4 ways sellers can prepare for Amazon Prime Day 2016

4 ways sellers can prepare for Amazon Prime Day 2016

Amazon Prime Day, the 24-hour global shopping event exclusively for Prime members, will be held on July 12th.

Prime members and those on 30-day free trials, can avail of a series of ‘lightning deals’ over 24 hours with new deals appearing every five minutes.

Amazon Prime Day 2015 witnessed 34.4 million orders at an incredible rate of 398 orders per second. The peak order rate on Prime Day exceeded Black Friday, according to Amazon.

After some adverse publicity about the availability and quality of deals, Amazon will be keen to make Prime Day bigger, bolder and better organized than last year.

For both Prime eligible and non-eligible sellers, large volumes of traffic will mean more sales.

So what’s the best way to get ready for Prime Day?

1. Enrol in Seller Fulfilled Prime

If you use Amazon FBA your products are automatically eligible for Prime. FBA sales grew 300 percent on Amazon Prime Day last year. Invited FBA sellers have already placed their Prime Day inventory in Amazon’s fulfillment centres.

The other way to become Prime eligible, is to use Seller Fulfilled Prime.

In January 2016, Amazon expanded Seller Fulfilled Prime to all eligible third party sellers. You must be a professional seller, meet certain performance targets and enrol in one and two day premium shipping options.

The caveat is that it’s mandatory to use Amazon’s Buy Shipping API to get Prime delivery quotes from premium supported carriers.

Check your eligibility on Amazon Seller Central. It only takes a few minutes to apply. Approval can take a few days but you’ve still got time.

Learn more about Seller Fulfilled Prime in our extensive guide.

2. Offer Free Shipping

There will be more shoppers on Amazon looking for deals. Offering free shipping could increase sales and help you compete for the Buy Box. For products that are not eligible for Amazon Prime, sellers can offer free shipping to incentivize more buyers.

Amazon Prime members are charged shipping for non-Prime eligible products so including free shipping will appeal to everyone.

There are three main ways to offer free shipping; set your shipping price to zero, upload a shipping override file or offer free economy shipping.

Follow these steps to enable free shipping,

  • Select Shipping Settings
  • Click Edit in the Shipping Rates section.
  • Confirm the destinations you want to offer
  • Click Continue

There’s also the option of reducing your delivery times to compete with Amazon Prime 2-day delivery. See Amazon Shipping Rates & Settings for more information.

3. Price More Aggressively to Win the Buy Box

Amazon Prime Day lightning deals are hard to compete with, particularly since Amazon can remove deals that don’t offer the lowest prices. That said, lightning deals will sell out quickly.

Each deal lasts for a limited time or until the seller runs out of stock.

On high volume selling days, pricing more aggressively doesn’t guarantee you’ll win the Buy Box but it improves your chances. Anticipate a higher level of orders and consider lowering your minimum price to encourage more sales.

Carefully monitor sales activity and adjust your price accordingly. It’s possible to hold back until deals on specific SKUs have run out. That way, you can win the Buy Box and still make a healthy margin.

You could also clear out stagnant inventory on Prime Day by pricing it down.

Be prepared to take a hit on your margins to make more sales. Make sure you don’t sell out of your best sellers and jeopardize your profits after Prime Day. Be selective when reducing your prices.

4. Prepare for More Customer Support Issues

For FBA goods, Amazon handle the support. Outside of that, any increase in sales will inevitably be followed by an increase in customer support activity.

On deals days, buyers have higher expectations of service because they need answers faster. They expect you to be open 24-7. It means having systems in place around the clock to deal with extra activity.

On Amazon Prime Day responding quickly is a key differentiator and can turn queries into sales.

Using multiple systems to track support activity makes it harder to stay on top. Consider using a multichannel helpdesk solution to improve the customer experience and simplify the management of support.

When you make extra sales and deal seamlessly with Amazon Prime Day support queries, follow up quickly with a customer feedback request to help boost your seller rating.

Whether you’re Prime eligible or not, we hope Amazon Prime Day is a sales bonanza for your business.

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Rupert Heather

Rupert brings his eCommerce knowledge to bear with expert opinion and analysis of the ever-changing world of online selling. In his spare time he thinks about product sourcing - really.

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