Today Amazon introduced the “Prime Early Access Sale — A New Holiday Shopping Event for Members to Save Big October 11 and October 12.” News outlets are picking up the announcement for shoppers, but what about news for merchants? Read on for everything sellers need to know to maximize this quick-turn opportunity.
Key Details about Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale
- Deals begin Tuesday, October 11, and continue through Wednesday, October 12.
- Deals are exclusively for Amazon Prime subscribers.
- Amazon is marketing the Prime Early Access Sale as the beginning of the holiday shopping season. This is a full six weeks before the traditional Black Friday kickoff.
- The Prime Early Access Sale is an international commerce event but not a fully global one. The two-day sale is limited to the U.S., Canada, China, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK. This omits many emerging markets as well as heavy-hitters India, Japan, and Australia.
How Amazon Sellers Should Attack the Prime Early Access Sale
While many consumers and merchants expected an October Amazon sale, the official announcement came on September 26, leaving sellers only two weeks to prepare. Two weeks isn’t much time in terms of inventory and logistics, so do your best there and focus on the rest.
Here’s what sellers can (and should) do to make the most of the new Prime Early Access Sale:
- Remember that this sale is all about Prime. If you have non-Prime products, put them on the back burner.
- Make it easy for shoppers to choose you.
- Concentrate on volume. The more you sell leading up to Prime Early Access and during the sale, the more sales velocity you’ll generate and the higher you’ll rank in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Advertise boldly to give organic sales an even bigger lift in terms of volume. To become the buyer’s choice, you’ll need to win key placements like Sponsored Ads and Sponsored Brands. To do so, you’ll need to outbid your competitors. Be prepared to spend more to make a lot more. SellersFunding will lend you the working capital for a full-on marketing blitz (or anything else you think will drive your business).
- Be generous with promos to keep fueling sales volume and connect additional products that Amazon will suggest as “frequently bought together.”
- Optimize your listings so that they keep with Amazon’s best practices and provide tremendous value to shoppers. If you take advantage of Brand Registry freebies like Amazon Storefronts, optimize those vehicles as well./li>
- Always have cash on hand so that when the game changes (as it is apt to do on Amazon), you have the resources you need in order to pivot. You can get up to $5M in as little as 48 hours with no usage restrictions or get a daily advance where you get paid for your sales when they happen with no waiting on Amazon for payouts.
Listen to the Signals Amazon Is Sending
This sale is all about Prime and Prime integrations, including newer capabilities and benefits like free GrubHub+, Prime Music, Prime Video, Prime Try Before You Buy, and all things Alexa. This is a clear message that Amazon privileges Prime products and sellers who use FBA (knowns) and that the future of Prime isn’t about free, fast shipping. It’s about an innovative immersive customer experience involving content, multimedia advertising, and in-home interaction with products and brands.
The Prime Early Access Sale (in all of its exclusivity) is also a win-back campaign for former Prime members who felt that the price was too steep or wanted to move away from reliance on Amazon for social responsibility or environmental reasons. In showing the increased value of Prime and the array of offerings, Amazon is indeed trying to appeal to the three people who have never tried Prime, but it’s mostly speaking to the many who have discontinued Prime in the last few years. FOMO, anyone?
This Is Not Just a Test (But Use It as One)
Amazon is promoting the Prime Early Access Sale as “a new holiday shopping event,” but it’s actually a tried-and-true sales event. Or better still, an event proven through testing, a process we know Amazon takes very seriously.
A second Prime Day has been years in the making:
- In 2020 (Covid year one), Amazon moved Prime Day (previously held in July) to October 13-14 (the second Tuesday and Wednesday in October).
- In 2021, Amazon held two Prime Days. The first was June 21-22 to kickstart a lull in retail. The second was October 11-12.
- In 2022, Amazon held the usual mid-July Prime Day. Now it is continuing with the additional second Tuesday and Wednesday of October teed up for the second Prime Day.
This isn’t a coincidence nor is it just an interesting sequence. Amazon, like Google, is a completely data-driven company. It was using the last two years to test when the best time for an alternate or second Prime Day would be. And the testing showed when shoppers would best respond and do so without cannibalizing traditional holiday sales. And it has settled on the second Tuesday and Wednesday In October.
In doing so, Amazon has created an additional shopping bonanza that ensures each month in Q4 has its shopping holiday. For Amazon shoppers, this is the ultimate in convenience, gifting, and deal-hunting. For Amazon, it is the ultimate in sales volume and revenue. For sellers, it is an opportunity to use Q4 to create your most-profitable year yet.
Sellers: If You Do One Thing for Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale, Make It This
Follow Amazon’s lead. As explained above, Amazon’s testing and data are the best in the business. The marketplace giant has also done the science for sellers. If Amazon is banking big on Prime integrations and holiday shopping in mid-October, you should too. Ride the wave and put Amazon’s, promotions, and power to work for you.
But how do you make those gains actionable within your own Amazon seller presence? Follow Amazon’s lead once again and use the Prime Early Access Sale as your own laboratory. Consider this new shopping holiday a dry run for Cyber 5. Test everything. Do it methodically and log your results. This way, you can replicate successes when it matters most: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the two weeks before Christmas. Take chances now when the stakes are lower and use flexible funding to apply those findings throughout the rest of this multi-holiday-shopping quarter.