This is a guest post by Ethan Morgan from Volo Commerce.
Earlier we covered exactly why third-party sellers on Amazon should be gearing up for Prime Day – the opportunity is huge. Check out our infographic and blog here.
So what can you do to prepare for early-to-mid-July, when Prime Day falls?
1. Look back to look forward
What can you learn from last time round, if you experienced Prime Day 2016? You shouldn’t need a time machine to go back to that point in the life of your business – a good reporting suite will do that for you.
Which product lines sold fastest, which geographies were most eager to buy your goods and which SKUs did you make the most money from?
Vision reporting helps Volo users stay in the know about their business – so No1Brands4U were able to tell us that they “put through the Volo platform 10 times the amount of any other day on Amazon in 2016 so far” on Prime Day.
2. Stay in charge of your inventory
The traffic boost Amazon’s marketing and deals brings to the site is great for your listings exposure and sales velocity. However, you want to be careful, especially if you’re managing stock manually. The last thing you need is to run out of stock on a popular product and miss out on all the traffic.
Ideally, you should be using an ecommerce solution with inventory management software, which will allow you to control stock in your warehouse, across channels and deal with resupply in an automated manner.
Volo users are able to set smart limits that automatically trigger purchase orders being sent to a supplier, using the Vision reporting tool to understand sales velocity and lead times.
If you’re selling on multiple channels, you’ll know how vital it is to avoid overselling. On Amazon Prime Day, this will be a real risk for your bestselling products. Automation and a constant stream of data between channels and your inventory are the keys to staying in control.
3. Are your listings in prime shape?
Customers are excited for great deals and interesting products – convince them that you’ve got both a great price and a great product. Too often on Amazon, sellers forget that there is more to selling than having the best price.
So take a look at the copy you’ve got on your listings, with a view to improving the customer’s shopping experience.
Consider exploiting FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out. With Volo, you can set up a custom rule for as many listings as you like, which will effectively tell Amazon you’ve got a certain (limited) amount of stock available, though this consistently refills.
That means you can create extra urgency at the point of purchase, as Amazon will display this “Only x left in stock” marker on your listing. This type of artificial scarcity can boost sales, though it shouldn’t be a constant feature of every listing – shoppers will quickly see through this tactic when it’s overused.
That said, it is perfectly appropriate for a one-day event which naturally looks to generate FOMO and grabbing the best prices before they disappear.
4. Offer exciting prices
The success or failure of your Prime Day will have a lot to do with how effectively you price your products. Everyone loves a deal, especially in the atmosphere that Amazon does so much to foster on Prime Day.
The secret here is knowing exactly where your margins are and being able to exactly calculate the benefit of dropping or raising prices versus the resultant change in sales velocity.
If you’re making $4 margin on a product selling for $20, but only sell 10 on the day, that’s $40 profit. If you cut the price to $17.50 (cutting margin to $1.50), win the Buy Box and receive 40 orders, you’ve made $60.
Of course, for all this to be possible you have to be able to see your true margin after all costs associated with the lifetime of the SKU in your business, from purchase, warehousing, shipping, et cetera. Volo Vision offers this powerful, customisable oversight. It’s the starting point for you to make great strategy decisions.
5. Get your team ready
Serious multichannel businesses are very rarely staffed by only one or two people (and more power to you if you’re doing it!). That means you need to make sure your whole team is aligned, from warehouse staff to customer service to channel managers.
Priorities will include ensuring the right availability of staff, motivating them to go above and beyond on this significant day for the business, and rewarding their efforts afterwards. Especially when working with millennials, it’s a great idea to keep them informed of how their performance drives results for the business – this is a powerful motivator.
Finally – engage the whole business.
Help them out – for pickers and packers, make sure your warehouse is structured in a way that makes their jobs easier. Implement best practices around inventory control to support them.
Customer service staff need a system which can show them the status of individual orders, right through to tracking it out of the building.
Managers need to be able to measure performance at all levels from channels through to SKUs, to see what’s working and what needs to be worked on.
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