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Expert Q&A: Amazon Prime Day 2017

Update! Prime Day is Tuesday – July 11, 2017

The countdown is on and we’re all on the edge of our seats with the same question that has yet to be answered: When is Prime Day 2017 happening?  

And subsequently: How can I prepare?

While we’re still in the dark on exact dates, we can do all that we can to help brands and retailers prepare for the shopping day that broke Amazon records last year by leaps and bounds.

Last week, we hosted a heavily-attended webinar/strategy building workshop hybrid geared toward helping sellers craft their Prime Day strategy step-by-step. With so much to talk about, we ran out of time to answer all of the great questions that came through about Prime Day and selling on Amazon in general, but no need to worry — we’re answering them all right here.

Q: How are the Lightning Deal products selected?

A: Amazon chooses the Lightning Deals that provide the best value to customers for Prime Day. While we have no insight into the exact criteria that Amazon uses to select Prime Day Lightning Deal products, we have an idea of what they’re looking for:

  • Discounts of 20% or more
    • The discount is off of the lowest site price in the past 30 days, and the Deal price must also be the lowest price in the past 90 days
  • Enough quantity to last the duration of the Prime Day Lightning Deal, which will run for a maximum of 4 hours
    • Include the total quantity you can provide since more quantity can increase the chance your Deal is selected for Prime Day. You will not be able to make adjustments to your deal quantity while it runs on Prime Day.
  • Products with a 3.0-star rating or higher

Q: If I don’t have seller fulfilled prime or FBA, am I still eligible to participate in Prime Day?

A: Absolutely! Using these two programs will just help your sales. Since it is Prime Day, we would expect that there will be a surge of Prime buyers using the Prime filter to shop on Amazon. Not being in these programs will limit your selection when a buyer uses this filter but it doesn’t keep a seller from having their products for sale during Prime Day.

Q: Do I have enough time to get approved for Seller Fulfilled Prime if I apply now?

A: Yes, but it may be difficult to collect the 200 orders during the trial period that gets you the Prime badge on your products before Prime Day.

Q: How can I boost the visibility of my listings during Prime Day?

A: The best way to boost visibility of your listings during Prime Day would be to use Prime associated programs such as Seller Fulfilled Prime or FBA. Another way to boost your visibility would be increasing your Amazon Sponsored Products budget and bids.

Q: When is the cut off date to submit deals for approval for Prime Day?

A:  That day has passed. Here’s what Amazon’s told us:

  • You can only submit your Prime Day Lightning Deal from May 12 to May 21, 2017.
  • You’ll be notified if your Deal was selected for Prime Week or Prime Day by email on May 24, 2017.

Q: Can you explain the difference between the VINE program and the new Early Reviewer Program?

A: With the VINE program, Amazon provides Vine members with free products that have been submitted to the program by participating vendors. The Early Reviewers is a little different because it consists of Amazon soliciting customers that have purchased your products to provide honest reviews.  You must pay $60 per parent SKU in the early reviewer program

Q: How and where can I set up handling time?

A: Handling time can be updated in the product details in Seller Central under fulfillment latency or in ChannelAdvisor under lead time to ship.

Q: Is the Amazon brand registry “2.0” live now?

A: It’s not available for all sellers yet, but some have started to get invites to the beta program.

Q: How do you start a budget for sponsored products?

A: What I generally like to do is take the average daily sales on Amazon multiply by 20% (I do not want my advertising sales to be over 20% relating to organic sales) multiplied by 15% (My aCoS % goal for the program).  This gets you to a number that is a daily budget that when hitting 15% aCoS you should not spend more than 20% of your organic sales.

Q: I’m a brand. What’s one thing that I may not be doing on Amazon but should be?

A: One thing that brands often overlook is responding to critical product reviews on Amazon.  Product reviews are detrimental to your ASINs’ success on Amazon and conversion rates are directly correlated to higher cumulative average ratings. Make sure you are visiting your bottom 20% and top 20% products on Amazon and understand why they are getting poor reviews and respond accordingly.  You can also report abuse of a product feedback rating and that could be not correlated to the product at all.

Download our Amazon Prime Day Checklist now.