Prime Day 2021 is just around the corner. Are you ready to seize the opportunity? Or are you feeling unsure about what levers you should be pulling?
Business Insider ranked Bobsled as one of the top Amazon firms, and we’ve been crushing Prime Day (PD) on behalf of our clients since 2015. The challenge of the event is that PD impacts every aspect of your business – inventory management, customer service, brand management, organic marketing, and advertising… everything needs to be aligned perfectly.
To get a grasp on all the moving parts, check out our PD 2021 prep guide below.
There has been no announcement from Amazon yet about when Prime Day 2021 will take place. Some industry leaders are claiming the event will happen in June, others are suggesting it may take place later in the year around the end of August.
📧 Bobsled will share the news the moment we have Amazon's official confirmation – sign up to our mailing list so you don’t miss a thing.
Determine Your Prime Day Goals
If you’ve been selling on Amazon for a while you will have some useful historical PD performance data about what has worked well for your brand in years gone by. This simplifies things – you can replicate winning strategies and avoid experiments that didn’t yield results.
Brands that are newer to the Amazon platform will have to start from scratch. Over the next month, they will have to make important decisions about how they wish to participate in PD 2021.
An important thing to keep top of mind is that due to the ubiquity of the event, even if you don’t care about Prime Day, Prime Day cares about you. Whether you choose to allocate additional inventory and ad budget for PD-focused deals or not, the marketplace will change dramatically before, during, and after the event. You can expect:
- More ‘browsing’ traffic in the lead-up. These are Amazon shoppers that put together wishlists and then wait until PD to see what deals go live before making a purchase decision. Therefore, in the weeks leading up to PD, you should expect paid and organic conversions to decrease slightly.
- Traffic on Amazon will go up drastically during the PD event.
- Your direct competitors will be trying to win PD conversions through a combination of boosted PPC spend and PD deals.
- Brands that did well during the PD window will observe a ‘halo effect’ afterwards. This is because more conversions during PD leads to more product reviews and a better Best Seller Rank (BSR).
In summary, due to the rampant competition across all product categories, Prime Day is very much a ‘pay-to-play’ affair. Brands can choose not to tweak their PPC efforts or run any short-term promo deals in order to preserve their channel profit margins. On the other hand, brands that invest wisely in PD promos can achieve massive results, setting them up to overtake competitor brands in their space.
💡 Learn more about how Bobsled brands performed during last year’s PD event – Prime Day 2020 Recap
With certain PD deals, there’s an expectation about how many units you need to make available for each deal. It’s also important to factor in how many additional units beyond deals that you expect to sell over the Prime Day period.
Poor inventory management across high traffic periods such as PD can lead to devastating amounts of lost revenue, as evidenced by the below infographic.
For sellers this may mean sending in additional FBA inventory, and strategically reserving units that you can decide when to bring back online. If sending more FBA inventory to Amazon is not an option, having the capacity to Merchant-fulfil orders is the next best solution.
💡 Here is more information about Bobsled’s recommended inventory management strategies.
Vendors are a little more constrained as their inventory levels are controlled by Amazon’s Purchase Orders. For more tips on how vendors can prepare for PD check out our recent post - Amazon Prime Day 2021 Vendor Operational Preparedness.
Customer Service and Buy Box Protection
A higher volume of customer inquiries is to be expected before, during, and after PD, so make sure you are ready. Poor customer service on and around Prime Day could have lasting ramifications for your brand.
And don’t forget to review any product listings where you are struggling to maintain control of the buy box. Unauthorized third-party sellers are a huge problem for both vendors and sellers on the Amazon marketplace because they can steal conversions from right under your nose.
During a period like Prime Day, traffic on Amazon will spike, and many customers will be trying to find the absolute best deal for every product on their wish list. If a competing seller is undercutting you on price and winning the buy box this means your PPC campaigns will stop running. Therefore, it’s in your best to take control of your full Amazon catalog well before PD kicks off.
In the lead-up to PD, brands know that millions of Amazon shoppers will be adding items to their wishlists. Therefore, it’s a great idea to modify your Amazon Storefront to give shoppers a taste of what deals will be landing on PD. And furthermore, you can prep another version of the Storefront which you can activate when the deals go live.
Above: Amazon shoppers can visit a brand’s Storefront by clicking the link just below the title on the product listing.
Tweaking your Storefront for each seasonal retail event is something that all successful Amazon sellers do. 💡 To get some ideas, check out Best Amazon Brand Stores: Tips, Mistakes, and Examples.
Advertising (PPC & DSP)
Here are all the different advertising strategies brands should be considering in anticipation of PD 2021.
- Sellers should consider enabling Sponsored Display retargeting at least one month before PD (the Sponsored Display look back period is 30 days). This means interested customers will get retargeted throughout the PD media blitz. Learn more about Sponsored Display advertising – Amazon Sponsored Display vs DSP
- Larger brands with bigger ad budgets should consider DSP as a way to win more ‘top-of-funnel’ brand awareness which can lead to big wins when PD deals take effect. Learn more – What Is Amazon DSP and How Can It Boost Sales?
- As a general rule, brands should decrease ad budgets slightly in the lead-up to PD, increase budgets by approximately 100% for PD, and then bring them back to normal after the event concludes. Bear in mind that the best way to optimize ad performance during a high-traffic retail event such as PD is to utilize AI-powered ad management tools. Learn more – Marketplace Ad Tech: How Does It Work?
- During PD, most brands won’t need to increase bid amounts, assuming they have boosted their daily budgets adequately. This is because even though PPC competition is high, there is typically enough traffic to go around. Boosting bids unnecessarily could really hurt your channel profitability during PD.
- The best advertising preparation you can do in the lead-up to PD is to become very familiar with your Search Term Reports. These reports will illustrate the holes in your PPC strategy, and strengths you can exploit to gain an edge over the competition during PD. Learn more about ad reports – Understanding Amazon Advertising Reports
We will be delivering more Prime Day 2021 recommendations for all brands in the lead-up to the event. 📧 Sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss a thing!