We all know Amazon is THE marketplace to sell on—but are you sufficiently standing out among the competition? By offering promotions and discounts through Amazon’s Lightning Deals, you have the opportunity to reach millions of shoppers looking for their next great deal.
In this article, we’ll cover how to gain more new-to-brand customers and how to get more eyes on your products by using Amazon Lightning Deals. We’ll dive into benefits, examples, if Lightning Deals are really worth it, and so much more. But what is an Amazon Lightning Deal in the first place?
What is an Amazon Lightning Deal?
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, located in the ‘Today’s Deals’ or ‘Prime Day’ tab, and are available one per customer, until either the promotional period for the deal expires or all the available promotional discounts are claimed. These deals are time-sensitive, lasting typically between 2-6 hours, encouraging shoppers to act quickly.
According to Amazon, When a Lightning Deal is available, shoppers will see the following:
- The item featured in the deal.
- Any available variations of the item (for example: different sizes or colors).
- The promotional discount amount and final price.
- A status bar indicating the percentage of deals currently in customers’ carts or purchased.
- A timer showing how long you have to add the item to your Cart and claim the promotional discount.
- An “Add to Cart” button if there are available promotional discounts.
If a purchase isn’t complete within 15 minutes, shoppers will be moved to the Lightning Deal Waitlist. Amazon notes that the ‘Join Waitlist’ button is only active when there are places available on the waitlist. The button is then reactivated when new spots become available on the waitlist.
For eager shoppers, Amazon also has a page called ‘Upcoming Deals’ under the ‘Today’s Deals’ tab where consumers can view all upcoming Lightning Deals 24-hours before they go live.
The Benefits of Amazon Lightning Deals
There are clear benefits for shoppers who act quickly on these deals—who doesn’t love a discount? But what are the benefits for sellers? Let’s break down a few top benefits of Amazon Lightning Deals for those selling on Amazon.
Quickly Increase Sales
Products that are featured in Amazon’s Lightning Deal spaces typically enjoy a nice bump in sales throughout the duration of the deal. Budget-conscious consumers are constantly looking for the best prices on Amazon and your product will become more enticing with a promotion attached. While an increase in sales is exciting, it is also important to consider that offering Lightning Deals does come at a cost to the seller. Consider your budget and overall goals before offering the promotion.
Improve Your Visibility and Rankings
Although the seller sacrifices profit in the form of a discount, offering Lightning Deals is a great marketing tool for raising awareness around a product and/or brand. As an added bonus, this promotional tactic can also increase your organic search ranking on Amazon due to an influx of purchases, page traffic, and customer reviews. This can be especially helpful for recently launched or new products.
Clear Excess Inventory
Do you have an excess amount of inventory on hand? Offering a Lightning Deal is an ideal tactic to clear your digital shelf. Many brands use these deals as a way to clear excess inventory, especially when it comes to making way for seasonal products or new merchandise.
Promote Your Entire Store
Lightning Deals are a powerful tool for promoting your entire Amazon storefront and brand. These deals bring your brand name to the forefront and even if a user doesn’t cash in on your Lightning Deal, you are still building brand awareness and increasing overall product discoverability.
How to Apply for & Create a Lightning Deal
Not every seller is eligible to create Lightning Deals, or any deals Amazon offers for that matter. There are a few steps in the process of getting your deal(s) live including meeting the seller requirements, meeting the product requirements, and creating the actual deal. Let’s break down how each step works.
Meet the Seller Requirements
The first step in the Lightning Deal process is making sure your brand meets the seller requirements. To be eligible for Lightning Deals, a seller “must be a professional seller with at least five seller Feedback Ratings per month and an overall rating of at least 3.5-stars.” (Source)
If you’re currently utilizing Amazon’s individual seller plan, you’ll need to upgrade to a professional seller account where you’ll have more access to deal creation, additional reporting tools, and access to Amazon Marketplace Web Service.
Ensure Products Meet Requirements
Once you have met all of the seller requirements, now you’ll need to ensure your products are eligible for Lightning Deals. According to Amazon, to be considered for Lightning Deals products must:
- Have a sales history in Amazon stores and at least a 3-star rating.
- Include as many variations as possible.
- Not be a restricted product or offensive, embarrassing or inappropriate product.
- Be Prime eligible in all regions.
- Be in new condition.
- Be compliant with customer product review policies.
- Be compliant with pricing policies and have a valid reference price.
- Be compliant with deal frequency policies.
Products that are eligible for Lightning Deals will be automatically displayed in the Eligible ASINs portion of your Deals Dashboard if they meet the above criteria.
