Nothing indicates that a company is fully ingrained in ecommerce consumer culture and behavior quite like inventing a sales holiday in the dog days of summer that ends up raking in more than $4.1 billion in global sales in 2018 ($2.6 billion of that U.S.-driven) on a single day. Amazon has done just that with Prime Day. Created in 2015 to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a company, Prime Day offers Amazon Prime subscribers very large discounts on a wide variety of Prime-eligible products. With the exception of 2015, when the first Prime Day fell on a Wednesday, Prime Day has always fallen on the second or third Monday or Tuesday of July.
For 2018’s Prime Day, which spanned 36 hours from July 16 to 17, nearly 28 percent of all U.S. online shoppers made at least one purchase on the site. Of these shoppers, 52 percent were first-time Prime Day shoppers, signaling that the explosive growth of this new shopping holiday is far from over.
Needless to say, Prime Day is a huge opportunity for advertisers to promote their products to an eager, high-converting audience. Following are a few strategies you need to consider to make it a success for your brand and your products.
Prime Eligibility and Inventory
The first step to unlocking the growth opportunities Prime Day can deliver is to ensure that all your catalog’s products are Prime-eligible. The most direct way to achieve this is by sending your inventory to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), but depending on your business goals and profit margins, this can prove costly given the various fees Amazon charges for this service. If you have your own fulfillment system that can deliver within Prime’s two-day window, your products can become eligible through Seller Fulfilled Prime (a program that allows you to ship to domestic Prime customers with two-day delivery from your own warehouse). You may need to price your products at a premium to cover these shipping costs, but earning Prime eligibility can be more important than listing a price-competitive product without free two-day shipping—especially on Prime Day.
If you have a product or a mix of products you know will convert very well on Prime Day, you’ll want to ensure you have more than enough inventory set aside to meet the demand, especially since this shopping holiday is considered “out of season” for most brands. Considering that it can sometimes take up to a month for your products to ship, be processed in FBA, and go live on Amazon, you really should start planning for Prime Day in the early spring.
Lightning Deals and Coupons
A Lightning Deal is a “too good to pass up” deal that typically runs in four-hour blocks or until all available items offered on the promotion have been purchased. This can create a situation where certain deals last only minutes due to consumer demand. Any product listed with a Lightning Deal can experience a bump in sales and conversions throughout the day, even after the deal has expired. Of course, Amazon charges an extra fee for running Lightning Deals, which increases on high-traffic days such as Prime Day. Within the Lightning Deal interface, your eligible products will automatically populate the product selection window.
Don’t expect all your Prime-eligible products to be approved for Lightning Deals— based on their algorithm, Amazon chooses a select number of products with high inventory from each seller’s catalog to ensure better visibility for sellers who choose to employ this option.
Coupons are also a great way for sellers to push sales on high-traffic days such as Prime Day. Coupon promotions can be accessed under the “Advertising” link in Seller Central. Here you can select products to advertise a coupon for, set their budget, and then activate your coupons.
Amazon has a 60-cent referral fee for each coupon used, so the budget you set for coupon usage should be based on this metric and your anticipated traffic. Coupons have visibility on these portions of Amazon: product detail pages, the Amazon Coupons page, product search results, email campaigns, shopping carts, and your coupon landing page.