Amazon Specialists Ashley Cook and Lewis Jewsbury talk us through how to drive brand awareness by strategically using Amazon deals to boost sales for your product.
How to Use Amazon Deals to Drive Brand Awareness and Increase Sales
The world of Amazon deals can feel quite overwhelming for first timers, and even those who’ve dipped their toes in before. But it doesn’t have to be. Firstly, it’s important to know what Amazon deals are, the types of deals available and which one is best one for you. Once you know this, you need to look at how to schedule a deal at the best possible moment, prepare your stock appropriately and ultimately maximise your opportunities through sponsored ads and promotions. What’s more, Amazon deals can show us a thing or two about good practice and help hone our general marketing skills. But how?
What’s So Good About Amazon Deals?
Amazon deals take advantage of time limited discounts on your products. They will help you stand out from the competition, differentiate your brand from others and stimulate sales – especially if your product is part of an already very crowded category. Successful promotions really do motivate customers to buy your products, particularly if you have an attractive offer that stands out from the competition.
So where can you find Amazon promotions? On the Amazon home page there are two highly visible free areas. Firstly, ‘todays deals’, located at the top of the page just below the search bar. Secondly, a widget underneath their advertising banner on the right-hand side. In addition, they also have a highly sought after ‘deal of the day’. These deals will be visible on your storefront if you have one.
There are several deals that you should turn your attention to as a priority – Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and Seven Day deals, followed by Amazon best deals, money off vouchers and BOGOF deals. Remember that nothing comes for free, and Amazon charge between £25 and £100 per deal depending on the event. Regardless of the fee, we still highly recommend that you schedule deals as you’re likely to generate those costs (and more) in sales.
Types of Amazon Deals & Promotions:
Deal of the Day is a 24 hour promotion where selected products are given a very good discount. It’s found on ‘today's deals’, which is the second most visited page on Amazon – meaning high traffic volumes. The short time frame motivates customers to buy the products while they are reduced. You must meet selection criteria to be included in this promotion, including a minimum discount of 20%, more for peak days like Black Friday, and at least a four-star customer product review.
Lightening Deals require the same criteria as a Deal of the Day but are only offered for two to four hours. There is usually a limited number of stock items offered during this time which are subject to a promotional discount and then a final price (usually a minimum of 15% or 20% during events). This is tracked through a live status bar that keeps you up to speed with how many people have your deal in their basket and how many items they have purchased. The customer can also see how long the deal has left to run and what percentage of stock is left. This encourages them to feel they may miss out if they do not take immediate action.
Seven-day Deals have the same features as a Lightening Deal but for a longer period, which means you’re likely to have increased sales and may need higher stock levels. It will not produce the adrenaline inducing rush-to-buy feeling for customers as it’s over a longer duration, bit this deal can be just as fruitful in the long-run.
Best Deals are the same as Seven-day Deals but run for an extra week. This is good news if you really want to ramp up promotion for an event like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You could work these deals around the event, especially if you really want to take advantage of those long sales periods. This also works as a great tool for Christmas promotions too.
Other deals that don’t have such stringent criteria include redeemable vouchers. These are particularly good for new sellers to take advantage of, as you don’t need to have product recommendation to book this deal. These can run for up to 90 days and offer a minimum of 5% discount that helps to give presence without a huge product commitment. You will be required to create a budget for the amount of times a voucher can be redeemed and the amount the money off that you are going to be offering.
Finally, the last deal is the buy one get one free promotion, which speaks for itself. It’s a great way of becoming more visible than your competitors if you are selling your product in a saturated market, or if you find that you’re not getting into the basket as often as they are.
Top Tips for Amazon Deals
- Remember that any promotion you undertake is time sensitive, but it’s important to experiment with product type and deal duration, to track current sales and to gather feedback to effectively maximise opportunity
- Don’t be afraid to consider creating a promotion when business is slow so that you can motivate both existing and new customers to buy
- Always look at what your competitors are doing and what local deals they are running, including the types of discounts they are offering, and think about how you can adapt that for your business
- Eligibility for all these deals is based on feedback rating and star numbers, product reviews, product quality and variation, discount offered, sales history and whether the product is eligible for Amazon Prime in all regions
How Do I Do All of This?
Amazon provide its sellers with the tool Seller Central, which allows you to schedule, book and budget for all your deal requirements. The first thing to do is to decide which product(s) you want to run a deal for. Amazon will give you a nice list of which deals your products are eligible for. Then you need to think about timing and when you want to run your deal.
Finally, you will need to commit an allocated amount of inventory to the deal, subject to a minimum requirement. Once this is all in place and reviewed you submit your product for consideration. You may find that your competitors beat you to the deal. This usually means they are doing something better than you are, but this is an opportunity for you to consider what you need to improve.
