Amazon has officially announced that Prime Day 2020 will take place from Tuesday, October 13th to Wednesday, October 14th this year.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare for Prime Day 2020.
The History of Prime Day
Prime Day is Amazon’s biggest event of the year, with hundreds of deals on products across categories. Amazon sold more on Prime Day in 2019 than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined in 2018.
Amazon launched Prime Day in 2015 to celebrate their 20th anniversary. The first Amazon Prime Day was a one-day retail holiday for Prime members. Since then, Prime Day has overtaken Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the biggest annual sales event on Amazon, with better deals on more products resulting in increased sales (and Prime memberships).
In 2019, Prime Day saw:
- Shoppers in 18 countries (compared to just eight countries during the first Prime Day)
- More new Prime members than any previous two-day span
- The biggest sales day for Amazon devices such as Alexa devices, Fire tablets, and Kindle
- More than one billion dollars saved by Prime members worldwide
- Millions of items shipped in one day or faster
(Check out our full 2019 Prime Day recap here.)
While the ecommerce landscape looks different this year than any before, we can still expect Prime Day 2020 to be a big event for Prime members and Amazon sellers alike.
Why Vendors Should Invest in Amazon Direct Fulfillment ASAP
One way to make the most of Prime Day 2020 as an Amazon seller? Invest in Amazon Direct Fulfillment for your store.
With COVID-19 continuing to affect online retail and distribution, the space in Amazon’s fulfillment centers is becoming scarcer. Amazon has been reaching out to vendors to ensure that they understand the benefits of using their Direct Fulfillment program.
Similar to dropshipping, Amazon Direct Fulfillment lets vendors use EDI (electronic data interchange) to automatically share real-time inventory information for their entire product catalog with Amazon.
Here’s how the purchase flow works when a vendor uses Direct Fulfillment:
- Amazon Customer purchases Product X
- Amazon tells Vendor Product X has been sold
- Vendor packs and ships Product X directly to the customer
If you don’t have Direct Fulfillment set up as a backup to FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon), you might miss out on sales. When Amazon warehouses are out of stock, customers cannot order your product before Amazon receives your inventory.
“For vendors that are capable of direct fulfillment, we recommend that your Direct Fulfillment connection is set up correctly and you are ready to utilize this program in Q4. If you are not currently using Amazon’s Direct Fulfillment program, you can get started by following the instructions within your Warehouse Settings in Vendor Central.”
– Emily Leung, Marketplace Operations Associate at Tinuiti
Some of the benefits of Direct Fulfillment include:
- Products are displayed as “Ships and Sold by Amazon”
- You can make your entire catalog available to customers
- You don’t have to wait for a purchase order to start selling products. Direct Fulfillment lets Amazon pull in the inventory directly from EDI and show shoppers that your product is available.
- You’re protected from out-of-stock issues
- Amazon handles all customer service requests and returns for you
- Amazon pays all shipping fees
To set up Direct Fulfillment, go to the Warehouse Settings in your Vendor Central account and follow the on-screen instructions to set up a Direct Fulfillment warehouse. If the Direct Fulfillment option isn’t available in your account, you can request to participate by submitting a Contact Us case to Amazon.
4 Tips for 2020 Prime Day Prep
In addition to setting up Direct Fulfillment, here are a few more tips to help you prep for Prime Day 2020.
1. Choose your products wisely.
The ideal products for Prime Day deals are ones that:
- Are in stock and easily replenishable
- Have at least 15 reviews
- Have a 3.5-star rating or higher
- Include optimized images
- Include branded and keyword-optimized content
In addition to choosing the right products, make sure that your product listings are optimized for conversions.
“From an operational standpoint, detail page content for images and copy descriptions are going to differentiate your product from a large selection of heavily discounted products; Vendors and Sellers should optimize their detail pages to ensure maximum conversion”, Leung says.
2. Creating a subcategory page devoted to Prime.
If you have a storefront page, consider creating a dedicated Prime Day subcategory. Use it to feature your Prime Day deals and discounts, and treat it as your landing page for all things Prime Day.
When you have Prime Day ads on Amazon, pointing users to a specific landing page makes it easier for them to convert into customers. You can even use your subcategory page as a landing page for ads off Amazon, like Google or Facebook.
3. Double-check your inventory levels.
Stockouts during Prime Day are an Amazon seller’s worst nightmare. Make sure that your inventory levels are ready for the big day (or week).
You can generally expect Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers to fall in line with Prime Day’s, so if you have data from those sales events, use it to determine your inventory strategy for Prime Day.
“In addition to product detail page optimizations, every brand should evaluate its overall operating processes; ensuring a sufficient amount of available inventory to the projected demand, clean up of warehouse inefficiencies, and actively manage your catalog listings,” Leung says.
Know that there’s a balance between keeping enough inventory in stock to meet demand and overstocking, especially with Amazon running low on warehouse space.
4. Set up and test your Amazon advertising campaigns early.
Stay on top of your campaigns. Set aside time leading up to and during Prime Day to check on and manage your ad campaigns. Pay close attention to your bids and budget. Make sure you have the budget to capitalize on the full Prime Day opportunity, so you don’t run out in the first few hours.
“Brands should leverage the additional traffic coming to Amazon as well as the higher conversion rates by approaching tentpole events like Prime Day with a three-tiered approach. A well-rounded advertising strategy that targets different areas of the advertising funnel during the lead-up period, the promotional period, and the lead-out period will allow you to maximize your reach to meet return and awareness-based goals.”
– Jackie Bui, Senior Manager, Amazon & Marketplace Channels at Tinuiti
Using Search and Display together to form your Prime Day tactics allows you to not only capture the demand of those who are actively searching on Amazon but also to generate demand by layering in mid and upper-funnel strategies such as competitor conquesting and In-Market or Lifestyle audience targeting on top of Amazon Search ad units.
You can also use past Prime Day campaigns and metrics to guide you, though keep in mind that the ecommerce landscape and consumer preferences look different this year — and that Prime Day is no longer tied to back-to-school.
“Every brand should prepare for Prime Day by building out and testing all campaign types and betas that Amazon has made available to advertisers. Prime Day is extremely competitive, so it’s essential to know which campaigns we are especially interested in throttling to make the most out of the increased traffic.”
“I specifically recommend building out video in Sponsored Brands. We have found that, on average, we are seeing quadruple the click-through rate (CTR) for our clients versus the original Sponsored Brands ads. It’s a great way to stand out while taking advantage of the opportunity to showcase how to use a product and send traffic back to a storefront to tie everything together.”
– Meghan Andrade, Director of Business Development, Amazon & Marketplaces at Tinuiti