Amazon Sales Events – A checklist for success

A must read for any brand selling on Amazon

Aug 12, 2019
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Umair Khan: Amazon Channel Lead at Geometry UK

2019 saw Amazon announce its best ever Prime Day reportedly selling 175m items and sales surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Some advertisers on the platform increased investment by x3.8 and were rewarded with x5.8 the revenue*.

For brands which may have fallen short of reaping Prime Day rewards this year, or those who might do more, I’ve gathered together a checklist for future Amazon sales events.

Content that converts

  • Reviews: A good review score (4+) is crucial to achieving conversion on the day. In order to best prepare, look at negative feedback and reply to customers concerns promptly. Contact Amazon and ask to remove (removal request) feedback that does not relate to the product e.g. review mentioning problems with delivery.
  • Product detail pagesMake sure your product pages are best in class (ie use optimised images, descriptions using associated keywords) and leverage the value of A+ content. Address issues arising from customer reviews through product descriptions to ensure everyone can make an informed purchase.

Demand vs supply (inventory management)

Prime Day can increase category sales by as much as 60%. When planning inventory levels, the best approach is to look at last year sales and advertising spend and align this year’s stock levels to an expected increase in generic sales. A good rule of thumb is to ensure the maximum inventory you have can be sold in 12 weeks (to avoid returns and reduce storage fees).

Variants & Prime Day offers

Creating variants and specific Prime Day offers ensures your offer stands out and you don’t reduce the ASP (Amazon Selling Price) of existing products.

Prime Day promotions

Prime Day promotions need to be submitted in advance (May). Start preparing from January and address content/reviews and products you will be submitting for promotions ahead of time. The discount on Prime Day needs to be 15-20% lower than the lowest offer made in the last 30 days and at least 20-30% discount from RRP. The best promotions observed this year surpassed this threshold offering up to 40-60% discounts. The same is true for all events on the Amazon calendar.

Know your deals

There are lots of deals available to tap into for a limited period. This is an excellent way to achieve extra revenue push on the day.

  • Spotlight deals: Available to Prime customers until Amazon runs out of stock (this is a great deal mechanism to protect average margin during promotional periods).
  • Lightning deals: A great way to improve product ranking and overall seller ranking. By introducing a deal for a limited time, you increase traffic to Sku’s which in turn will improve your generic ranking/relevance for keywords/category.
  • Deal of the day: Only available on Vendor Central - although not directly part of Prime Day, This is another alternative to LD’s (lightening deals) and SD’s (spotlight deals) and generates increased in traffic on Prime Day. Remember also to submit deals to vendor managers for consideration.

Amazon coupons

A powerful promotion that places your product offering in multiple places on the Amazon ecosystem (eg coupons page, email campaigns etc.). This also helps drive traffic to SKU’s improving overall ranking in search results.

AMS targeted SP (sponsored products) & SB (sponsored brand) campaigns

Search ads generate three quarters of all sales on the platform so increasing Prime Day spend makes sense. Manufacturers, beware, always keep an eye on ACOS (advertising cost of sales) and ROAS (return on advertising spend) when making decisions on spend. A good starting point is to align your AMS strategy to predicted sales and increase spend should you surpass sales expectation.

  • Monitor budgets. Active monitoring of campaigns pays dividends when it comes to avoiding keywords heavily targeted by competitors.
  • Make use of dynamic bidding to maximise impressions on your products. Dynamic bidding is designed to ensure bids are never too high or never too low, so ensuring that the bid price meets your return on advertising spend (ROAS) requirements is essential to a healthy margin on Prime Day.
  • Social media (off-site campaigns). Use social media accounts and influencers to further drive traffic to your products. Always use affiliate links when targeting offsite traffic to monitor impact.

To wrap up, just like all successful events, the key is in the planning. Learn from Prime Day 2019 and prepare not just for next year, but also for Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up this November.

Be aware - unlike Prime Day, Amazon runs Black Friday over a longer period of time (usually four weeks from mid-November to mid-December) a  period that flows nicely into “Christmas" and “New Year, New You” sales.

My advice: start planning now!

*According to Kenshoo: https://kenshoo.com/blog/prime-day-2019/

Geometry UK

Our ambition is to drive growth by innovating where and how people discover, buy and use your products and services. Our proven growth framework unlocks growth opportunities in consumer (need state), channel (mission) and category (demand space). Our creativity changes behaviour in the moments that matter. With expertise across Retail & Shopper; Omni-Channel & Digital Commerce; Experiential; Brand & Design; Innovation; and B2B & Trade, our promise is to deliver ideas that create growth for your brand. Our clients include: Coca-Cola, GSK, Kimberly-Clark, PwC, HSBC, GORE-TEX, Shell, Diageo and Unilever. We’re led by our values. We are brave, we are trusting, we are reinventive and we are human. The people who make up Geometry are Geometry and we work hard to look after them – whether it’s our award-winning wellness programme, our IPA Gold standard training, our industry-leading benefits or our funding programme for employees’ passion projects.

2 Comments

Julian Durham 4 days ago

Amazon's greed. The worst UI and UX I have ever experiences and why I will NOT be selling on their platform. 

Firstly, I never usually leave comments... But my latest experience with Amazon (seller platform) has left me wanting to voice my experience to warn others.

So, I set up my account, pretty straight forward, business details, VAT No, Company No., etc etc. Hit the submit button and BOOM £30 charged straight off the bat! Now the hard work begins, building your shop, products photography, copy descriptions, marketing, advertising, promotions. The list is pretty exhaustive to get your amazon business off the ground - building any business is. So why charge a prospective seller, fees, whilst they set out their stall - could take weeks? Most market places charge from when you go 'live' ie. all back office details done.

This single act of greed, switched me off. I didn't build my shop. I wanted nothing to do with the seller platform. So now I try to contact the seller team, to close my account and get a £30 refund. Go to account, after 10 mins locating it! Need to set up 2FA - no bother, I manage multiple 2FA account through the Authy app. Well, I have never been so bamboozled or frustrated in my life. They require two mobile phone numbers?

So it's on to email support and days of back and forth. I cant speak to anyone - only email support that continually tells me to log into my account and downgrade to a default seller account (no monthly £30 fee). I continually explain I can't get into my account due to the 2FA issues.

I will not bore you further... Needless to say, the support team downgraded my account without me logging in, and I have been promised my refund without any objection - I think they get this request a lot?

Amazon, switch the fee payment option to kick in when the shop goes live... like eBay! 

Umair Khan 2 days ago

Hi Julian, 

Thank you for taking the time to reply, sadly the complexity of amazon systems have created the problem that you mentioned above, many of my clients used to feel the same way. 

Amazon is a great opportunity for sellers looking to increase their sales, and their online market share makes it a difficult proposition to ignore them. My company (Geometry Global) specialises in helping sellers like you achieve efficiencies that normally require huge upfront investment and overall understanding of Amazon systems. Our management fees are build into your sales, so if you don't succeed we don't succeed.

I would like to invite you to get in touch "umair.khan@geometry.com" and we can look at the problem you're facing in more detail and provide a workable solution. 

Look forward to hearing from you

Regards 

Umair