The Amazon Seller's Guide to Prime Day
The 2019 Amazon Prime Day event will feature a "two-day parade of epic deals" on July 15th-16th. Previously, the longest Prime Day event was 36 hours. The deals will kick off at midnight on July 15th and continue for 48 hours. This year's celebration of all things Prime will feature collaborations with top brands, actors, musicians and more.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of Amazon Prime Day and share tips for preparing for the annual event.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
This highly anticipated annual sales event began in 2015 as a celebration for Amazon’s 20th birthday and has grown each year. In 2018, it was Amazon’s biggest sales day ever, until that record was broken by Cyber Monday. (The same pattern occurred in 2017 as well.)
Other retailers have jumped on the bandwagon to offer similar deals around Prime Day to capitalize on a sales boost during a normally sluggish time of year. If you’re a shopper looking to make a big purchase, it might worth it to wait until around Prime Day!
This is BIG
The Amazon Prime program has grown to more than 100 million members worldwide. In 2017, Prime Day was made available to countries outside of the US: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain. In 2018, it was extended to also include Australia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Singapore. For 2019, the United Arab Emirates will be joining the other countries to participate in Prime Day.
Similar to Cyber Monday and other major online shopping events, Amazon sellers report an increase in sales in the days surrounding Prime Day. As a seller, you should be prepared for higher demand in the first half of July. Also, Prime Day 2017 was literally more than a day—the deals ran for 30 hours! (Get a peek inside Prime Day 2017 in this video featuring an interview with Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke.) In 2018, Prime Day deals ran for 36 hours and broke records despite a few technical glitches.
We anticipate that Prime Day and the days surrounding it will be a very successful time for Amazon sellers worldwide. Being prepared by having enough inventory in stock and a strategic plan for promoting products can help sellers maximize profits during this high-volume sales window. We're excited to see how this year's Prime Day compares to last year.”
-Jay Lagarde, eComEngine Founder and CEO
Plan Ahead for a Successful Prime Day
Prime Day inventory needs to be checked in at the FBA fulfillment centers by June 27th in order to guarantee inclusion in this year’s event. If you fulfill orders through Seller Fulfilled Prime, be sure to build in plenty of bandwidth for you and your team to get orders out on time.
When it comes to Prime Day advertising, this is the time to boost your budget. Amazon reports that sellers using Sponsored Product Ads saw a 150%-200% increase in ad clicks on Prime Day 2017 when compared to the previous Tuesday. Amazon recommends setting campaigns before Prime Day and allowing them to run for at least two weeks. This is a good time to be competitive and strategic with your bids.
Brands will need to make sure they are getting as much visibility as possible and converting that traffic at a high rate to have the best performance during Prime Day and Prime Day week. From a product discoverability standpoint, Amazon's suite of advertising products (Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads, Product Display Ads, and AMG display ads) are the most powerful tools in a brand's arsenal during the Prime Day period. Using these instruments, an advertiser can expand and target their reach to maximize exposure on a day when customers are coming to Amazon with high purchase intent. Once those customers find a brand's product, Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) and optimized detail page content help to maximize the conversion rate of that product by giving shoppers the confidence they are getting exactly what they want. EBC is also a great way to differentiate a brand from its competitors and address any shopper hesitations so they move from consideration to conversion."
-Pat Petriello, Head of Marketplace Strategy, Tinuiti
You can also create coupons or offer special promotions such as a percentage off to generate interest in your products. In the weeks leading up to Prime Day, make sure you have enough inventory in stock to meet the potential increased demand. Many sellers view Prime Day as an opportunity to test new products and sell items they no longer wish to stock quickly before Q4 prep takes off.
"Sellers can expect to see a huge jump in sales on Prime Day. But, the high consumer demand Amazon has created continues all 365 days a year. So the challenge is always to stock up without stocking out. This can be especially challenging after Prime Day. While selling out on Prime Day may sound great in theory, a post Prime Day stockout can cost you your place within Amazon and cause you to lose a lot of the selling momentum you've built up. Be prepared to keep your selling momentum going long after Prime Day by investing in extra stock or reinvesting your Prime Day earnings right away."
-Vicky Sullivan, Marketing Manager at Payability
If you’re a seller enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry program, make sure that your Enhanced Brand Content includes detailed product descriptions and great images. Speaking of product descriptions, it’s important to make sure your product page is optimized. Check out your listing on mobile to see if you need to make any changes for a better shopping experience, and make sure that your images highlight how awesome your products are. You can learn more about product page optimization in this webinar featuring Liz Adamson of Egility and Liz Fickenscher of eComEngine. Adamson also wrote a great follow-up piece that demystifies keyword indexing.
Seller feedback and product reviews are important components of your overall Amazon seller reputation. Great ratings can help you stand out from the crowd during a busy sales period, but negative ratings can cause significant damage to your sales.
Proactive reputation management is key to year-round success on Amazon, but having great ratings is even more crucial during a competitive time such as the weeks surrounding Prime Day and Cyber Monday. Seller feedback ratings can affect your Buy Box eligibility. Having too few product reviews (or too many negative reviews) could mean the difference between a great conversion rate and poor sales during what should be a very successful selling period. Establishing regular reputation management practices can help you keep your seller account healthy during Prime Day and beyond."
-Louis Mizzell, FeedbackFive Product Manager at eComEngine
By the way, you can use FeedbackFive to request seller feedback and product reviews, get alerts for negative feedback and more. (Click here to start your free trial!) Of course, it’s important to follow Amazon’s guidelines when communicating with customers. Need a refresher? Check out our compliance checklists for Amazon feedback and product reviews.
Amazon Prime Day By the Numbers
- 17 countries participated in Prime Day in 2018.
- In 2016, Amazon shoppers worldwide bought more than 90,000 televisions.
- Prime Day grew significantly from 2016 to 2017, with 50% more Prime members worldwide buying products.
- In 2017, US consumers bought more than 200,000 women’s dresses and more than 200,000 light bulbs on Amazon Prime Day.
- Over a million smart home devices were purchased by customers in the US during the Prime Day 2018 sales event.
You can learn more about previous Prime Days and get tips from Amazon’s Seller University here.
New for 2019: Prime Exclusive Discounts
Amazon recently announced Prime Exclusive Discounts, an advertising option that is only available to FBA sellers. Your product will be displayed to Prime members with a discounted price that is exclusive to the program. You can set your discount as percentage-off or amount-off with a minimum discounted price floor for each product.
On Prime Day, items that are discounted through Prime Exclusive Discounts will display a special Prime Day Deals badge. In order to be eligible for Prime Exclusive Discounts, products must have an average product review rating that is a minimum of three stars (or zero stars for brand new products). You can create the discounts for Prime Day 2019 through July 5th, 2019.
If you’d like to learn more about making the most of Amazon Prime Day, check out these great resources:
- Three Steps to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day: Liz Adamson discusses everything from inventory management to Amazon advertising in this article.
- Amazon Seller University: Drive Sales During Prime Day with Amazon Advertising: Video explaining how to use Amazon advertising services for Prime Day.
- Preparing for Prime Day: David Griffith shares smart tips for preparing for Prime Day in this blog post.
- Amazon Tools for Success on Prime Day: Includes information about inventory dates, Lightning Deals, promotions and listing optimization.
Do you have questions about Prime Day? Want to share your success from last year? Let us know in the comments!
This post was originally published on July 3, 2018 and has been updated for Prime Day 2019.
Originally published on May 29, 2019, updated August 12, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.