May 19, 2022
How to find (and fix) gaps in your product detail pages, inventory best practices to reduce out-of-stock issues, how to prepare your entire eCommerce team for Prime Day, and more.
Welcome everyone to our webinar, How to optimize your full e-commerce business for Prime Day. So normally, our Prime Day webinars usually focus on advertising, but for today, we're gonna take a step back and focus more on the retail side of Prime Day, namely retail fundamentals like content and promotions, and although I've heard people say that Prime Day has somewhat lost its luster recently, in the form of maybe just like the deals aren't as attractive as they once were, I think it's still incredibly important for brands to really just focus on Prime Day, give it at least some thought because there's just a tremendous amount of sheer volume and attention that it attracts... And sometimes it's hard to really fully grasp the scale of Amazon and Prime Day, so one popular way to bring more context is really to compare it to the Super Bowl. So remember that Amazon has roughly 200 million Prime members, and we've heard from sources that Amazon is expecting north of 120 million consumers or members to shop during Prime Day this year.
When you compare that to the Super Bowl this year, there were 112 million people that watched it live and 208 million that watched it all together. So while that 208 million is more than the total number of Prime members, you have to remember that there was more than just Prime members that are gonna be shopping on Prime Day, so the scale or the reach is pretty comparable, so just an incredible reach. And outside of just shipping the business, it's really a great way to get your brand and products in front of shoppers for overall awareness, I just think about how much brands pay for Super Bowl commercials this year. There was $6.5 million for 30 seconds during the Super Bowl. Well, what about consumption? Consumers spent on average last year over $50 or about 50 per order during Prime Day 2021, and it's gone down since 2019, but overall unit volume has actually gone up, so what this is kind of signaling is that shoppers are increasingly deal conscious, and it could be a perfect storm this year with inflation, and recession on the minds of consumers, and then lastly, you really have to remember what was the core purpose of Prime Day? Why do they start it? Right, well, it was just Amazon's way to drive more prime memberships. So we shouldn't really lose sight of that as we do operate this year, Prime Day really is geared towards getting consumers to see more value in buying a Prime membership.
So with that said, We are your presenters today. My name is Riku, I am an Account Director at Pacvue. Before joining this side of the industry, I was a sales AE at Procter and Gamble, where I led some of our home care brands on Amazon. And why that's important is I went through one of the first Prime days where CPG became a focal point, or at least an increasing focus on CPG during Prime Day, and we were flying blind for the most part during that first Prime Day with CPG had being a focus, and even though at that point it was still in its relative infancy, even though Amazon was relatively mature, we took a lot of, I guess for now, we're taking a lot of institutional knowledge for granted that just simply did not exist back then, so we're gonna try to re-apply some of those learnings today, kinda share our POV on where things were back then and where are we now, and I'm also going by my colleague Alex Juday, who I'll let him introduce himself.
Yeah, thanks, Riku. Life comes full circle. So Riku and I started together at P and G young pups back in the day. And now here we are working together at Pacvue. I also came from P and G, I've been over at Pacvue for three or four months now. I lead our Product Solutions team, and my team is really just meant to build solutions that help brands and agencies alleviate pain points, become more efficient and drive better business results at the end of the day. So excited to share some of our Prime Day best practices. Riku I appreciate your $50 per order data point. I'm gonna take that and use that with my wife this year because her order is definitely not $50, so I'm gonna have a nice data point of, Hey, your order is 350% higher than your average Prime Day order. We need to work on that. So thank you for that.
Yeah, we have to pump those numbers of Alex, remember... So you guys are probably wondering What are we actually gonna talk about today? Well, for the agenda, we're first gonna take you through some top level 2021 learnings, right, what do we learn from the past? What do things look like last year, we're gonna transition to give some recommendations on pre-event preparation, so understand how a lot of that work has already occurred, but there's some considerations before prime actually happens, what should you do during... Or the days of Prime Day, how should you approach post-event reporting, and then lastly, we'll open it up for Q and A, and we actually are joined by one of our colleagues, Zack, he's a former vendor manager at Amazon, so that's why we specifically asked him to join us, and we also consider him to be Pacvue’s deal guru.
