Update, June 21, 2023: This year’s summer Prime Day (and yes, there may be a fall PD blitz too) has been confirmed as July 11-12, 2023. Happy selling (and shopping)!
According to Amazon, Prime Day 2022 was the biggest event ever for marketplace sellers. US sales were 8.5% higher than in 2021. Customers spent more than $3 billion on over 100 million items in the weeks leading up to Prime Day. The total hit $11.9 billion by the end of the event.
At the same time, Prime Day keeps getting tougher for sellers. Costs are higher. Profit margins are lower. Market volatility has turned demand forecasting into a guessing game.
If you’re an Amazon seller, you might be wondering what Prime Day means for your business this year. With so much uncertainty in the mix, how can you strategize for maximum payoff?
In this article, we’ll explore the latest trends and predictions for Amazon Prime Day 2023. We’ll also help you decide whether it’s worth investing your time and money.
Amazon Prime Day Predictions
- Tech Products Will Take the Spotlight — Again
- Winning Brands Will Cater to the Cost-Conscious Consumer
- Impulse “Essential” Items Will Win Big
- Another Prime Early Access Sale May Be in the Works
The Latest on Amazon Prime Day
You likely already know the score on Amazon Prime Day.
Once — or is it twice? — a year, Amazon hosts a huge 48-hour flash sale for its Prime subscription holders. During the two-day event, thousands of sellers flood the marketplace with deals and discounts to drive shoppers to their stores.
While the official date hasn’t been announced yet, Amazon Prime Day 2023 is predicted to take place from July 11-12. The deadline to participate in Prime Day Deals has already passed. Sellers needed to submit their deals by April 28 with Prime Day inventory shipped to Amazon warehouses by June 15.
Is Prime Day Still a Goldmine for Sellers?
Every year, sellers anxiously await Amazon’s Prime Day announcement. But with inflation concerns and consumer buying shifts, there continues to be some well-warranted chatter around Prime Day’s real return on investment.
Prime Day Data
- The costs of participating in Prime Day keep going up: According to Ad Badger, average per-click rates for Amazon advertisers are still trending upward. Add that to a laundry list of fee increases, and downward pricing pressure due to an influx of new sellers, and your Prime Day ROI could take a serious hit compared to previous years.
- Competing events may steal the limelight: While global e-commerce sales hit $11.9 billion during Prime Day 2022, sales through Amazon made up less than half of that revenue. In the early years of Prime Day, Amazon may have had the lion’s share of July sales. But recent results show a more diversified spread among other marketplaces like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.
- The big brands are still the largest overall winners: In 2022, the biggest winners were larger brands who had the financial capacity to handle economic concerns and ever-shifting inventory needs, and still offer the kind of ultra-competitive deals growing brands struggle to compete with.
With all of this in mind, it’s no wonder some sellers have decided to forgo Prime Day altogether, while others are opting to compete through other strategies that take advantage of the Prime Day “halo effect”, such as hosting their own promotions and special offers.
Ultimately, your success with Amazon Prime Day depends on your brand’s ability to adapt and respond to the current market. If you can keep your best-sellers in stock, serve well-trafficked categories, invest in inventory and marketing early, and summon the creative willpower to stand out among the larger players, Prime Day could still bring you a massive payday.
4 Must-Know Amazon Prime Day Predictions
To get your store ready to crush it on Prime Day, zoom in on the top predictions and data insights. You’ll also want to download or bookmark Amazon’s official Prime Day ‘23 – Brand Guide.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key trends that could impact your Prime Day results this year.
1. Tech Products Will Take the Spotlight — Again
Each year, technology devices claim the top spot for deals and shopper interest, especially Amazon devices like Echo and Fire products. Other consumer electronics like Beats and Apple Watches also do well, and this trend shows no signs of slowing in 2023.
That isn’t to say you can’t profit in other categories. Household essentials took the lead on Prime Day 2022, with around a third of consumers saying they purchased in this category. The health, beauty, and apparel categories are also poised to succeed this year with what may be a major grab for excess fashion inventory.
The Prime Day Play: Leverage Your Best-Selling Categories
Regardless of your category, one of the best ways to win on Prime Day is to make sure you’re stocked and ready to sell your top movers.
- Review past sales data to forecast the right amount of inventory and aim to replenish early. Don’t over-order, but don’t put yourself at risk for stockouts, either.
- If you’ve had success with product bundles in the past, plan to run special promos to increase your Average Order Value (AOV).
“The top sellers are likely to be household staples such as electronics, toys, and clothing, but there will certainly be opportunities for sellers to make their mark with specialty products and services,” explains Ryan Mckenzie, Cofounder & CMO of eco-friendly detergent brand, Tru Earth®. “We can also expect an uptick in impulse buys and ‘add-on’ items as consumers explore the increased product offerings available.”
