Getting Ready for Prime Day: Secret Tips From an Ecommerce Expert
Amazon Prime Day is fast approaching, and for many sellers this will be their biggest sales day of the year.
Even in the wake of a global pandemic and supply chain disruptions, Amazon Prime Day 2021’s gross merchandise volume grew 7% (down from 54% in 2020). With supply chains slowly recovering and mandates being lifted, there’s no reason to think Amazon will not see significant growth during 2022’s Prime Day event.
Although the supply chain is gradually making progress, there are many sellers that need to carefully plan whether their inventory can handle the rapid surge of sales in July.
These sellers (if they even decide to participate) will have to carefully plan every detail for their Prime Day promotions—from coupons to price changes. This article will both outline some strategies to prepare for Prime Day and provide some data on what to expect.
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A Quick Amazon Prime Day Checklist
While I will dig into Amazon Prime Day must-dos below, I want to share a quick checklist that you should always keep at hand in the weeks leading up to Prime Day.
Make sure to complete each step below and you should be well equipped to capitalize on the Prime Day craze and make the most of the hottest Amazon sales season:
- Start to get a handle on the inventory situation: What shipments have arrived, what will be in Amazon FBA, how many units will I be able to sell?
- Do a thorough review of the listing and check:
- Titles are all correct, readable, and contain the necessary keywords.
- Descriptions have not been changed and contain all the necessary information.
- A+ content has been updated and is ready to go.
- Are there any quick changes I can make that I’ve tested in the past?
- Do I have all my advertising assets and copy ready to go?
- Is the storefront updated? If not, have I scheduled a storefront version to go live on Prime Day?
- Are there any questions in the question section that need answering?
- Are there any bad reviews that need addressing?
- What’s the current refund rate of the product?
- How are my Amazon competitors’ stocks and inventory status?
You probably already know how to go through most of the steps on this checklist, but I will address some of the hardest questions—from how to check Amazon competitors’ stocks to how to pick between a deal and a coupon.
Prime Day Do’s, Or How Sellers Can Best Prepare For It-Day on Amazon
Picking the Right Products to Feature
With stock likely being an issue for most sellers, it is vital that you carefully choose which items you can heavily promote during Prime Day.
As most Amazon sellers know, going out of stock can drastically drop your organic rankings if it continues for an extended period.
Regaining positions will likely be expensive as you’ll want to be aggressive in regaining rank quickly through ads, deals, coupons, or price drops. These expenses could easily be more than any revenue that you net on Prime Day.
To pick the right product, obviously, look at your inventory and lead time. If there’s a chance you might stock out, then I suggest don’t take it.
Even without deals, you will likely see an increase in conversions anyway. Even without coupons, you are going to see a drastic increase in KPIs during Prime Day.
Here’s a brief rundown of what you can expect from a product during Prime Day, even without any deals:
As expected, even without a coupon or deal, you’re still going to see an increase in revenue and conversion rate.
This is because even though your listing doesn’t have a deal, users are still in buying mode. Their wallets are open and carts are full. If your listing is strong and meets the consumer's need, then you’re getting added.
Yes, your conversion rate and CTR will take a hit; however, from my experience, it will bounce back quickly during the “Post-Prime Hangover”. Even better is if your Amazon competitors stock out during Prime Day due to being too deal-aggressive.
For those products that you can highlight as potential products for deals, there are several steps you can take to lighten the load of excess inventory.
When this article posts, the deadline to submit Prime Day Deals will have passed. However, there are still some steps you can take to get the most out of the event.
Performing a Listing Audit
A bad product listing with low-quality photos, unoptimized description, and lackluster A+ content will cost you greatly.
Why put emphasis on your listing quality?
- Increases conversion rate, which directly increases organic ranking.
- Decreases money spent on ineffective advertising.
- Decreases negative customer reviews.
- Takes sales away from your competitor.
Chances are if you’re reading this, you have been a seller for quite a while and have probably read countless articles about how to best optimize your listing.
If you have any questions about the specifics of listing quality, simply use Semrush’s Listing Quality Check to take a deeper dive into your listing.
If you are a more advanced seller, then you know what works with your listings and what customers expect.
Leading up to Prime Day, I rarely make any drastic changes to listings due to the fact that I do not want to lose sales with a change I haven’t thoroughly tested. Prime Day is not the time to be A/B testing anything on a listing.
How to See Competitors’ Stock Quantity?
Checking Amazon competitors’ inventory is one of the most important tips that sellers often forget to consider.
