Gary Hammerschlag is a Team Lead at Acadia.
Each year, Prime Day becomes increasingly more substantial as customers continue to purchase online inventory by the masses. It is one of the key opportunities for brands to invest in a huge revenue boost. But despite Prime Day’s growing popularity and burgeoning resources that are made available earlier in the year, many brands still feel overwhelmed and underprepared when Prime Day actually rolls around.
Sellers have yet to understand the amount of time and planning it takes to invest in Prime Day initiatives in a way that will help them benefit greatly from the biggest online sales event of the summer. My colleague, Ivana, shared some insight to show brands how our clients are preparing for Prime Day 2022. Although we try to cover these topics as early in the year as possible, I have noticed that many of our clients are still ending up with a subpar performance on Prime Day.
The risk to brands that make important preparation mistakes is huge; a brand may end up with an underwhelming performance report and a lot of regret over missed opportunities to increase store traffic, acquire new customers, and generate bigger revenue. Since this is still a big pain point for so many types of brands, I want to talk about the biggest mistakes sellers make across the board when preparing for Prime Day.
Prime Day 2022: What’s Different?
This year’s Prime Day changes the landscape by a fair amount, which is why our previous predictions for 2021 are no longer relevant. I have noticed that some brands are using Prime Day as a good reason to clear their excess inventory. This is a drastically different scenario from the past two years when brands struggled to even acquire enough inventory to sell due to supply chain demands. While the global market still struggles with supply chain crises in some categories, many companies with extra inventory are able to offset that.
It seems that brands may not be able to offer discounts as aggressively or as freely as they could in the past. We are still experiencing a worldwide economic crisis, and this has caused a lot of sellers to fear that too many promotions would not allow them to keep up with the competition.
This has compelled many brands to get more creative in preparing for Prime Day. Some are starting to showcase their storefronts and Product Detail Pages (PDPs) in more interactive ways, adding video content and other streaming capabilities for customers to engage in.
Last Year’s Results Prove Rising Inflation
Looking back at the results of Amazon Prime Day 2021, it’s clear that Prime Day has become a reflection of rising inflation. The pandemic forced the economy into uncharted waters, shaking up the status quo that many established Amazon brands had become accustomed to.
The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. inflation is the highest in 13 years, with an overall price increase of 5% across the board. As a result, ad spending has naturally increased by about 38%. We expect those statistics to remain the same this year. It is also expected that many emerging brands and new sellers will continue participating in Prime Day, upping the creative ante in a lot of new ways.
Avoid These Top 5 Mistakes Made by Brands During Prime Day Prep
Although the landscape of Prime Day continues to shift, it will always be a fact that this summer sales event is too big for brands to miss. It’s crucial that sellers of all sizes avoid making mistakes that could cause them to miss out on an enormous opportunity for growth or profit. Let’s take a look at 5 big mistakes I’ve seen brands make far too often, and how to avoid these mistakes as you prepare for Prime Day on July 12th and 13th in 2022.
1. Inventory Mismanagement
By far the most common mistake I see brands making is miscalculating their inventory needs for Prime Day. A lot of sellers simply underestimate the amount of traffic they are going to receive during the sales event, while others run out of inventory a lot sooner than expected. If you don’t prepare to anticipate a lot of traffic - and hefty inventory demands - you may end up missing out on the valuable opportunity to reach new customers and see a surge in sales.
Stock Issues are a Recurring Problem
One of our big brand clients in the Baby Care category had a very successful Prime Day in 2021, but it could have been even better if they did not run into stocking issues throughout the course of the event. To make matters more unfortunate, the brand is not sure that it can offer the same discounts as last year due to cost increases for the company. These worries are mounting as competitors continue to ramp up their promotions and discounts.
At Bobsled, we work on all of the elements that we can control. We have helped this client update their storefront, optimize their copy, and prepare to receive A+ before Prime Day hits. All of these small but influential changes will give this brand a much better chance at holding up its own and ending Prime Day in success.
2. Brushing Off Supply Chain Issues
Kiri Masters mentioned in last week’s podcast episode that retail brands will offer fewer discounts this Prime Day. This is simply due to the continued strain of the supply chain, with inventory issues making it hard for brands to meet consumer demands. Because of these inventory processing issues, overall supply chain costs are rising.