So first, let's start by looking at what happened last year, so recall that Prime Day landed on June 21st through the 22nd last year, which was a change. normally, it's been in July, then during one year ended up being in Q4, we're really thinking that this is kind of returning back to normalcy, and the rumor is right now that it'll be some time in early to mid-July, it's just hearsay they won't officially confirm it until later on, even some of the Amazon employees, I don't know if they technically know or maybe they do they’re just really tightlipped and eventually it'll get out, but early to mid-July is one word, thinking next, brands that were running promotions was part of their deals with advertising, saw the largest increase in CPC with some noticing CPCs up 80% versus 2020 Prime Day.
There's a brand that we manage in the fitness category, we saw CPCs up 76% last Prime Day versus 2020, so it's kind of all across the board where we saw that CPC inflation happened, inventory may have affected which brands were advertising last year, nothing new here, supply chain issues, including container shortages and major manufacturing or certain categories, especially in home goods were less promotional in typical deal events, so I think what we'll continue to see this year, supply chain, we're not out of the clear yet, some of the issues that plagued Prime Day last year we'll probably have some of those constraints this year as well, next, while the second day of Prime Day usually experiences a drop off in sales and likewise ad spend, we actually saw more consistent performance for both days than we have historically last year, so that's something to consider. This year, as you're kind of planning how you're planning on phasing your investment for Prime Day One and prime day two, and then lastly, perhaps some much to my chagrin, there was a big push influencers through the increased use of tiktok live video, lead in videos on YouTube and just overall ads across social media to drive more awareness and visibility to Prime Day.
So next, what do we think or what do you recommend for pre-event prep? We'll transition it to Alex.
Yeah, so as you guys heading into Prime Day, the first thing that you ultimately need to do is decide what the hell you wanna do, are we gonna run the... Or you're not gonna run deals, what type of deal are we gonna run, how much investment are we willing to make... Riku and I when putting this content together, thought about, we could talk what's the best type of deal to run promo depth, price, elasticity, LTV considerations. That conversation's been going on for years. And you still need to think about that. You need to consider what's best for my business, what objective do I have, and what will Prime Day do to deliver that? And you should do that. Or I think the evolution really needs to go, especially with everything that's happening in the world today, from insane product supply dynamics, wild pricing up and down, intense retailer negotiations that have been happening for the last year, plus a shift to a really dynamic eligibility loop at an item level. So not only do you need to think about what type of deal do I run and what depth of field do I run, but then underneath all of those, what items should I be supporting and do they make strategic sense for me to do it? And it should be a continuous feedback loop that frankly needs to be built with tech like Pacvue and an automation platform that can constantly read ASP margin weeks of coverage, which we'll talk in a little bit, conversion rate on a really quick pace that also has a dynamic replacement logic built in, what that will allow you to do is get to not only what do I need to run, but once I decide what I am going to run, what items put that strategy at the forefront, give me the best chance to achieve success in that arena, and I appreciate the comment on the slide, I thought it was funny, I laughed to myself, so I'm glad that a landed. It's my least favorite about virtual presentations is you tell a joke or you say something funny, you have no idea if it bombed or not, and so I appreciate that, letting me know that it was at least marginally funny.
So under the next one, three to... Once you decide what you're going to do, It frankly goes without saying that you need to spend a significant amount of time putting yourself in the best possible position for success heading into Prime Day, so you need to make sure that you've done the due diligence to have A plus content, your right image strategy, the right keywords in place, the right rate and reviews heading in so that your ASINs convert at the best possible rate, you should fix all of your fundamentals. You promote retail readiness, that's all table stakes. But it is important and imperative that you do it, everything is so competitive now, the automation really helps deliver those things. With brands that are managing portfolios that are thousands of ASINs, it's really difficult for one human to humans, the humans to monitor all of the things that influence the Amazon algorithm and purchase behavior online automation helps you deliver that, and so that's what we really try to do it here at Pacvue is all of these things are important.