2. The Halo Effect Will Continue — But You Might Need to Put in More Work
The infamous “halo effect” — referring to the excitement, extra footfall, and attention generated by Prime Day — has remained constant since the event’s inception.
In 2023, you’ll continue to see more brands capitalizing on the Prime Day halo effect by magnifying their advertising and promotions and setting up shop on multiple platforms in time for the big sale. But dips in certain brick-and-mortar categories on Prime Day 2022 suggest the sales boost may no longer be a given. You might need to up your ad spend in order to secure your piece of the pie.
The Prime Day Play: Tap into the Cost-Conscious Consumer
As consumers continue to tighten their belts, tailor your promotions to cater to shoppers’ changing spending habits.
- Look for ways to accommodate cost-conscious shoppers into your product offering. For example, if your analytics show many customers are buying items in bulk, you could offer a custom bundle at a discounted rate to secure more sales.
- Alternatively, many items — especially in the top-selling household essentials category — do well on the subscription model. Offer shoppers incentives to sign up for recurring orders during Prime Day.
“We can expect significant price cuts on Amazon’s own products, such as the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K, Kindle e-readers, and Ring Video Doorbells.” Experts like Jeanel Alvarado, Founder and CEO at RETAILBOSS, are predicting big discounts on Amazon devices, with new ways of marketing those deals to Prime shoppers. “Amazon may provide early access or exclusive deals for customers who use their Alexa-enabled devices to shop during Prime Day.”
Jeanel is also predicting increased movement in home appliances, health and beauty products, and fitness equipment. She suggests finding new ways to get creative with your promos and bundling. “Offer attractive deals,” Jeanel advises. “Implement various deals such as coupons, lightning deals, BOGO deals, and more to incentivize shoppers on Prime Day.”
3. Low-Cost and Impulse “Essential” Items Will Win Big
With recession concerns, rising prices, and an increased cost of living, consumers may try to restrict their Prime Day purchases. Many will plan to shift their Prime Day spending from items they want to items they need.
But this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for impulse buys. With increasing marketplace offerings, some sellers predict shoppers will spend more time exploring a greater variety of products, leading to unanticipated purchases. But research also shows that Prime shoppers have less self-control than they’d like to believe. Prime Day is still prime territory for low-cost, last-minute add-ons.
The Prime Day Play: Tailor Listings and Ad Spend toward Easy-to-Justify Add-Ons
With a majority (58%) of products sold on last year’s Prime Day priced at $20 or less, brands that position themselves as low-cost essentials may perform well by piggybacking on more intentional purchases.
- Optimize your listings early and often to ensure visibility and searchability. Prioritize improving your rankings for any affordable goods that consumers can self-justify as “essentials.”
- Think cheap and seasonal, and market creatively to position your product as such. If you sell a beauty product, for instance, play up its SPF rating or moisturizing properties for a July boost.
“Right now, sellers should be focused on optimizing their listings so that these show up in relevant search results shortly before and during Prime Day,” says James Wilkinson, CEO and Cofounder at Balance One Supplements. “This is also the time to start A/B testing listings and their copy to increase their likelihood of conversions once Prime Day is underway.”
4. Another Prime Early Access Sale May Be in the Works
In October 2022, Amazon offered an additional two-day sale, dubbed the Prime Early Access sale. The move may have been to combat the ongoing inventory glut or to capitalize on the trend of earlier holiday shopping.
With retailers predicting that excess inventory issues could persist into 2024 and nearly half of US fashion brands grappling with way too much extra stock, Amazon may need another Early Access sale to offload all the unsold merchandise. Amazon’s increased and renamed “aged inventory storage” fee is also indicative of an ongoing need to clear more warehouse shelves, which could increase the odds of an extra Prime sale in 2023.
The Prime Day Play: Keep Your Plans Flexible for a Potential Second Sale
While the first Early Access sale wasn’t as successful as the Prime Day a few months earlier, customers still bought over 100 million items from third-party sellers — which means you could see a significant sales lift from participating.
- Budget for a potential extra sale in October, so you can stock up inventory and amp up ad spend if and when the time comes.
- If you missed out on any 2023 Prime Day deadlines, consider trying out a Lightning Sale or other discount deal during Prime Early Access. Then analyze your sales and use the data to fine-tune your Black Friday promotions.
“Amazon will once again offer an early access sale. It’s time sensitive and encourages consumers to act quickly before their favorite items sell out,” says Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer, Paradigm Peptides. “Sellers need to ensure they have the inventory to keep up with the high volume of sales. This shopping event is a great way to increase brand awareness, especially for small businesses, so they need to have the inventory to support it.”
This Year, Make the Ultimate Prime Day Play
No matter what Amazon has in store for this year’s Prime Day, don’t let tight cash flow or rigid payout schedules keep you from growing your brand. For sellers who play their cards right, Amazon Prime Day can still deliver a big boost in sales.
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