Stack of Amazon Prime Boxes

Marketers, Are You Ready for Amazon Prime Day Tomorrow?

Prime Day is Amazon's "biggest event ever," featuring more than 100,000 deals worldwide and is exclusive for Prime members. Although it officially starts tomorrow,  consumers can be expected to swarm the site looking for deals starting at 9pm ET tonight. For digital advertisers like us who use Amazon Marketing Services, or AMS—Amazon’s self-service vendor marketing platform—this is a huge day for sales. According to Amazon’s results from last year, AMS campaigns saw a 125% to 175% lift in ad attributed sales on Prime Day 2016 compared to the previous day. Mobile app orders were twice the numbers that they were the year before. Members purchased over 200,000 headphones, more than two million toys, more than one million pairs of shoes, and more than 90,000 television sets. Not surprisingly, marketers are turning to AMS to drive retail sales on Amazon and, by preparing campaigns and products effectively for Prime Day. We wanted to share a few helpful hints from Amazon as well as our suggestions on how to run a successful Prime Day for your brand.

Tips from Amazon

Amazon has provided a “how-to” for brands to maximize sales opportunities and maintain advertising coverage. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Set up campaigns in advance, with a minimum $100 budget. To best optimize for performance, allow the campaigns to run 2 weeks before Prime Day.
  • Prioritize products that have a Prime Day deal attached and products above 3.5 stars. Be sure that product detail pages of your advertised products have updated images, product descriptions, and titles.
  • For campaign structure, organize based on product type, brand, or product price. By strategically structuring campaigns, you can more easily monitor the performance of Prime Day efforts. Campaign types include Sponsored Products, Headline Search, and Product Display. Launching a variety of campaign types is recommended by Amazon in order to increase content exposure and help maximize product visibility on during the competitive landscape of Prime Day. (However, don’t forget that the focus should be on efficiency and effectiveness; if your campaigns have historically underperforming sales from a certain ad type, prioritize your budget on the campaigns that work.)
  • Set daily budgets for your Prime Day campaigns to at least 200% higher than the daily campaign spend you typically see. You can always re-adjust the daily budget at any time after Prime Day.
  • Increase bids to help capture lift in impressions throughout Prime Day.  Amazon Marketing Services campaigns saw between a 50% to 100% lift in ad impression on Prime Day 2016 compared to the day before. 
  • Turn on Bid+ for Sponsored Products campaigns to help increase your ads chances of appearing in the Top placement. When Bid+ is turned on, Amazon may increase your keyword bid by up to 50% on ads that are eligible for this placement.

Recommendations from iProspect

Monitor daily budgets. You can expect an influx of shoppers on Prime Day and the influx of activity will likely drain campaign budgets at a faster rate. Be sure to check campaign activity repeatedly throughout the day and increase daily budget caps should your campaign exhaust its spend. Inform your clients of the potential irregular spend pacing that will likely occur.

Keep optimizing towards increased sales. Increase keyword bids if impressions are low to maximize your reach. You can monitor impressions and CTR to ensure that campaigns remain competitive. If a keyword is performing well, consider increasing the bid to help you maintain or win additional impressions on that keyword. If a campaign is promoting enough ASINs, you can pause ASINs that are underperforming. (Remember that sales data can take up to 3 days to update and campaign edits may take 1 hour to update!)

Test campaign types and keyword opportunities. Optimization opportunities on AMS are limited but, due to its irregularly high traffic potential, Prime Day can be used to test which campaign types or keywords most effectively drive sales. Remember, results will vary across industries and price points. For example, Amazon has a new “Deals On” PDA feature, allowing advertisers to promote lightening deals and savings and sales deals. These Deals on PDA placements are the same as traditional PDA placements, but you have the ability to increase reach and sales without submitting any type of creative. Prime day would be an ideal time to test how deals on PDA perform, as traffic and perchance intent is higher than average.

Use Prime Day data as a baseline for holiday and competitive insights.  Amazon compares the reach of Prime Day to its other major holidays, including Christmas, Black Friday, and Back to School. Advertisers can use Prime Day metrics as a reference point when planning holiday season campaigns and strategies on AMS.