Create the Lightning Deal
Now that you have met the seller requirements and the product requirements, it’s time to create your Lightning Deal. The process is fairly simple and once you’ve met all of the requirements, the steps are as follows:
- Click ‘Create a New Deal’ in your Deals Dashboard in Seller Central
- Select the product you’d like to create a deal for
- Select the date range you’d like your deal to fall within (Amazon will select the exact day/time that your deal will run)
- Enter deal price or discount per unit, and minimum deal quantity
- Submit your deal
From there, deals are either immediately approved or rejected (but allow 15 minutes for processing). Amazon will notify you of your Lightning Deal’s time and day as your time slot approaches.
To maximize your Lightning Deal’s performance Amazon recommends:
- Enhancing your brand content and A+ content
- Ensuring your deal is in the proper category
- Considering the seasonality of your products
- Checking out the competition’s pricing (on-Amazon and off-Amazon)
Are Amazon Lightning Deals Free?
There is a fee associated with running a Lightning Deal as these flash sales appear on one of Amazon’s most visited pages. The fee for a Lightning Deal starts at $150 but this fee can rise exponentially depending on the week you choose to run the discount. High-traffic weeks like Prime Day, Cyber Monday, holiday seasons, etc. come in at a higher price point due to the additional exposure your deal will receive.
“Lightning Deals are a great addition to any tentpole event like Prime Day or Turkey 5, however there tends to be a steeper discount required and a deadline to submit, so make sure you are reading the fine print ahead of those major events. Unsure if you want to participate ahead of the deadline? You can cancel any time before the deal is live, so I recommend submitting to keep the option open!”
— Audrey Ward, Team Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti
Amazon charges sellers after the Lightning Deal has run its course and you will see the deal fee appear as you work through each step of the deal creation/scheduling process so there are no surprises.
Lightning Deals vs. 7-Day Deals
Amazon offers sellers a variety of promotional offerings including Lightning Deals and 7-Day Deals. But what are the differences between them? Let’s dive into each.
Lightning Deals – As we covered, Lightning Deals are limited-time promotions (think: flash sale) that are restricted to one per customer and last for only a matter of hours. You can select the week you’d like your deal to run but Amazon has control over the date and time.
7-Day Deals – These deals are also time-sensitive as they last for seven consecutive days, giving shoppers additional time to see your discounted product(s). To participate in 7-Day Deals, you must have a professional seller account much like Lightning Deals.
Each of these promotions can be found on the ‘Today’s Deals’ page, but Lightning Deals typically get the prime real estate on the page and perform better due to their highly time-sensitive nature. If you’re unsure of which promotion to offer, try testing out both options (on different schedules) and evaluate performance.
Common Challenges with Amazon Lightning Deals
While Lightning Deals can be a fantastic resource for marketers, it’s also important to consider any potential downsides to the promotion before diving in. Check out a few of the most common challenges that come with Amazon Lightning Deals.
Amazon Rejected Your Lightning Deal
If you see that your Lightning Deal has been rejected, it’s important to double-check that you’ve completed all required fields during the setup and scheduling process. Amazon is subject to cancellation of any deals without notification if they violate policies. To ensure that your Lightning Deal makes it to the Deals page, check out the various statuses that Amazon provides during the entire process so you can ensure your deals are compliant each step of the way (these will be found in your Deals Dashboard).
Your Lightning Deal’s Time Slot Isn’t Ideal
Lightning Deals are a great way to create a sense of urgency during the path to purchase, but Amazon still has control over exactly when your deal will go live. Your deal could be featured during peak shopping hours or during the middle of the night. It’s a risk you’ll need to keep in mind and be willing to take if you’re looking to test out this offering.
Hot tip: Best-selling products that offer a high discount tend to perform better and may get a better time slot during optimal shopping hours.
Poor Lightning Deal Sales
While many brands see an increase in sales during their Lightning Deal, conversions are never guaranteed. Look into testing additional products, adjusting your discount percentages in the future, or running ads to increase deal visibility.
“Sellers are able to feature Lightning Deals in responsive ecommerce ads on DSP, which is great when retargeting those who have visited our page, but have yet to purchase or even retargeting those prior purchasers that may be in need of a refill.”
— Audrey Ward, Team Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti
Are Lightning Deals Worth It?
Let’s hear directly from Tinuiti’s Senior Manager of Marketplaces, Tess Reynolds…
“Lightning Deals are a great way to bring visibility to a brand or product and capture New-to-Brand customers on Amazon. After all, who doesn’t love a good deal? It’s important though that brands are vetting the potential discount and layering in the Amazon fees ensuring this is a profitable investment for their business.”
— Tess Reynolds, Senior Manager, Marketplaces at Tinuiti
For more information on thoughtfully incorporating Lightning Deals into your Amazon strategy, contact us today. We’d love to help get more eyes on your merchandise.