How do we automate those actions, save your team time to then deliver that. And the last one I'll talk is like gorilla warfare-ish action about you and understand not only what your strengths are, what are your competitors weaknesses are. Many of you, I'm sure are familiar with the Amazon targeting widget that you see on the screen. We have some unique targeting capabilities within our Pacvue platform as well, but I would spend some time understanding what competitive ASINs have some weaknesses, and can you explain those, not only in the Prime Day environment, but an ongoing basis, so this one's all about the basics, making sure, you spend the time upfront to make sure that whatever you do decide to do and ASINs you decide to promote are in the best possible position to have success.
One of the fundamental things most companies want to kind of solve is how do you really set your entire team, how do you set your organization up for success, the tendency to work in silos was a huge challenge in the early days of managing Amazon or like these bigger businesses on Amazon, the key takeaway is that teams might be aligned to the overall same goals and objectives, but organizational structure and access to information might create a sense of misalignment... Right, so there's nothing more frustrating than having a conversation derail over data sources, not matching, right. So if you're doing your post mortem reporting, if you're having a conversation around whether you can trust certain data sources, whether something is right or not, right now, that is just wasted time, you should have some type of system in place. Framework, everybody feels good about it. Everybody's aligned to the approach and methodology that's gonna free advertiser’s time to do more insightful or actionable things after the prime event. It really brings up the importance of having a single source of truth which yields confidence in the data, so that time spent is solving the real challenges rather than kind of bickering or debating on the validity or trustworthiness of data sources.
So what you see here, it just, there's numerous data sources that fuel even the most simple dashboard, if you're looking at retail advertising, digital shelf data, bring it all into one place, there's a ton of different things that you have to consider and pull together in order to make any sense, right? So each of these sections can have multiple reports, and for many clients, even one section or one sales report might require three or four reports by themself, right, so if you have multiple profiles in Amazon, you might need to pull three or four sales reports, combine them clean up the data and make sure there's no duplication, so forth, writing... So even if you build a nice system, what happens if data format changes or there's some type of outage in consistency, so building a system, proactively identifying these issues and adapting, it's all kind of stuff that can be solved via technology, and I certainly wish that when I was a leader of the home care brands at P&G that I had something in place. So instead of spending two to five hours every single week just creating reporting I press a button and have everything.
And there's a better way. Right, so first, what can you do immediately, right, standardization across templates and processes is gonna have a monumental impact on time savings for your total team, especially around temple events like Prime Day, we're really moving to a standing in the industry, or I've been transitioning that way for a bit now, where there's so much data and overall complexity that technology is basically table stakes, it's basically a necessity and it's gonna have major benefits to your overall business. We're gonna go through a lot of these points today, but it's really just scratching at the surface, so if you want a subsequent conversation, we're absolutely happy to have that. And when I was managing that, those Amazon businesses, there are just so many things that I would do or had to create every single week that now it's just so easy, so seamless to get everything in front of you, so you spend more time actually doing the things that are gonna drive your business rather than just simply reporting... One thing we've seen work really well for temple events is the creation of a war room, we first saw this come into play when work from home is not a thing, when everyone is in an office together, but it's just really where the total team gets together for a chunk of the day, we understand with the current constraints around work from home, physical proximity, it is not possible, so you can still create your virtual war room and really the benefit of this is it brings all the key stakeholders together and allows for you to make really quick decisions if circumstances change, deals change, information that you have on how the day is going changes, so having everybody kind of in one room or one virtual room really facilitates how quickly you can adapt and make sure that you're capitalizing on that increased traffic there in Prime Day.
Next, don't forget your external partners staying connected on media spend is pivotal during Prime Day, we're specifically talking about budgets and overall strategy, so for example, did you hit critical inventory levels and then you need to pull back media spend... Well, how do you communicate that to your media executor? Its really important that you kind of establish that ahead of time that way you're not fragile sending the emails, do make sure that the people who are actually executing your media are there, you gotta make sure they're not taking a day off, which I'll get through there and see and actually have a fun story about that, for many clients our managed services team, we communicate via instant messaging, we think it's a really good way to just stay on top of the business, hear what's going on from both ends and really since... Well,
And then lastly, having a condition, a contingency plan in place is important, what happens if your deal is more successful than expected it... So generally a good problem, but you might be getting a call from your vendor manager to ask for incremental funding if there's inventory left over, can you extend that promo just having alignment ahead of time, having plans in place ahead of time, getting buy-in from everybody who needs it? That's really what we've seen to work out of stock issues were a significant challenge last year, no surprise, and it's likely to be a challenge this year due to ongoing supply chain issues, so looking at how we used to do it, we used to have to pull reports from vendor central and then clean, organized and then analyze that data, and the overall theme is it takes a ton of precious time away from the account lead, so the solution to this is definitely technology, accuracy is also a critical piece to consider for any analysis. In Excel errors happen, we're not perfect.
