How Amazon Advertisers Can Prepare for Prime Day

July 1, 2024

Prime Day is set for July 16-17, and shoppers are already searching for early deals and adding products to their carts. With just over two weeks until the event, it’s time for Amazon Advertisers to launch their anticipatory campaigns. Here are the key things you should do before, during, and after the big day to get the best return on your marketing investment.

Before Prime Day

The pre-sale frenzy has already started, but it’s not too late to act on it. Here are some things you can do to capitalize on the opportunities this promotion presents.

Build relevancy for high-priority keywords

Two weeks before the big day, it’s time to start running targeted ads. Download your search terms report and identify terms with high sales volume and good CTRs. High-converting terms that are associated with your sale products should be the target keywords for your Prime Day campaign. Inversely, identify search terms that you’re spending money on but aren’t driving conversions and add those as negative keywords. You can also add terms associated with products for which you won’t be offering Prime Day discounts as negatives to your campaign. 

Launch your campaign at least a week before Prime Day to build traction for your target keywords. You’ll also acquire valuable data leading up to Prime Day that can help you determine bids and budgets during the big event.

Start increasing your budgets and bids

In the weeks leading up to Prime Day, shoppers start browsing and adding products to their cart hoping they will soon be discounted. While it might seem logical to reduce your budget now and reserve spend for Prime Day, it’s better to make sure your ads are highly visible now to capitalize on that preparatory Prime Day traffic while ad prices are still relatively normal. This will also help you gather valuable data and insights on what messaging and products resonate best with your audience so you’ll know exactly what to promote during the big day.

Increase awareness with Sponsored Brand campaigns

It’s particularly important to increase the budget for your sponsored brand campaigns. Building brand awareness ahead of Prime Day can significantly enhance visibility and sales potential. The more people who see your brand ads ahead of Prime Day, the more people will recognize your brand during the sales period, making you stand out among the competition. So, if you’re only running Sponsored Product campaigns, it’s time to bring Sponsored Brand into the mix. Or if you’re running both, but most of your budget is in Sponsored Product campaigns, redistribute more to Sponsored Brand.

Dominate the top-of-search with Sponsored Products + Sponsored Brands

By optimizing both campaign types for top of search placement, you can dominate the above-the-fold search results space. The goal is to get your sponsored brand ad at the top of the page and sponsored product ads in the top three placements below it. This strategy can be expensive and requires lots of exact match targeting, but it’s a fantastic way to drive tons of traffic to your product detail pages and brand store pages for a select group of your highest-value keywords. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it. 

Create a Prime Day version of your storefront

Since you’ll be driving new traffic to your Amazon store, be sure the page highlights the products that you’ll soon have on sale and that your creative is fresh, engaging, and current. Create dedicated deals pages and add a “featured deals” tile to your storefront for maximum exposure. Also, ensure that your store is optimized for mobile. Amazon’s guide to optimizing your mobile store is available here.

Create your discounts ahead of time

Create your Prime Day discounts in Seller Central ahead of time as Amazon needs to approve them before they go live. It’s important to offer a substantial discount if possible. Prime Day is a highly competitive time and discounts smaller than 10% are less likely to stand out. But this doesn’t mean you need to put a massive discount on every item! Focus on discounting your top-selling products that are proven to drive conversions and have lots of positive customer reviews. 

Get near real-time data with Amazon’s newest analytics tools

Two new measurement tools are changing how Amazon advertisers update their bids and budgets during sales. Rapid retail analytics provides near real-time data, offering the last hour’s metrics on sales, traffic, and inventory. Amazon Marketing Stream is a messaging system that delivers hourly campaign updates via the Amazon Ads API. Having near real-time data in your toolkit gives you the best chance at optimizing as efficiently as possible. They’re both relatively simple to set up; just reach out to your Amazon Partner Manager to get started. 

During Prime Day

Prime Day is a busy time for any Amazon Seller, but if you prepare accordingly, it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Use these tips to ensure the basics are covered, then tailor strategies to your unique business goals.

