Amazon Prime Day Best Seller Practices
Amazon Prime Day is likely to be one of the biggest selling days for the Amazon Marketplace.
In contrast to last year, when many sellers did not know how to prepare for the rise in traffic – sellers are now better equipped and Amazon is making a series of adjustments to offer customers better deals on their favorite items.
We spoke with Amazon experts to craft a list of the 4 best practices every sellers should implement in preparation of Amazon’s self-made shopping holiday this July.
How To Stay Ahead of Competitors on Amazon Prime Day
1. Consider Implementing Seller Fulfilled Prime
Late last year, Amazon announced they would be extending their Prime privileges to merchants who store and ship their own inventory through the Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime program.
This was exciting news for both sellers and consumers invested in Amazon’s widely successful free two-day shipping service.
Pro-Tip: We’ve seen that sellers who opt into Seller Fulfilled Prime experience an increase in sales, typical for Prime eligible products.
The objective of the Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime program is to provide “Prime” shipping privileges to Amazon sellers that have established their ability to ship merchant-fulfilled orders and meet Amazon’s high performance levels (through FBA).
Sellers accepted by the program are permitted to tag products with the coveted Prime eligible label and ship directly from their own fulfillment centers.
A big benefit to this program is that it avoids the tax nexus issue typically associated with using FBA. So large-scale sellers who also happen to have ecommerce sites can avoid having the entire business taxed by using Seller Fulfilled Prime.
“FBA is incredibly powerful because of how it can be wielded as a strategic sales lever just as much as a fulfillment solution for an online retailer’s business,” Pat Petriello, Senior Marketplace Strategist at CPC Strategy said.
“In addition to the benefits of getting in front of Prime customers and knowing your products are going to be shipped and delivered on time, FBA is the most potent lever a seller can deploy to help them win the coveted Buy Box.”
This year, Amazon has extended benefits through their Seller Fulfilled Prime program so that Amazon sellers will have access to the same privileges that FBA listings have for Buy Box eligibility during Prime Day.
Sellers will also be using the new API to postage their shipping through Amazon. This postage will qualify sellers for Amazon’s negotiated rates and service levels including two-day shipping, delivery options on Sunday, and same-day delivery.
While there are many pros to using Seller Fulfilled Prime, it’s absolutely critical that all of the seller’s services including delivery guarantees, returns and turnaround time must meet the same standards as FBA services (see below).
Click here to read more on Seller Fulfilled Prime requirements.
2. How Product Bundling on Amazon Can Reduce Your Competition on Prime Day
Aside from the fact that product bundles on Amazon provide value to shoppers, they are also a unique strategy for sellers to reduce their Buy Box competition.
As seen in the example below, product bundling is offering several products for sale as one combine purchase, typically at a discounted price.
There are many different types of bundling techniques including mixed bundling, cross industry bundling and new or lesser product bundling.
Be sure to check out: “The Seller’s Guide To Amazon Prime Day“
For Amazon Prime Day, we recommend focusing on bundling different products together to create a unique ASIN rather than multi-packs of the same products.
“Prime Day could also be an excellent opportunity to try out a promotion, too,” Jeff Coleman, Director of Account Management at CPC Strategy said.
“Especially on aged inventory that isn’t selling. Consider bundling that in as a gift or discounted offer with purchase of one of your more popular items to help those slower-moving products get some attention on Prime Day, too.”
Bundling is a competitive tactic for sellers not only because of it’s increased sales opportunity but because it is difficult for competitors to track and compete against your ASIN.
On Amazon, bundled products may be listed in all categories except Books, Music, Video, DVD, and Video Games. Bundles are only allowed when the primary product in the bundle is not a BMVD (combined category) or Video Games product.
For example, you can list a bundle composed of a pair of boxing gloves (the primary product), a boxing DVD and a boxing book, but you cannot list a bundle composed of a boxing DVD and a boxing book.