So software is kind of the solution for that, making sure that we minimize all the risk as much as possible.
Yeah, I got on this one, recite evolution, and the next big step for the industry to take is marrying this data and these metrics seamlessly and automated with advertising in real time, so today, everyone is action-ing all of these metrics via verbal communication to their hands on keyboard team, or to their agency teams, and what we're solving with Pacvue advertising together is being able to tie these things and rule-based optimizations via advertising, leveraging your traditional sales, supply chain, profitability, etcetera, metrics. It is a couple of things. Number one, it operates at a speed that we just can't operate as humans, and it covers more ASINs than we could possibly cover. The other thing it allows us to do is to get proactive instead of reactive, so I think inventory levels is a good one, I think the industry is operating off of weeks on hand, and I think most tech providers or Amazon advertising experts are putting processes in place to pause ads and pause Search spend when we hit weeks on hand drops below certain thresholds defined by that brand, but we all know that that comes with consequences when you get to that point, no one actually ever wants to get there, but it does save you from sometimes getting all the way out of stock, we're getting really efficient with your spend, but we can start to do is get a bit more proactive with predictive inventory levels, and so that's our weeks of coverage metric, which takes into account what is your weeks on hand, but what is both your historical and future-looking forecast trend and allow you to dynamically adjust your advertising support based on what your inventory is going rather than where it is, and so you can avoid having to play up that stop sign and pause campaigns hurt yourself from a relevancy lens, and you can proactively manage that both up and down, on the flip side, if you're getting unhealthy, how do you make sure that you don't get to that point you're paying fines, and so I think that's what I'm excited about from a technology standpoint is, we know that all of these metrics and advertising have been dancing together for a long time and impacting each other every day, but the lights are then off, but nobody sees who's dancing with who and how fast they're going and how big of an impact it is...
And now we've connected these things via technology and automation, and we should see some big efficiencies happen with these two things in place.
Given that inflation is on the mind of consumers, surveys suggest that consumers are actually gonna pull back this year in terms of spending... We're really thinking about Prime Days gonna be even more important to capturing shoppers this year, so they're gonna be even more deal-conscious, more dollar-conscious, and your promos can be a great way to entice those shoppers, get them to buy your product, 'cause they're gonna be thinking about the future, we're not here to spread fear by any means for an upcoming recession, anything like that, but it's what consumer sentiment is kind of about right now, and when that happens, they're shopping for deals, Can you entice them to buy yours when penny pinching or consciousness of consumption, and the one thing that we wanna call out on this specific slide is, the one major thing to consider is whether a deal is open or closed, and that just simply references who is eligible to receive that discount, a closed discount, it's gonna be for Prime Member promotions, promo codes, coupons that are only available to specific cohorts of consumers, and the one major benefit with closed discounts is that they don't affect site price and subsequently, there's no implication or minimal information on channel conflict is incredibly important if pricing across the channel is a major issue for you, open discounts are public discounts such as deal of the day or just price discounts in general, these problems are gonna be available to all consumers and visible on the detail page and where closed discounts don't have channel implications, open discounts to do, so you have to be careful on what kind of discount you go out the gate with, thinking about if something happens with pricing on Amazon, is there a movement elsewhere in the marketing...
