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    How Sellers Can Prepare For Amazon Prime Day 2021

    Written by Tristan Williams
    on June 02, 2021

    This week Amazon announced that Prime Day will kick off June 21 at midnight Pacific time (3 a.m. Eastern) and run through June 22. We summarized takeaways from last year’s event and will review successful Prime Day 2021 tactics and promotions.

    Prime Day 2020 Summary and Stats

    Though Prime Day is typically celebrated in the summer, Prime Day 2020 was delayed until October due to the pandemic and an unexpected surge in deliveries. 2020’s sale was a 48-hour event that started at midnight PT on October 13 and ran through midnight PT on Wednesday, October 14. The first day of Prime Day 2020 was over three times the size of Prime Day 2019. However, the second day of Prime Day 2020, while still outperforming Prime Day 2019, was noticeably slower than the first day. This increase in sales is likely reflective of the increased shift to online shopping that accompanied the pandemic.

    Amazon Prime Day 2020 marked the two biggest days of all time for small/medium-sized businesses in Amazon’s stores worldwide. Third-party sellers surpassed $3.5 billion in sales on Prime Day, which is a nearly 60% year-over-year increase. Top-selling categories for third-party sellers include Bedding, Wireless Accessories, Nutrition & Wellness, Arts, Crafts & Sewing, and Health Care.

    Prime Day discounts take many forms, from Lightning Deals that require you to act fast to secure a product, to discounts that last the entire 48-hour event. In the US, top-selling deals (excluding Amazon devices) were iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum, MyQ Wireless & WiFi Enabled Smart Garage Door Opener, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Vitamins, and Kids Against Maturity: Card Game for Kids and Families.

    How to Crush It on Prime Day 2021

    Successful Prime Day Tactics 

    • Start preparing ahead of time! Optimize your PPC campaigns and start doing A/B testing with listings and prices.
    • Optimize your product listings! High-quality images, optimized product titles/descriptions, and "prime day relevant" keywords will help boost your sales.
    • Ensure you have enough inventory to meet consumer demands. Running out of stock hurts your rankings and sales. Amazon has limited capacity for FBA inventory, so for some items sellers will opt for FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) to handle the process themselves. If you have the capabilities, this is a good practice for your most popular items at risk of going out of stock.
    • Submit deals for multiple products with competitive prices. Keep reading for more information on promotions.
    • Ensure that the deals you run on Amazon match that of other retailers to prevent your listings from losing the buy box.
    • If you have a product that wasn't eligible for an exclusive prime day deal, run your own advertisements and discounts to take advantage of the increased traffic.
    • When creating promotions, note that a 20% off coupon is the minimum to see a significant spike in sales.
    • Create special Sponsored Brand Ads that highlight discounted products.
    • Create complementary product bundles to drive even more sales.
    • Use your resources to drive external traffic! Self-promote Amazon deals on social media, emails, and external ads - Amazon Affiliate Influencers and Marketers are a great pool. Don't forget to leverage resources such as Amazon Live and Amazon Posts. Additionally, consider getting assistance from a PR firm to get press features that will drive external traffic.
    • Before Prime Day, review your account health and performance to make sure none of your product listings are at risk of getting removed during the sales event.
    • Ensure that your advertising budgets and bids are opened up and increased the night before Prime Day starts so you can take advantage of the typical spike in day 1 sales.
    • The morning of Prime Day, check out competitors within your category. If your offering a better deal, conquest on their product listing through strategic ASIN targeting and keyword bidding. 

    What to Expect

    This past year we have seen significant changes to the retail landscape, including changes in consumer behavior and spending. Amazon saw a surge in sales last year as online shopping became more popular with the issuance of stay-at-home orders and the closing of local stores. Amazon's sales jumped 34% last year to more than $215B. This year, Amazon announced that they will aid small businesses that sell through the platform by spending more than $100 million on promotional Prime Day events to support them. As part of that promotion, Amazon is offering a $10 credit to use on Prime Day to members who spend at least $10 with some small businesses that sell through Amazon from June 7 through June 20.

    According to speculations from NBC News, we can anticipate sales and deals in various categories this year, including smart home devices and TVs, as well as discounts on fashion, beauty, pet products and tools. Vipin Porwal, a consumer expert and founder of Smarty, also predicted health and wellness products will see discounts this year. He stated, “Expect competitive Prime Day deals ranging from 20 to 30 percent off items like air purifiers, massage therapy, home fitness gear and activewear”.