Increase your budgets

If your campaigns run out of budget, your ads will stop serving mid-day, and you’ll miss out on evening traffic. It’s ideal to have an ‘always on’ budget where your budget is so high you’ll never actually hit it, then manipulate bids to control spend. For example, if a campaign is spending more than you’re comfortable with, you can decrease your CPC bids or pause some lower-value keywords instead of decreasing your budget. Or, you could shift budget from a lower-performing campaign so that your top-performing campaign doesn’t run out. Both of these solutions will enable your top-priority ads to serve all day and capture valuable evening traffic. However, this strategy requires a lot of tedious, detailed work and isn’t realistic for everyone. 

If you need to use daily budgets to control your ad spend, here’s how to determine your budget. Consider how much you spent on Prime Day last year and any trends you’ve identified in sales volume since. For example, let’s say you spent $1,000 on your Prime Day ad campaigns last year, and sales have grown 20% year-over-year. Increase last year’s budget by 20% to $1,200. That’s a good starting point. If this is your first time participating in Prime Day, start by doubling your typical daily budget. You can use Amazon’s budget rules to schedule these budget changes in advance.

Throughout Prime Day, keep a close eye on spend. If you hit your daily budget but are seeing excellent ROI and you have more money to spend, go ahead and increase it. Since budget optimizations like these must be made on the fly, it’s a good idea to go into Prime Day knowing the maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend on ads over the two-day period. If you’re struggling to determine how much of your budget to set aside for Prime Day, Marin’s Marketing Calendar can help. You can tag past Prime Days in our analytics suite and use historical data to get an idea of future impact. Then, use our forecasting tool’s advanced AI to predict how much you should spend this year. You can also use our pacing and budgeting tools to ensure you’ll hit your efficiency targets.

Another option is to use Amazon’s budget rules to increase your campaign’s budget only when it meets a performance threshold, such as an ACOS, CTR, or CVR goal. If the campaign has been hitting the efficiency goal over the past seven days, the platform will increase budgets for the following day by an amount or percentage that you select when you make the rule. For example, you could create a rule to increase a campaign’s budget by 20% if your conversion rate is better than 3%. Learn more about budget rules here.

Optimize your bids

Prepare for the influx of traffic by increasing your bids to the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click. Be sure you’re using Amazon’s Dynamic Bidding or Marin’s bidding algorithms to automatically update your bids based on competition and the likelihood of conversion.

After Prime Day

Keep budgets elevated for 1-2 weeks

The shopping frenzy often extends beyond Prime Day—especially since FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) will keep many shoppers who missed Prime Day deals in a buying mindset, looking to make purchases before prices rise again. Maintain higher budgets and bids for a while to keep products visible and capitalize on this shopping behavior.

Traffic will level out after a few weeks. Then, you can determine your ‘new normal’ campaign budgets. If you did it right, you should continue to see more traffic to your brand and product pages than before Prime Day because of the brand awareness you built!

Retarget Prime Day Shoppers

Following Prime Day, you’ll have a plethora of new data that can be used to retarget browsers and purchasers. Here are a few retargeting strategies to consider:

  • Category targeting: Target customers who visited the category pages for the products you sell.
  • Browsers who didn’t purchase: Retarget shoppers who viewed your storefront during Prime Day but didn’t buy anything.
  • ASIN Retargeting: Use retargeting to reach shoppers who viewed your products but did not purchase them during Prime Day. This strategy can effectively convert interested customers who need more time to decide.

Leverage New Customers

  • Cross-sell: Target new customers acquired during Prime Day with cross-selling and upselling campaigns. Promote complementary products or premium versions to enhance their initial purchase.
  • Build Brand Loyalty: Create campaigns that encourage repeat purchases. Consider using Subscribe & Save offers or Loyalty discounts.

Inventory Management

  • Don't run out: Ensure you have sufficient inventory to meet the continued demand post-Prime Day. Running out of stock can harm your rankings and sales momentum. 
  • Promote top ASINs: Focus on promoting products that sold well during Prime Day, as they are likely to continue performing well.

Need more help?

With these tips in mind, you’ll tackle this upcoming Prime Day and see ROI on your ads for months to come. But if you’re looking for an even more detailed guide, you can review Amazon’s Prime Day best practices guide here.

If you’re running Marketing campaigns across tons of different paid media channels, Marin can make your life a lot easier. Click here to learn more about our unified campaign management and automation platform.

Lauren Neels

Marin Software
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