How to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day 2018

It’s the most wonderful day of the year. A fun-filled festive bonanza, where shoppers go wild, sales go through the roof and sellers go to bed very happy indeed…

Welcome to Amazon Prime Day.

Taking place each year in July, it’s the day when Amazon itself and sellers from all Amazon marketplaces offer discounts to Prime Members. And it leads to a huge spike in orders.

Tens of millions of Prime Members made purchases last year, on Amazon Prime Day 2017. And in 2016, around 50% of those orders were placed with Third-Party Sellers. (Like you).

Last year, Amazon has made an estimated $1 billion in sales. And if you want to grab a piece of that pie for yourself, you’ll need to make sure you’re properly prepared...

What You Need To Know About Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Everything You Need To Know

If you’re an Amazon Seller, these are the key things you need to know about Amazon Prime Day:

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Originally started as a way for Amazon to celebrate its 20th anniversary (and score some new Prime members), Amazon Prime Day is a “shopping holiday” like Cyber Monday.

That’s right - this day of deals and discounts was so popular that Amazon decided to bring it back every single year. And each year, Prime Day seems to generate more and mores sales.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

This year’s Prime Day starts at noon on Monday 16th July and lasts until midnight on Tuesday 17th July. Those start and end times are in Pacific Time - which means Prime Day will last for a total of 36 hours.

And that gives you, a highly-savvy Amazon Seller, just over a week to get ready so you can grab some of Prime Day’s record-breaking sales for yourself.

How can Amazon Prime Day benefit Amazon Sellers?

Prime Day isn’t just for the big brands - making the most of Prime Day is useful for smaller stores too.

#1 It’s a brilliantly timed boost in orders:

Amazon Prime Day takes place in the middle of the summer, when sales are slower and every seller could do with a pick up in orders. Especially sellers who’ve been eyeing up a summer getaway or are feeling the pinch after going all-out on 4th July celebrations.

And it’s also the perfect time for a mid-year clear out of any poorly-performing stock. With a few carefully chosen Prime Day deals, you can finally shift the products which have been incurring endless storage fees while gathering dust in the Amazon warehouses.

#2 A good Prime Day strategy can benefit you even after Prime Day is over

An increase in your order numbers - due to setting up some smart Prime Day deals - will cause the Amazon algorithm to sit up and take notice.

This leads to a higher visibility for your products on the search ranking pages (hello, page 1!), which can continue to pay dividends for the rest of the year.

All of this means that Prime Day is one bandwagon you definitely want to jump onto!

A Guide to Amazon’s Promotions and Deadlines for Sellers

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Guide

Here’s a quick run through of everything Amazon offers to sellers so they can take advantage of Prime day.

Note: There are also plenty of deals and discounts you can set up yourself - there’s more on those in our prime day preparation checklist in the next section.

1. Lightning Deals

Amazon Lightning Deals are premium deals which give a limited number of customers the chance to buy an item at a discounted price.

They’re available only until the promotional period ends (usually a 4-hour block) or all available discounts have been claimed.   

If your product is featured on Amazon’s Lightning Deal space, it typically sees an uptick in sales. Especially when it’s Prime Day and everyone is on the hunt for a bargain!

Amazon Prime Day Lightning Deals are available for both vendors and sellers, but you do have to apply for them...

Vendors can pick any product the wish to promote in their catalog, and then submit it for a Lightning Deal using a self-service portal.

Sellers, on the other hand, will have their eligible products pre-selected by Amazon. But that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a spot - you’ll still have to take part in the application process and submit your product for review.

You can see which of your products do meet the required criteria in the Eligible ASINs section of the Lightning Deals Dashboard.

And you’ll also have to pay Amazon a fee...

Luckily, Amazon is very upfront about the fees they charge.

You’ll see the fee displayed right by the submit button when you’re creating your deal - and the fee only applies to Lightning Deals which have been approved and run successfully.

Fees tend to be higher during Prime Day ( typically from USD 300 to USD 750),because the traffic Amazon receives during this time is significantly higher. And they also vary depending on which country you choose to run the deal in.

Note: The deadline to apply for Lightning Deals for Prime Day 2018 has now passed.

2. Deal of the Day

Deal of the Day is only available to vendors.

It’s a single product, or a small set of related products which is sold at a discounted price for one day only. You simply choose the product(s) and the price yourself.

3. Amazon Coupons

Amazon coupons are available to vendors and to sellers through Seller Central.

You can set up these promotions to direct potential customers towards a specific product, increasing its sales.

And you’ll be able to choose which of these 7 different areas on Amazon you want to place your coupons/promotions on: product detail pages, amazon coupon page, search results, amazon gold box page, email campaigns, the shopping cart and the coupon landing page.

Although they’re technically available all year round, Amazon Coupons are even more effective on Prime Day when the Amazon website sees increased traffic and visitors are already in the mood to buy.

How to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day: Checklist

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Checklist (1)

Are you ready for Prime Day? Have a read through this checklist and find out!

1. Review your inventory

Have a look through you inventory - you can find you inventory snapshot here.

First, is there any old stock you want to clear out? Then now is the time to drop the prices and get those products moving.

