Amazon Prime Day is almost here, and with it comes prime (if you’ll pardon the pun) opportunity for brands. Prime Day is one of the biggest eCommerce events of the year, generating increased online shopping activity not just on Amazon, but across multiple brand and retailer sites.

Furthermore, this sales lift is not limited to the day itself, as the increased brand visibility and awareness Prime Day delivers translates in to a long-term sales lift too. Last year, Profitero found post-Prime Day average daily sales increased by 77%, and total sales in August were 68% higher than in June. Simply put, Prime Day attracts more customers to Amazon, and, with that, more customers to the brands selling through it.

Brands must be prepared for this event to ensure they don’t miss the wealth of opportunity it presents. And to help, here’s our ultimate guide to Prime Day, which includes 8 essential tips, tricks and insights on how your brand can leverage it to the maximum.

What’s It All About?

Prime Day is Amazon’s biggest sale of the year. Available to Prime members only, it can be likened to a summer version of Black Friday. The first Prime Day took place on July 15th 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the company by its chief executive, Jeff Bezos.

How Big An eCommerce Event Is Prime Day Exactly?

Huge, and growing. Last year, it was the biggest day in Amazon’s history. Indeed, it was busier than Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the previous two Prime Days. According to Criteo, there was an average sales increase of 57% across all product categories. Amazon also reported that sales via its app more than doubled year-on-year. And according to Profitero, Amazon’s own sales increased 60% during last year’s Prime Day, with the day itself delivering $2.9 billion in sales. A prime day indeed!

When Is It Happening This Year?

The exact date of this year’s Prime Day, the fourth so far, has yet to be revealed. Last year, Amazon kept us all on tenterhooks, waiting until 6am (GMT) on June 29th to announce the event, which took place on July 11th. However, it actually began before that in some regions (deals began being unleashed at 9pm on the 10th in both the US and UK), before finally ending at 3am on the 12th. Amazon is expected to run a 30-hour or perhaps even longer extravaganza again this year. This year, it has been announced it will start on July 7th.

What Products Are Discounted?

On Prime Day, consumers can expect deals on thousands of products, both Amazon brand and non-Amazon brand, across every category, from voice-controlled devices to jewelry and more. Last year, there were even discounts on products as obscure as cream made from sheep placentas, and Viking-style drinking horns. There was 40% off both, for those interested. To each their own and all that…

Here’s an interesting set of numbers on what sold last year:

  • 5 million toys
  • 200,000 dresses
  • 300,000 light bulbs
  • 45,000 pairs of headphones
  • 32,000 electric toothbrushes

What Sold Best Last Year?

Electronics was the most popular category, with the Echo Dot coming out on top as not only the best-selling Amazon product, but also the best-selling product overall. This was followed by the Amazon Echo Dot at number two, the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker at number three, the TechMatte MagGrip Air Vent Magnetic Universal Car Mount at number four, and Fire HD Tablets at number five.

Any Other Interesting Facts And Figures?

Yes. Prime Day has been found to attract growing numbers of back-to-school shoppers. A recent study by RetailMeNot discovered that 84% of US retailers believe the back-to-school shopping season begins before or on Amazon Prime Day. And of the parents of school-aged children RetailMeNot interviewed for the study, it found that 91% of those who plan to shop on Prime Day will use the day to make a back-to-school purchase.

What’s In It For Amazon?

Obviously there’s the sales lift, but the primary benefit for Amazon is the growth in Prime membership. More shoppers joined last year to avail of the discounts than on any previous day in Amazon’s history, with membership now topping 100 million.

How Can Brands Make The Most Of Prime Day?

There are many ways brands can harness the power of Prime Day. Here are 8 tips, tricks and insights to help.

  • Manage Your Inventory Carefully

Be sure to increase stock levels on items you anticipate will sell well on Prime Day, as selling out early means losing the buy box and reducing brand visibility at a really crucial time. There’s also the negative publicity this can attract. During the inaugural Prime Day of 2015, Amazon stocked out of a huge amount of popular products, resulting in lots of unhappy customers and the hashtag #PrimeDayFail. With the massive influx of shoppers to Amazon on the day, you want to ensure your brand is in the spotlight for the right reasons — a #PrimeDaySuccess, if you will.

  • Use Lightning Deals To Drive Conversions

If you’re an Amazon Prime Day seller, Lightning Deals, while they only run for a limited time, prove powerful for driving conversions. Sponsored product ads are a great way of promoting your Lightning Deals for Prime Day. The bad news is that the deadline for submission of Lighting Deals (as well as Amazon Coupons and Deal of the Day) to Amazon for Prime Day has passed. The lesson? Prepare early next year!

  • Advertise More Aggressively

On Prime Day, it’s better to bid aggressively rather than miss out on sales, and to bid on your own branded items to block competitors from controlling them. Sponsored searches and banner ads are also great ways of increasing brand visibility on Prime Day. Take care to monitor your advertising budgets throughout Prime Day to make sure they don’t run out as a result of increased bids and clicks. Also, be sure to test all your ad copy early so that everything is in order in good time.

  • Optimize All Content

Ensure the content on your product listing pages is optimized for conversions. This includes images, product titles, bullet points, product descriptions and back end search terms. Amazon also has lots of creative branding features including A+ Content, Premium A+ Content, and Enhanced Brand Content, which can really help brands stand out.

For a deeper dive in to creating content that converts, not just on Amazon Prime Day, but all year ‘round, be sure to read our blog, Flying Blind In eCommerce: Is Your Content Actually Driving Sales?

  • Make Sure Your Ratings And Reviews Are On Point

Why? Because 56% of Prime Day shoppers always read ratings and reviews before making a Prime Day purchase, 80% consider them important to their purchase decision, and 45% will buy a product they’ve never heard of or used before based only on them.

  • Drive Traffic To Amazon With Buy Now Technology

Use your social media channels and website to highlight and drive traffic towards Prime Day deals on Amazon. The ChannelSight Buy Now button is a quick and easy way of doing so, and is beneficial to consumer, brand and retailer. The consumer has a far swifter and more seamless path to purchase. The brand is less likely to lose sales as a result of potential customers going off-site to research where they might buy products and succumbing to the likes of competitive distraction. And the retailers see increased levels of high-converting traffic. Win, win, win.

  • Don’t Ignore Amazon’s Competition

Other big box retailers such as Best Buy and eBay piggy back on Prime Day with deals of their own. Not only this, but according to Bazaarvoice, they also saw a 15 percent increase in visitor traffic on Prime Day 2016 as compared to a typical day, as well as a 38% increase in orders and a 19% in conversions. This further highlights the benefits of using Buy Now technology to channel consumers to retailer partners.

  • Use Data To Inform Your Prime Day Campaigns

If you haven’t already, review your past Prime Day data, and use the insights obtained to optimise your activities around the event. ChannelSight customers have instant and easy access to third party retailer data any time, from anywhere, via our customizable dashboards — yet another powerful feature of our Buy Now technology.

To learn more about how your brand can increase conversion rates and access dynamite data 365 days a year, and not just on Prime Day, contact our team today!