What Brands Can Learn From Being Part of Prime Day
Amazon.com's Prime Day has only happened four times, but it already gives new meaning to Christmas in July. Yes, the day has done wonders for Amazon, but it has also done the same for countless brands outside of the Amazon ecosystem.
But how to begin? Brands can’t just wake up, say “I want to be featured on Prime Day!” and automatically reap the benefits. In our case, we realized early on that we needed to embrace Amazon as a trusted partner instead of viewing it as a competitor. Ultimately, this paved the way for our product, Pure, a first-of-its-kind apple cider vinegar gummy, to launch on Prime Day (and even earlier, actually, as a part of Amazon’s Prime Day Launch program, which gives select products something of a head start by featuring them as an exclusive Amazon pick in the days leading up to Prime Day). Still, maximizing the opportunity to get in front of millions of consumers required smart planning and strategy. Here are the biggest lessons we learned along the way:
1. Nail your marketing campaign all the way through the process.
Brands may make the mistake of focusing marketing efforts on the 36 hours that comprise Prime Day. In reality, what you do in the time leading up to and right after Prime Day are equally important. Since our exclusive offer was a new product launch, we invested a lot of time in warming up our audience and getting them excited about our exclusive product. Social media teasers and promotional emails with special discounts were especially effective. When Prime Day arrived, we focused on converting our existing audience across email and social. We seeded the product with influencers large and small, created educational content, and posted on all of our social channels. When Prime Day was over, we continued our campaign to best capitalize on the momentum. Maintaining velocity is key on Amazon, so having marketing budget and firepower left over is a must.
2. Remember to manage your inventory.
It’s important to understand that Prime Day accelerates your sales well beyond any other holiday period. This year, during the two days of Prime Day our sales were four times to five times the norm. Even the period leading up to Prime Day saw elevated sales as more consumers come to Amazon starting to ferret out their favorite deals and end up making purchases instead. Running out of inventory is the worst thing that you can do (mainly because you'll be penalized heavily in Amazon’s rankings to boot, erasing many of your hard-won gains). Make sure you have plenty of extra inventory to fulfill demand. Furthermore, give Amazon fulfillment centers sufficient time before Prime Day to process your units. Fulfillment centers are overwhelmed leading up to the shopping holiday, so what would normally take a week to process could take two weeks or even three weeks.
3. Monitor your competitors.
Of course, competing brands will also be promoting their products. Follow their marketing campaigns leading up to Prime Day and adjust your campaigns as necessary (whether this is for your Prime Day exclusive product or the rest of your product portfolio). This may result in you deciding to match similar discounts to compete head-to-head, or to focus on another category where the competition may not be as steep.
4. Take time to analyze and learn from the experience.
Make sure that you analyze your sales and marketing data to see what worked best and what may not have worked as well. In our case, we learned certain discounting tactics were particularly effective while others were more wasteful. Historically, we’ve spent a lot of time on building our owned audience and driving them to Amazon as a means to build sales velocity. This investment into audience building has been a key part of our success on Amazon, both on Prime Day and throughout the year.
We learned a lot from our first experience being a featured product on Prime Day. Succeeding on Prime Day means deploying a lot of resources to capitalize on the huge opportunity it presents. If you can manage to get into a program like Amazon’s Emerging Brands group, that can really increase your ability to succeed as well. Nonetheless, all these initiatives take real effort and hard work. Done right, though, the momentum you create can yield benefits that give you an edge against your competition that can be sustained long after the dust from Prime Day settles.
Colin Darretta is CEO of Wellpath, a nutritional supplement and wellness company.