Prime Day Primer: 6 Things You Need to Know About Prime Day 2016

Prime Day LogoAmazon has announced that its second-annual Prime Day selling event will be held on July 12.

Amazon is pulling out all stops to sure the negative feedback it received last Prime Day, despite it being a financial success, is not repeated.

Here are 6 things you need to know about Prime Day 2016, whether you’re a Prime seller on the Amazon marketplace, or are just watching from the sideline.

Deep Discounting Is Not Necessary…

Last Prime Day, Prime members purchased more than 14 million items from sellers and small businesses. This year for Prime Day 2016, more than 30 percent of Lightning Deals globally will be from Amazon marketplace sellers. For example, Segway is offering 20% off its miniPRO self-balancing personal transporter, LunoWear is offering 35% off men’s watches, and LSTN is offering 50% off headphones and speakers.

Offering deep discounts on the Amazon marketplace on Prime Day does not necessarily mean a successful sales day. Ecommerce experts say you just have to have merchandise available for purchase on the Amazon marketplace to see a Prime Day sales spike.

“Prime Day could be beneficial to dispose of excess inventory, but my belief is excess inventory should not be the only product offering, or the sale starts looking like a flea market,” added Alan Fergurson, Senior Vice President Home Entertainment at video production company Kino Lorber.

Silver Star Brands director of ecommerce Ian MacDonald said his company’s seven brands did not offer discounts last Prime Day. Its orders via its Amazon channels were up 171% compared to the days leading up to Prime Day, as well as a 101% lift in revenue.

Saying Proactiv is not the kind of product line people are clamoring to find when there’s a big sale, Bob Sample, vice president of catalog, retail and etail for Proactiv, said Prime Day 2015 was nonetheless a win.

“The increased traffic gave us a chance to get in front of a lot of people who were not aware they able to buy our product on Amazon,” Sample said. “That was the big takeaway last year.”

Prime Day Will Spread Beyond Amazon…

Both digital market intelligence firm SimilarWeb and performance marketing exchange company HookLogic think that, based on last year’s data, this Prime Day could be a big day for all ecommerce merchants.

SimilarWeb said Macy’s secured an 81% increase on mobile and 58% desktop increase, and Walmart saw a 64% one-day increase in mobile visits and nearly 62% on desktop during the day. Newegg and Best Buy both saw significant increases of traffic as they hit back with offers.

Silver Star Brands’ MacDonald said its ecommerce sites did not see the residual effects of Prime Day last year, and doesn’t believe they will see any this year.

But eBags is taking matters into its own site’s hands. In addition to selling through its Amazon marketplace channel, eBags has launched an “Extreme Deals” section on its ecommerce site in hopes of attracting traffic.

And The Deals Go Beyond the United States

Amazon is making Prime Day a global selling holiday. In addition to the U.S., new and existing customers in the U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Belgium, and Austria, will find deals across nearly all departments and categories, ensuring there will be something for everyone.

As reported last year, Prime Day was the biggest day for sales internationally up to that point. Beyond the top selling deals, and best-selling devices, there were other chart topping categories in each Prime-eligible country.

It Also Starts Before July 12

In celebration of Prime Day, Prime Now will feature deals on select items each day beginning on Wednesday, July 6. Members who place their first-ever Prime Now order using promotional code 10PRIMENOW will receive $10 off that order, as well as a promotional code for an additional $10 to shop on Prime Now later in the month.

“This year, Prime Day feels like its own holiday, especially with Amazon offering countdown deals,” said ChannelAdvisor CEO David Spitz. “Amazon has created a holiday in July with Prime Day, and it gives its third-party sellers a chance to see a nice spike in sales during a typically slow retail season.”

Same-Day Delivery On Alert

As Amazon gears up for Prime Day, a new component for customers in a growing number of cities is the opportunity to get select deals delivered in an hour or less.

Prime Now, Amazon’s “superfast” delivery service, has grown rapidly to more than 40 metropolitan areas worldwide since first launching in Manhattan in December of 2014.

That could be a huge differentiator for Amazon, according to nChannel president and CEO Steve Weber.

But it could also be a huge headache for Amazon marketplace sellers who have their own same-day delivery services outside Fulfillment By Amazon.

That’s because towards the end of 2015, Amazon launched a program called Seller Fulfilled Prime, which allows sellers to display the Prime badge on offers they ship directly to the customer. This is something that makes sense for sellers of big ticket items what would be too expensive to ship to an Amazon warehouse just to be fulfilled again.

Despite having to have a nearly-flawless on-time shipment rate on 300 eligible Prime trial orders within 90 days to be eligible to join Seller Fulfilled Prime, Weber said a one-day event like Prime Day could be a back-breaker for sellers of big-ticket merchandise.

An All-Out Media Blitz

Amazon is doing such a great job at promoting Prime Day this year that marketplace sellers can ride its coattails and expect a bid one-day spike in marketplace sales.

Ranjit Mulgaonkar, founder and CEO of online retail marketplace management firm DNA Response, said his clients are choosing this year to take the natural sales increases that come with Prime Day, and feel it will bring an even bigger sales spike than last year.

In lieu of the reported minimum 20% discount to become a major Prime Day player, Mulgaonkar said his clients will – despite Amazon’s all-out media blitz – will still beef up their advertising efforts within the marketplace.

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