Amazon decides which products are selected for deals using an automatic algorithm. So, they are not manually selected by person. What you tend to find is that there are varying factors that can influence the decision of whether your product is eligible for these deals. These factors include your retail readiness, product reviews, return rate, sales history, length of time on site, seller status, feedback, rating, and organic presence.
If you're a new seller and you've got a new product, maybe you just need more product or brand awareness and would benefit from some voucher or BOGOF promotions to start increasing your sales. And once you’ve picked up reviews, increased sales history and promoted your product, you can reconsider applying for deals.
Retail Ready Products
If you haven’t invested much time on Amazon sales yet, make sure your product is retail ready. That means making it as good as it can be on Amazon. Make sure you have optimised bullet points, a nice selection of images and creatives, strong keywords and an awareness of what your competitors are doing. If you are brand registered, a good inviting storefront will also help. You will eventually pick up sales if you have a quality listing. This is a good point to run a small discount or voucher code depending on what would suit you. All this good housekeeping and planning will help you create a strong strategy going forward.
When scheduling vouchers, it’s slightly different. You need to choose a range of products that the vouchers can be spent on, then the voucher type, i.e. money off or a percentage of value. You need to set a total deal budget which totals the discount and the redemption fees payable to Amazon, which are currently 45p per voucher in the UK. Once you've done this, you’ll need to set a schedule and submit.
It’s vital not to be caught out by stock levels not being managed properly. Always make sure that you allow up to four weeks for stock to arrive at Amazon fulfilment centres, and maybe longer for big volume events. You don’t want your stock to be held up in a backlog at the fulfillment centres if you’ve sent it at a peak time when everyone is competing for sales, so make sure you are ahead of the game.
In Seller Central, you can see your inventory levels and their estimated supply time. That will show you how long your current stock is going to last and if that would be enough for the deals that you have scheduled. Make sure you use the recommendations to send adequate inventory to fulfil those deals. Amazon’s sophisticated stock management tools can allocate your stock to the correct warehouse and will let you know if there are any issues. Amazon will not hold your stock for an event and may dip into this if customers start buying your products before predicted so keep alert.
Understanding High Traffic Events
Amazon run a lot of shopping events for specific days of the year. It’s important that you are aware of these shopping events to give you the best opportunity of being discovered by future customers. These events are heavily promoted using visual merchandising, increasing customer outreach efforts through email campaigns and other specific event marketing. So why are high traffic events important? In 2019, 170 million items were purchased worldwide on Amazon Prime day, with 100 million plus Prime members shopping on one day alone.
These events give us an annual cycle that we can use to plan our deals schedule, including specific occasions like Valentine’s Day, Cyber Monday, Christmas and so on. It’s a good idea to think about which of your products suits which event in the calendar. You don’t want to be promoting the wrong type of products for the event, because you could end up wasting money on deals that don’t necessarily convert. For example, fitness, wellness, and health products go down well at New Year, and men’s gifts, activity days and tools before Father’s Day. So, if your products fit under one of Amazons events, get your deal scheduled in. It's a good opportunity to take advantage of the increased traffic and the merchandising that Amazon provide. Just don’t forget to monitor your budget and stock levels!
A way of supporting your Amazon activity is by using sponsored ads in conjunction with your deals. Amazon have sponsored advert positions across the site which will push your brands and specific deal forward. They also have sponsored product and sponsored display features, which are little widgets that let customers know you have a deal running. Additionally, having a sponsored advert allows you to have a deal-specific landing page for your storefront to direct traffic to your products, which can really improve conversion rates.
Start with a simple phased approach:
- Promote your products and brands for about two weeks before a deal is scheduled to ensure visibility. This allows you to research your audiences, product and message
- Secondly, use a tailored portfolio of products to highlight your store during the deals period
- Finally, you want to start remarketing for up to two weeks after the deal to drive sales conversion
Quick information recap:
- Review the types of deals available and see which one would work best for your brand
- Review the high traffic events throughout the year and see which ones your brand would benefit from
- Create that promotional calendar to see when you would like to promote
- Start scheduling the deals, preparing staff and monitoring stock levels
- Targeting your deals through sponsored ads two weeks before and after the event
- Measure each deals performance through business manager and Amazon advertising
- Test your deals, what can you change – taglines, keywords, message, budget, images, storefront
- Review the outcomes and decide on which ones you would like to do, or not do, in the future
So, what's next for you?
If you’re looking for an Amazon brand review to identify the best opportunities for the next 12 months, we can help. Get in touch with our Amazon Specialists today.