[UPDATED] 6 Tips for Preparing Your Brand for Amazon Prime Day 2020 (and Q4)

Amazon Prime Day is the retailer’s biggest traffic event of the summer, essentially Christmas in July. Well, it had been since 2015 (Amazon’s 20th anniversary). Needless to say, 2020 has been a year of disruptions, challenges, pivots, and scrambles, and perhaps no retailer has been so affected (and has mostly prospered) as Amazon.

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Anything But the Usual (and That’s Okay!)

Amazon Prime Day 2020 has been postponed with all signs pointing to an October event. Only India has held Amazon Prime Day 2020 so far. The event was a massive success for the marketplace as Amazon.in ran its mega-sale on August 6-7 and enjoyed record participation. But what about the larger Prime Day for other marketplaces and the brands selling on those?

How can sellers and brands prepare in an environment where everything is unusual and uncertain? By not waiting for Amazon to make an official announcement regarding Prime Day 2020 and instead proceeding based on these facts and assumptions:

  1. There will almost certainly be a Prime Day. Expect 48 hours of deep discounts and deals held in October. Prime Days of yore have been lengthier but with this year’s event so close to the holidays, there is likely to be a shorter window.
  2. October is Q4 so we’ll see a few condensed months packed with shopping holidays where buyers buy for themselves as well as buying gifts for others. This means that ramping up for Q4 includes ramping up for Prime Day early in the quarter.
  3. 2020 shopping has been so disrupted by COVID that sales trends for the year are entirely skewed due to a confluence of outliers such as scarcity of pandemic-related items and in-home necessities, high unemployment and lower spending, and a shift to unusual purchasing habits that upend sales histories and trends.
  4. Pandemic or no pandemic, shoppers still love deals and they will still celebrate the holidays and give gifts (albeit perhaps not in person).
  5. In a year of turbulence and instability, people crave familiarity and festivity. While there may be bulk hand sanitizer deeply discounted and masks purchased to be placed in stockings, expect strong sales of toys and electronics and comfort/fun items (especially for kids).
  6. eCommerce has never been a more-viable, more-preferred shopping option that it is this year. This means that brands have opportunities to sell and promote products that may not be the usual Prime Day or holiday sellers. Embrace the shopportunities!

With these in mind, you can (and should) be simultaneously preparing for Amazon Prime Day 2020 and Q4 holiday shopping now and as an intertwined end-of-year push. This is your chance to take control of the quarter ahead. Be bold, go big, and give shoppers what they want and what they need (as well as what they didn’t even know existed but they can’t possibly live without).

6 Tips for Preparing Your Brand for Amazon Prime Day 2020 (and Q4)

1. Take Advantage of Unofficial Deals

Amazon will start ramping up its teasers and advertisements for Prime Day weeks before the event, but the turnaround time will be shorter in 2020 due to the condensed quarter. Don’t wait for Amazon to start offering Prime Day Lightning Deal opportunities. Those are limited and will be even more so this year. Assuming you’re fully optimized and you’re not running a Prime Day deal, there are several ways you can take advantage of the uptick in traffic. Some rules to remember:

  • Shoppers will always buy to price. Offer discounts off the price instead of a buy-one, get-one deal. Price will usually beat coupons and on-page promotions. The only exception is when prices are close and shoppers are passionate about a particular brand.
  • Price competitively and very flexibly if you want to win the Buy Box. This isn’t a long-term strategy but it could pay off during the unprecedented Amazon Prime Day 2020 shopping frenzy. If you’re not already automating pricing, learn how to set the auto-pricing rules that will keep you in the Buy Box game.

2. Optimize Your Amazon Product Listings Prior to Prime Day

First and foremost, you need to optimize your Amazon product listings to reflect the product and not the offer. On Amazon, everyone’s offer is combined onto a single product detail page, which is what makes it a product-focused marketplace. If you’re the brand owner, you control that page. If you’re a reseller, you only control your offer.

The product detail page is precisely that: all about the details of the product. Brands participating in Amazon Brand Registry can go deeper and tell their stories with A+ Content. Detail pages must be directly related to that product. And as a note, sellers can’t add anything to their product detail pages that mention Prime Day specials, deals, etc. as this is a violation of Amazon’s Terms of Service.

