Although Amazon Prime Day 2018 is still a couple months away, deadlines for sellers to apply for featured promotions and deals are fast approaching.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Considered the biggest sales day of the year for sellers, Amazon Prime Day is a global shopping event filled with discounted purchases held annually around mid-July.
Now in its 4th year, Prime Day is a little like Christmas in July in that there are millions of shoppers on the platform, which can boost sales for everyone.
According to Amazon, “tens of millions” of Prime members made purchase(s) on Prime Day 2017, (that’s 50% more than 2016).
In order to purchase items via Amazon on Prime Day, customers must be a Prime Member (this is also how Amazon strategically grows their Prime Memberships year over year).
The latest stats reveal Amazon’s Prime subscription service has 100 million paid members globally and in 2017 alone, Amazon shipped over five billion items all around the world.
“Vendors, Third Party Sellers, & Amazon (including Echo/Kindle/Fire Tablet) are all invited to participate,” Jordan Gisch, Sr. Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy said.
“But one thing that is different this year is Amazon’s focus to extend the shopping holiday beyond Prime Day.“
“This year, we anticipate deals will start as early as 2 weeks before Prime Day and & last as long as a week after Prime Day. Essentially, it will be almost a full month of deals on Amazon.”
According to Leo Carrillo, Lead Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy, Prime Day is also a great opportunity to build customer acquisition.
“Amazon invests heavily in demand generation via TV ads, radio ads, and online promotions to advertise this event. Prime Day is an opportunity to get in front of millions of new customers browsing for deals.”
3 Amazon Prime Day Benefits for Sellers:
- Increase sales, revenue & build brand awareness
- Unload inventory to help avoid long-term storage fees
- Launch NEW products & drive sales velocity
Amazon Prime Day 2018: Promotions & Deadlines
Amazon Vendors and Sellers are encouraged to offer customers special deals & discounts on their favorite items by applying for the available Amazon promotions including:
- Lightning Deals
- Amazon Coupons
- Deal of the Day
An Amazon Lightning Deal is a promotion with a limited number of discount offers on an item for a short period of time.
These premium deals can be found throughout Amazon.com, including the Gold Box page and are available one per customer, until either the promotional period (typically 4 hour blocks) for the deal expires or all the available promotional discounts are claimed.
Products that are featured in Amazon’s Lightning Deal space (especially on Amazon Prime Day) typically enjoy a bump in sales throughout the duration of the deal.
FAQ: Lightning Deals
Q. Are Amazon Lightning Deals available to Third Party Sellers & Vendors?
- Yes. It’s important to note the differences in the Amazon Prime Day Lightning Deal application process for vendors & sellers.
- For Vendors: Lightning Deals are submitted through a completely self-service portal, so the Vendor can technically pick any product in their catalog to submit for a Deal.
- For Sellers: Products eligible for Lightning Deal submissions are pre-selected by Amazon. This does not guarantee acceptance. You will still have to submit your product for review via Amazon’s application process.
Q. Is there a fee to run an Amazon Lightning Deal?
- Yes. You will be charged for each Lightning Deal that has been submitted and has successfully run. The fee is displayed next to the Submit button when you create the deal.
Pro-Tip: The fee will vary depending on the country in which you run the deal and the week you choose to run the deal.The weeks with higher fees (aka Amazon Prime Day) are a time period during which customer traffic to Amazon is significantly higher, leading to greater exposure and potential sales for your Deal. If your Deal is scheduled during this higher traffic time period, you will be charged a higher fee, which will be displayed on the Lightning Deal page.
Q. Are there product requirements to run an Amazon Lightning Deal?
- Yes. Eligible products are automatically displayed in the Eligible ASINs section of the Lightning Deals Dashboard when they meet the following criteria.
Amazon Coupons are not only a powerful promotion tool, but they also allow vendors to gain awareness and increase sales directly to their products during Amazon Prime Day, when shoppers are likely to make a purchase.
Customers want to save, and promotions provide an incentive to make a buying purchase sooner rather than later.
When vendors opt into coupons or promotions they are provided access to 7 different areas of placement across Amazon including:
- Product Detail Pages
- Amazon Coupon Page
- Search Results
- Amazon Gold Box Page
- Email Campaigns
- The Shopping Cart
- The Coupon Landing Page
FAQ: Amazon Coupons
Q. Are Amazon Coupons available to Third Party Sellers & Vendors?
- Yes. Initially, Coupons were only available to Vendors via Vendor Central but in Q4 2017, Amazon extended Coupons to 3Ps in Seller Central.
Q. Can I use Amazon Coupons to help boost a product that is performing poorly?
- Yes, but we don’t recommend it & here’s why: Coupons are not a silver bullet for a product that’s performing poorly. Sellers will often attempt to use promotional tools to give poor performing products a boost, but we recommend focusing on top performing or middle of the road products. If your product isn’t ranking on the first page, you could have a $20 off coupon, and nobody will ever see it or use it.
According to Gisch:
“I tend to see more success with sellers who push their best selling items. Keep in mind, if you are applying for an Amazon promotion, some of those older styles or models (aka products from last season) will get denied by Amazon because typically that’s not what customers are looking for.”
Deal of the Day
As seen below, Deals of the Day are a single item or small set of closely related items discounted for one day only. Deal of the Day are available to Vendors ONLY.
Prime Day 2018: Deadlines for Sellers & Vendors:
May 18th – Deadline for Third Party Sellers to submit for Amazon Prime Day Lightning Deals.