I typically like to recommend that brands increase spending on promotions and discounts in preparation for Prime Day, but as I mentioned earlier, this year is shaping up to be a bit different. Many factories and manufacturers are still shut down, air freight capacity has decreased, and there are a lot of material shortages around the world. Brands are almost expecting to run into inventory shortages during Prime Day, which makes them less inclined to offer their usual discounts.
3. Improper Budgeting for Sponsored Campaigns
Again, it can be difficult to determine the right kind of budget for brands in preparation for Prime Day 2022. What we do know is that a lot of sellers are not putting enough money into promoting their products the right way. It’s not necessarily a matter of how much you spend, but where you spend your investment in order to make your deals and discounts worth the price.
You might have created an incredible deal and you may even boast the best Prime Day deal in your category. But without spending money on Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, those deals will get lost in the sea of competition. Sponsored Products campaigns will push your items to the top of every consumer’s page, reaching out to a wider audience. If you add Prime Exclusive Discounts (PEDs) on top of that, you can make the most of your new traffic surge by closing a large number of sales.
Promotions and Coupons needed to be created in Seller Central by 6/10/2022, and Prime Exclusive Discount sourcing ends two weeks prior to Prime Day. We know that this year’s event will fall on July 12th - 13th and most brands are already set in their budgeting and sponsorship campaigns. It is important to note, however, that the open and closing dates for these submissions are subject to change by Amazon at any time.
4. Lack of Product Listing Optimization
It’s no secret or surprise that a lack of proper product listing optimization can directly lead to issues with ad performance. Your ad strategy is everything when it comes to facilitating growth, and if you aren’t quite hitting your milestones, it may be because your listings aren’t as optimized as they could be.
This is the perfect time to review best practices for your product listings. While it’s a bit outdated, our guide that describes 3 Ways to Optimize Your Product Listings can help brands understand that they should be exercising every available option to ensure the highest quality on their PDPs. The best way to capitalize the most on Prime Day is to ensure that imagery and descriptions speak to your brand and to the truth of your product, offering something unique that can’t be found anywhere else on the market.
In 2022, we are starting to see new opportunities for creativity that wildly increase customer engagement and can help rake in those new audience members. Peak optimization looks like a listing with plenty of creative elements, such as video content, fleshed-out bullet points, and positive customer reviews.
5. No Investment in Creativity
We have a Premium Beauty client who does not typically like to offer discounts throughout the year. This client is having a difficult time investing in Prime Day overall as they feel that offering discounts or promotions would dilute the image and values of the brand.
Our solution was to test and run a Prime Exclusive Discount campaign; that way, the brand would not have to outright offer a discount by lowering product prices, but rather it could take advantage of the Prime Day traffic surge by bringing new customers into a space of exclusivity. This could additionally help by driving external traffic into Amazon, so new customers can see the revamped product listings just in time for Prime Day.
Some of these key action items may seem minute (which is why they so often go undone before Prime Day) but ensuring that your PDPs are displaying high-res images and ample video content can be the difference between a successful Prime Day and a wasted investment. Creative content can be used to ensure that your product pages are at their peak performance. This can be done before the summer sales event to give you an extra edge in the competition.
Know What To Expect for Prime Day 2022
Bobsled’s Prime Day 2022 Expectations are that brands will be more concerned with profit margins now than they ever have during past Prime Day events. Some brands are dealing with overstock, in which case an investment in discount campaigns would be beneficial for driving sales. Others are still faced with the major supply chain issues that began in 2020, causing them to make the mistake of ignoring several of the opportunities that Prime Day offers.
At Bobsled, we want to make sure that brands are avoiding costly mistakes by taking advantage of the changes we are going to see this year. Since it is an ever-evolving landscape, Amazon will always present new challenges and obstacles that we work to get ahead of. There are rumors that there may be another Prime Day type event in early Fall, which could change the significance of Prime Day even more moving forward.
Stay apprised of all Prime Day updates and know how to best prepare for your brand’s success when you schedule a free consultation with our experts.