Make sure you optimize your product images for conversion. Study the product images of any top-selling product and you’ll notice the images are are more like magazine ads. Obviously, the first image has to be on a white background, but all of the other images should explain the key features.

Assume shoppers will look at images before reading the bullet points. Update your product images based on what you find. Remember, don’t copy but be inspired and make your images their own thing. Consider amping up your Amazon product listings by adding 360-degree images and livestreams.

3. Don’t Raise Your List Price to Show a Greater Discount

Shoppers are savvier than ever. They look at CamelCamelCamel and use extensions like Honey to track pricing. Manipulating your list price in order to get a percentage off is a dodgy tactic and it’s legally questionable, too. Don’t risk suspension by dabbling in the dark arts of Amazon black-hat tactics.

Customers usually know what a product costs. Inflating your sales price will prevent potential sales. Besides, the winners in most categories on Amazon aren’t the lowest price. If you can’t discount, then make sure your product demonstrates all of the right reasons as to why someone would pay more for it.

4. Run Amazon Sponsored Ads

Make sure you’ve fully executed on tip #2 (optimizing your product listing page) before you put any money into Amazon PPC campaigns and strategies. You want to make sure that your page is as conversion-focused as possible. The same can be said about your organic search. Make sure you’ve optimized your detail page for the keywords that will bring shoppers to your page.

There will be a lot of spending leading up to Prime Day. Amazon knows this. To get a full return on your ad spend on Prime Day, you need to be extremely vigilant and look at your bid maximums throughout the day leading up to Prime Day This isn’t the time to set it and forget it. Think about all of the traffic Amazon is going to receive. How quickly will you burn through your advertising budget before you know the actual performance? This is why running ads leading up to Prime Day is important. Read Amazon PPC Strategy: Top 3 Amazon Tactics to Increase Traffic, Get Noticed, and Reduce Wasted Ad Spend for tips.

5. Run Off-Amazon Promotions

Focus on how to drive external traffic to your Amazon Prime Day 2020 deals. One of the best indicators for sales rank and search rank are the additions of items to wish lists, off-Amazon traffic to Amazon, and affiliates. You need to understand who the influencers are in your space.

If you have an audience outside of Amazon, invite them to come partake in your deals. This strategy is only useful if you have an affinity group set up. Facebook ads will help sellers who don’t have a group or audience, but remember that Facebook ads will be difficult to attribute into your products’ profits and losses report in a short amount of time. If you’re not doing this, start. This will pay off big during Prime Day and later in Q4.

6. Take Advantage of the Halo Effect

The sales you generate on Prime Day are going to generate additional sales throughout the rest of the year, which is Q4 make-or-break time this year. Understand Amazon Prime Day 2020 as a launching pad into Q4.

You can boost your non-Prime Day deals by running targeted ads for high-traffic keywords to move all of your products up, essentially a ratchet growth effect. One of the easiest things you can do is identify if your product is linked to another product in the “Frequently purchased together” section. This works two ways because if you want to generate sales for a key product you can bid on it knowing that your lesser product is getting free spillover traffic from the key product’s detail page.

As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all ships.” The success of one product can grow your sales if you know where to look and what keywords to target.

Welcome to the Unprecedented Amazon Prime Day and Q4 2020 Bonanza. Expect a Wild Ride.

Driving traffic to your products this Prime Day isn’t your number one goal. Your goal is to generate as many sales as possible and build your Amazon brand’s reputation. The best way to convert browsers into buyers is with a compelling Amazon detail page, so make sure it’s ready to receive the vast amount of traffic come Prime Day 2020 (whenever that may be).

Amazon Prime Day 2020 is likely to be full of twists and turns. That’s okay. Prepare as best you can, expect some challenges and changes, stay compliant with Amazon’s rules, and automate every possible aspect of your Amazon business to save time and keep things running smoothly.

For all the tools you need in order to meet your business goals — while also staying Amazon compliant and automating your workflows — try Seller Labs Pro. This bundle of white-hat apps will save you time and money while improving your processes for reporting, advertising, listing optimization, keyword discovery, and getting product reviews. Get a demo or start your FREE 30-day trial of Seller Labs Pro today.

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