Amazon Prime Day and the Q4 shopping season is a big deal for sellers and Amazon alike. Every year the sellers eagerly wait for it. However, 2020 is not a normal year. It’s a year full of disruptions, challenges, pivots, scrambles and more challenges. Perhaps there is no brand that is not affected by the pandemic. So how can sellers prepare in this uncertain environment? Is it going to the best or the worst and the most pressing question of all, will Prime Day happen this year, all this and more in this blog post.
Relax, the event won’t cancel; it is neither possible nor plausible
There are so many sites speculating that Prime Day won’t happen at all, but that’s not the case. Although coronavirus is still creating uncertainty, Prime Day 2020 is very much in the cards. Here why we think it would happen. India’s 2-day Prime Day event just finished and is now in the rearview mirror. India was the third country to cross over 1 million Covid-19 cases and Prime Day in India was Amazon’s way to test waters in regards to fulfillment capacity and sales volume. Seeing the success in India, Amazon can’t miss the opportunity in the U.S. and other marketplaces. Plus Prime Day is Amazon’s cash cow and the e-commerce giant is popular for breaking its own record every year.
Quick history of Prime Day (The Christmas In July)
Don’t worry; it’s not going to be boring like your history class. The first Prime Day ever was celebrated six years back in 9 countries, including the U.S., UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, and Austria. Since then, Amazon’s self-made shopping season has expanded in duration, geographical coverage and popularity. In 2017, it lasted for 30 hours, 36 hours in 2018 and for 48 hours in 2019. Prime Day traditionally takes place in July, but as mentioned earlier, it will occur in the fourth quarter this year.
Why is Prime Day & Q4 2020 be the toughest yet?
- You are going to compete with the sellers who are more determined than ever.
- Because it is sandwiched between two major holidays Back To School and Black Friday weekend with Christmas falling shortly, minting sales will require a concrete strategy.
- With Prime Day constantly being postponed to the extent that it is almost colliding with the holiday season and high sale events like Black Friday (November 27) & Cyber Monday (November 30) – along with the potential for the second wave of COVID-19, it is needless to say that the Q4 is going to be critical than ever.
Why will Prime Day & Q4 2020 be the greatest yet?
- You have more time at hand: The new date for Prime Day is penciled on October 5, so you have a three-month window to prepare.
- Online businesses are pushed 10 years in the future, thanks to the pandemic: The COVID 19 pandemic has completely changed the way brands do business. While traditional brick and mortar stores were forced to shut down, shoppers flocked to online shopping platforms like Amazon and Walmart. The digital growth that was supposed to take in the next ten years occurred in just a few weeks. Even after panic-buying shrunk and the physical stores reopened, the e-commerce business continued to flourish. Indeed customers are inclined to online buying more than ever now. According to eMarketer, retail spending in the U.S. is expected to drop by 10.5% while the shoppers are expected to spend 18% more on online purchases. It is sad that brick and mortar stores are bearing the brunt, but is sure a celebrating moment for online sellers, especially those selling on Amazon. Read the next point to know why.
- The giant has become enormous: Despite experiencing a peak in negative reviews and flaws in fulfillment, Amazon has retained and solidified its No.1 position as the retail giant, leaving competitors like Walmart, Target & eBay far behind.
- Walmart closed stores this year: For the first time in 30 years, Walmart closed its physical stores on Thanksgiving, pushing customers to e-commerce platforms like Amazon. “We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones,” Walmart said. This can further spike the sales on Amazon in the holiday season.
- Holidays are always loved (more than pandemic): Pandemic or no pandemics, shoppers love to shop and give gifts, spread happiness and they will still celebrate the holiday season just like any other year. In the tumultuous times, people craved to meet each other, spend good quality time and the holiday season will be the perfect excuse.
We agree that Prime Day 2020 is anything but usual and sellers are going to have a wild ride, but at the same time, it’s going to be an unprecedented bonanza. It can be a golden opportunity to overcome the sales slump during the worst days of COVID-19. Plus, as it’s not going to kick off anytime soon, you have ample time to prepare and we’ll help you out with it. Keeping the spirit of optimism alive, we have rounded up the most useful tips that will help you knock your targets out of the ballpark.
Tips to win prime day 2020
#1: Plan now to prosper later
Looking at how the year went by far, planning and proactiveness is what helps you not only survive but thrive. Sellers who had an alternate fulfillment channel up their sleeves were able to ship orders when everyone else couldn’t. Sellers who were dynamic enough to communicate their customer beforehand for the delayed shipping were able to prevent a myriad of negative reviews on their listings, sellers who decided to grab the opportunity and launched products that can help shoppers in their “new normal” life couldn’t be less bothered about the decreasing sales of other products in their catalog.
Prime Day represents both great sales and competitiveness. It’s easy to get lost in the madness and if you are not prepared enough, you might miss out on maximizing the profits. So preparing for Prime Day, Q4 and other holidays should be your top priority. Plus, as it is 2020, make sure to be ready for the expected and the unexpected. Luckily, you have an advantage. Because Prime Day and Q4 are still 3 months away, now will be the right time to schedule a meeting with your Amazon sales expert and plan a strategy.
