Get ready now, because Amazon just announced that Prime Day will begin at 2:59 A.M. (ET) on July 15th and run through July 16th. Shoppers will have a full 48 hours of Prime Day deal hunting, meaning sellers will need to prepare for the onslaught if they want to make the most of this “Christmas-in-July” extravaganza.
Prime Day is Amazon’s biggest e-commerce event and a great opportunity for sellers to boost sales, increase brand visibility, promote new products, and unload slow-moving inventory. Prime Day is the biggest sales driver for 25% of Amazon sellers and even surpassed Cyber Monday’s sales by 19% in 2016 and 33% in 2017. With more than half of US households forecast to be Prime members in 2019, the customer base for Prime Day is huge. And rest assured, these customers are buying: Prime Day did an estimated $4.2 billion in sales last year, and is expected to only get bigger. Long story short, you’ll want to capitalize on this opportunity and build momentum for your brand.
If you’re unsure how to best prepare for Prime Day or if you simply want to perform better than you did last year, we’ve got the rundown for you right here. Follow this Prime Day Prep guide to increase your brand’s visibility and plan ahead for the increased traffic and sales.
Prepare Your Inventory
Nothing else you do to prepare for Prime Day will matter much if you don’t have the inventory to support the increased demand. Look at the sales data of past Prime Days in conjunction with what promotions you’ll be running in order to determine adequate inventory levels.
Give Your Amazon Advertising a Boost
Don’t wait to optimize your ad campaigns; act now to ensure they are in great shape for Prime Day, as it takes time for changes to take full effect and for campaigns to gain traction. Consider investing more in your Amazon Advertising campaigns, which may include gradually increasing your daily spend, campaign, and portfolio budgets (if you can afford it.) To maintain ad placement, you will likely need to increase your bids to account for the increased competition. It’s reasonable to expect your bids and overall ad spend to increase by 50% or more around Prime Day, so plan to monitor your campaigns closely; you don’t want your ads going down early because you ran out of budget. You can always set budget caps at the campaign or portfolio level to keep your spending under control.
Make your advertising dollars work smarter by knowing your target audience and refining your keywords to match what those customers are searching for. Research and expand on the keywords that are converting and eliminate the ones that are not relevant; appropriate use of keywords will produce a better ROI.
Finally, review your campaigns to ensure that ALL of the products you intend to advertise are included in the appropriate campaign(s), checking that each is eligible for advertising. Take action early to resolve any issues you find.
Polish Up Your Listings
Take some time to refine and update your Amazon listings so they’ll be retail ready when customers land on your page. Here’s a quick run-down of things you can double-check:
Take Care of Your Customers
Happy customers make for future customers, so be sure to review and respond to seller feedback, product questions, and product reviews—paying particular to the negative ones. Make sure you have the support necessary for an increase in customer contacts leading up to, during, and after Prime Day. Remember to utilize your Voice of the Customer dashboard and address any issues you see there. If any of your Seller Performance metrics fall below Amazon’s established targets, respond to those issues right away. If your account is at risk of suspension, submit a Plan of Action immediately that addresses what caused the problem, how you are correcting it, and how you will prevent it from happening in the future. But if all this is feeling overwhelming, consider using a 3rd party tool for alerts on feedback and product reviews so you can stay on top of issues as they arise.
Create Promotions & Coupons
The deadline to submit lightning deals was May 10th, so if you missed it or weren’t eligible, don’t worry—there are other ways to entice Prime Day shoppers.
Promote on Social Media
Reach out to your customers on social media: Facebook, Instagram, email lists, or other platforms are a great way to alert your customers to your up-coming Prime Day deals. You can also utilize your partners, affiliates, and influencers to help drive traffic to your Amazon listings. Again, remember to be creative; competition will be crowded, and you’ll want to catch the customers attention.
Anticipate the Glitches
Prime Day is a high traffic day and is not without glitches, so expect some technological performance issues not just on Amazon, but with your other tools and systems too. Expect that Amazon sales data could be delayed for hours, if not days. You can prepare by reviewing issues that came up in past Prime Days, either on Amazon or on your end, and decide ahead of time how to respond if they reoccur. Identify your possible problems—system outages, personnel shortages, shipping supply stockouts, etc.—and devise a contingency plan. Consider having email templates or announcements for social media at the ready so you can quickly communicate to customers what the issues are and how you’re dealing with them.
Finally: Post-Prime Day Review
Whew! So you made it through Prime Day 2019. There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you’re coming down from your Prime Day high: plan for how and when to bring your advertising spending back down. Also, be ready for higher rates of returns and customer contacts in the days and weeks following Prime Day. Many sellers see a sales lift that continues for days and even weeks beyond Prime day, so be prepared to deal with that happy possibility.
Now take some time to asses: What can you learn based on your sales, inventory, and performance metrics? What kind of customer feedback did you receive during and after Prime Day? Digging into the data can help you produce better products and improve your operations. Treat Prime Day as a trial run for the upcoming fourth quarter, and you’ll have a better idea of what you might expect and how to prepare for it, so you finish the year successfully.
Stay up-to-date with Amazon seller insights and best-practices.