How to Prepare for Prime Day 2018: A Checklist

What started in 2015 as a celebration of Amazon’s 20th birthday has evolved into a major, highly-anticipated shopping event for both sellers and customers on Amazon: Prime Day 2018.

On Prime Day, products across all categories are offered at deep discounts to Prime members for a limited time. In 2017, this timeframe was extended from 24 hours to 30 hours. While Amazon has not officially announced the starting date and time of Prime Day, we can look to previous years for an indication:

  • 2015 – July 15th
  • 2016 – July 12th
  • 2017 – July 11th

Prime Day is likely situated in mid-summer to account for the annual decline in sales during this time of year. Current estimates place Prime Day 2018 on the 10th or 11th of July.

Prime Day in review

Prime Day 2017 was a record-breaking event, with sales crossing an estimated threshold of $1 billion in the US. Amazon also enrolled a record-breaking number of new Prime customers eager to take advantage of the more than 34,000 unique promotions across the site. In an announcement shortly after, Amazon declared Prime Day 2017 as the “Biggest Global Shopping Event in Amazon History.”

If you have the margins to accommodate the deep discounts that Amazon is looking for during this event, the advantages are multifold. Not only will you see a huge boost in sales and profit with the right pricing strategy, but you will gain valuable brand awareness across an augmented active shopper base. Amazon’s extensive promotion of the Prime Day event extends to your brand itself when you choose to participate.

You may apply to three types of promotions: Lightning Deals, Amazon Coupons, and Deal of the Day.

Lightning Deals

How Lightning Deals work is in the name: a product is available for a discounted price for a very limited amount of time – typically just four hours. These are available one per customer until the timeframe ends, or until all offers have been claimed.

As a seller, you will be charged for every Lightning Deal that you submit. The fee will be displayed before you submit the deal, and will vary depending on the country and week you select. The week of Prime Day has some of the highest fees out of the year, to account for the significantly higher traffic and sales potential.

You can review the eligibility requirements here to evaluate your products.

Amazon Coupons

This deal allows you to offer your customer a certain percentage or dollar amount off the price of your product. These coupons will appear in six different placements across Amazon, which is fantastic for visibility:

  • Product detail pages
  • Amazon Coupon page
  • Search results
  • Amazon Gold Box page
  • Email campaigns
  • The Amazon Shopping Cart

Deal of the Day

Only available to Vendors, Deal of the Day consists of a single product or set of related products offered at a discount for one day only.

The checklist for Sellers & Vendors

To help you prepare for this upcoming opportunity, we’ve put together a checklist for you to run through to ensure that your brand is ready.

Meet your deadlines

Submit your deals by the following deadlines to ensure you’re eligible:

  • May 18th – Sellers submit Lightning Deals
  • May 31st – Vendors submit Lightning Deals, Spotlight Deals, Coupons, Category Deals
  • June 15th – Vendors submit category page merchandising & marketing packages

Optimize your listings

Investing in paid advertising is only part of the equation. Product detail pages that make the most of the branding opportunities provided by Amazon turn clicks into conversions. Do your listings feature all of the following?

  • Informative, convincing copy
  • Thumbnail images displaying the product from all angles, featuring lifestyle imagery, and incorporating key features and benefits
  • Enhanced Brand Content for Brand Registered Sellers
  • A+ Content for Vendors

Increase your bids

On this ultra-potent day, prepare to increase your budgets for Sponsored Products and Amazon Marketing Services by 50% or more.

  • Know the stats: spending can increase well over 100% on Prime Day 2018.
  • Prioritize your highest-performing keywords.
  • On the big day, monitor your budget carefully to ensure that you aren’t running out of spending due to increased bids and clicks.

A final note

Don’t panic if you aren’t seeing the sales data you were hoping for right away. AMS reports could experience some delay in becoming available due to high volume. Impression and click data may take up to 24 hours, while detail page views and sales data may take up to 3 days.

In the meantime, know that Prime Day 2018 is an incredible opportunity that brings even more traffic to the marketplace and in turn, more visibility and sales to the brands who use it. Participation is hugely beneficial to your brand’s long-term success on Amazon well after the event has ended.

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