#2: Monitor your IPI (REGULARLY)
Recently Amazon increased the IPI limit from 350 to 500. The company in the mail said, “We are working to manage inventory performance to ensure all products have space available during peak. To enable this, we are changing the IPI minimum threshold requirement to 500. Sellers below 500 will be subject to limits effective August 16, 2020, through the end of the year. The majority of sellers will not be impacted by this change. Most sellers with IPI scores below 500 will have more storage space than last year.” The first IPI evaluation week is on August 17 and the second falls on September 21. So if you want adequate storage space for Prime Day, it is essential to keep your IPI score is on the right side of the bar.
#3: Check COVID stats locally
Lockdowns are imposed almost instantly, without any fair warnings or time to prepare. Plus, there is a potential for a second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks meaning; Amazon can go back to “essentials-only.” The only thing you can do is continually check for COVID stats locally and prepare for the worst (don’t forget to hope for the best). The WHO’s official site is a good and reliable place to stay updated. Moreover, to catch up or find out about any new updates, you can always visit eStore Factory. We cover every little update that concerns you as a seller. If it’s about Amazon, you’ll find it here.
#4: Expand & flourish
Sounds very similar to Kylie Jenner’s famous “Rise & Shine,” but unlike the previous one, this one will be very helpful to you. International exposure is a great way to maximize revenue and expanding globally is a great way to protect your brand from the effects of the pandemic. If there is a sales disruption in one country, you have a secure income from another country.
#5: Take care of customer’s economic constraints and they will take care of you
As per the latest figures from the U.S. Labor Department, more than 40 million American citizens have filed unemployment claims. The experts are warning that the figures could further peak above the Great Depression in 1933. Those with debt are struggling to pay it off and those who have money are tightening the belt. Seeing the current economic situation, competitive prices and deals will be the key to win over shoppers. According to Feedvisor, about 82% of the shoppers said that price is going to be a deciding factor in their purchase decision. Because people’s budgets are different this year, it goes without saying that to earn more sales, having a competitive price and great discounts are a must. Setting up a competitive price also makes you eligible for the buy box and getting buy box means more sales.
#6: Beware of the counterfeits
Amazon is infamous for being the hub of fake sellers. They hijack your listing in the buy box, take away your sales with all the black hat tactics and leave negative reviews for you. This is the last thing you want to deal in 2020. That is why it is necessary to take proactive steps to secure your products and fight off the fakers. Know more about dealing with counterfeits and fake sellers here.
#7: Advertise, advertise & advertise
As per Amazon, 70% of the shoppers never click past the first page of search results, the first product featured on the search result page accounts for 35% of the clicks and 64% of the Amazon shoppers click on the first three items displayed. A comprehensive keyword-optimized content made by product listing optimization experts and advanced Amazon sponsored ads management will drive discoverability and improvement in organic and paid efforts. To maintain a competitive edge and plan your advertising strategy, leveraging experienced Amazon PPC consultants with niche e-commerce expertise is imperative.
#8: Creativity triumphs convention
Do you know why some brands are remembered? Because their ads were impactful and attention-seeking. They didn’t brag about how great their products were or burdened the customers with technical features. They just created something that simply connected with the customers at a different level. If you are selling an immune supplement, simply an image of a happy family or a short tagline like “take charge of your health” is enough to woo the customers. If you display your brand in a unique and customer-friendly way, it will be a lot easier to differentiate your brand from the customers. There is a pandemic going on and people would expect you to make tweaks in your content or images so that the copy and the brand assets relate to them directly. Don’t hesitate to do that because that is the edge you were always looking for.
#9: The usual:
These tips are somewhat like your mom gave to you when you went on a field trip or asked to go out with friends. You know them but don’t bother to follow and that’s where you miss out. These basic yet essential tips are something the million-dollar Amazon sellers follow, that is how they reached there, by mastering the basics. So here are a few of them:
- Ensure proper and sufficient inventory supply. You don’t want to miss a train full of opportunity just because you were out of stock
- (Double) check your return policy because the return ratio can be an all-time high in the holiday season
- Use Sponsored Product Ads to get those eyeballs on you and Sponsored Brand Ads for brand recall. A combination of both is the secret formula to master Amazon advertising
- Optimize your listing with great images, Amazon keyword research Amazon listing optimization and attractive Enhanced Brand Content (A+ Page)
Here are some of the tips from directly from our Amazon experts:
- Create a really attractive promotional offer (probably the best one you had the whole year)
- Give at least 30% off. This won’t just help you win the buy box but also help attract customers and increase conversion.
- Run deals, promotions and advertising campaigns the entire week. Don’t limit for two days because the traffic is sky-high for the whole week.
- Leverage off Amazon traffic and create a buzz in social media. But don’t forget to use a landing page to filter out customers with purchase intent.
- Hire Amazon consulting services for Amazon Account Audit and find out and remedy the flaws in your account
- Gear up for a great learning experience. Prime Day and Q4 2020 is unlike any other year. There will be a lot to observe, learn and implement in your strategy. Don’t miss that at any cost.
Now you are ready for the holiday rush:
Quoting the great words of Sun Tzu, “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” The same goes true for the big sale days. By hiring expert Amazon consultants from eStore Factory, your half battle is won. The other half will be won when we sit with you, devise an action plan and implement it when the holiday season finally arrives. Contact Us now and scale up your business.