(A version of this article was originally posted by Channel Key, a Pacvue Partner agency, specializing in full-service marketplace management solutions providing brand owners with a winning Amazon strategy and ecosystem to execute at the highest level possible. Pacvue and Channel Key work together to help clients accelerate their commerce knowledge and get better results from their agency.)
When is Prime Day 2023? Amazon’s keeping us in suspense, but we’re placing our bets on mid-July. After all, six out of the last nine Prime Days fell between July 11 and 22. Plus, Amazon’s directive for brands to have their Prime Day inventory en route to fulfillment centers by June 15 hints at a July event.
So, with a probable timeline in place, the real question is: are you geared up? Prime Day is the summer’s premier online shopping extravaganza. The previous year’s 48-hour sale raked in a whopping $11.9 billion in U.S. sales, marking an 8.5% increase from 2021. Prime members worldwide snapped up more than 60,000 items per minute, pouring more than $3 billion into small businesses.
Given the high stakes, it’s crucial for brands to pull out all the stops in their preparations. If past trends are anything to go by, this year’s event promises to be the fiercest yet. To help your brand seize the day, we’ve crafted a six-step marketing guide, a proven playbook to give you the upper hand in Prime Day 2023.
STEP ONE: Optimize for Conversions
Being “retail ready” on Amazon is a crucial concept, particularly when Prime Day is on the horizon. When your product achieves this status, it means your detail page is armed with all the necessary information a customer needs to make a purchase. It’s counterproductive to invest in promoting products that have a slim chance of converting. So, in the weeks leading up to Prime Day, take the time to review and fully optimize your product listings. Here are some key areas to focus on:
- Include the most important keywords in your product titles.
- Utilize all available bullet points and include additional keywords and phrases.
- Utilize all available product image slots with high-resolution imagery.
- Include a product video if possible.
- Include up-to-date A+ content.
Once you’ve audited and optimized your product listings, carve out a new page on your Store dedicated to your Prime Day offers. This not only provides customers with an easy way to browse your top deals during Prime Day but also keeps competitors at bay.
Remember, other brands can’t advertise on your Store like they can on your product detail pages.
Lastly, don’t overlook your most recent customer reviews. One unhappy customer can cast a shadow over the experience of hundreds of others. So, invest extra effort into your customer service in the lead-up to Prime Day. It’s all about forward momentum, seizing opportunities, and driving success.
STEP TWO: Choose the Right Products to Promote
Brands often make the mistake of not being selective about which products to promote during Prime Day. As a result, not every ASIN is a good candidate. Keep in mind, this is the most competitive event of the summer. Shoppers want the best deals, and brands want the most sales. This means you need to offer steep discounts and spend more on advertising to remain competitive. These additional costs can quickly eat into your profit margin. To maximize revenue and profit during Prime Day, only promote top-selling products with a high search volume, high profit margin, and enough inventory to support your ad spend.
STEP THREE: Trust The Three-Phase Prime Day Marketing Strategy
BEFORE Prime Day (2–3 weeks): Promote your deals and brand to researching audiences
The weeks leading up to Prime Day is the time to showcase the value of your promoted products and brand to audiences actively researching products. This will help make your promoted products and deals even more discoverable and increase the likelihood of selling your deals on the day of the event. You can also use this time to optimize your campaign inputs, such as audiences and keyword strategies, so your campaigns run at maximum performance on Prime Day.
- Create and select the strongest products in your campaign.
- Prepare your budget.
- Choose how to allocate your budget in your bidding strategy.
- Select your targeting and add keywords.
DURING Prime Day: Reach brand-aware audiences who may be more likely to purchase your products.
On Prime Day, you can turn on additional advertising tactics to help maximize reach among audiences already exposed to your ads. For example, you can remarket to audiences that visited your product detail pages before Prime. This helps to stay top of mind with an audience who is already in the consideration stage of the funnel.
- Make sure to review your bids and budgets.
- Understand your top-selling item.
- Understand your least-selling item.
- Don’t measure your ROAS right away.
- Check your inventory levels.
AFTER Prime Day (2+ weeks): Reengage your audiences at scale.
Reengage your Prime Day audiences that continue to visit Amazon to browse and shop products after the event. During this time, you can promote complementary products to your existing audiences or reach new audiences who didn’t purchase your products during Prime Day.
- Make sure you understand your top-performing products and help maximize them by creating new, always-on campaigns.
- Review your advertising budgets and plan for your next shopping event.
- Help drive incremental sales with Sponsored Products by reviewing the search term report and try increasing bids on high-converting keywords using manual targeting. This can help maximize impressions and generate more sales even after Prime Day.
