- On July 3, 2019
Amazon has announced that its now famous Prime Day will take place on 15 and 16 July 2019. eBusiness Institute’s Amazon expert, Jérôme de Guigné, offers his tips on how brands can maximize the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of what could be the biggest online shopping event of 2019.
What is Amazon’s Prime Day?
Prime Day is a big annual shopping holiday for Amazon Prime subscribers, held at the start of the summer, where Amazon generates a lot of traffic thanks to great deals on millions of products.
Originally, the only shopping events on Amazon were Black Friday and Cyber Monday, both originating in the US and both held in November with the former being linked to the last Friday in November when workers would get their pay and could buy their Christmas presents for the family. So Amazon decided to create a similar event in July to generate more buzz and more sales.
Amazon keeps the date of Prime Day a closely guarded secret, only revealing the exact date 15 to 20 days before the event. The eRetail giant will have planned a lot of advertising to promote this year’s Prime Day through radio, TV, email and by displaying banners everywhere it can. Amazon will also be putting pressure on brands to make huge deals, and will have been pushing them to do so since March. All this is to ensure that they have big deals to make the event a success.
What are the lessons learned from past Prime Days?
In recent years, Amazon has been a victim of its own success in that too many deals have been offered, and it’s far from sure that for certain brands there will be a big increase in sales. Coupling generous price deals with sales that don’t increase by as much as expected may even lead to brands seeing their revenue decline without them gaining any benefit from the rush of traffic.
How can a brand win on Prime Day 2019?
Deals: First let’s take a look at deals for Prime Day. If you would prefer to avoid giving too much of a discount away or if your brand is not very well known, you might want to test several options. You could decide to do nothing at all, but this would be wasting a very big opportunity both in sales and brand awareness.
A second option could be to offer promotions the week before or the week after Prime Day, which means your brand’s offers are not lost amongst the thousands of others. We have often seen this strategy used effectively and it can help you achieve good sales figures without you having to slash your prices in half, or worse. For the same reason, Lightning Deals - Amazon promotions offered in a limited quantity for a short period of time - are becoming less efficient, while the Best Deal promotions can be a great opportunity. Here again, offering a smaller discount, but one that is well targeted in terms of timing and is linked to efficient advertising, can make for a successful sales period, at least compared to one with no sales at all and your price crashing.
Advertising: Second, let’s take a look at how to approach advertising. Some brands and retailers tend to save throughout the year in order to invest all their money in these peak periods. We have even had examples of ads where bids for some keywords have gone for as much as $75. But how anyone can make any profit after that is a mystery to me. What business sense does it make?
The best practice here is to protect the face value or your product, resist competitors and be smart with your timing.
Heavily discounting can have a positive effect in the short term, but it won't help much in building the brand consistently. Making fewer discounts, but testing different ways would be a safer approach. A well driven voucher / coupon promotion with focused advertising can work wonders.
If you, understandably, have no desire to enter the keywords bidding war, you can instead protect your own product pages, also known as ASIN Pages where ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number, target your own ASIN (ASIN targeting), and display ads to make sure nobody is trying to steal your traffic from your pages.
Finally, you can couple your advertising with your promotions, perhaps for the week leading up to Prime Day and for the week after. It is preferable to opt for a longer ad / promotion exercise with less discount than the very short / very high discount approach.
In general, achieving growth on Amazon, especially as far as advertising is concerned, takes time and requires constant and persistent work. For your Amazon ads, the best practice is to make your campaigns last for as long as possible and to build your success step by step. Shortcuts are, in the best case scenario, very expensive and, in the worst case scenario, a waste of money.
This article was written by Jérôme de Guigné, eBusiness Institute Collaborator & Amazon Expert (Amazon Made Simple).
Advertising on Amazon is a form of Retail Digital Media. If you want to know more about how to gain a competitive edge with RDM, at the eBusiness Institute we have been advising brands on Retail Digital Media since 2014. With our help, clients learn how to utilize RDM successfully to win in the eCommerce space.
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