May 31st – Deadline for Vendors to submit for Amazon Prime Day Lightning Deals, Spotlight Deals, Coupons, & Category Deals.
June 15th – Deadline for Vendors to submit category page merchandising & marketing packages (request through Vendor Central is now open).
Pro-Tip(s): For Amazon sellers without Prime Day deals, they should also consider the possibility of dropping price, offering free shipping, etc. This is also something FBM sellers should consider implementing on Prime Day. If you decide to run a Deal of the Day or Lightning Deal, Amazon will base their fees off of the full price of the item (not the discount). As we saw in 2017, Amazon may decide not to run your Lightning Deal (even if it is approved in advance). Unfortunately, there is nothing sellers can do to control this.
Amazon Prime Day 2018: Seller & Vendor Best Practices
With such a huge influx of shoppers on Amazon, how can sellers maximize their revenue potential?
Without a doubt, advertising, inventory management, and deals all play a crucial role in driving performance on the Prime Day.
We spoke with Amazon experts to craft The Amazon Prime Day 2018 Seller Plan of Action, a list of best practices every seller & vendor should implement on Amazon’s self-made shopping holiday.
1) Leverage Amazon Creative Content
More than ever before, Amazon is making a concentrated effort to empower brands with the creative tools and features they need to establish their brand equity and promote shopper loyalty.
Amazon currently offers a multitude of branding features including:
Not only do these creative features help to improve the aesthetics of brands on the Marketplace – they also provide new opportunities to drive traffic to a brand’s entire catalog and increase detail page conversion rates.
Just take it from WHOOSH, a brand who is redefining the next generation of clean with tech hygiene products for tablets, smartphones, monitors, and more.
WHOOSH teamed up with CPC Strategy in March 2017 to establish profitable Amazon advertising campaigns and optimize select ASINs with new Amazon Creative.
Only 30 days after WHOOSH implemented Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) on the select ASIN below, they saw a 427% increase in detail page conversion rate.
“One of the most immediate impacts that Enhanced Brand Content will have for 3P Sellers in the Brand Registry program is the benefit to paid advertising conversion rates,” Pat Petriello, Head of Marketplace Strategy at CPC Strategy said.
“Take, for example, a 3P brand manufacturer selling high quality premium sunglasses and advertising through Sponsored Products.”
“With Enhanced Brand Content, that Seller has increased ability to showcase the unique value proposition of their products such as polarization, mirroring, contrast, transition, lens treatments, and so on.”
“They will also have the option to differentiate their brand from that of their competitors by communicating their brand story through the Enhanced Brand Content fields.”
Pro-Tip: Make sure to also optimize all of your product titles, bullet points, product descriptions, and backend search terms. With the influx of new Amazon Prime members, there will be an increase in “random product searches”. We’ve got an awesome webinar recording available to learn more about how Amazon’s A9 algorithm impacts product ranking.
2) Increase Your Bids
On Amazon Prime Day, Sellers should increase their advertising budgets, specifically for Sponsored Products & Amazon Marketing Services.
- Expect to increase your bids by (at least) 50%. In 2017, CPC Strategy’s clients saw an average increase in CPCs 30% to 60% and a Spend increase of 100% to 140% on Prime Day.
- Focus on your top converting/sales driving keywords
Everyone and anyone will be looking to advertise their products leading up to Prime Day and you don’t want to miss out on valuable traffic.
Remember, on Prime Day it’s better for advertisers to bid aggressively rather than miss out on sales completely.
3) Monitor Budget
Because bids and clicks are expected to rise, budgets will run out very quickly. Sellers should closely monitor their budgets throughout the day to make sure no advertising campaigns run out of money.
Advertisers can check their Sponsored Products account level budget caps located within the Advertising tab> Campaign Manager > Settings.
4) Test Ad Copy (early!)
Nothing is worse than finding our your ad is disapproved right before Amazon Prime Day.
Starting now (and through the end of June), advertisers should be testing their Prime Day ad copy that has the highest CTR and sales for:
6) Put Out Fires Quickly
Advertisers should identify fast-moving products and address issues the day of.
According to Joe Selzer, it will be imperative for Sellers to keep a watchful eye on their account(s), identifying and responding to any issues or opportunities as quickly as possible.
“With so many shoppers flooding the Marketplace looking to ‘buy now’, anything hindering a Seller’s ability to make their products both discoverable and buyable can spell big trouble in terms of lost sales.”
Some examples of issues Sellers should be wary of include:
- Out-of-budget advertising campaigns
- Account payment failures
- Order fulfillment bottlenecks (if they are not leveraging FBA)
7) Amazon Prime Day Aftermath
Many Sellers will be increasing budgets and bids for Prime Day, but the rate at which they reverse those changes back to normal will vary widely.
Sellers should also prepare for any operational aftermath including more returns to process, increase in customer questions, and more opportunity for FBA refunds. We expect a gradual return of advertising budgets & bids to “normal”.
8) Delays in Sales Data
If you’re not seeing the sales data you expected – don’t jump to conclusions.
According to our experts, AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) reports could take several days to become available.
Note the following AMS reporting delays:
- Impression and click data may take up to 24 hours to appear.
- Detail page views and sales data may take up to 3 days to appear.
Since Prime Day involves so much marketing and traffic, some AMS accounts will take longer than 72 hours to gather updated data.
Want to learn more about how to prepare for Amazon Prime Day? Email email@example.com