Prime Day is rapidly approaching, and this year the event will run for 48 hours over July 15th & 16th, a step up from last year’s 36 hour effort. Last year, over 100 million items were sold, totalling a substantial 4.2 billion USD, and that was even with numerous site issues due to the massive volume of traffic. You definitely should’ve started preparing, but if you haven’t, here’s some tips for making the most of Amazon’s biggest sales event of the year.
Pre-Prime Day Housekeeping
1. Ensure sufficient inventory. The last thing you want is to run out of stock during Prime Day. If you have data from last year’s event you can use this to forecast the uplift in sales and plan accordingly. You should consider which products you’ll be most aggressively advertising and allow additional inventory for these in particular.
2. Check your top products for any outstanding Q&As or negative reviews. Take the time to answer customer questions and give constructive responses to any poor feedback to help smooth the path to purchase as much as possible for any shoppers who might see them.
3. Ensure you have the capacity to handle the aftermath in terms of fulfilment, returns and customer service. How much you have to plan for this will depend on how you sell on Amazon, whether as a vendor or seller, and whether you use FBA or not.
4. Even if you aren’t running any lightning deals in the Prime Day window, you can still make use of promotions. This year we expect deals to run throughout July. This presents the opportunity to capitalise on the increased traffic by offering coupons and lightning deals throughout the whole period. Just remember to submit them with sufficient lead time to be active when you want them to be.
Additionally, you can still offer coupons during Prime Day. The applicable products won’t feature in the Prime Day deals section, but will still serve to highlight your products in the search result pages. This is important because the shoppers browsing during Prime Day will be actively looking for offers, as opposed to regular price products. Find out more about how best to test pricing methods and promotions here.
5. Review your top products and ensure that your titles, bullet points, images and descriptions are in good shape. I would advise against dramatic changes if the product already performs well. Right before the biggest sales event in Amazon’s calendar is not the time for testing or complete rewrites. You might however want to add additional information or highlight unique selling points not yet included.
6. Create Enhanced Brand Content (sellers) or A+ Content (vendors) to further showcase your products, building the customer’s trust in your brand and desire to purchase, especially now with video recently becoming available to sellers as a new content format. While Amazon, as always, keep specific figures about performance to themselves, they report that EBC/A+ Content leads to higher conversion rates.
Bids and Budgets
“During the 2018 Prime Day advertisers experienced a 150-200% rise in ad clicks, and subsequent 100-150% increase in orders from ads.”
7. You don’t want your ads to vanish suddenly during one of the busiest sales periods of the year. The anticipated flood of traffic means that you need to allocate budgets to handle it. You could reasonably expect spend to increase anywhere from 50-100%.
8. You’re not going to be the only advertiser looking to boost sales during Prime Day. Increased opportunity means increased competition, so you’ll need your bidding to match. Again, increases of 50-100% might be required to keep up with the pace.
Do not however, fall into the trap of thinking this is a great time to shift some old stock or slingshot lagging products to best seller status with aggressive bids. The A9 algorithm will not suddenly forget that it’s an underperforming product and rank it higher just because it’s Prime Day. There are other strategies for building up these products, promotional periods are best used to maximise the sales from products that you know will sell in big volumes.
9. Review the last 30-90 days of your best converting keywords/product targets and ensure you’re bidding on these aggressively. Your top producing keywords should be using exact match in dedicated campaigns. The intent of these proven keywords is maximising sales, so give them plenty of budget, big bids and let them go to work. Leave the keyword mining to automatic and broad match targeting in the campaigns intended for that purpose.
If you’re a brand registered seller you can use Brand Analytics to see which competitors rank well for these keywords and specifically target their products with your ads. You may even want to self-target your own best selling ASINs to help prevent competitors from doing the same to you.
10. Make ample use of Sponsored Brands (if eligible) to drive traffic to your brand store. If you’re running a variety of deals throughout, you can easily create a custom Prime Day Deals landing page featuring all of your offers. While I don’t suggest targeting the broadest of terms when the traffic volumes will be so high, broader keywords combined with low bids can prove a valuable stream of deal-hunting traffic delivered straight to your page full of deals.
11. Cross-promote your top offers using your social media channels in the lead up to, and during Prime Day. This may not work for all brands as many like to keep their Amazon activity separate from the marketing of their own websites, but if that’s not the case for you, or if Prime Day sales are the priority, this gives you another avenue from which to drive traffic and sales.
More than Prime Day
Prime Day isn’t just a great occasion for shoppers, brands can also benefit massively from this huge event if they ensure they’re adequately prepared and have an effective advertising strategy in place. You’ll need to monitor closely throughout, including advertising spend, and put out any fires fast as even a small amount of downtime means lost revenue. Once it’s all over, you can start thinking about Black Friday… when you’ll do it all again.