Is that gonna create some issues for your company, why we tell you all this is, when you're looking at how you perform on Prime over Cyber Five, you have to think about whether that discount was close or open... Prime Day tends to be closed where Cyber Five tend to be open, and this just impacts the way that Amazon calculates revenue, which means that your prime day metrics might look inflated if you compare them to Cyber Five. So if you're looking at those two days to figure out Where should you be investing, keep that in mind, because what you might be considering revenue is not apples to apples, that's why we call it out here. Again, the idea here is not to go over each, from which we wanted to include this year, 'cause when we send this as a follow-up, we wanted you guys to have a good reference about all the different promos of what are all the intrinsic things that you should be thinking about, want you to use them? How do you create them? And so forth, right? So the previous lines point on deal of the day, deals, price discounts, these are all open discounts, prime number of promotions by promo code VPs, those are closed discounts to the way in which you look at this and then kind of strategize should be a little bit different based off of what's your current situation in your channel, we have to remember that Amazon as a price follower, not a price leader, but there is a risk that if you have some type of pricing, your movement on Walmart in a couple of days before it has the potential of ruining your deal or your promo on Amazon, which is really important to kind of monitor that...
Here are some examples of deals and how they appear on site, the good news is that when you're writing media, the deals are actually gonna be flagged in that specific ad, which just provides additional visibility, so yeah, you might have a really good promo strategy, but we always recommend considering paid search DSP to really amplify the visibility on whatever promos you have, and the kind of core use case on that is, even if you run a promo, if you don't have strong organic visibility or you don't get some type of primo placement, you're not gonna be found, so if you can't be found, you're not gonna drive volume, so it's really that pairing of promo plus advertising that's gonna create the bang for the buck that you want and drive on
Yeah, I'd just call it, you put it on the screen, Riku, but our P&G background is coming out a little bit here. You gotta think about the pros and cons of sinking these two things together in some scenarios, they could be intended to drive different things in different strategies, like your promo, ideally, that you marry them, but you're overarching promotional strategy in an enterprise level sometimes isn't retailer-specific, you have national coupon calendars, and the brand may or may not see with Prime Day, especially when it's moving around, and so what enterprise brands have in market from a promotion may not actually be the most strategic thing for your Amazon business at that time. And so if you gotta consider what's the intended outcome of Prime Day and does both your promo and your advertising strategy at the time deliver that and be mindful of should it work together or should it not work together, and therefore what action should you take in the background.
Alright, let's take a look at some recommendations during the event, so what should you look out for in Prime Day? It's pretty obvious, but just making sure that all of your deals and promos are live, and this is kind of like a foreshadowing something that happened during my former days at P and G, my first Prime Day, my biggest deal didn't go live for some reason or the other, it was kind of the wild West, had very little visibility into how things are working behind the scenes, and I was actually at a company event with Alex, so I had to step aside from all those activities and go tend to the business and probably missed out on a ton of fun. But it was just good learning to not schedule anything on Prime Day, especially like celebration or parking-related, and make sure that you're kind on hand in case things just don't go as a plan, and definitely you don't take for granted that everything is gonna work as intended, right. So that's why we talk a lot about continuously plans kind of plan for the worst, probably won't happen. Hopefully, it doesn't happen, but it's always good to have a kind of a Plan B.
Most of you would probably have some way of tracking and pricing across the marketplace, but we can't iterate this enough. I talked about Walmart potentially pulling a promo a couple of days before, we've seen it happen numerous times, so you need some system in place to catch that, there's no way for you to monitor every single product, so that's where software comes in. So there's all kinds of price trackers, Pacvue has one as well. Really important to be able to monitor specific products, if not all of them, across rationales, inventory continues to be a challenge, so monitor these levels midday as well as how your promo is performing from a self-perspective, and then if your deal is more successful than expected and you have inventory, can you increase your promo funding to drive more volume? If that happens, be ready with a quick decision, it's really important to get in buy-in ahead of time and plan for that, that way you're not scrambling last minute identifying who's a decision maker, getting a hold of them, who knows they might be out playing golf or Overland, making sure that everybody is aligned ahead of time, and then lastly, it's incredibly important to have a clear line of communication with your media execution team during the day of...
And I can't stress this enough, being on side of the business for a while, any changes in strategy should be clearly and concisely communicated with that team, communication is really the most important part with any external party, so thats the one... The learnings I've taken along the way. Yeah.
