For Amazon sellers, Prime Day rivals Black Friday in traffic, new customers, and sales. It’s the other big sales event of the year, and just like the holiday shopping season, if retailers play their cards right they can net a nest egg to last them another 12 months.
But maximizing your Amazon Prime Day sales requires diligence and organization, so we’ve compiled a helpful checklist to make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Take a look below and add these recommendations to your own schedule.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime Day is a site-wide sales event that applies exclusively to Amazon Prime members, although some savvy bargain hunters will take advantage of Amazon Prime’s 30-day free trial. In truth, calling it Prime Day is a bit of a misnomer: since 2017, the event has lasted longer than 24 hours, and in 2020 was a two-day event.
Make no mistake about it: Prime Day isn’t your average sales event. It’s on the same level as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, both in the sheer numbers of shoppers and the amount of sellers that participate. The same best practices for holiday shopping apply — including preparation, outreach, and strategies to retain those new customers.
And it keeps getting bigger! According to Digital Commerce 360, Prime Day 2020 netted over $10 billion worldwide, up 45.2% from the $7+ billion in 2019. Trends suggest Amazon Prime Day 2021 will be the biggest yet, so it’s never too early to start preparing.
When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?
Always the master of suspense, Amazon tends to withhold the official dates of Prime Day until a few weeks before. So we don’t yet know when Amazon Prime Day 2021 is… but we can make some good guesses.
Typically, Amazon Prime Day is held somewhere in the first two weeks of July. Last year, however, it was postponed all the way until October because of the Covid pandemic. As things return to normal this year, we can optimistically plan on Prime Day hitting mid-summer once again.
How Sellers Can Participate in Amazon Prime Day
Amazon offers sellers and vendors a few different ways to participate in Prime Day:
- Lightning Deals – Any pre-selected products that meet Amazon’s criteria can be submitted for review to run as Lightning Deals. Lightning Deals are promotional discounts that are only available for a limited amount of time.
- Amazon Coupons – Coupons are an excellent option for your products that already have good visibility.
- Deal of the Day – Deal of the Day is a program that’s only available to vendors. It allows vendors to offer discounts on products for one day only.
Ultimate Amazon Prime Day Checklist
Whether you’re an Amazon Prime newbie or a veteran seller, you need to spend some time planning for Amazon Prime Day, starting months in advance. Here are our suggestions on how and when to prepare for the big day.
Five Months Before Prime Day
- Make sure you are adhering to the Prime fulfillment requirements – shipping on time using 2-day delivery. To participate in Amazon Prime Day, you must be approved for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP). Don’t know what SFP is? Here’s a quick guide explaining what Seller-Fulfilled Prime is.
- Begin your research for forecasting and inventory planning. Look back at the previous year’s sales, your best-selling products, and current trends to accurately forecast.
Four Months Before Prime Day
- Now is the time to get on the same page with your suppliers. Verify lead times so you can determine when you need to order for Prime Day.
- Be aware of FBA cutoffs: they are usually a few weeks or so before Prime Day. Be sure to consider whether your suppliers can ship directly to FBA or if you have to receive the inventory, repackage per Amazon FBA’s requirements, and then ship it to Amazon before the cutoff date. All of this can affect your lead time.
Three Months Before Prime Day
- Evaluate your resources. Do you have enough employees to help handle the influx of work, or will you need to hire some part-time workers? If so, you must have time to list the job and have the person vetted in time for Prime Day.
- If you handle order fulfillment yourself, you also have to consider your packaging supplies. Make sure you have enough people available to manage extra fulfillment that will come from Amazon Prime Day.
- Next, you have to plan your marketing budget. You’ll want to start marketing and advertising soon, so you need to nail down your budget now to stay on track.
- What deals and discounts are you going to run? Which products are you going to feature the most? How much will you make your discounts? It’s time to start answering these questions — based on previous ecommerce sales data — so you can start planning your marketing campaigns next month.
Two Months Before Prime Day
This period is crucial for preparing your marketing and advertising, including premade content for your social media and blog. It typically lands in May if Amazon goes with their usual July dates.
Go through the following list and make sure each item is optimized. If not — now’s the time to fix it!
- Landing pages
- Social media schedule
- Banner ads/graphics
- Product image and video updates
- Amazon PPC bid updates
- Blog posts announcing Prime Day deals
- SEO updates for product pages
- Ad copy changes
- Email marketing campaigns — Including when the campaigns should run, what the content should be, and how many emails to send
- Google Ads or paid social media ads
As we previously stated, other important items for this period include applying for Lightning Deals, Amazon coupons, and the Deal of the Day options. The exact cutoff isn’t published yet, but it typically falls around the middle of May.
One Month Before Prime Day
- Start scheduling and rolling out your marketing and email campaigns. You can use apps like Constant Contact, Hootsuite, Mailchimp, and other similar software options to implement your campaigns. Basically, have everything buttoned up before the Prime Day sales start.
Two Weeks Before Prime Day
- Make sure your listings are visible for the most popular searches. Make sure your product listings are optimized and can be seen in the top spots in the Amazon search results.
- Refresh your product listings. Make sure that your product information, types of images, and descriptions are all accurate and detailed.
One Week Before Prime Day
- Double-check all of your materials, product listings, inventory audits, etc., to prepare for the day of the event.
- Be sure to check in with your team so they know what you expect of them.
- Make sure that your top-selling products are set up as Prime eligible.
On Amazon Prime Day
- Monitor your sales, put out any potential fires quickly, and set aside time to shop yourself. You may find some great deals on stock to sell later in the year.
- Pat yourself on the back – you did it!
Make Your Amazon Prime Day 2021 Successful
As an Amazon seller, you have a lot riding on Prime Day. The results can be huge, especially when you’ve created a plan ahead of time and stick to it.
You can never be too prepared, especially for Prime day. Be sure to check out more Amazon Prime Day Tips and get ready for the biggest ecommerce event of the year. Good luck and happy selling!
Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published in May 2019 and was updated in February 2021 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.