How to Prepare for Prime Day 2022 as an Amazon Seller
Amazon Prime Day keeps getting bigger, which gives savvy Amazon sellers plenty of opportunities to increase sales. The retailer's annual 2-day sales event is returning this July, and even though we don't yet have a specific date, it's never too early to start preparing for Prime Day.
Last year, Prime Day saw a staggering $11 billion in sales over two days, making the event a bit bigger than Cyber Monday, which netted $10.7 billion in a single day last year. Prime Day 2021 even boasted a 6.1% increase in sales from the 2020 event, showing Prime Day profits have only continued to grow.
Over the past few years, sales have expanded beyond Amazon, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a retailer that doesn't offer some kind of summer sales event to compete with Prime Day. In fact, that $11 billion in sales included not only ones on Amazon, but also events at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Kohl's.
So what can sellers do to prepare for Prime Day 2022 and make the most of it? Let's check out the strategies that will help you succeed on Prime Day.
When Is Prime Day 2022?
Amazon has announced that Prime Day will take place in July, though not exactly when. But you can find plenty of reasonable guesses floating around. For example, eStore Factory predicts Prime Day 2022 will be July 18-19.
Just remember: Even though recent Prime Day sales have only lasted two days, sales for the event will start early and linger after Prime Day officially wraps up. You should be prepared to kick off your Prime Day sales and advertisements in advance of the big day.
Important Dates for Prime Day 2022
Some of your Prime Day prep has to start extremely early. In fact, we've already passed the deadline for submitting Lightning Deals and Prime Member Promotions for Prime Day week. But don't worry if you didn't get in on these offers — they're pricey promotions, and there are plenty of other ways to earn sales on the big day.
However, there are some deadlines to pay close attention to as you get ready for Prime Day 2022:
- June 10, 2022: Deadline to submit coupons to run during Prime Day week
- June 20, 2022: Deadline to get Fulfillment by Amazon stock in order to ship during Prime Day week
- July 8, 2022: Deadline to submit Prime Exclusive Discounts
What's New for Prime Day 2022
Fuel Surcharge Will Increase FBA Costs
Amazon has recently added a 5% fuel and inflation surcharge for FBA sellers, increasing fulfillment fees. In practice, this fee ranges from an extra 15 cents for the smallest, lightest items to $8.54 (plus 4 cents per pound over 90 pounds) for heavy, oversized, dangerous items. Check the current Amazon FBA fulfillment fees — which include the new surcharge — to see how this will affect your pricing.
With this new fee, you should redo your math to see how far you can discount your products and still make a profit. Amazon shoppers are very price-conscious, so offering discounts and coupons during Prime Day is a must. If you're not sure how to price your items considering these new FBA costs, Amazon offers some tools to help, including the FBA Revenue Calculator.
But you may want to consider whether FBA is still worth using with fees on the rise. For example, can you ship and fulfill orders quickly enough to switch to using Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)? And do you have the staff and supplies to handle filling orders during Prime Day, when sales volumes are higher? Don't forget, if you're handling this part you'll also need to handle customer service requests, returns, and other tasks, which can add a lot to your overhead.
If you already have your own fulfillment and logistics systems in place — say, if you're accustomed to handling your own shipping to sell on sites like Walmart or eBay — the new FBA fuel surcharge could be the tipping point. Be sure to run the numbers before Prime Day to see what fulfillment method will work best for you. Amazon has a calculator that will help you compare the costs of FBA and FBM to help you figure out which option makes the most sense.
Sticking with FBA? Then you'll want to double-check your settings to be sure you're not overspending. Confirm all of your product sizes are accurate so you aren't overpaying for shipping or storage. Also be mindful about what inventory you stock, as large products that take up a lot of space or products that don't move quickly will incur extra storage costs. With fees on the rise, you want to keep costs down any way you can.
Beware of Supply Chain Problems
While supply chain issues have been a hallmark of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be seeing more of them this summer. Between new restrictions in China and Russia's war in Ukraine, Bloomberg warns that we may see new shipping disruptions. If your products are being sourced from China, it reportedly takes more than 100 days on average for them to reach a warehouse in the United States.
That could make it more difficult to get stock ready for Prime Day. If you're dealing with shipping delays, you may want to rethink your Prime Day strategy and look to products you have on hand to discount and promote, instead of hoping a shipment arrives in time. Leading up to your Prime Day sales, you'll want to keep a close watch on your inventory and be ready to adapt and change your plans, in case of stocking problems or shortages.
'Small and Light' Maximum Item Price Increased
The latest Amazon news isn't all bad: Amazon has increased the price limit for its Small and Light program, which lets you ship inexpensive items for a lower cost. Small and Light products can be up to 3 pounds, must use boxes that are 18" x 14" x 8" or less, and must be priced under $10 (previously it was $8). Using the Small and Light program will make it less expensive for you to stock and ship smaller items.
