With Amazon Prime Day, (July 11th) just around the corner, it’s never too early to start prepping for what is considered one of the biggest shopping days for the Amazon Marketplace.

FREE GUIDE: The Seller’s Guide to Amazon Prime Day

In the meantime, sellers should prepare for the influx of traffic, especially if they want to dominate among their competitors.

In the following blog post, we will discuss:

    • The evolution of Amazon Prime Day since it’s debut in 2015.
    • What Amazon is currently doing to improve the Prime Day shopping experience.
    • And finally, how those changes will impact your advertising strategy in 2017.

 

Recap: What happened on Amazon Prime Day 2016?

According to reports, last year Amazon customer orders surpassed Prime Day 2015 by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the U.S.

It was also the biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally and record Prime Day for each Amazon device category including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and Alexa-enabled devices.

Prime Day featured more than 100,000 deals world wide and U.S. Prime Day members saved more than double on deals.

amazon prime day 2017

Popular item purchases included:

    • Amazon Echo (up over 2.5x compared to previous record day)
    • 24,000 Double Hammocks by Vivere
    • 23,000 iRobot Roomba 614 Vacuum Cleaning Robots
    • 14,000+ Lenovo laptops

 

Globally, the top selling items included:

  • U.S.: Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker
  • UK: Oral-B Pro 6000 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity and Smart Series
  • Spain: SanDisk USB memory stick
  • Japan: Calbee Breakfast Cereal 800 grams
  • Italy: Lexar JumpDrive
  • Germany and Austria: Tefal Jamie Oliver Frying Pan
  • France and Belgium: Game of Thrones DVD – season 1 to 4
  • Canada: Sennheiser HD 598 Special-Edition Over-Ear Headphones

 

The Evolution of Amazon Prime Day

The initial hype for Amazon Prime Day back in 2015 was pretty substantial. There’s not many retailers capable of creating their own shopping holiday, especially one to rival Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

amazon prime day 2017

According to an article by Forbes, Amazon spokesperson Julie Law called Prime Day a calculated “business expense.”

Prime Day surfaced for 2 primary reasons: First, to stimulate shopping among already existing Prime members and second, to attract new members with free trials.

Judging from the data, Amazon’s Prime Day marketing strategy worked. Today, nearly half of U.S. households have an Amazon Prime membership, according to an report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

The report also estimates that the number of Amazon Prime memberships in the U.S. jumped 35% to 54 million in 2016.

But Amazon’s first Prime Day also suffered some backlash from unhappy customers.

In July 2015, a flood of bitter social media posts poured in from customers pinning Prime Day with hashtags such as #AmazonFail, and notifying fellow Prime Day shoppers to #gobacktosleep.

Adobe Social tracked the term #Primeday and found that 50% of the buzz related to sadness – not the kind of media buzz Amazon was probably hoping for.

prime day 2017

But despite consumer complaints over Amazon Prime Day’s debut, sellers saw a dramatic increase in incremental revenue & Amazon’s overall sales soared 93%.

Amazon Prime Day 2017 Updates

Starting last year and continuing into 2017, Amazon is now implementing changes to improve the selection of items and discounts offered to their customers.

Amazon has also ramped up the sophistication surrounding the management of their self-made shopping holiday.

One of the main updates is how Amazon is now handling their Amazon Prime Day Lightning Deals submissions.

For those who don’t already know, 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, including the Gold Box page and are available one per customer, until either the promotional period for the deal expires or all the available promotional discounts are claimed.

amazon prime day

Products that are featured in Amazon’s Lightning Deal spaces (especially on Amazon Prime Day) typically enjoy a bump in sales throughout the duration of the deal.

BLOG POST: What Are Amazon Lightning Deals?

In 2016, Lightning Deal submissions were handled by “human” contacts at Amazon – but starting in 2017, all applications will be processed through Amazon’s Deal Submission engine.

nick-sandberg-1Why? Well, it’s safe to say Amazon wants to curate their offers for Prime Day on the front end to make sure they are offering customers the best deals on already popular products.

“Though sellers will not have control, ultimately this will be best for everyone as it elevates the quality of the deals making Prime Day even more important to the market and Amazon even more of a destination for ecommerce,” Nick Sandberg, Marketplace Program Management Developer at CPC Strategy said.

If you want to learn more about Lightning Deals, you can check out our recent post: 2017 Lightning Deal Submissions for Prime Day.

The Amazon Prime Day Prep Checklist

Although Amazon has made changes to pre-select items for their Lightning Deal specials, there are still a number of ways that Amazon sellers can put their best foot forward in mid-July.

With the increase in traffic to Amazon on this day, Amazon sellers need to prepare their marketing arsenal – especially their Sponsored Products (& Amazon Marketing Services, AMS) strategy – to take full advantage of Amazon Prime Day.

1. Optimize Product Detail Pages:

Optimize your product detail page with updated images, product descriptions, and product titles in time for Prime Day.  If you haven’t already implemented Enhanced Brand Content, it might be a good time to do so. Adding EBC or A+ Content to your product detail pages may result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales when used effectively.

2. Set Budgets Higher:

Set daily budgets for your Prime Day campaigns significantly higher than the daily campaign spend you typically see. You can re-adjust the daily budget at any time after Prime Day.

3. Increase Bids:

Increase bids to help capture lift in impressions throughout Prime Day. Amazon Marketing Services campaigns saw between a 50% to 100% lift in ad impression on Prime Day 2016 compared to the day before.

4. Turn on Bid+:

Turn on Bid+ for Sponsored Products campaigns to help increase your ads chances of appearing in the Top placement. When Bid+ is turned on, Amazon may increase your keyword bid by up to 50% on ads that are eligible for this placement.

5. Focus on Inventory & Pricing: 

Two of the biggest factors that will impact the success of a seller on Prime Day are inventory and pricing. Sellers should stock-up on inventory and treat it similarly to Q4 holiday sales. Especially for imported goods, you want to make sure you are prepared and allow enough time for FBA shipments.

Effective inventory management will ensure you don’t run out of products to sell when customers are looking to buy and your cash is properly invested in the right products so you can keep turning inventory over for a profit.

6. On Prime Day Monitor Your:

    • Daily budget: If your campaign is out of daily budget, increase your budget to help
      reach shoppers throughout the day.

 

    • Impressions by keyword: If impressions are low, increase the bid to maximize your
      reach.

 

    • Click-Through-Rate: If CTR is low, increase bids across your keywords to remain
      competitive.

 

    • Sales by keyword: If keyword is performing well, consider increasing the bid to help
      you maintain or win additional impressions on that keyword

Pro-Tip: Keep in mind, Amazon sales data can take up to 3 days to update and campaign edits may take 1 hour to update.

Final Takeaways

“It can’t be emphasized enough that all sellers, whether they are participating in Prime Day promotions or not, should anticipate a higher level of orders than usual and should adjust their inventory levels appropriately,” David Cooley, Manager Marketplace Channels at CPC Strategy said.

“Most sellers we worked with during Prime Day saw a boost in total volume even if they didn’t have a Lightning Deal or other type of promo going on at the time due to the massive bump in overall Amazon traffic.”

“That’s not to say that orders will double or triple, but the difference should be noticeable for most sellers as traffic levels spike that day.”

To learn more about Amazon Prime Day, email tara@cpcstrategy.com

 

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About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.