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Amazon Prime Day 2020: What You Need to Know

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Amazon has finally announced its 2020 Prime Day dates: October 13-14.

After multiple delays reportedly caused by COVID-19 complications as well as leaks of updated dates, the ecommerce giant has officially given consumers and Amazon sellers a 15-day heads-up for some of the biggest sales days of the year.

We know many Amazon sellers are no longer depending on the sales boost that Prime Day typically brings them (in midsummer), but most will still try to capitalize on the event to capture consumers’ increased spending on Amazon, unload extra inventory, and kickstart holiday sales.

We’ll get into the steps sellers can still take to prep for a promising Prime Day.

 

Why Prime Day 2020 Almost Didn’t Happen

Prime Day has historically taken place in July (more on this history below), but Amazon opted to delay the major shopping bonanza this year, likely due to direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • First, Amazon may have been concerned about tightened consumer spending; 56% of U.S. consumers said they were concerned with their current financial situation* and 61% were planning on reducing their spending for non-essential items as of May 2020.
  • And Amazon has made it clear from the beginning of the pandemic that it would prioritize essential products, even temporarily freezing new FBA shipments of non-essential goods. Prime Day products span just about every category — they’re certainly not limited to essential goods. 
  • Further, the COVID-19 virus has affected nearly the entire world, and China — where most of Amazon’s third-party sellers source their products — was initially devastated. While suppliers in China and elsewhere have continued or restarted operations to produce and ship products, some supply chains are still recovering.

Overall, however, despite initial impact and concerns regarding Amazon sales and business performance, plenty of data indicates that the retail giant has recovered just fine.

 

Why Prime Day 2020 Could Be the Biggest Yet

The loss of income experienced by many Americans could lead many to look for Prime Day deals that will help them save money. Not to mention, despite COVID-19, consumer spending is still high on Amazon. 

1. More people are shopping on Amazon:

In 2020, shoppers have been limited when it comes to where they can source much-needed household items. Consumer spending indicates that shoppers are looking to Amazon more than any other retailer during this time.

  • 71% of consumers reported shopping on Amazon during the pandemic
  • 48% of consumers say they are shopping more frequently on Amazon since the COVID-19 pandemic than they did previously
2. People are spending more money on Amazon:

Though more than half (52%) of U.S. consumers have reduced their overall spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have increased the amount they spend online and on Amazon.

  • 63% of U.S. consumers have increased or maintained their online spending since the start of the pandemic
  • 61% have increased or maintained their Amazon spending
  • 28% said they are spending more on Amazon than they were before COVID-19
3. Consumers are committed to shopping on Prime Day 2020:

With millions of deals available during Prime Day, it’s not surprising that budget-conscious consumers are already saying that they will buy on Prime Day 2020 — even with previous uncertainty around the event’s date.

  • 39% of U.S. consumers said they will participate in Prime Day 2020, while 33% said they might take part
  • 73% of consumers said they’re looking for products with the lowest price while shopping on Amazon, which is in line with Prime Day’s benefits
4. Prime Day 2020 offers Amazon an opportunity to solidify their brand loyalty:  

At a time when other major brands are on shaky ground with their customers, Amazon has been continuing to provide its customer-base with the convenience they have come to expect. Prime Day 2020 will only act to increase their attachment to the brand:

  • 70% of consumers value being able to shop on Amazon, with 73% thinking it’s a good company for consumers
  • 52% of respondents reported having a greater appreciation of Amazon since the emergence of COVID-19
5. Prime Day could mean the start of the holiday shopping season

Amazon is essentially creating an ongoing season of promotions and events to drive sales throughout Q4 2020. Since Amazon has pushed its Prime Day schedule back to October, the date is already just weeks ahead of the average holiday shopping season. Amazon also announced it would start Black Friday deals on October 26 to run through most of November. 

 

What Amazon Sellers Can Do to Prepare for Prime Day 2020

Sellers: In order to fully reap the rewards of Amazon’s Prime Day, it’s important to make sure your business is ready for the potential increase in sales. (Our seller calendar can help you keep track of important, upcoming dates like Prime Day.) 

To do that, though, you need to act now — even if Prime Day is just weeks away, immediate action can still help you reap the benefits of this major consumer event. 

For Amazon sellers using any business model — whether private label, arbitrage, wholesale, handmade, or dropshipping — need to focus on listing optimization in advance of Prime Day. A discounted product won’t be enough to drive conversions. Ensure your listing is as attractive to customers as possible to increase your chances of making those Prime Day sales. 