Bundles must consist of items that are “highly complementary and provide a value to the buyer when compared to the individual items purchased separately.”
All bundles are subject to Amazon for review of appropriateness and relevance. If Amazon determines a bundle is not compliant with their policies, they can removal the bundle listing without notice, impose an account suspension, or both.
The main benefit of product bundling is it provides the reseller with a unique ASIN that increases your chances of Buy Box ownership. Essentially, when a reseller creates a bundle pack, they become the brand for that specific ASIN.
For more on Amazon Product Bundling guidelines, check out our recent blog post.
3. Monitor Inventory & Pricing
Two of the biggest factors that will impact the success of a seller on Prime Day are inventory and pricing.
Sellers should stock-up on inventory and treat it similarly to Q4 holiday sales. Especially for imported goods, you want to make sure you are prepared and allow enough time for FBA shipments.
Effective inventory management will ensure you don’t run out of products to sell when customers are looking to buy and your cash is properly invested in the right products so you can keep turning inventory over for a profit.
A big piece of inventory management is accurately incorporating lead time. A lot of the applications don’t incorporate lead time in the right fashion – that is when stockouts occur.
For example, if you think your lead time is going to be 30 days and it’s actually 45 days – then you have a high likelihood of having a 15 day stock out- which can be very expensive for a seller.
If sellers are not prepared prior to Amazon Prime Day – then essentially it doesn’t matter what other fancy calculations you run after that point.
Inventory is a leading component, so if that isn’t correct then every strategy after that point is going to be flawed.
Another factor to consider carefully is pricing.
Before jumping the gun and offering the lowest price on the market, sellers should take a step back and factor in a holistic view of their total costs.
Discounts and promotions are encouraged but it’s important to remember Prime Day isn’t a race to the bottom – although many sellers have made the mistake of offering pricing well below what they could offer – leading to a disruption in overall revenue.
A lot of high volume sellers and resellers will be using repricers to their full effect on Prime Day, so if you aren’t using one, closely monitor your hero ASINs.
For more on how to monitor inventory, check out our recent blog post.
4. Optimize Your Sponsored Products Strategy
As competition continues to grow on the Marketplace on Prime Day, sellers will need to tap into high level resources and marketing tactics to ensure they are optimizing and utilizing the most sophisticated practices to stay ahead.
Without the right tools and strategies―their products are likely to be trumped by advanced advertisers.
In our experience as an agency managing a variety of product verticals for many sellers, we’ve seen consistent success from using Amazon’s dynamic advertising platform―Sponsored Products.
Because of its controllable, scalable, and very measurable performance, we consider it one of the few pillars of marketplace strategy that every Amazon seller should strive to master.
By now, we can assume you are aware of Sponsored Products and the direct impact it can have on your product Discoverability and Buyability cycle.
The goal of Sponsored Products is to create an advertisement that is compelling enough to capture the attention and convert a shopper. The more customers that discover your products, the more sessions, clicks, and purchases are likely to occur.
And, of course the more volume you sell―the more your organic ranking will improve and the higher up they will show in the Amazon SERP.
This leads us to a question many sellers are now asking: On Amazon Prime Day should I bid up to leverage higher traffic?
“On the PPC side, we consider breaking out separate Sponsored Products and AMS campaigns specifically for that Amazon Prime Day with elevated bids on key items. That way the variation in data you’re likely to see doesn’t throw off the data for your other campaigns,” Coleman said.
Depending on your goals, Amazon sellers can build out campaigns to launch a new product(s) or to feature product(s) that are seasonal or in demand.
With Sponsored Products, sellers will have to determine how much they want to spend, what time period they want to advertise for and which products they want to feature.
For more on how to prepare for Amazon Prime Day, email [email protected]
Amazon Prime Day Resources
How Amazon Sellers Should Prepare for Amazon Prime Day 2016
Important Deadlines for Amazon Prime Day Lightning Deals & Deals of the Day