Set your calendars folks, as one of the biggest selling days of the year, Amazon Prime Day, will commence on July 10th on 6:00pm PT and last for 30 hours – longer than the year before. Millions of Amazon Prime shoppers around the world will be scouring Amazon’s marketplace looking for great discounts and exclusive deals.

Since its inception 3 years ago, Amazon Prime Day has offered Prime members fantastic deals from Amazon itself and 3rd party sellers. Although Amazon Prime Day experienced a few hiccups in its first couple of years, Amazon has made strides to improve and polish its yearly sales event. In 2016, Amazon saw a 60% increase in orders worldwide from the year before.   2017 is expected to see even more traffic.

For sellers to compete for the attention of this influx of shoppers, they need to up their game.  Here are some suggestions from Amazon on how to prepare for this surge in traffic and sell more on Prime Day.

Use Amazon Sponsored Products

With a very competitive landscape during Prime Day, merchants need to increase their visibility and Amazon Sponsored Products is the best way to do so.  Amazon Sponsored Products is a pay-per-click advertising program that lets sellers bid for top locations in Amazon’s product search results.  Any seller can participate in this program but they have to reach certain requirements –  retailers’ products must be new and not used, retailers must have an active Amazon professional seller account and be able to ship to all US addresses.

The Amazon Sponsored Products dashboard is located in Seller Central under the Campaign Manager tab and Advertising tab.  Simply select the items you would like to promote, group like items in an ad group, and select how much you would like to spend.  It is advisable to create a campaign before Prime Day to test how your ads perform.  If you are already using Amazon Sponsored Products, Amazon suggests doubling your advertising budget for Prime Day to accommodate the expected spike in traffic.  Otherwise, you risk exhausting your total advertising budget way before the end of Prime Day and therefore, losing out on potential sales.

Refine Keywords

Before Prime Day, Amazon suggests its retailers do a keyword audit to check which keywords are performing well and which keywords are not.   You can do a keyword audit by evaluating your keyword CPA:  Cost per Acquisition (keyword spend ÷ by number of units sold from that keyword = CPA).  This is important to ensure your spend on Amazon Sponsored Products not only increases sales but is ROI positive.

Make sure your keywords on your ASINs are current and not duplicated across the title and description sections.  Titles should describe the product accurately (keyword stuffing should be avoided as it can count against you).  Additionally, keywords are not case sensitive and it’s not necessary to bid on both singular and plural variations of keywords.

Amazon advises retailers to ramp up their keywords budget as well.  If you don’t increase your budget, you may not be able to take advantage of the additional traffic expected on Prime Day.  By relying on your current keyword spend, you may find your keyword budget quickly drained by the beginning of the Prime Day sale.

There are three ways to increase your keyword spend in order to increase clicks.

  • Increase your total daily budget
  • Increase your keyword bid (increasing your bids may cut into your profits so be sure to closely monitor your CPAs)
  • Or increase both

Ramp Up Your Inventory

During Prime Day, it is suggested that sellers ramp up their inventory so they won’t run out of stock early during the sale.  If this is your first time participating in Amazon’s Prime Day sale, and haven’t increased your available inventory at this point, all is not lost.  Prime Day may be a great opportunity to unload surplus inventory that may have not sold well earlier.

Good Images Are Key

Make sure you have high quality images of your products.  Images are one, if not the, most important factor customers use to decide whether or not to buy a product.  Showcasing your product in alternate views, where details can be seen, will provide the consumer a more accurate view of your product and will more likely produce a sale.  Also, make sure you follow Amazon’s image guidelines.  A violation of its guideline can result of your product listing being suppressed.

Use Email and Social Media to Promote Your Deals

Retailers still have time to promote deals to their customers and prospects using email and social media.  Amazon has created a great Prime Day Communication Toolkit for merchants that includes sample emails and social media best practices.  You can get the guideline here.

The key to a successful Prime Day sale is preparation.   Retailers still have a few more days to create and tweak ad campaigns, audit keywords, and market their deals on social media and via emails.  Use these tips to ensure you have a successful and profitable Prime Day.  Happy selling!