With summer on the doorstep, it’s time to start gearing up for one of the biggest retail events of the year: Amazon Prime Day!

The 3rd annual Amazon Prime Day kicks off the second week of July, presenting massive opportunities for buyers and sellers alike.

For those who don’t already know, last year’s Prime Day was not only Amazon’s biggest sales day ever (generating over $2.5 billion in sales), but it accounted for 74% of all online sales in the U.S. for that day.

With current Amazon Prime memberships surpassing 80 million in the U.S. alone, taking advantage of the yearly event is paramount for ecommerce retailers of any kind.

This comprehensive checklist is designed to help you prepare for and perfect your Prime Day strategy, so without further ado:

Be Ready the 2nd Week of July

Amazon Prime Day does not have an official date as of yet. Unofficially, industry experts are predicting it will happen sometime the second week of July 2017, citing the last two year’s dates as benchmarks.

Considering that Prime Day 2016 was held, and promoted as being held, on the second Tuesday of July (7/12/16), it is being speculated that this year’s Prime Day will also be held the second Tuesday (7/11/17). Make sure to check industry news in the coming weeks and stay updated on Amazon’s various social outlets!

FBA is the Name of the Game on Amazon Prime Day

Amazon has created one of the most seamlessly dynamic fulfillment networks in the world with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), and Prime Day is where you and your business can take full advantage.

Evaluate FBA inventory and consider increasing stock levels on best sellers if you anticipate high Amazon Prime Day sales. Remember: FBA receiving is likely to slow down the closer we get to Prime Day, so act quickly before it’s a week out.

If possible, offer incentives like free shipping on Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). It’s common knowledge to never compete with Amazon on price, but partnering with their inherent service features to minimize additional consumer costs will go a long way.

Monitor Campaigns Closely

Amazon Prime Day 2017 Checklist

Despite all the planning that goes into building your Prime Day strategy, you can’t afford to “set it and forget it.” Your retail campaigns need attention, and with everything going on during the event, careful monitoring will go a long way.

Remember that your approved “Lightning Deals” only run for 4 hours on Amazon Prime Day, and you should check their performance periodically. Make sure and submit a few different kinds of products for Prime Day deals (as Amazon will only choose a few), and then compare and contrast product performance across the day.

Make sure you’re also monitoring your campaign budgets throughout the event, as a surge in traffic could maximize budgets earlier than you think. You don’t want to run out of budget too early and miss out on additional sales as the day progresses.

Utilize Amazon Sponsored Products and Optimize Content

Don’t forget to use Amazon Sponsored Products to promote Lightning Deals before and during Prime Day events. This will help increase awareness of the product in anticipation of heightened purchase intent.

Furthermore, consider Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) to really get the word out. Optimized content often drives stronger conversion rates which not only leads to more sales, but helps mitigate the cost of steeply discounted products and advertising costs.

EBC should be considered sooner rather than later due to the approval process of Brand Registry and time involved to create content. It is an extremely useful tool if properly utilized.

Drive Traffic, Run Promotions, Increase Sales

Another pro-tip is making use of DASH button opportunities with brands. Many popular brands’ DASH buttons sold out before the end of the 2016 Amazon Prime Day event, and predictions for this year indicate that they likely will again.

In terms of utilizing your online presence, consider driving traffic from social media to your products on Amazon in order to highlight any promotions you’re running. It’s not only good advertising practice, but social media is where most people go for information on Prime Day deals or promos in the first place.

Taking it a step further, consider running promotions on your own website to capitalize on increased purchase intent created by Prime Day. This can even help your regularly branded sales effort, and Prime Day is a perfect opportunity to measure how.

It’s also a great practice to create ‘special’ bundles of products that have the look and feel of a one-off promotion with deep savings (regardless of whether there are actual savings or not). While centered on the Amazon Prime Day opportunity, this can also be a chance to see what kind of promotions work best for your particular business.

Review Performance and Learn What Works

For those who participated in Amazon Prime Day 2016, review last year’s performance and learn what did and didn’t work. What findings and competitive leverage can you make use of for this year? Best sellers, promotions, Lightning Deals, FBA – any insight into any metric or function can help you optimize and tip the scales in your favor this year.

For those who are new to Prime Day, take things slow and try to relax. Monitor your product listings and promotions, and don’t freak out if you don’t experience an immediate lift.

Prime Day may not be for everyone, but careful preparation and partnership with Amazon can lead to great retail success. There’s still time to organize your campaigns and listings, so don’t miss out!

If you’re a brand looking to get started or already established on Amazon, we can help! Our team of Amazon experts can analyze your account and provide actionable feedback to improve your campaigns and maximize your profits. Get a complimentary, 20-minute consult today and start  down the path to Amazon domination.