Amazon Prime Day may still be a few months away, but the submission window for Lighting Deals is open right now — and closing very soon (on 10 May 2019, to be exact).
Amazon has turned Prime Day into one of the most anticipated e-commerce events of the year. With more than 100 million purchased products, Amazon declared Prime Day 2018 the biggest shopping event in its history.
Unsurprisingly, Prime Day promotions are expensive. Maybe you’ve never participated in Prime Day because your margins wouldn’t support the elevated ad spend.
But what if you could learn how to sell on Amazon Prime Day to make a substantial profit — and more than double your sales?
In this guide, we reveal how you can prepare for “Christmas in July” and make the most of the “halo effect” that will magnify your conversions for weeks to come.
Launched in 2015, Prime Day is a summer shopping event exclusive to Amazon Prime members. Openly promoted as a pendant to Black Friday, every Prime Day consistently broke the sales record of the previous year.
Prime Day 2018 was officially the biggest shopping event in Amazon’s history — check out this infographic for more.
USA: May 10, 2019 PDT midnight (local time)
Europe: May 17, 2019 MEST midnight (local time)
Amazon keeps the exact day a secret and only reveals the date a few days in advance. That said, we can make an educated guess: Every Prime Day so far has been in early to mid-July, with a bias for Tuesdays. We’re calling 2 July or 9 July.
In 2018, Amazon extended Prime Day from 24 to 36 hours for the first time. We expect this timespan to stay the same or become longer.
At any rate, the lines are blurry here: Sellers will create deals for the weeks before and after Prime Day, making it a month stuffed with bargains.
Promoting your product to an exclusive and shopping-friendly crowd on one of the most anticipated e-commerce events of the year comes with an impressive price tag.
Prime Day was free for the first two years, but in 2017, Amazon introduced a registration fee of $500 per Lightning Deal.
The intimidating cost of Prime Day Lightning Deals might dishearten sellers who worry if the popularity of their products can sustain such an expense.
In fact, this might be a reason for the fee in the first place: a higher cost will cause Sellers to be more deliberate with their promotions — thus increasing the overall quality of Lightning Deals on Prime Day.
Prime Day breaks sales records every year, so the increase in traffic, sales, and exposure may well justify the initial investment.
Even if you can afford the sought-after promotion, your product must fulfill certain criteria to be eligible for a Prime Day Lightning Deal.
If you can’t submit your product, don’t worry — there are many more ways to cash in on the purchasing power of Prime Day.
Let’s take a look at your options.
Lightning Deals are promotions that appear prominently on the Amazon Deals page for a limited time, usually around four hours.
Sellers who offer Lightning Deals typically experience a noticeable sales boost — especially on Prime Day, when Amazon turns its own marketing machine towards these eye-catching, scarcity-inducing bargains.
Submitting a Lightning Deal doesn’t guarantee that your promotion will be displayed. With the help of an algorithm, Amazon determines the best deals out of the pool of submissions and ranks them according to sales potential.
Deals with the best price, quantity, and inventory are then awarded the best time and position on the Amazon Deals page.
Not every seller can take advantage of Lightning Deals. In order to be considered, you must fulfill the following requirements:
On top of that, you must also offer products that are eligible for Lightning Deals. You can easily find out whether your products qualify or not by checking for recommendations on your Lightning Deal dashboard.
If you cannot see any recommendations, then your products are not eligible.
As a vendor, you are responsible for agreeing on promotional funding with Amazon. That means you decide on a so-called “per-unit funding” that is added to the Base Merchandising Fee ($500 per Lightning Deal on Prime Day).
To help you plan your budget, you can also agree on a “max unit quantity”, i.e. the maximum number of units you want to provide funding for. Using the above example, if you agree to fund 100 units a funding amount of $2 per unit, your maximum cost will be $200.
Here are some tips to profit from the generous Prime Day traffic.
Amazon Coupons are a great way to grab the attention of a bargain-hunting Prime Day shopper.
Buyers might be so focussed on finding cheap deals that they skim straight past products without the Lightning Deal label.
Coupons tag each product with an unmistakable discount label, guaranteeing visibility on every page and granting customers a discount of your choice.
In addition, the bright orange coupon labels also decorate your Sponsored Products ads, so you can make your discounted product even more conspicuous if you promote it.
Amazon shoppers can discover coupons:
Good to know for Prime Day: A coupon will only become active two days after you created it — at the earliest. Set a reminder for the beginning of July.
Our recommendation: Don’t. Prime day is not a magic bullet that will save these shelf warmers. Instead, focus on optimizing and promoting your well-performing products.
They will receive much more visibility and sell better, thus increasing your ROI and improving your sales rank on Amazon.
