This post was originally published on Entrepreneur.
The biggest shopping day in America just got longer! Amazon’s Prime Day will begin July 16 and last 36 hours, starting at noon on the 16th and running all the way through the 17th.
So, given all those millions of shoppers worldwide flocking to Amazon, what can a brand like yours do to take advantage of this increase in traffic, enabling you to enjoy “Christmas in July”? While much of the inventory preparation for Prime Day happens months in advance, there’s still plenty that brands can do to take advantage of this day. We asked some of the leading experts on Amazon strategy to share some advice on how to maximize sales for Prime Day. Here’s what they told us via email:
From Jeff Cohen, CMO of Seller Labs: “As you prepare your ads for Prime Day, plan to increase your budget and your bids. The competition for ad space will be fierce; so, to take advantage of the Amazon advertising algorithm, consider starting your increases before the event.
“Let Amazon see how your ads perform, as better-performing ads will get more exposure. Another tactic to consider is to create a campaign specifically for Prime Day. Meanwhile, pause your other sponsored ad campaigns and take your best-performing keywords and drive a lot of traffic to them.
“On Prime Day, keep an eye on your daily budget — don’t let your ads disappear! Remember, it’s not just about Prime Day, it’s the halo effect that follows.”
Run a deal.
From Joseph Hansen, managing partner of Buy Box Experts: “Just because Prime Day deals can’t be approved at this point doesn’t mean you can’t discount items which aren’t “official” deals. Our clients have seen a 60 percent to 70 percent increase in sales across SKUs that were discounted, even though they weren’t featured in a deal.
“Our clients have also seen a huge halo effect from Prime Day sales bumps: Their sales stayed elevated for weeks afterward, and their organic rankings increased substantially for several weeks.”
Maximize your inventory.
From Kiri Masters, founder of Bobsled Marketing: “Efficient inventory planning is the highest leverage activity that brands can do to prepare for Prime Day.
“Prime Day historically [has resulted] in a huge spike in traffic and sales for popular products, which in turn boosts the BSR [best seller rank]. A boost in BSR means elevated sales both during the event, as well as after the event, where we see increased sales continue into the weeks after Prime Day. Ensure you have adequate inventory available to capitalize on this surge of interest. It’s not too late to ship in more product.”
Don’t try to move slow inventory.
From Rob Gonzalez, co-founder and EVP of business development for Salsify: “Never attach poorly selling items to Prime Day promotions. It’s tempting for brands to want to give low-performing products a sales boost using a Prime Day promotion, but this is a risky strategy.
“Consumers are inundated with special deals, coming to Amazon’s site on Prime Day, and you’re much more likely to grab [their] attention and maximize sales with a discount on a popular, already mid-to-top-selling product. The cost of running a Prime Day promotion isn’t cheap, and by sticking with products you know already convert buyers at high rates, [you’ll be] giving consumers what they are really looking for …
Audit your best-sellers’ page content.
From Ryan Mulvany, founder and partner of Quiverr Collective: “Whether or not you are planning on running a sale on Prime Day, the surge of traffic alone makes it worth it to run a quick audit across your best-selling listings. Ensure your titles, bullets, images and descriptions are up to date, as we all know these can get changed without your approval from time to time.”
Get the word out.
From Kelly Fedio, Amazon seller, and partner of Elevate Growth Group: “Don’t just depend on shoppers to find your product; tell them you are running a Prime Day deal with email blasts, social media posts and paid traffic. Use the hashtag #AmazonPrimeDay, with a link to your deals.”
Clean your house.
From Tod Harrick, VP of product for Marketplace Ignition: “Have all customer questions been answered accurately? Are there responses on negative reviews? Have you addressed customer questions and complaint issues proactively in your content?
“Make sure your page indicates that you are attentive to customer feedback.”
Think of Prime Day as a dress rehearsal.
From Peter Kearns, formerly of Amazonia and now VP of client solutions for 180Commerce: “Prime Day is really the kickoff to holiday shopping, because this day can also serve as a dress rehearsal to show how well your account is positioned for upcoming key holiday shopping days, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“Brands should be using Prime Day to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Did you run out of stock? Then you need to improve your FBA replenishment strategy. Did your ad campaigns not achieve targeted impressions? Then research and use better keywords. Did the ASIN [Amazon standard identification number] see increase in traffic but not conversion? Then deep-dive into the detail page to find opportunities for improved content, or have better pricing and promotion strategies.”
Amazon Prime Day is one of the most important shopping days of the year for Amazon sellers, not just because of the increase in traffic on the day itself, but also because of the lasting “halo effect” it has, in terms of increased sales in the weeks that follow.
By ensuring that your store has made the necessary improvements, you can leverage Prime Day to increase long-term sales by strategizing for future key shopping days — like Black Friday and the big one: Christmas.