Amazon Prime Day is a big deal for buyers and sellers alike. Since its debut in 2015, Prime Day has given Black Friday a run for its money by offering online shoppers massive deals and discounts. This event is a golden opportunity for Amazon sellers to earn substantial profits.
This year, Prime Day will be a couple of months later than originally expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was first postponed until August, but recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that it’ll likely be sometime in September. Delaying the week of deals is a logical decision as consumers are experiencing the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus stay-at-home orders that have been in place for the last few months. Manufacturers are also not likely to be ready for Prime Day, as many are shut down or working with much smaller workforces.
Come September, suppliers and retailers will need Amazon Prime Day to get their sales rolling in again. So, in the spirit of optimism, we’re sharing Prime Day tips to help you make the most of it.
#1 – Combine Fulfillment Options
With Prime Day comes more sales, and that means more orders to fulfill. The good news is you have some options of how to do it. First, you can use Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) – the most common way to engage Prime customers. With FBA, you send your stock to Amazon and they fulfill your orders for you.
Another option is Amazon’s Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) program. It allows you to fulfill your own orders and still use the Prime program, which is the whole point of Prime Day! You can list products with the Prime badge as long as the following requirements are met:
- Provide one-day and two-day shipping, and use the Amazon Buy Shipping API.
- Have a cancellation rate under 1%.
- Use Buy Shipping Services for 95% of Prime trial orders.
- Ship on time, 99% of the time.
Additionally, if you’re already using Amazon’s SFP option, you may still be eligible to sell your products on Prime Day. SFP allows you to use the shipping API to buy postage and manage your own fulfillment. For Prime Day, SFP sellers are given Prime privileges, which means that you must adhere to the requirements above. However, there is currently a waiting list for SFP sellers, so the extra time you have this year may prove to be helpful.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, there are restrictions on the type of inventory Amazon is accepting for its FBA program. If you’re low on FBA stock, you may have to rely on SFP for Prime Day, unless there’s a change in the restrictions before then. Check Amazon’s Seller Central for the most current information about inventory that is being accepted for FBA. Once you’ve adapted your fulfillment process to Amazon’s update, use some of these tips for managing your Amazon inventory.
COVID-19 aside, combining fulfillment methods can be useful at any time during the year. Try using FBA for your items that have a healthy margin, so offering free shipping won’t hurt, and use SFP on items with a smaller margin, so you can pass the shipping fees on to the customer.
#2 – Get a Lightning Deal Invite
Amazon Lightning Deals are limited, time-sensitive promotions that offer heavily discounted products for a short period of time, hence the name, lightning. To participate in Lightning Deals, a seller must be picked by Amazon. You can’t apply for it. Here are some things that can improve your chances of being hand-picked:
- A product in a high-demand category, like electronics, with at least 3-star ratings.
- An exciting deal that’s not only available to Prime members.
- At least $5,000 worth of stock, so plan ahead.
#3 – Reduce Your Prices
Prime Day is famous for the sheer amount of sales that are made. In the previous years, sellers had anywhere from double to 40 times their regular daily sales on Prime Day. An easy way to take advantage of all the potential sales is by lowering your prices to compete with other retailers. If you decide to do this, make sure there’s enough stock-on-hand to avoid overselling. It’s also important to take profit margins into account. It may not be worth it to reduce your prices on products with low margins.
Also, if you’re not using a repricing app during the rest of the year, consider getting one for Prime Day. It’ll ensure that your prices stay competitive without any extra monitoring.
#4 – Streamline Shipping Operations
Prime Day is going to be busy, don’t underestimate what that means for your shipping operations. Last year, Amazon received more orders on Prime Day than it did on the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. How’s that for busy? You must be prepared logistically for the additional demand.
If you’re in the SFP program, make sure you’ve thought of the following:
- Do you have enough shipping materials available?
- Have you planned enough man-power to handle fulfilling the extra orders on time?
- Will your order control software streamline the extra workflow?
#5 – Don’t Run Out of Inventory
You must have enough inventory for Prime Day. If there are a ton of orders and no stock to fill them, you could risk suspension. Make sure your best-selling products are well-stocked. While Prime Day may be a good day to get rid of slow-moving merchandise to lower FBA fees, it may spell disaster if you aren’t paying close attention to stock levels. Use an ecommerce inventory system that automatically syncs your stock levels as sales are made. If you participated in previous Prime Days, look at the sales data to help forecast this year’s inventory requirements.
#6 – Choose a Multichannel Approach
Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and other retailers also take advantage of Amazon Prime Day. While there is not as much fanfare for those deals, competitors do have significantly more visitors to their sites on Prime Day. That means that sales opportunities don’t end with Amazon on Prime Day. You can take advantage of the sales on other platforms to make Prime Day a multichannel event for your business.
Make Amazon Prime Day Profitable
No matter how you sell on Amazon – FBA or SFP – you have the potential to make great money on Prime Day. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Use these tips and our Prime Day checklist to plan ahead, be prepared and sell, sell, sell.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published June 2017 and was updated in July 2020 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.