Another way to improve your odds of Prime Day conversions (if you already have an email list) is to run a thoughtful email campaign prior to the big event. By providing your past customers with a positive email experience, you could see a significant lift in your Prime Day sales numbers. In fact, according to Adobe Digital Insights (ADI), brands that interacted favorably with customers prior to Prime Day increased revenue by 52%, compared to the 23% increase for those sellers who did not. 

Lastly, all third-party sellers must apply for the right to offer lightning deals during Prime day. So, before you submit your application, make sure your product(s) meet Amazon’s deal requirements.

How you prepare can also depend on your Amazon business model:

Private Label

When it comes to private label products, the most important thing to consider is your inventory level(s). Fortunately, there is still time to get the extra inventory you might need to meet the potential demand for your product during Prime Day. But, despite the extra month Prime Day 2020’s postponement has given sellers, it’s important to act quickly!

To help speed up the process of getting your stock to Amazon’s fulfillment centers and onto your shelves, you may want to look for a supplier closer to the U.S. than China. And using Jungle Scout’s Supplier Database can speed up the process even further by helping you find the right manufacturer quickly and easily.

Arbitrage

For arbitrage sellers, because Prime Day experiences such high volume traffic and sales, it’s a great opportunity to offer products that don’t normally sell well. So, get ready for Prime Day 2020 by going through your house and sending any valuable one-offs, random items, and adds and ends you want to sell to Amazon.

This is also the perfect time to review your current inventory and price old stock to sell. You can also do some research and sourcing of new products now, to build up your inventory for the big event.

Other things to know about preparing for Amazon Prime Day

That’s not all you can (and perhaps should) focus on though. According to Jungle Scout’s in-house experts, it’s also a good idea to:

  • Audit your listings: Check your title, bullet points, images, and descriptions to make sure they are up to date.
  • Split test your A+ content: If you are brand-registered, consider using Amazon’s split-testing feature to maximize your listing’s conversion potential.
  • Use ‘Amazon Coupons’: Lightning deals are great, but coupons can also attract those buyers all sellers look for during Prime Day.
  • Review your PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns: Consider bidding more aggressively for your product’s most important keywords — starting now — to increase your organic ranking by prime day.
  • Take advantage of Bulk Review Requests: Use this feature regularly (either through Jungle Scout’s Extension, or Amazon’s request button) to gain as many reviews as possible between now and Prime Day to give your organic ranking a boost.
  • Adjust sales prices: Change your product price to generate more sales and get rid of inventory. That will save you being charged a long-term storage fee, and could boost your Best Sellers Ranking (BSR) organically.

So, now is the time to either get prepared for Prime Day if you’re already an Amazon seller, or to begin selling on Amazon

 

About Amazon Prime Day

In 2015, Amazon introduced Prime Day — a day of deals and sales across Amazon.com — as a way to celebrate their Prime members (which launched in 2005) on Amazon’s 20th birthday. The first iteration of Prime Day happened on July 15, and ran for 24 hours.  

Initially, Prime Day deals were only available in nine countries, but the list expanded each year, with the number of participating countries reaching 18 in 2019. They included: 

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy 
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • the Netherlands
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • United Arab Emirates
  • UK 
  • U.S.

And the sales event was a massive success. 

Prime Day success over the years

2015 

Despite experiencing its biggest Black Friday sales numbers ever in 2014, Amazon raked in even more during Prime Day 2015 than it did on that previous Black Friday. Additionally, in its first year, Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers worldwide saw a 300% increase in sales, with 34.4 million goods sold.  

2016 

The following year, in 2016, Prime Day grew. Belgium participated (bringing the total number of countries taking part to 10), sales worldwide were 60% higher than those in 2015, and third-party sellers offering deals nearly tripled their orders (year-over-year).

2017

Prime Day 2017 saw even greater growth, not only in terms of products sold (50% more than 2016) and participating countries (up from 10 to 12), but in the length of time the deal day lasted as well — from 24 hours to 30.

2018

Then, in 2018 and due to the success of the extended hours, Amazon took it a step further and ran Prime Day for 36 hours. And once again it paid off.

Prime members worldwide bought over 100 million products, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) earned over $1.5 billion in revenue, and it was Amazon’s largest day-and-a-half of sales globally.

2019

Finally, Prime Day 2019 ran for 48 hours, and sales eclipsed 2018’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined. 

During that two-day time frame, shoppers bought more than 175 million items, generating over $2 billion in revenue for third-party sellers. In fact, some sellers reported experiencing an increase in sales anywhere from 23% to 200%. 

 

*Methodology

In May, 2020, Jungle Scout conducted an anonymous survey of 1,006 U.S. consumers, asking them about their buying preferences and behaviors. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 75+, and represent every U.S. state, all genders and employment types, and various levels of income. See the 2020 Consumer Trends Report

 

 

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