Like standard FBA, fulfillment prices vary based on the size and weight of the item, and the savings over standard FBA will differ — but you could save up to 20% or so on FBA fulfillment costs. That could mean a difference of just 60 cents, but those small amounts add up if you ship a lot of small, inexpensive products.
Review your stock and see if you have items that qualify for the Small and Light program. This discount isn't applied automatically, so you have to enroll products in the program in order to receive these lower prices.
How to Prepare for Prime Day 2022
Start Planning Your Sales Now
With the massive influx of shoppers coming to Amazon on Prime Day, there are lots of opportunities to increase your sales. Even if you've missed the deadline for Lightning Deals or other Prime Day promotions, any product can sell as long as you can keep it visible in search results and price it competitively.
Sales don't have to be complicated either; they can be straightforward price cuts that offer appealing discounts for Amazon bargain hunters. Just keep your profit margins — and Amazon's increased FBA costs — in mind when pricing items, to ensure you're still making a profit. These simple price cuts can get a lot of attention — particularly from shoppers who watch Amazon price trackers.
Offering coupons on Amazon is a great way to draw attention to your products, because they display prominently in search results. Coupon items have a banner saying "coupon" next to them in search results, which will catch shoppers' eyes. In addition to coupons that display on the site, you can create coupon codes to share on social or via your mailing lists, giving your best customers extra incentive to check out your products on Prime Day. Start thinking about your coupons on Amazon now, because the deadline to set them up for Prime Day is June 10.
Also consider Prime Exclusive Discounts — available outside Prime Day, as well — which offer lower prices exclusively to Amazon's Prime subscribers. These savings can be another way to distinguish your sales from the competition with a visual indicator next to your product in search results. There are restrictions on the types of items and kinds of discounts for these deals, and those restrictions are even stricter for Prime Day sales. Be sure to submit these soon, as the deadline to have your discounts submitted for Prime Day is July 8.
And don't forget non-Amazon sales, too. If you sell products through other retailers or on your own website, you should offer discounts there, as well. Prime Day shoppers don't limit themselves to Amazon, and extending your promotions to other sites will give you more chances to get shoppers' attention.
When you're planning out offers, don't restrict yourself to just one strategy; you can use any or all types of discounts to get shoppers' attention on Prime Day. But always remember to consider profit margins when you're setting discounts — particularly if you're offering sales and coupons that can stack, which might result in steep savings for your customers but could cut into your bottom line.
Automate Your Pricing to Stay Competitive
If you don't use automated pricing, now might be the time to set it up. Amazon's automated pricing tool will adjust your prices based on rules you set, so you can stay competitive and win the Featured Offer box.
You can expect a lot of price competition on Prime Day, and if you'd like to win the Buy Box, you may want to set up price automation beforehand. Just set up the rules for it, and Amazon will adjust your prices so you don't have to. You set specific pricing rules for each product, and can adjust or remove them whenever you want. This isn't a Prime Day must-have, but if you're interested in changing your prices throughout the event to keep things competitive, this will make it easier.
Increase Your Ad Budget
Shoppers will be flocking to Amazon during Prime Day, but you'll have to get their attention before you can make sales. Cutting prices and offering coupons is a first step, but if you want to bring in shoppers in the first place, advertising will help. Increasing your ad budget — and managing it wisely — can be key to Prime Day success.
SEE ALSO: How to Create Coupons on Amazon
Expect to pay more for Prime Day advertising, particularly cost-per-click ads like Amazon Sponsored Products. These are some of the best buys for Amazon sellers, because they show your product prominently in search results. But because these are CPC ads, and more sellers are competing for ad space, costs can skyrocket.
How much you should increase your ad spend by will depend on your budget and goals, but SupplyKick suggests doubling or even tripling your daily campaign budget to keep your ads visible. However you're using Sponsored Products during Prime Day, be sure to review your budget and bids so your products are right in front of shoppers when it matters most.
Don't forget off-site advertisements, as well. While Sponsored Products tend to drive high conversion rates, they aren't your only option. Consider placing ads on social media and on other websites — such as DealNews — as well as simply promoting sales on your own website, social media accounts, and mailing list, if you have them. Promoting your products off Amazon can bring in additional shoppers who may not have bothered checking in on Prime Day.
Plan to start your promotions about two weeks before the big day. This lets you see how your ads perform, and you can adjust if necessary, so you have the perfect campaign prepped for Prime Day. Beginning to promote early on your social platforms also gives you the chance to send out several rounds of reminders, so your customers remember to check out your sales on the big day.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to advertising for Prime Day, and what you do will depend on your advertising budget and marketing strategies. But even a little extra investment in ads or other promotions can have a big payoff.
Optimize Your Product Listings
One of the best ways to boost your Amazon sales — whether for Prime Day or any other day of the year — is to spend time optimizing your product listings. Even if you think your listings are fantastic, it's a good idea to review them so you're certain your product pages really shine for Prime Day. You want to use all the tools Amazon offers to make your listings compelling, so shoppers who visit your pages immediately want to click "buy."
