Amazon Prime Day isn’t here yet, but sellers need to act now to achieve optimal results for the highly anticipated summer retail sales event.
Although no official date has been released AmazonIt has been widely reported that the popular two-day event will most likely be held again next month. Last year it took place on July 12th and 13th (and was announced by Amazon in mid-June). That makes mid-July, on or around July 11th and 12th, a logical bet.
There is a lot at stake for sellers. Amazon has more than 200 million paying Prime members worldwide. Last year, Prime members bought more than 300 million items worldwide on Prime Day – a record, according to the company. Additionally, sales traffic tends to be higher in the days before and immediately after the two-day event, making it more of a week-long sales opportunity for sellers.
Of course, some of the biggest purchases are going to retail giants, from Apple products to Shark vacuum cleaners, which were among the most purchased items last year. The economy has also weakened and retail demand has declined. Still, this year is expected to be another big year as 68% of consumers are expected to shop on Prime Day, according to a report from Jungle Scout, which provides software and research for Amazon sellers.
Sellers can start preparing by getting information straight from the horse’s mouth. Amazon offers Videos from Seller University about how to maximize your profits on Prime Day. For example, it’s about the importance of concise, relevant titles, product listings with extensive details, and keywords that are likely to appeal to customers.
Here are some additional steps that experts at e-commerce platform Amazon say sellers should take now to proactively prepare:
Keep track of storage periods and available inventory
Amazon recently told sellers to have their Prime Day inventory ready in U.S. fulfillment centers by June 15, according to Chris Compean, co-founder and chief executive of Mayan, a provider of inventory and advertising automation technology for Amazon sellers. Sellers may also consider fulfilling some orders themselves.
If possible, sellers should use data from previous years to determine the ideal amount of inventory. In the absence of data, a general rule of thumb is to plan to sell at least twice as much as usual over the two days, Compean said. In the current economic environment, it’s difficult to keep inventory just right – even the largest retailers have struggled following the pandemic boom, inflation and consumer slowdown in 2023 – but in general, sellers should always have products available for 60 to 90 days have stock. “As long as you’re generally well-funded, you’ll be fine with Prime Day,” Compean said.
Start your Prime Day marketing two weeks early
At least two weeks before Prime Day, sellers should start building their visibility, said David Hutchinson, vice president of marketplaces at NP Digital, a digital marketing agency. As part of this initial effort, sellers will also need to determine how they will compete, whether by cutting prices, offering flash deals – a discount over a short period of time – or using coupons on Prime Day, or by running such promotions, possibly for a few days before and after the two-day event, he said. Lightning deals, for example, can improve brand awareness and increase sales, but they can also fail. While couponing can increase seller visibility, they must have enough inventory to handle the potential surge in sales.
Use Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Amazon provided URL links
Sellers should promote deals they want to offer on their various social media sites and their dedicated Amazon Store page.
“You want to get Prime customers searching for your brand on Prime Day,” Compean said.
Amazon allows sellers to create URLs to include in their Prime Day social media posts. So be sure to do this. “You want customers to be able to click right on your Instagram post, go to Amazon and buy the product right away,” said Mike Scheschuk, president of small and medium-sized businesses at Jungle Scout. “The same goes for TikTok, YouTube or Facebook or whatever social media platform you want to post on,” he said.
Using Amazon URLs ensures that your sales analytics are sufficiently detailed. “You don’t just track that you got three hundred clicks on one post. You can actually see what they purchased as a result,” Hutchinson said.
Don’t be stingy – offer deals on all products
The top-selling items in the U.S. on Prime Day in past years have included beauty items, pet products, kitchenware, children’s clothing, toys, electric toothbrushes, electronics, and outdoor gear and apparel. Of course, small businesses are also competing for consumer dollars with some of the biggest brands, with Apple products, Shark vacuum cleaners and premium beauty brands also among the top sellers on Prime Day. Compean recommends sellers offer Prime Day deals on all of their products to maximize potential sales.
Don’t forget to advertise before and after Prime Day
Sellers should plan to spend more on advertising in the days before and immediately after Prime Day, when traffic tends to be higher. According to Jungle Scout e-commerce data, average ad spend per brand increased 320% on “typical days” last year and was up 11% compared to Prime Day 2021.
Budgeting can be difficult, especially for sellers who don’t have comparable data from previous years, said Dan LeBlanc, co-founder and chief executive of Daasity, an e-commerce analytics platform. In this case, sellers should budget adequately so that they don’t feel pressured if the ads don’t generate returns. A general rule of thumb might be double a normal day’s amount. “You don’t want to put your entire marketing budget into this week,” he said.
Check your customer reviews and product listings in advance
Sellers should use the weeks leading up to Prime Day to pay close attention to reviews and ensure their products are easy to find. This could include using paid keyword research tools to help companies find out which keywords are trending on Amazon or were popular on Prime Day last year.
Popular keywords aren’t always obvious, although they fall into categories known as Prime Day winners. Examples that were popular last year Prime Day deals include “gel nail polish,” “baby clothes,” “wall clock” and “router,” according to data from Feedvisor, a seller information platform.
Sellers can also test which product images resonate most with customers, Scheschuk said. This is typically done by conducting A/B testing to find out what content, including product images, resonates most with customers using a service provided by Amazon, he said. In A/B testing, one group of customers sees one version of the content while a second group sees the other. Sellers can then check which version produced the best results and use that in the future.
It’s not possible to give precise advice about images – there are case-specific A/B tests for that – but in general: Advice for Amazon Sellers suggests that the images used should be clear and either product or lifestyle oriented. Additionally, it’s best to keep the product as identifiable as possible – can shoppers immediately tell what’s being advertised when they see the creative?
Get a small business badge to stand out from the crowd
Many small businesses have not applied for a small business badge that identifies products from US-based small business brands.
“A lot of people want to support small businesses,” Hutchinson said. “All things being equal, if there is a difference of a few cents, you as a consumer will probably be on the side of the small business and not on the side of a large corporation. This is another way to stand out on Prime Day.”
The Small Business Badge is free, but there are certain limitations imposed by Amazon, which sellers can learn more about by visiting Seller Central, Amazon’s management portal for third-party sellers.
Amazon uses the Gartner definition of small business to determine which sellers qualify. This means they must have fewer than 100 employees and annual revenue of less than $50 million. Additionally, a brand must register with the Amazon Brand Registry or participate in the company’s Handmade Program for artisans, according to eComEngine, which offers software to support Amazon sellers.
Remember, this isn’t Black Friday – focus on Amazon
Especially for Prime Day, don’t try to drive traffic to other shopping sites you may be listed on, such as Shopify or Walmart, as the majority of people won’t be looking for deals there. “It’s not Black Friday,” Hutchinson said.
Start thinking about next year’s deadlines
Amazon offers certain Prime Day promotional benefits to eligible businesses that meet its requirements, LeBlanc said. However, the deadlines for these benefits are months in advance. Thinking ahead for next year can help sellers take advantage of these special advertising opportunities, he said.