With your Prime Day plans likely already in motion, Skai’s Expert Services team would like to offer some final advice to help you make sure those programs are set to drive the maximum value for your investment. There are just so many things to say about this critical shopping event that we couldn’t contain them in a single article. This post is part of a week-long Final Prep for Prime Day 2022 series.
Welcome to Part 2 of our series to help you put the finishing touches on your upcoming Prime Day plans.
As many of you who have run Prime Day marketing plans before, there are three distinct phases to manage:
Today, Skai’s Expert Services team shares some great tips to consider in the Planning Stage’s 2-4 weeks that lead up to the actual days of the event.
To see increased sales, you will need enough stock to satisfy the increased demand, especially if there are plans to run a promotion or discount on any products.
Our recommendation is to align with Amazon beforehand (especially if enrolled in the SVS program), on your expectations as a vendor, as well as Amazon’s forecast for the event. Sometimes, Amazon will agree to raise manual orders to minimize the risk of fast-moving products being out of stock. Alternatively, you can also raise Born To Run orders for a quick top-up if you think Amazon stock holding doesn’t align with your plans for the event.
On the other hand, marketplace sellers are encouraged to send stock in advance to avoid last-minute warehouse capacity restrictions and delays in stock acceptance.
Skai clients can leverage our Brand Analytics integration to have a clear view of inventory and units on hand leading up to the event.
Product prioritization and diversification
In recent years, Amazon has extended its Prime Day to more of a full week event. Although the highest amount of conversions is commonly seen on Prime Day itself, it’s important to not underestimate the opportunities available across the wider event dates.
With Prime Day being an excellent opportunity to present your brand to thousands of new customers, it’s wise to place your top-selling products on a deal with high perceived value and visibility on Prime Day itself. However, the week of Prime Day is a great opportunity to grant visibility to slower-moving lines or other strategic product choices.
Consider promoting lower price point products that showcase your brand and serve as a sample to customers. Even if margins aren’t large enough to make a profit, you can use these audiences for remarketing purposes once the event has finished upselling your more profitable, top-selling products.
Advertising optimization and planning
A solid campaign structure that addresses different touchpoints in the customer journey tends to outperform less diversified structures. Ensure you have a healthy mix of Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Brands Video, and Display, as well as DSP if this is part of your strategy. Diversification will allow your brand to interact with consumers in different ways, as well as improve CPC efficiency and brand memorability, among other factors.
Give yourself enough time for campaign building, as well as for the campaigns to run for some time before the event. Our recommended live date is a minimum average of two to three weeks before the event, with those campaigns that have a larger budget ideally in the three to four weeks bracket. Additionally, as DSP tends to need longer turnaround times than Sponsored Ads, schedule your campaigns to be live at least four weeks prior to Prime Day.
According to our research, CPCs were 40% higher on the first day of Prime Day 2021 and 50% higher on day two versus the daily average in June leading up to the event. Thus, It is best practice to progressively increase your bids to be between 10-20% higher during Prime Day when compared to your average CPCs. This will help your campaigns get impressions with the increased demand for existing inventory that brands are likely to experience during the event.
In terms of keyword match, we recommend that 60% of your budget goes toward exact match keywords, as these allow for tighter control and higher quality of optimization. Also, make sure to include placement modifiers in favor of Top of Search to improve discoverability, as audiences’ searches change every year. Therefore, even if you’re leveraging last year’s Prime Day data, increase your Automatic campaigns budget for the event to capture new and event-specific placements that your keyword research may have overlooked.
Remove low-performing keywords before the event to avoid creating a hole in your budget caused by non-converting keywords. With Skai’s Search Term Analysis you can seamlessly add negative search terms from a list of suggestions to the relevant ad groups in an easy-to-use UI, allowing you to spend more time optimizing your campaigns.
Product prioritization is also going to play a role in advertising. If you do not have a large enough budget to properly cover everything, consider shortening the list of products being advertised to maximize coverage where it matters most so you can strategize an out-of-budget plan.
Budget and bid planning
To achieve top results, it’s a best practice to progressively start increasing spending a week or two prior to Prime Day. As for historical context, average daily spending increased 3.7x on Prime Day 2021 compared to the daily June average. So, begin to increase your bids across your priority keywords to increase both paid and organic visibility. By doing this you will give a competitive advantage to your products for the event, where CPCs are expected to increase 2-4x depending on the category and the time of day.
With the large influx of customers and sellers that Amazon attracts during Prime Day, some vendors and sellers aren’t necessarily prepared from a budget perspective for the increased costs this brings. Don’t let that be you! Be sure to set aside extra budget for the weeks leading up to and the two days of the event.
It is quite frequent for brands to run out of budget early in the day and not be able to extend their campaigns’ budgets. And, as last year’s sales revenue jumped 4.2x on average, you want to ensure you’re not missing out on a large opportunity to drive sales. To avoid this, allocate enough budget (based on previous events and/or speaking to your advertising representative), as well as allow for some contingency budget in case there’s a need to increase budget caps even further.
Skai’s Automated Actions monitors campaign budget pacing in real-time and increases budgets on campaigns that have capped throughout the day. As Amazon lags on real-time data, we recommend Automated Actions as your main tool for optimizations and manual managing of bids for best results. In turn, be sure to pause any Portfolios running through Budget Navigator that might conflict with your Prime Day strategy given the fluctuations and delayed data during the event. Seamlessly customize the pauses and campaign management for Prime Day by leveraging revert bids. Set the date pause date, update budget allocation manually, exclude Prime Days dates so that the algorithm will skip the abnormal activity performance on these days, and then turn it back on once the event is over.
Additionally, make sure you have done your due diligence and have solid keyword research and harvesting strategies well before the event, including event-related keywords. Skai’s keyword harvesting tool enables you to set a large array of if/then rules that will help you identify what customers are looking for and capture that traffic much faster than in a more manual traditional way.
Taking into consideration that early budget capping is a frequent issue brands come across, use this to your advantage and intensify your activity during the afternoon and evening, when competitors’ advertising activity may be losing some steam. For this purpose, Skai’s dayparting tool allows you to schedule bid increases throughout the day across specific campaigns and ad groups, as well as pause campaigns in strategic moments of the day in which we see drops in consumer activity to prioritize early morning, lunch, and evening time.
To understand who your competition is and the spread between your share of search and theirs, leverage share of voice data via skai’s Brand Insights.
Creating a deals subpage on your brand store to drive traffic to via Sponsored Brand ads can prove to be a great strategy, especially for brands with larger catalogs. Just as with a D2C website, personalizing your brand store for the event will improve relevancy and translate in more conversions.
Prime Day outside of Amazon
It often happens that other retailers will place their own deals during Prime Day to compete against Amazon. With more and more brands joining the event, the costs associated with participating in Prime Day increase every year. Look out for opportunities to work with other retailers as well that allow you to diversify your promotional and advertising spend and improve overall returns.
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