How Should Sellers Handle Advertising During Major Sales Events?

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of being able to recognize changing conditions and adapt and adjust to changing conditions.

On September 26th, Amazon officially announced the inaugural 48-hour Prime Early Access Sale slated for October 11th, leaving Amazon sellers just two weeks to prepare for what projects to be one of the biggest shopping events on the calendar.

While it had been rumored for months before it became official, the timing of the announcement leaves little time for Amazon businesses to stock up on supplies and optimize inventory. Additionally, the sale effectively speeds up the holiday shopping window.

Needless to say, the market conditions have changed.

For many Amazon sellers, advertising on Amazon can be a headache even on an average day. So how does a major sales event like Prime Day, the holiday season or Prime Early Access Sale change the advertising equation?

Below, we’ll take a look at a few crucial pieces of advice and data points that may help you take control of what can be controlled at this point, and navigate through busy sales periods like a seasoned pro.

Know When The Math Changes

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Perhaps it goes without saying, but it certainly helps to know when these busy sales periods are. With a heightened awareness of the potential of changing conditions comes a greater ability to act swiftly and decisively with confidence.

On rare occasions, times with drastic change can’t realistically be accounted for. But for the most part, Amazon sellers can do themselves a favor by anticipating seismic shifts in the market.

Even for savvy, longtime Amazon sellers, the rules and conditions they grew accustomed to disappeared when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normalcy around the globe, with plenty of trickle-down effects impacting the e-commerce and Amazon marketplace.

While the COVID-19 disruption served as an extreme example of how an agent of change can flip a marketplace on its head, we can apply that thought and learning experience to other avenues when business as usual takes a turn.

More typically, busy sales periods like Prime Day, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, the Prime Early Access Sale and holiday season will cause greater fluctuations in the market. If you sell a product with a greater deal of seasonality, the ability to forecast when sales will see an uptick or downtick in demand can have a great impact on the profitability of your ads.

High-traffic sales events up the ante in every way for Amazon businesses. With more shoppers searching for a deal, the opportunity for record sales multiplies. But with that opportunity being there for the taking, the competition in the market intensifies.

Your typical ad bids that routinely win prime digital real estate are highly unlikely to get the job done during these high-sales periods, changing the math significantly in the battle between visibility and profitability.

Understanding Benefits Beyond The Obvious

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Although it can be easy to focus on the big sales number during a major sales event, that big bag of cash isn’t the only thing to keep an eye on.

Without a doubt, seeing skyrocketing sales is always welcomed. But success during Prime Day or the Early Access Sale can do so much more, helping your business prosper far beyond the promotional period.

For example, increasing brand awareness and new-to-brand customers through advertising can go a long way toward earning sales all year long. According to an Amazon study, brands that advertised leading up to and during Prime Day showed a 216% increase in awareness and 214% increase in considerations, compared to the prior week.

The most difficult aspect of customer retention? Earning their purchase in the first place. Once a customer has purchased a product from your brand, they are much more likely to purchase yet again from you as long as they feel like they got a good return on their investment.

Additionally, the sales made during these multiplier events greatly affect your visibility going forward. When you achieve sales either via search or through keyword-targeting advertising, your product sees an increase in organic rank. With organic rank serving as the holy grail of profitable sales, a successful sales event can help your bottom line all year round.

Capitalizing on the influx of traffic during these sales events can become a foundational part of your year-round performance, bringing in repeat customers who seek out your product the next time they need it.

Because of the increased competition for eyeballs, your ACoS (average cost of sale) will likely increase, a metric sellers like to keep as low as possible. However, consider these ancillary benefits while concocting your strategy and use these extra wins as consolation for the added cost.

Balancing Sales and Profitability

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For every seller, finding the perfect balance between advertising costs and profitability through conversion takes a large sample size of data and plenty of trial and error. And these numbers become warped on high-traffic sales events, but typical data can still be incredibly useful for mastering that balancing act.