Here are things to check when you want to make your product listings sparkle:
Product titles: Make sure titles clearly describe your products, and include relevant keywords to help items show up in search results and catch shoppers' eyes. Each word in your title is a searchable keyword, so the more relevant keywords you include in titles, the more likely the product is to show up in search results. While you don't want to turn your product title into a word salad of keywords, you do want to use every character you can to give products a short description that's compelling enough to click on. You're allowed up to 200 characters, so make them count!
Product descriptions: Your descriptions should be clear, compelling, and highlight key features and advantages of your product. Vague or confusing descriptions that don't highlight details buyers are interested in are less likely to turn into sales.
Product images: Be sure your images follow Amazon's image guidelines, and that they're as large and clear as possible. Don't just upload an image or two either. Instead, aim to use as many images as Amazon allows, showing your product from multiple angles, including lifestyle shots of your product in use, and pointing out key features with text. (Note that your main product image can't include multiple angles, lifestyle shots, or text, but subsequent images can be more varied.)
Video: If you can use videos in your listings, it's well worth adding them. According to SupplyKick, shoppers who watch a video on a product listing are 3.6 times more likely to buy.
A+ Content: If you're eligible to use A+ Content on your product pages — only available to Professional sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry — be sure to use it and include extra images, longer descriptions, charts, and more product details. You want to use every tool Amazon offers to promote your product, so be sure to flesh out your A+ Content.
Brand-registered sellers should also review their storefronts, making sure they're easy to navigate and look great.
Improve Your Product Reviews
Working on improving your product reviews can make a big impact on your sales. A full 79% of Amazon shoppers read reviews before they buy, so if your reviews aren't great, those shoppers may move on to the next product. Listings with good reviews also tend to rank higher in Amazon searches, increasing overall visibility. This is why it's crucial to get great reviews whenever you can.
But in pursuing those, be sure to play by Amazon's rules, because the company has strict policies regarding what sellers can do with regards to reviews. You can't offer compensation for reviews, directly ask for positive reviews, ask reviewers to change their reviews, or get employees or family to submit reviews. While that may sound like there's nothing you can do about bad reviews, there are legitimate options to help improve your review scores, including:
Request product reviews. You can't specifically request positive reviews, but you can request reviews — and that alone can be enough to get buyers who had a good experience to let others know. You might include an insert in your packaging thanking shoppers for their purchase and asking for a review, or you can ask for reviews through Buyer-Seller Messaging or with the "Request a Review" button on order detail pages.
Address any negative reviews. There's no escaping negative reviews, but responding to them in a professional manner and providing good customer service is likely to impress shoppers. You can respond publicly with a comment or privately through Buyer-Seller Messaging, offering to fix the problem. You can't ask customers to change their reviews or offer help in exchange for better ones, but if you address their problems they may revise their initial statement.
Before you do anything, though, check Amazon for the full, updated list of what sellers can and can't do with product reviews.
Last-Minute Prime Day Prep
While it's best to get your Prime Day plans settled in advance, there's plenty you can do at the last minute to boost your sales for the big day. If you're almost out of prep time, these are the best ways to get ready:
Improve your product listings. Even a little effort optimizing your product listings can have a big payoff. If you're really short on time, just review product titles to make sure they include relevant keywords so your product shows up in searches.
Increase your ad budget. You don't need much lead time to set up Sponsored Products, which are a solid return on advertising investment. If you already have Sponsored Products, review your budget and bids. And whatever your advertising strategy, be sure to monitor campaigns during Prime Day and adjust them as needed.
Set up sales. It's never too late to discount your products, which is always a good way to catch shoppers' eyes — particularly shoppers who use price-tracking tools.
Get the word out about your sales. If you have a social media presence or a mailing list, now's the time to tell your fans you're having a sale. This is a quick and easy way to promote your products to shoppers who are already invested in your products.
Even very last-minute efforts can do a lot to attract shoppers' attention. And with a ton of consumers browsing Amazon on Prime Day, that can lead to a lot of sales.
Things You Should NEVER Do for Prime Day
While you can take lots of steps to get ready for Prime Day, there are a few things you should never do, such as:
Increase prices before Prime Day to make it look like you're offering a deeper discount. Shoppers are often aware of the list price of items, or use price trackers to see how good sales really are — chances are you won't fool anyone with "discounts" like this.
Manipulate your product reviews. While having good product reviews is crucial to sales, you have to carefully follow Amazon's review guidelines. The company has a zero-tolerance policy for review meddling, and could ban you from selling on the site — permanently.
Set up your sales and then walk away. You want to keep a close eye on your sales, shipments, and advertisements during Prime Day so you can adjust as needed. Products that aren't selling may need fine-tuning to their product pages. Ads that aren't converting may need to be revised or pulled. Keep your eyes trained to your Prime Day performance, so you can respond as needed to maximize Prime Day profits.