    Unlike in the U.S., Amazon said Prime Day will be postponed in Canada and India "due to the increasing impact of COVID-19" in those countries.

    Prime Day Promotions

    Prime Day is one of the most anticipated e-commerce events of the year, and for sellers looking to participate, it can get expensive. Additionally, millions of brands leverage the massive customer base on Amazon Prime Day, and competing with so many other sellers on the platform can be intimidating. Every year, Prime Day reaches record-breaking sales numbers, so the increase in traffic, sales, and exposure is oftentimes worth the initial investment. Types of promotions on Prime Day are Lightning Deals, Coupons, Prime Exclusive Discounts, and Price Member Promotions.

    Lightning Deals

    An Amazon Lightning Deal is a promotion with a limited number of discount offers on an item for a limited period of time. These premium deals are available one per customer, and are time-sensitive, lasting until either the promotional period (usually 4-hour blocks) for the deal expires or all the available promotional discounts are claimed. These limitations create a sense of urgency, driving consumers to execute the sale quickly. 

    In 2017, Amazon introduced a registration fee of $500 per Lightning Deal. In 2021, sellers will be charged a base merchandising fee for each Lightning Deal. Lightning Deals that are selected to run during the Prime Day event will be charged a $500 fee per Deal. Lightning Deals that run during the week of Prime Day (but not on the actual event day) will be charged a smaller fee of $300 per Deal. Lightning Deals schedules are subject to change, so the fee amount charged will be based on the day your Lightning Deal runs, which may not be the same day you requested or initially scheduled. 

    The high cost of Prime Day Lightning Deals might scare off sellers who worry if the performance of their products can sustain the expense. This may be intentional, as a higher cost will cause Sellers to be more deliberate with their promotions, which will likely increase the overall quality of Lightning Deals on Prime Day.

    Applying for Lightning Deals 

    There are two ways to secure a Lightning Deal. Either Amazon will contact you inviting you to accept a deal submission, or you can apply yourself. 

    If Amazon contacts you, to accept a Prime Day Lightning Deal submission Merchandising > Promotions > Recommendations tab. Here you can review and accept your recommendations, and can edit recommendations before submitting them. 

    However, not all vendors will be contacted. To submit a lightning deal for Prime Day consideration, go to Merchandising > Promotions > Lightning Deal, and then select the “I want Amazon to consider my deal for Prime Day” checkbox. 

    Coupons

    A coupon promotion is accessible on the product detail page and the Amazon vouchers page. Customers can click on a voucher and it’s added to their basket. The discount is automatically applied at checkout when a customer purchases an eligible product before the voucher expires.  Read Amazon’s guide on creating coupons here.

    Coupon discount can be setup as either a percentage or dollars off. Coupons must be clipped and then applied at checkout in order for the customer to redeem. The lead time for coupons is four weeks, and in order to participate a seller's account rating must be at 3.5 stars or higher, and the discount must be between 5%-80% off the lowest price in the last 30 days.

    Prime Exclusive Discount and Prime Member Promotion

    A Prime Exclusive Discount is a price discount that is widely used across all nationally Prime shipping eligible FBA products and is exclusive to Prime members. On Prime Day, these deals will display a Prime Day Deals badge. 

    A Prime Member Promotion is a point of sale discount that is widely used across all Retail product categories and is exclusive to Prime members. On Prime Day, these offers are part of the Amazon Prime Day and Today’s Deals page experience and display a Prime Day Deals badge. Prime day deals must be between 20-80% off and must be the lowest price in the last 30 days by 5%. Seller also must be FBA and have a 3.5+ star rating.

    Get Assistance Running Your Amazon Business

    If you want assistance running your Amazon business, or are curious about how to reach your full potential selling on Amazon, see if you qualify for a free audit from Envision Horizons. 

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    Sources:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/shopping/amazon-prime-day/amazon-prime-day-2021-n1269281

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazon-prime-day-2021-dates-june-21-22/

    https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-prime-day-2020-marked-two-biggest-days-ever-small-medium

    https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/money/amazon-prime-day-2021/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2021/01/31/changes-in-consumer-behavior-brought-on-by-the-pandemic/?sh=159bbbcb559e