Buckle up: Prime Day 2021 is on its way. The event is expected to, once again, pull big sales numbers for Amazon and third-party sellers participating on the platform.
How can you prepare for Prime Day, and what should you expect? Here’s everything you need to know to pull off a Prime Day event that’s a smash success for your brand, whether or not you make sales.
Last year’s Prime Day looked quite different than in previous years due to challenges related to Covid-19. Amazon experienced significant inventory and distribution issues at the start of the year and Prime Day was consequently moved from July to October.
In spite of obstacles, the event was once again a big hit for Amazon—the company sold $10.4 billion worth of goods, up 45.2% from 2019 ($7.6 billion). Marketplace sellers had an even better year, surpassing $3.5 billion in total sales across 19 countries in 2020, a nearly 60% increase over Prime Day 2019.
Amazon products—like the Echo Dot and Fire Stick 4K—were once again the event’s best sellers. Other products that did well are the iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, and LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet, according to Digital Commerce 360.
Prime Day 2020’s proximity to the holiday season was a big contributing factor to the event’s success. Digital Commerce 360 reported that consumers purchased more holiday gifts last year compared to previous Prime Day events, and in another interesting insight, a higher percentage of shoppers browsed sites other than Amazon.com during Prime Day last year than in 2019.
What this data means for marketplace sellers is that Prime Day continues to be a critical sales event, and it offers significant opportunity for growth across all channels.
This year’s Prime Day is slated to look closer to normal than it did in 2020, though there will still be Covid limitations in play. The event is anticipated to happen this summer rather than in the fall, and electronics is once again expected to be the dominant category.
Ryan Moffet, Associate Director of Brand Management at Pattern, said Amazon will still be limiting the number of products under certain SKUs that can be held in their fulfillment centers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To prepare, Moffet said brands will want to set up two SKUs—an FBA and an FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) or SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime)—to stay ahead of potential issues.
“If you, for whatever reason, stock out on your FBA inventory, you’ll have a reserve supply that you can ship to customers,” Moffet said.
When it comes to Prime Day, not all categories are created equal.
“There are certain categories that just blow it out of the water, and there are other categories where it’s not really advantageous to do discounts or deals on Prime Day, because people just aren’t searching for those types of products,” Moffet said.
Electronics, tech products, and baby products do consistently well on Prime Day, while categories like jewelry and clothing don’t. Knowing what consumers will and won’t be searching for is an important first step for preparing for the event, and much of that information can be found in what media outlets report as Prime Day approaches.
Once you have a sense of a) what consumers are looking for and b) if your products fall under that umbrella, you can prepare for Prime Day by either going all-in or by using targeted advertising.
Brands that sell products complementary or adjacent to those on sale for Prime Day will be the most successful during this event. If you sell something like a Fire Tablet Case, for example, you’re going to move lots of inventory.
Moffet recommends these brands take advantage of all the Amazon discounts they can run, such as lightning deals, deals of the day, coupons, and Prime exclusive discounts. Some deals do have limitations and deadlines for use, so you’ll want to check in your seller account for dates and get signed up early.
Another thing you’ll need to do for a successful Prime Day is ensure you’re able to convert customers and get traffic to your listings. That may require becoming more competitive in the ad space, cleaning up the copy, SEO, or images on your listings, or creating an email list of people who’ve visited your website to get them hyped for Prime Day deals now. Moffet said brands are likely to be more successful converting Prime Day customers than they would be on their own website because Amazon is such a trusted platform.
Most brands don’t sell products in Prime Day’s hottest categories, and they probably won’t make a lot in sales during the event as a result. Instead of giving out discounts that will needlessly eat into their margins, Moffet said these brands should focus on advertising.
“What Prime Day does, and it does very, very well, is it gets people on the Amazon platform. So alternatively to putting your product on sale, you can go really aggressive on specific advertising tactics, like retargeting ads, so that you can take advantage of the traffic,” Moffet said.
Let’s say a consumer has looked at your product listing in the past 90 days. Chances are they’re going to be on Amazon browsing deals for Prime Day. You can retarget your ad to that customer while they’re on the Amazon platform so your product is at the front of their mind while they’re already in buying mode.
Another thing you can do is retarget the consumers you hit on Prime Day weeks or months down the line when your product is on sale with less competition.
One brand that has successfully incorporated retargeted advertising into their Prime Day strategy is Pandora. Because jewelry isn’t a popular Prime Day category, Pandora—with the help of Pattern—created an ad strategy that targeted Prime Day consumers who had shown interest in their products before and put those products front of mind.
During their peak sales period–right before Christmas–Pandora and Pattern retargeted those same Prime Day consumers. It ended up being a massively successful campaign.
“For every dollar that we put into the ad campaign, we got $24 in revenue out of it. On top of that, I think 70-80% of that revenue was new to brand customers,” Moffet said.
Success on Prime Day can be achieved by having both the right strategy and really honing the good things your brand is already doing to push sales on Amazon.
“If you think about the basics of Amazon, doing those basics really, really well for Prime Day is that much more important, so making sure that you have inventory, making sure that the content on your product detail page is really good, and it’s really clear what the product is,” Moffet said.
Drive traffic to your listings through your ad strategy, increase your conversion, and offer the right price, and it’ll be hard to not have a successful Prime Day. Learn how Pattern can help with your Prime Day strategy, product listing optimizations, and marketplace success with your free demo.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.