Amazon Prime Day 2021: What to Expect & How to Succeed

Since 2015, Amazon has hosted its two-day sales event, Prime Day, in mid-July. Over the years, it has become Amazon’s biggest sales event of the year, surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Last year, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon moved Prime Day to October. This year, Prime Day is moving yet again. As of this writing, a date has not yet been confirmed but Amazon’s latest earnings report says Prime Day “will take place later in the second quarter.” We anticipate Prime Day to happen sometime in June.

So what else can you expect from Prime Day and how can you succeed as a third party Amazon seller? Here’s everything you need to know to maximize sales during this two-day event.

Prime Day Opportunity

Amazon launched Prime Day to not only encourage more sales but to also drive sign-ups for Amazon Prime. And it’s been a massive success year over year — for both Amazon and its third party sellers. Let’s take a look:

Number of Prime Members

So far in 2021, there are a whopping 148.6 million Amazon Prime members in the United States alone — a number that is sure to increase during Prime Day. Sales are expected to jump as well. After all, Prime Day sales have grown every year since its launch in 2015.

Source: Digital Commerce 360

Prime Day Sales Trends

In 2020, Prime Day garnered $10.4 billion in sales, a 45.2% increase from 2019. It’s likely that this sales increase is the result of two factors unique to last year:

  1. Shoppers were getting a headstart on their holiday shopping given Prime Day’s October date. 
  2. Consumers were shopping online more than ever to avoid exposure to COVID-19.

Marketplace sellers earned 35% of all Prime Day sales. Digital Commerce 360’s report on Prime Day 2020 mentions that “sales of marketplace sellers’ products grew nearly 60% and — most notably — grew faster year over year than sales of Amazon’s own products.” 

Cross-Channel Growth

Amazon isn’t the only marketplace that sees a sales surge on Prime Day. Other large retailers have started launching sales on the same day since they know shoppers are looking for deals. 

As you can see in our report on Amazon Prime Day 2020, half of the top 100 retailers that had their own sales on Prime Day saw a 51% increase in online traffic and a 76% increase in sales. 

Needless to say, Prime Day 2021 is sure to be a big sales day for Amazon’s third party sellers — especially if you sell on other channels as well. 

Other Highlights from Prime Day 2020

“This year’s Prime Day exceeded all of our expectations,” recalled Caron Proschan, a third party seller, about Prime Day last year. 

Leading up to Prime Day 2020, Amazon launched a Spend $10, Get $10 promotion, their largest small business campaign to date. For two weeks leading up to Prime Day, consumers who spent $10 on items sold by Amazon’s small business sellers would get $10 to spend during Prime Day.

According to Amazon, this campaign led to tens of millions of customers spending more than $900 million with Amazon’s small business sellers.

While Amazon hasn’t made any announcements about a similar campaign this year, the numbers prove that the promotion drove a lot of sales leading up to and on Prime Day. As a result, we’d be surprised if they don’t run another Spend $10, Get $10 — or something like it.

How to Succeed on Prime Day 2021

So how can you take advantage of all the opportunity that Prime Day has to offer? Generally speaking, you want to entice shoppers with exclusive discounts, convert them with awesome product listings, and ensure you have enough inventory to cover demand. But that’s not all. Here, we break down 8 ways to stand out and succeed on Prime Day this year.

1. Optimize your product detail page(s)

The more accurate and descriptive your listings, the higher the chances you’ll get a conversion — especially on Prime Day when sellers are fighting harder than ever to drive sales. To get yours in tip-top shape, double check everything — the product title, bullet points, images, and full descriptions — to make sure everything is accurate, clear, and includes the right keywords.

If you are part of Amazon’s Brand Registry, you’ll want to look at your A+ Content in addition to the areas listed above.

