Are you ready for Amazon Prime Day 2021? This can’t-miss retail event is bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amazon announced that it will take place on June 20-21st this year, giving third-party sellers just a few weeks to gear up and take advantage of one of the most profitable selling times of the year.
Of course, you’ll want to have the basics covered, sufficient inventory, and appropriate levels of advertising and discounts. In this article, we’ll cover lesser-known but cost-effective and proven strategies to drive more sales on Prime Day and beyond.
Whether you sell on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, or your own website with platforms like Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, or Magento, advertising and price cuts won’t be enough to win during the Prime Day rush. Instead, increasing the visibility of your listings with minimal advertising and offering fast and free delivery nationwide will be the most cost-effective sales drivers. Here are some strategies to get you started:
List Your Fast-Selling SKUs on More Sales Channels
Overall, e-commerce saw a sharp uptick in sales during last year’s Prime Day – 42% on and off Amazon. So, getting your top-selling SKUs on other popular e-commerce sites, such as Walmart and eBay, will be a smart strategy heading into Prime Day.
Multi-channel or multi-marketplace strategies amplify your sales potential by bringing your products to more consumers where they prefer to shop. According to a Shopify study, retailers that list products on three or more channels see a 190% increase in revenue.
Look for channels where your prices are competitive, and you earn good margins. Then, prioritize listing your most popular SKUs on those channels.
Boost Your Buy Box Visibility with Fast and Free Shipping
When a consumer searches for a product available from multiple sellers on Amazon and other marketplaces, an algorithm determines which retailer’s listing wins the Buy Box, and ultimately more sales. For example, Buy Box listings account for 82% of sales on Amazon. Of course, one of the most significant factors in getting this extra visibility is the availability of free shipping.
On Amazon, sellers can offer fast and free shipping by using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or participating in the Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) program. Other programs like eBay’s Fast ‘N Free and Walmart’s free 2-day shipping work in a similar way. This powerful strategy is often a less expensive and more effective way to increase the visibility of your listings than purchasing lots of advertising.
Create Offers That Convert
To drive more conversions, build your Amazon Prime Day deals around what consumers want. Free shipping is an excellent place to start. According to Invesp, free shipping is the most crucial buying incentive for 9 out of 10 online shoppers, and 58% will add items to their cart if they don’t have to pay for shipping.
Making free shipping part of your Prime Day offers is not only good for boosting your conversions, but it will also set you up for higher sales the rest of the year. In recent years, Amazon has been pressuring the industry to adopt a new free nationwide 1-day delivery standard. If you haven’t already made the switch, this is a great time to start.
Find a Fulfillment Strategy That is Affordable on All Channels
If your business has one or two locations, the only way to deliver orders in 1-2 days is with costly expedited shipping. The key to profitably offering fast and free shipping is to place your inventory close enough to customers so you can offer 1- or 2-day delivery using economical ground shipping. It takes at least four warehouses to reach most of the US within two days and at least eight warehouses for 1-day delivery. For most, building or leasing additional warehouse space is not an option, so let’s explore more affordable fulfillment options.
Does Amazon FBA Support Your Multi-Channel Sales Strategy?
FBA can be a good option for nationwide 1-day and 2-day delivery if you sell only on Amazon. But it’s not great for a multi-channel strategy. For example, Walmart doesn’t permit the use of FBA fulfillment. Also, the cost to fulfill non-Amazon orders through FBA can be twice as expensive.
Another issue that frustrates merchants and drives up costs is FBA’s constantly changing rules for inventory limitations. For example, Amazon recently lifted its quantity limits for new ASINs but added account-level inventory limits by storage type. This change added to the increasing need for merchants to pay for additional storage before sending merchandise to FBA for fulfillment. The good news is that there are Amazon FBA alternatives.
Does Your Existing 3PL Fulfillment Center Measure Up?
You may be working with a third-party logistics (3PL) fulfillment company that typically provides order delivery within 2-to-4 days. Unfortunately, that timeframe is simply not fast enough to compete with Amazon Prime and today’s consumer expectations. Nor does it comply with SFP’s new rules for third-party retailers, which can put your Prime badge eligibility at risk.
Adopting a nationwide free delivery model may mean you have to engage multiple 3PL warehouses whose prices and services may vary widely. If you find yourself shopping around for providers, use a 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP) Template to get an apples-to-apples comparison or consider 3PL fulfillment alternatives.
What Other Multi-Channel Fulfillment Options Are Available?
A relatively new and affordable alternative to working with 3PLs is to use a peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce order fulfillment network. A P2P network is made up of experienced e-commerce retailers who offer up existing space and resources to provide order fulfillment to other merchants. This model enables members to offer nationwide 1-day or 2-day delivery and the option to tap a new revenue stream by fulfilling orders for others. As a result, costs are generally much lower than what you get with a 3PL fulfillment center, and multi-channel sales are the norm.
The Prime Day 2021 Bottom Line
Prime Day will be here before you know it, so now is the time to get your multi-channel sales and fulfillment strategy in place to take advantage of the buying frenzy that we know will ensue. Getting your products on multiple e-commerce marketplaces and offering fast and free shipping everywhere you sell are going to be your best bets for winning the day. But only if you move quickly.
This is a guest post by Manish Chowdhary, the founder and CEO of Cahoot. Cahoot is the world’s first peer-to-peer e-commerce order fulfillment network, enabling e-commerce merchants to win sales by offering nationwide 1-day and 2-day delivery for less than the cost of ground.