Only for Vendors. Like Lightning Deals, ‘Deal of the Day’ promotions feature prominently on the Amazon Deals page, but they run for 24h instead of just a few hours.
On normal days, they are often the first deal a shopper will see — on Prime Day, there’s a good chance that bargain-hungry buyers will go for a ‘Deal of the Day’ as well.
Since your focus is on your showrunners, make sure they shine bright. Check if your titles, bullets, images, and descriptions are up to date — vendors in particular encounter changes without approval on a regular basis.
As part of this module, the Content Monitoring feature gives you a bird’s eye view of any unauthorized changes to your listings.
As a Seller, you will find a similar tool to optimize and track your keyword rankings in the Seller Edition.
Want to see the impact an optimized listing can have on Prime Day? Try out Sellics for two weeks — it’s free and ends automatically (no credit card required).
Of course you care about customer feedback — make sure that everyone sees it. Manage negative reviews and answer any open questions.
You should react to negative feedback as fast as possible. Sellics will instantly notify you about new reviews, so you don’t need to check manually anymore. Vendors can access this feedback management in the Chatter Module.
Vendors and Sellers with a registered brand on Amazon can make use of the increasingly powerful visual content, like Amazon Brand Stores, A+ Content (Vendors) and Enhanced Brand Content (Sellers).
Use the time until Prime Day by fleshing out your listings — you can even add videos as a Seller now! The Sellics VE Content & SEO module will show you which of your listings already have A+ Content (and which don’t).
Use Amazon Advertising, especially Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, to drive as much traffic as possible to your discounted products and deals on Prime Day.
You will face fierce competition on Prime Day, so it’s time to show your claws and get aggressive — raise your bids.
Consider setting your bidding strategy to Up and Down. Amazon will increase your (new) default bid if a click is likely to convert.
This way, you’ll maximize the likelihood that your listings receive enough impressions amid the heightened competition.
Spring cleaning your PPC campaigns is just as important as optimizing your product listing.
After all, you’re spending a considerable sum of money on Prime Day, so it’s crucial that your campaigns run as efficient as possible.
Have you researched better keywords? Added negative keywords? Spotted keywords without impressions that you need to activate on your listing?
Vendors and Sellers with Brand Registry can use Sponsored Brands (previously ‘Headline Search Ads’) to funnel shoppers to a brand-specific environment.
This is a very effective strategy because you can design a distinct Prime Day landing page and tailor your brand store to highlight your Prime Day specials.
As a bonus, you can easily share the brand store in your external outreach campaign via social media and email.
Please note: This strategy is only for new products or those you have not advertised yet.
Amazon advertising campaigns need time to acquire a decent quality score.
If you plan to advertise new items (or those you haven’t advertised before), we recommend you start your new campaigns about two months before an event — in this case, usually during the submission window for the Prime Day Lightning Deals.
Please note: This strategy is only for experienced Prime Day advertisers. If you don’t know your peak times, you should promote your deals throughout the event.
If you have a limited budget and/or know when your target group is active during Prime Day, you can increase the efficiency of your ads with Ad Scheduling in Sellics.
This strategy might also be useful if you are promoting your products in a different time zone.
On Prime Day, your campaign budgets might run dry quicker than expected. Once this happens, your ads will disappear, so make sure you’re supplying enough cash to stay visible.
If you’re worried about the expense, remember that your organic sales might also benefit from the halo effect.
For more control, you can set your ‘daily account budget’ to a fixed spending limit on Prime Day.
If you follow this guide, your sales will increase significantly on Prime Day — which can boost your Amazon bestseller rank (BSR), causing increased sales to continue well into following weeks (the so-called halo effect).
Be prepared for the best case scenario: Make sure you have enough inventory so that you don’t sell out during (or after) Prime Day and the halo effect.
Prime Day promotions aren’t cheap. Your investment needs protection, and by stocking up on your best products, you show your customers the reliability of your brand.
Last but not least, go the extra mile and tell everyone about your jaw-dropping deals: Use #AmazonPrimeDay and a link to your deals in email blasts, social media posts, and paid traffic.
Experience is a harsh but illuminative teacher. Prime Day didn’t go as expected? Now you know which parts of your Amazon business need improvement.
The most likely pitfalls will be your inventory replenishment, using the right keywords to reach your target impressions, and optimized content to convert all that extra traffic into buying customers.
A steep increase in sales usually comes with an increase in customer engagement — be prepared to answer many more questions, but also more returns and refunds. Gradually, things will return to normal and you can reset your ad budgets and bids.
Congratulations! You took a leap of faith — and finally invested in one of the most intense sales events of the year. Now that you know what to expect, you’ll be perfectly prepared for the upcoming waves of frenzied shopping: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas.
Next time, plan ahead with Sellics — doubling your sales has never been easier!
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