2. Create exclusive discounts

Amazon isn’t going to automatically add discounted prices to your listings on Prime Day, so you need to take the lead on this. There are three ways to do this:

  • Amazon Coupons: Amazon Coupons are a great way to display your discount. They show a bright orange tag next to the list price on your product detail pages, making it obvious to shoppers that you are running a deal. Keep in mind that the deadline to submit Prime Day coupons is May 28. 
  • Manual Price Adjustments: You can also manually adjust your listing price. The only downside to this strategy is that shoppers won’t be able to see that you’ve lowered your price the way an Amazon Coupon shows an obvious discount. The optics of a sale go a long way in driving conversions.
  • Lightning Deals: A Lightning Deal is a promotional offer that is featured for a limited time on the Amazon Deals page and can be part of Prime Day’s featured sales. While the deadline to apply for Lightning Deal eligibility has already passed for this year (it was April 16), keep them in mind for future sales events.

3. Stock enough inventory

The last thing you want to experience during Prime Day is an Amazon stockout

To avoid running out of stock, start by checking your current inventory levels and, if you’ve been selling for a while, your sales history from previous Prime Days. 

Getting a sense of your numbers — especially how much your sales have spiked during Prime Day and/or other sales events — will help you estimate how much you might sell this year. From there, you can determine roughly how much inventory you should have on hand.

Important note on inventory: if you’re an FBA seller, you must get your Prime Day inventory in by May 31. 

4. Boost product reviews

Product ratings and reviews do a lot to convert your listings. These days, it’s practically second nature for shoppers to look at what other buyers have to say about a product before they buy it for themselves.

Consider using a tool like JungleScout to automate review requests now so you can beef up your ratings ahead of Prime Day. Then, be sure to ask your Prime Day customers for their feedback as well. Assuming you generate a lot of sales, you could also earn a lot of reviews to help you keep sales momentum going long-term.

5. Increase advertising budget

There’s going to be a lot of competition for clicks and conversions this Prime Day — more so than usual. That’s why we recommend optimizing your Amazon PPC campaigns and increasing ad spend for Prime Day. 

For an additional boost, consider promoting your deals on social media as well. Depending on what you sell, you could even partner with an influencer or two to help spread the word. To maximize your ROI on all of your marketing channels, check out our guide to Amazon Attribution

6. Remember your other channels

As we mentioned previously, other retailers see a spike in sales during Prime Day. If you sell on other channels, make sure you also optimize those listings, incorporate any discounts, and update any marketing campaigns you’re already running. Here are some niche marketplaces to consider

7. Consider top Prime Day categories

Last year, top selling products on Prime Day included Amazon’s devices (like the Echo Dot and Fire Stick 4K), iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Lego Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet, and other electronics like laptops, TVs, and Apple products. Electronics are sure to be a hit again this year.

For third party sellers, top selling categories last year included: Bedding, Wireless Accessories, Nutrition & Wellness, Arts, Crafts & Sewing, and Health Care. 

We’re willing to bet that other popular categories this year will include travel and outdoor gear, with people embracing the warm weather and feeling more comfortable getting away thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In fact, a recent survey from Allianz Partners found that about 67% of Americans believe receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will make them feel safe enough to travel again.

8. Maximize cash flow

Part of preparing for Prime Day means upping your expenditures to ensure you have enough inventory and reach the right shoppers through tailored marketing campaigns. 

Assuming you want to keep momentum going all summer long, you’ll also want to continue quickly reinvesting in stock, marketing, and other areas. Not to mention, you don’t want to run out of inventory right after Prime Day or any big sales day and Here is an exclusive look into the cash conversion cycle (CCC) for eCommerce businesses

To boost your working capital now and have a reliable source of cash at all times, you might want to consider financing. With Payability, you could get a capital advance based on future Amazon, Shopify, or other eCommerce sales (Instant Advance) and start getting paid the next day on your Amazon or other marketplace sales (Instant Access). Since approval is based on account health and sales performance, there are absolutely no credit checks and you can get the funding you need in as soon as one business day. 

Victoria Sullivan
Victoria Sullivan is a Marketing Manager at Payability. She has over eight years of social media, copywriting and marketing experience. Prior to joining the Payability team, Victoria developed social media content and strategies for top technology brands such as Skype and Samsung. She holds a degree in Advertising from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She can often be found in a yoga class or working on her fashion blog.

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