Sellers often spend too much time focusing on what they can offer to think about whether they even should. While there are no tools that can give you an insight into competitors’ exact inventory situation, there are some tips you can use to give you an idea.
- Use the Amazon “Add to Cart” to give you the exact quantity your competitor has in stock. This is an old trick that every seller should know already.
- Simply add the quantity “999” to your cart and if they have less than that quantity, then Amazon will tell you how many are left.
- Click “Update” and you will get the following message:
- From here, you can now check your competitor’s stock daily to have a good idea of what their sell-through rate is and how much inventory they will have during Prime Day.
Could they get more inventory in between now and Prime Day? Absolutely. However, if they receive their inventory via international shipments, you can use tools such as ImportYeti or Import Genius to loosely gauge their restocking activities.
If you find your main competitor is running low on stock and will most likely stock out, then the best plan of action would be to save some money by reducing the discount amounts and ensuring that you remain in stock.
After they’ve stocked out, the category is yours until their new inventory arrives. Take advantage of this time and make sure you remain in stock.
Using Coupons: Is it a Must-Do?
If you do decide to go the coupon or price change route, then here is what to expect from the discount levels on your products. To analyze these discounts, I took the number of coupons clipped to cart vs. the number of the coupons used in the purchase.
In comparison, here is the redemption rate compared to discounts that are a fixed value:
For this example, this was the spend over a 6-month period of a product with a value of around $150.
In this case, in terms of value, the fixed prices outperform the percentage discounts. A 20% discount on the $150 gives the customer $30 in savings. The redemption rate for this coupon averages 29% for the item. Alternatively, the $30 discount results in a 36% redemption rate for the same item. Both discounts will cost the seller the same amount of money; however, in this case, the fixed discount will outperform.
This psychology can be explained by the “Rule of 100”, which states for items over $100 a fixed-dollar coupon will outperform a percentage off. For items under $100, it is the opposite. Keep this in mind when choosing what discount levels you want to use.
Coupons Increase Click-Through Rate
Another advantage to using coupons is the boost in traffic it will give your listing.
Regardless of whether it’s for 5% or 30%, including a coupon with your product will give you greater visibility in the SERPs as you will have that bright-green banner with a percentage off. This will catch the user’s eyes while they scroll through the search results.
Thanks to Seller Central’s new Search Query Performance data, we can now track our listing performance for any given keyword over time. For those unaware, this is located in Brand Analytics and can provide the following:
For this, I tracked the performance of four keywords over a search query volume of 50K+ during an 8-week period to analyze coupon vs. no coupon. The following results were found:
As you can see, adding a coupon considerably increases the performance of your listings. If you’re looking to increase your sales during Prime Day, then this is an easy and optimal strategy.
Price Changes vs. Deals
A common tactic that many sellers use is gradually increasing their prices leading up to Prime Day and then dropping them substantially to make the offer seem more appealing.
In fact, a recent Amazon pricing study by Semrush proved that this is a pretty common strategy among sellers prior to the hottest sales seasons.
But the most important thing is to find out what are your competitors doing?
This is a manual process but can give you great awareness into what your competitors are planning to do this year during Prime Day.
To unwrap this, I used Seller Central’s Brand Analytics tool to pull the top-10 performing ASINs across the Baby, Electronics, and Toys departments. I then used a price-tracking tool (in this case Keepa) to log the ASINs’ prices in the weeks leading up to Prime Day and after.
Of the ASINs tracked, nearly 60% of the listings had a price increase in the 6 weeks leading up to Prime Day.
The average increase of those listings was 10.5% over the period. Nearly 20% of listings kept their prices the same, and the rest decreased prices. Of those listings that increased prices, the average discount during Prime Day was 21.9%.
How common is this? Below are the prices of the top-performing products before, during, and after Prime Day 2021:
As expected, most major products did have a major price drop and deal during Prime Day. However, after Prime Day, most products remained at a price lower than the pre-Prime Day numbers.
In any case, you can set up alerts for any listing’s Buy Box and price changes with the help of Semrush’s Amazon Listing Alerts tool and automate a big part of the price-tracking process.
Regardless of what you do during Prime Day, you are going to see elevated numbers.
Just remember to keep your inventory and your competition’s stock situation in mind when planning Prime Day 2022.
If you can reap the benefits of Prime Day without going out of stock or sacrificing significant margins to give discounts, then you’re already ahead; because your strategy should always be more than just setting a coupon or lightning deal and forgetting about it.
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Once you are through all the steps from this post, you can take your Prime Day preparations even further with some Last-Minute Tips for Being in Full Ready Mode on Prime Day.