It’s time to make the best of a bad hand. Maybe your research convinced you these products would be best sellers, only to find out you’d jumped onboard a flash-in-the-pan craze far too late. Or maybe your competitors just have upped their game.

Either way, while you might not earn back everything you spent stocking up on them, selling those products now is way better than paying storage fees for the rest of the year.

Second, which products are you going to promote? Historically, there are certain product categories which do better than others on Prime Day...

Statistics have shown that Office Products tend to do best (with a 647.26% sales increase on Prime Day compared to baseline sales) and Electronics come second (with a 412% increase).

Other good categories to go for are Kitchen & Dining (400%), followed by Home & Kitchen (376%), Pets (346%) and Beauty (211%).

Third, are there any products you need to stock up on? It’s best to do this well in advance, as running out of stock is a sure-fire way to miss out on potential sales.

Once you’ve decided which products you’ll be promoting, you need to make sure your inventory can handle the potential influx of orders. That way, you’ll be able to meet the increase in demand on Prime Day.

Keep in mind that every other savvy Amazon Seller will also be re-stocking their stores… so Amazon’s fulfillment centers are going to be a lot busier than usual.

Try and order your inventory well in advance, if you can and consider holding additional inventory with your Freight Forwarder as this can be more cost-effective than Amazon’s storage fees in the long run.

2. Optimize your product listings

Once you know which products you’ll be promoting on Prime Day, you’ll need to make sure they have the most enticing product listing possible. After all, that’s ultimately what will persuade your customers to buy!

Make sure your product title is optimized, your featured Image is fantastic and your price is set just right. And, of course, your description should be full of killer keywords which are carefully targeted.

If you’ve been split-testing and optimizing for a while, you’ll most likely know what does and doesn’t work. In case you are not sure, apply for optimization with Judolaunch and get your listing Prime-perfect.

3. Review your advertising budget and advertising copy

Take note if you’re using Sponsored Products or Amazon Marketing Services…

Every advertiser bids much more aggressively on Prime Day. So you’ll need to increase your advertising budget to stay competitive.

How much more should you spend on advertising?

Aim for to increase your bids by at least 50% - in 2017, statistics found that CPCs typically increased anywhere from 30% to 60%, and total spend went up in the range of 100% to 140%.

And if that doesn’t seem feasible for you and your available budget, then just focus on your top converting keywords (aka the ones which drive most sales).

You’ll also need to pay close attention to your advertising copy:

Try split-testing several different Amazon Marketing Services Headline Ads and Product Display Ads, as well as Seller Central Headline Search Ads (depending on which ones of these you use).

Creative genius could strike and you might hit upon some new ad copy which increases your Click Through Rate and sales numbers… But please, make sure you get your ads approved well before Amazon Prime Day begins.

4. Set up your own deals and discounts

You don’t have to rely on the offerings from Amazon… you can successfully set up your own deals, too!

Giving a simple price discount is a good place to begin:

After all, the Prime Day deal-hunters are on Amazon to look for discounts! They’re perfectly happy to open their wallets and spend their money, as long as they see deals they like.

Even if they weren’t originally planning to buy it, the right discount will make your product seem like a bargain which can’t be missed...and they’ll end up buying twelve, instead of just one. (Every member of their extended family will be getting your novelty toaster for Christmas this year).

So be sure to set up promotion rules to run during Prime Day.

You can also use the price drop to incentivize your almost-purchasers:

Decreasing your product price will also make sure any customers who have your product waiting in their Shopping Cart or saved in their Wish List are nudged to make that purchase.

Changing the price of your product triggers a notification to these customers, which could push them to finally make that purchase they’ve been eyeing up.  

Consider other promotions if your fulfill your own SKUs:

A few great options are to offer free premium shipping or two-for-one deals.

This should help you increase cross-selling and boost your Average Order Value (an important indicator of profit on Amazon).

5. Send your customers a little love note

If you have a list of email subscribers who love your products and/or your brand, now is the time to reach out and connect with them.

(In case you do not, this is a feature called List Boom Judolaunch is offering for each client together with a product launch for free. Take advantage of this!)

Remind them that you appreciate them and value them...and that great deals are coming their way for Prime Day.

Make sure you send them links to your discounted products on Prime Day, so that they can easily click through if they’re interested.

You can also make good use of Amazon’s Prime Day communication package, which all eligible sellers have access to. You can use their copy to help you write your own and their graphics/images will help your email look more professional.

Don’t Wait Until Prime Day: The Best time to do a Product Launch is NOW

Yes, we know we’ve spent the whole of this article talking about how awesome Prime Day is and how much you stand to benefit from it.

But the truth is, you can gain even more from it by launching before Prime Day actually begins.

Doing a product launch before Prime Day will increase your visibility, rankings and exposure (and therefore also your sales) by the time Prime Day actually rolls around.

A successful launch will cause the Amazon algorithm to pick up on your product and rank it higher in the organic search results - which means that when the Prime Day deal-hunters arrive, you’ll be right there waiting for them on page 1.

Since Prime Day is just around the corner, you can find the help you need to launch quickly and successfully here.

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