One study conducted by Perpetua provides valuable insights into the numbers during July’s Prime Day 2022 compared to data in the month before and weeks after.

One of the more interesting figures from their case study shows that for Sponsored Products, Amazon businesses that increased ad spend by 50% saw a minimal rise in ACoS while experiencing a significant boost in conversion rates.

Graphic and data originally from perpetua.io.
Graphic and data originally from perpetua.io.

In short, this data indicates that increasing ad spend to match the hype of these events can be quite profitable despite the rise in ACoS depending on your product, price point and ad spend budget.

If you can afford to raise your ad spend by a significant amount, you’re much more likely to see a positive return on ad spend. For those who choose to stick with business as normal or provide a meager boost to their ad spend, the return on your investment are more likely to disappoint.

How Can You Execute These High-Opportunity Strategies?

For each and every product, the data changes can be drastically different, making it difficult to apply widescale rules to follow.

However, Viral Launch’s Kinetic tool makes creating profitable advertising campaigns and tracking performance as easy as can be via automation. With easy-to-create rules you can create to trigger action, you can optimize your ad spend by combining an informed strategy with state-of-the-art automation.

Within Kinetic, you can customize your advertising experience to match your goals and budget like never before. Create rules that increase ad spend for profitable campaigns and shut down campaigns or keywords where you’re not getting a proper return on investment once they’ve met the criteria you’ve set.

Kinetic PPC provides all the Amazon advertising functionality and tracking to help maximize your advertising success all year-long, but can be especially worthwhile during high-velocity sales periods when the stakes are at their highest.

Set yourself up with Kinetic PPC today to manage campaigns, monitor keywords and product performance and optimize your advertising experience today.

Amazon Prime Early Access Sale: Could It Be Prime Day 2.0?

According to a report from Insider, Amazon sellers reaping the benefits of July’s annual Prime Day may not be waiting too long before another retail holiday to boost sales. Leaked documents from Amazon detail plans for a potential Amazon Prime Day – like sales event in October named the Prime Early Access Sale.

While we can only speculate at this time, the “Early Access” name may imply an opportunity for Prime members to receive early access to the following month’s Black Friday deals. Amazon sellers will surely want to pay attention to more information about this potential sales event as more information becomes available.

Veteran sellers will remember this would not be the first major sales event in Amazon history held in October, as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back Prime Day 2020 from its usual mid-summer date to October 13th and 14th.

How major could the Prime Early Access Sale be?

“This event is one of the best deals events of the year and Prime members would be crazy to miss it,” one document said. Also according to the Insider reporting, some third-party sellers report receiving invitations to submit deals for the event.

Whether officially billed as a precursor to Black Friday or not, an Amazon-led sales event in October could mark the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season. 

Seemingly since the massive success of the initial Prime Day in 2015, speculation has persisted that Amazon could add a second major sales event. The duration of Prime Day has slowly increased from 24 hours to 48 hours in 2019, which is the current span of the sales period. After years of establishing Prime Day as one of, and perhaps the most important shopping event on the calendar, Amazon may be looking to the next idea to expand its reach in e-commerce.

After a period of unforeseen and fortuitous growth in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the re-opening of brick-and-mortar retail and a downturn in consumer spending have served as a reminder that meteoric growth can’t sustain linear growth forever.

By adding a second signature sales event, Amazon could provide some juice for third-party Amazon sellers to bolster sales heading into the very busy holiday season.

After yet another colossal Prime Day in July during which 24 countries participated in days of deals, any Amazon promotion should be prepared for and meticulously planned for, as it can skyrocket sales and make a tremendous difference in your bottom line.

The timing of the event adds even more weight to this opportunity, with the potential for an avalanche of sales and reviews to enhance visibility for your product and make your product more appealing to shoppers in the run-up to Black Friday and the ever-so-crucial holiday season.

The addition of a second major sales date before the busiest time of the year could be a much-welcomed accelerant to bolster sales.

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