Amazon Prime Day, Amazon’s annual sales extravaganza, is officially set to begin at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, July 16. Now in its fourth year, Prime Day has turned into the definitive Amazon shopping day. Not only did 2017 sales surpass both those of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they were up 60% from Prime Day 2016, reaching an estimated $2 billion.
For this year’s Prime Day, Amazon made a few changes. The sale will now go on for 36 hours, up from 30 hours last year. It’s also been expanded to include Australia, Singapore, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, along with the US, UK, Spain, Mexico, Japan, India, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Australia. Lastly, Amazon Prime users have a chance to win a new Lexus ES.
For e-Sellers, all of this means that they can expect even more traffic to their stores than last year, providing a great opportunity to boost sales, unload extra inventory and increase your exposure. To maximize your chances for a successful day, however, it pays to know how to navigate the Prime Day landscape. In this blog, we’ll outline a few tips to help you prepare for Prime Day and the craziness that goes along with it.
Lightning Deals: Are They Worth It?
Amazon Lightning Deals – limited time promotions on specific products – are a great way to make a lot of sales quickly. This is especially true on Prime Day when sellers can expect significantly more eyeballs on their listings. Getting your product featured in a Lightning Deal campaign is not always easy, though.
2017 Prime Day requirements included pricing your product at least 20% less than its lowest price over the last 60 days, shipping $5,000 worth of the product to fulfillment centers and paying a $500 fee per Lightning Deal on Prime Day ($300 on Prime Week). This makes Lightning Deals a risky proposition for sellers—even after these up-front costs are paid, there is no guarantee that the sale will be a success.
It’s important to remember that even if your product is not part of a Lightning Deal, you can still take advantage of the increase in Prime Day traffic. By offering your own discounts and promotions (e.g., expedited shipping, a gift with every purchase, etc.), you’ll be able to draw in new customers, increase positive word-of-mouth and promote your store.
While Lightning Deals might seem like the ideal way to quickly increase your sales on Prime Day, remember that they are not the only way. For sellers who are unable (or unwilling) to pay Amazon’s Lightning Deal fees, keep in mind that there are other ways to take advantage of Prime Day and attract new customers.
The Pros and Cons of FBA Fulfillment
On a normal day, shipping can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth and business growth. On Prime Day, when you’re likely to see an increase in store traffic and purchases, this is doubly true.
The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program is a great way to ensure the timely and accurate shipping of your products. With FBA, Amazon is responsible for storing, packing and shipping your products from one of their fulfillment centers.
Additional benefits of registering for the FBA program include:
- Prime shipping – Sellers are able to offer Prime shipping for their products
- Customer service – Amazon provides customer service for all products shipped through the FBA program.
- Increased exposure – Customers looking for a specific product can filter their search results according to which sellers use FBA. This gives your store more exposure than you would have if you were using a different fulfillment method.
That being said, there are disadvantages to the FBA program, making it not necessarily a good fit for every eSeller. In addition to fulfillment fees for picking and packing orders, shipping and handling, customer service and product returns, Amazon charges for both warehouse storage space and long-term storage.
While these costs might sound extreme, be sure to consider what your fulfillment capabilities are in advance of Prime Day and whether you’ll be able to meet the increase in demand your store is likely to see.
Additional Prime Day Considerations
In addition to the points outlined above, there are several considerations you should take into account ahead of Prime Day, including:
- Inventory management – Ensuring that you have enough inventory on hand to meet increased demand on Prime Day is critical for fulfilling orders on time and maintaining customer satisfaction.
- Product page optimization – Before Prime Day gets here, be sure to go over each of your product pages to optimize content and images.
- Generate positive word-of-mouth – Now is a good time to get the word out regarding your Prime Day sales. Email blasts and social media campaigns are good ways to get the word out and attract new customers.
If you haven’t already started prepping for Amazon Prime Day, now is the time. While there are a lot of things to consider ahead of July 16th, the tips outlined here can get you started on the right path towards having a successful day.