units on hand to last the duration of your Prime Day Lightning Deal.
For Amazon Prime Day, we recommend having a slight surplus of inventory. Unlike the holidays where sales drop off drastically in the following months, Amazon Prime Day happens over the summer where sales typically remain consistent. Even if you have a surplus of inventory, you can sell it over the next few months or hold on to it for the holiday season.
9. Plan your Lightning Deals - for Prime Day 2019.
Lightning Deals are one of the easiest and most effective ways to participate in Amazon Prime Day. Lightning Deals are when you pair some sort of product with a limited time coupon. There is usually a countdown on your listing that shows how long the promotion is in effect. There is also a limit to the number of discounts given out to create an even greater sense of urgency.
For example, you might discount your best-selling video game for 2 hours. This creates two levels of impulse buys because they only have the time limit to participate in the discount.
It's too late to submit Lightening Deals for Prime Day 2018, but that doesn't mean you can't plan ahead for next year. Learn how to create a Lightning Deal here. In order to create a Lightning Deal, you need to be a Professional Seller with certain criteria, like a minimum overall star rating and a certain number of available products. You also must have FBA in order to participate.
Amazon typically releases criteria for Lightning Deals that are specific to Amazon Prime Day. For example, last year they set the following principles:
- Must be at least 20% discount
- Must have enough quantity to last duration of deal
- Cannot run longer than 6 hours
- Product must have 3.0 minimum rating
- All Deals must be submitted through Seller Central
- Listing must meet all Amazon qualifications
Check out our tips and tricks for Lightning Deals.
Amazon Prime Day can be one of your most profitable days of the year - if you prepare properly.