STEP FOUR: Create Prime Day Ads That Actually Work
Navigating the Amazon advertising landscape during events like Prime Day and the holiday season requires a different approach than the rest of the year. It’s a time when even the most seasoned marketers can find their budgets dwindling without the desired results. It’s a bustling marketplace where globally recognized brands are vying for attention, armed with substantial budgets.
To make your mark during Prime Day, you need to embrace the challenge and be ready to take bold steps. This includes offering substantial discounts, amplifying your CPC bids, and zeroing in on high-traffic keywords. Be prepared to invest more than your usual expenditure. This commitment is what will ensure your deals get the visibility they deserve.
- Set up your campaign at least two weeks before Prime Day to give it time to collect data for optimization.
- Advertise 10+ ASINs per campaign to help increase ROAS and lower CPC,
- Set strong bids (of at least $1, or your currency equivalent) for your cost-per-click and competitive budgets to help keep your ads serving all day. Like Sponsored Products, you can use dynamic bids down only and up and down strategies.
- Target both products and categories in your product targeting campaigns. Product targeting can help promote your product with customers browsing your product, similar products, and relevant categories. Category targeting can promote your product with customers browsing categories relevant to the product you’re advertising and engage a wider set of potential customers.
- Use audience targeting to engage new and existing audiences on and off Amazon who’ve visited your product detail page, the detail pages of similar products, or any relevant category on Amazon but haven’t made a purchase. You can do so through views remarketing or Amazon audiences such as in-market, lifestyle, interests, and life events.
- Use custom creative headline and logo to become eligible for all Sponsored Display placements.
STEP FIVE: Use External Marketing to Drive Traffic to Your Listings
Prime Day success isn’t confined to Amazon’s realm. It’s a game that extends beyond, into the vast expanse of the digital world. The brands that master this game, driving the most traffic to their Prime Day deals, are the ones who typically see their sales soar.
But how do you play this game? It’s about using every tool at your disposal. It’s about directing a surge of external traffic to your Store and product listings. It’s about complementing your on-Amazon marketing efforts with a robust off-Amazon strategy.
Start by giving your customers a heads-up. Let them know about the fantastic deals you’ll be offering during Prime Day. While Amazon may prohibit Prime Day messaging in ads running on its platform, there’s no such restriction off-platform. As long as your ads include an official Prime Day deal linking back to Amazon, you’re good to go.
So, start teasing your upcoming Prime Day deals. Use your website, your email marketing, your social media channels. The goal? Drive as much external traffic as possible to your Prime Day offers. Because the more traffic you drive, the more sales you stand to generate. It’s as simple – and as challenging – as that.
STEP SIX: Harness the Prime Day Halo Effect
Many brands see Prime Day as a 48-hour sprint. But in reality, it’s more of a marathon. The race doesn’t end when Prime Day does. Instead, it stretches on for another 7 to 14 days, a phenomenon known as the Halo Effect. This effect can supercharge sales by up to 50%, according to Adobe.
So, how do you harness this Halo Effect?
It’s all about maintaining the sales momentum. If one of your offers outshines the rest during Prime Day, don’t let it fade into the background. Keep promoting it. Why? Because its success signals to Amazon’s algorithm that customers are interested in your product. By investing more in advertising this product right after Prime Day, you’ll keep the sales flywheel spinning and maximize your returns during the Halo period.
But that’s not the only way to leverage the Halo Effect. Consider retargeting. Reengage with shoppers who visited your product detail page but didn’t make a purchase. Or retarget your Prime Day customers with ads for relevant product accessories. Remember, the momentum of Prime Day doesn’t stop when the event ends. The Halo Effect offers a golden, albeit short-term, opportunity to enhance the cost-effectiveness of your Amazon Ads campaigns.
Top Takeaways from Channel Key Experts
Prime Day, while a golden opportunity, can be a challenging terrain for brands. It’s a bustling marketplace where millions of shoppers are ready to splurge on the best deals, potentially pushing sales beyond the $12 billion mark. But it’s also a battlefield of fierce competition, where brands can get lost in the noise without the right strategy.
But fear not, success on Prime Day isn’t about the size of your budget, but the strength of your strategy. Even the smaller players can outshine the giants by adhering to a well-crafted plan. There’s no magic formula for Prime Day success, but a few key takeaways can set your brand on the path to triumph:
- Content Optimization: Make your product listings “retail-ready.”
- Advertising: Strategically increase your CPC bids and target high-traffic keywords.
- Promotions and Deals: Offer enticing deals that outperform your competitors.
- External Marketing: Drive traffic to your listings from outside Amazon.
- Analytics and Reporting: Understand your performance metrics and adjust accordingly.
- The Halo Effect: Leverage the post-Prime Day sales momentum.
- By maximizing your efforts in these areas, you’re setting your brand up for a successful Prime Day 2023.