Amazon Prime Day is an event that Amazon started back in 2015 to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It was so successful, they’ve continued it every year since.
For sellers on Amazon, it’s an event that rivals Black Friday, so it’s important to know how and when to plan for it.
In this post, we’ll look at some details you need to know about Amazon Prime Day and then list the to-do’s that will prepare you to rack up sales from your Amazon store.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime Day is a lot like Christmas in July. It’s an event that benefits Amazon Prime members and ecommerce sellers alike. Essentially, it’s a deal-focused sale that is only open to Prime members.
The name, Amazon Prime Day, no longer does the event justice. What started out as a 24-hour sale in 2015 and 2016, grew to 30 hours in 2017, and 36 hours last year. If the trend continues, it’s likely that Amazon will extend the sale again this year. It could last 40 hours or more – maybe even a full week!
When is Amazon Prime Day?
The marketplace hasn’t yet announced the exact dates for Amazon Prime Day 2020 and with COVID-19 wreaking havoc, it’s hard to know what to expect. The latest we’ve heard is October, but time will tell.
Why is Amazon Prime Day Important for Sellers?
Last year, Amazon Prime Day was a huge success for Amazon and its sellers. In fact, Amazon reported that Prime Day 2019 was their biggest shopping day to date, with $7.16 billion worth of items sold in just 48 hours. That’s 71% more than 2018!
With stats like that, you can see how Amazon sellers can benefit from this huge sales event. It allows you to grow your customer base, increase your brand awareness, and increase your sales revenue.
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 is available to vendors only. It allows vendors to offer discounts on products for one day only.
Ultimate Amazon Prime Day Checklist
Whether you are an Amazon Prime newbie or a veteran seller, you need to spend some time planning for Amazon Prime Day, and it has to begin months in advance. Here are our suggestions on how and when to prepare for the big day (this timeline is based on a July launch date, which is the typical date for Amazon, but the efforts are all the same).
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 are required to be approved for Fulfilled 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. Another resource to consider is your packaging supplies if you handle order fulfillment yourself. Make sure you have enough people available to manage added fulfillment that will come from Amazon Prime Day.
- Next, you have to plan your marketing budget for Prime Day. You’ll want to start marketing and advertising soon, so you need to nail down your budget now to stay on track
Two Months Before Prime Day
Now that you have your marketing budget determined, it’s time to plan and test your advertising so that it’s ready to go. Consider the following:
- Landing pages
- Social media schedule
- Banner ads/graphics
- Any other needed graphics, product photos, etc.
- Amazon PPC bid updates
- Ad copy changes
- Email marketing campaigns
- Google Adwords or paid social ads
- Apply for Lightning Deals. If you plan to apply for the lightning deals, Amazon coupons, and deal of the day options, now is the time. The exact cutoff isn’t published yet, but it typically falls around the middle of May.
- Plan your email campaigns for Prime Day. Including when the campaigns should run, what the content should be, and how many emails to send.
- Decide on any promotions and product pricing strategies.
One Month Before Prime Day
- Start scheduling 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
- Do a check of all your materials, product listings, inventory audits, etc. to prepare for the day of the event.
- Be sure to check in with your hired resources 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 2020 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. Good luck and happy selling!
Be sure to check out more Amazon Prime Day Tips here.
Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published in May 2019 and was updated in July 2020 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.