A Data-Oriented Approach to Amazon Prime Day Advertising (2020 Update)

amazon prime day advertising strategies

How Important is Prime Day?

This is your Super Bowl, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Daytona 500, or whatever else has some importance in your eyes. This is Prime Day. You are the Tom Brady of your Amazon PPC Account. I am your Bill Belichick. Got it? Good.

Now, do what I say if you want to win. In a word, do your job.

True quote from Billy B.

While Prime Day has moved from July to October 13-14, not much has changed. Prime Day is still a golden opportunity for sellers to make a lot of money.

Let’s dive into our gameplan.

Non-PPC Strategies

Let’s get started with a few strategies that don’t relate to PPC. Amazon Prime Day gives sellers a lot of unique opportunities, that are rarely available or utilized on Amazon. 

The first is Lightning Deals. To participate in Lightning Deals, you have to pay $500 upfront. This fee has been added to ensure that only serious sellers are using Lightning Deals.

Unfortunately, the last day to register for Lightning Deals was June 12th. We recommend that you set a reminder for next years Prime Day (whenever that is) if you missed out this year!

Next, we have Amazon Coupons. You can still set-up and use Amazon Coupons for Prime Day 2020! Coupons are discounts that appear on your product pages. Launch your Coupons two days in advance of Prime Day! They take two days to appear.

Using Amazon Coupons can be a great way to take your Facebook audience or email list and entice them to your Amazon listings.

Another feature that’s prominent on Prime Day, and already in effect, is Deal of the Day. If your product is discounted 40% or more, Amazon will designate it as a Deal of the Day! You can even start doing this right now, as early Deals of the Day are a thing this year.

The final point on our non-PPC strategy list is to make sure your listings are optimized. This means checking and improving:

  • Titles
  • Bullets
  • Descriptions
  • EBC (Enhanced Brand Content)
  • A+ Content

Prime Day PPC Strategies

Like any good coach, I can offer my wisdom on both sides of the ball. Defense and offense. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t prefer one to the other. As far as Amazon Advertising is concerned, let’s just say I like PPC as much as Mike Leach loves passing the ball. Let’s get to it.

You tell 'em, Mike.

These strategies revolve around the changes in metrics for Prime Day. Luckily, we have years worth of data at our disposal, and after carefully examining it, we have some strategies that will assuredly boost your Prime Day performance. 

A Surge in Activity

Prime Day gets the people going. In 2019, the average amount clicks in July was 258 per day. For Prime Day, that number grew to 431 clicks per day. A 67% increase!

With more clicks also came more sales! Last year, sellers saw their sales increase 130% for Prime Day compared to a normal day in July.
 

Conversion Rates on Prime Day

The average conversion rate for Amazon in July of 2019 was 9.62% . But this blog isn’t about a regular day in July. On Prime Day of 2019, the average conversion rate was upwards of 12%!

Conversion rates can be extremely valuable in making Prime Day-specific decisions! Can you access your data for Prime Day 2019? Not if you didn’t download it last year!

It can’t be said enough. Download your data every month!

CTR

On Prime Day, CTR is going to be cut in half. For example, in July of 2019 the avg. CTR was 0.37. On Prime Day, it was 0.19. There may be more purchases going on, but customers are also more methodical on Prime Day.

So what does this mean for you? You have to fine-tune your product listings and campaigns!

You’re fixing to kickoff the biggest day of the year. Do you want already set yourself at a disadvantage? Of course not! So make sure everything is as it should be.

One thing that plays a huge role in keeping everything “on-point” is nailing down your negative keywords! Impressions go way up on Prime Day, so spending money on non-converting or “iffy” keywords is not worth it!

ACOS

It’s very reasonable to be concerned about ACOS with this large increase in budget, bids, and CTR. The most important thing for you to remember is that a small uptick in ACOS is worth it if you increase sales!

For 2019’s Prime Day, sellers saw their ACOS drop from the avg. 31% to 20%!

It’s All About the Money – Budgets for Prime Day

If you haven’t seen the pattern yet, a major theme of Prime Day is MORE. More customers, more deals, and more money being spent on ads and products.

On Prime Day in 2019, there’s was an average budget increase of a 78%. You should at least double your budget, before both Prime Days.

As we discussed earlier, CTR goes way down on Prime Day. People are looking for deals, and they are buying items they weren’t necessarily looking to buy.

Don’t let lower CTRs scare you away from increasing your budget. While people are slower to buy, they actually buy more!

Bidding Strategies

You always want to base your bids off conversion rates and revenue-per-click. With huge increase in conversion rates on Prime Day, your bidding can be more aggressive.

But you can’t simply just be more aggressive around the board. It must be targeted aggression. That means honing in on certain placements such as top of search and product pages! Your base level bid needs to be stronger, but make sure it’s proportionate to the other two placements.

How much to increase bids?

In terms of how much stronger you should make your bids, think of it based on revenue-per-click. Things that convert regularly for you should get a 2X bid to keep pace with the increase of conversion rate.

While a 2X increase on bids is extreme in literally any other case, it’s very much in play during the biggest day of the year for Amazon sellers.

Using a Tool to Set Bids?

If you’re using a tool to set your bids, increase your target ACOS for Prime Day! This will tell the tool that you’re willing to be more aggressive and deal with the increase in bids.

We recommend increasing your target ACOS by 10 points for standard products. That means if you have a target ACOS of 30% your target ACOS for Prime Day will be 40%. If you have a hot item, think about bumping up the target ACOS even higher. An increase of 20-30 points is alright for a product that converts well.

The Bottom Line

So there it is. Your blueprint to Prime Day 2020. The two big takeaways from this strategy are to make sure your account is fine-tuned and ready to rock on October 13th and 14th and to be very aggressive with your PPC strategy on Prime Day. Good luck to all of you. Now go out there and make a play.

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