And so the next one is the Buy Box, besides getting your deal live in Riku’s case, which I was definitely drinking water during the... Aformentioned time, Riku is talking about... The next most important thing is your buy box, are you winning the Buy Box, and therefore, is the coupon and advertising strategy that you've put into market going to be able to have success? And so this is like you're a war room member on things like draft day, and you got every pick that comes in, you should be taking note of and adjusting what you're doing and actions behind that, and so for everything from alerts to when you do lose the Buy Box, do you then need to divert your media support to other ASINs to pricing Riku mentioned cross-retailer pricing phenomenon can happen at any moment at any given time, 'cause we know that they're constantly price-checking and price crawling each other, and therefore can react at any given time, variations, so especially if you're a big enterprise brand and you have some opportunistic 3p variations pop on PDP, right. I had a Prime Day that obviously could diminish the value of the coupon and strategy put in place, or the media dollars are investing, etcetera, and then that turns into just frankly financial impact, where the P and L has significant hurt from all aforemention actions and then we don't really need to say anything more about supply chain I think everyoneone is feeling those pressures, but you really need to make sure that you've got an appropriate process in place and you've spent that time both ahead of time and during prime day to make sure, you're minimizing whatever supply chain pressures you currently have, so you wanna go to the next one.
What becomes really powerful from a tech partnership standpoint, is alert and letting software and a platform monitor for you in real time across all of your actions, is everything happening as intended, or is there something out of areas that we need to pay attention for? Pay attention to... And so that helps us move from reactionary to proactive management, and it also helps us prioritize our time, so if you have 10 ASINs experience something during that day, whether it be a lost buy box, whether it be a new variation, whether all of a sudden you have an ASP change or idealist go live. How do you leverage technology like Pacvue to help you recognize what is the most impactful thing I can focus my attention on right now, and that's what we're working to help brands do is never wanna identify what problems that exist, but number two, help them strategically, then go allocate human capacity against the most important and the most impactful instances that will impact the business, so leverage technology. Again, this is moving so fast, you're probably monitoring your own things and buying things yourself on Prime Day, and so is anything that we can use to help keep us on our toes and ready to react to the biggest opportunities is critical.
So we chatted before, during, let's go to post event, so now that prime days over, first you catch your breath and chill, relax all the hard works behind you, or at least most of it, but now you transition to the layout period... Right, and the primary question you really should be asking at this stage is whether your strategy worked, for example, if your goal was to drive volume on your most premium and profitable products did that work, was there a shopper acceptance of these products, 'cause generally speaking, if you're driving the majority of your volume on the more value-oriented products, shoppers might not necessarily accept it even with a discount, so you have to evaluate whether that was enough, there's just a lot of work around analyzing how your media has been performed as well. Who does that work? If it's an external agency, how are you setting expectations with them, clear timelines, making sure that their work sinks with the work that you're doing around the overall analysis of the event, are you aligned in the story that you wanna tell it? So often times what we've seen is that the story that the retail team wants to put out isn't necessarily a story that the media team is telling, right.
And when leadership sees that, how, do they make sense of that, so just having a clear idea, clear vision on what is a story that you wanna tell and being closely synced so that kind of overall theme is just communication, which is simple, but it's very, very important. And then how does your business look now in terms of inventory, right. Do you have to adjust any upcoming plans based off of where you are now with sell-through more than you're expecting, lower than expected, what do you do now?
And then the next step after that is moving into analytics on each individual promotion, an activity that you put into market, and so today, it's almost painful to take an enterprise company that may have multiple deals for multiple brands at different depths, different types, different times, and different advertising support behind it, download all of that information from vendor central, put it into an Excel spreadsheet to then try to analyze it, that's a day's project, just to compiling all of that data without actually then moving into can we garner insights and action-ability from it and so what we're trying to do at Pacvue, is bring all of that into one place, automate the compilation of data, but then also give you guys some directional insights and impact that each individual deal for each individual brand had, which then that allows you to start to peel back the onion and understand what were the most effective deals that you had for that brand at that time, should I have advertising support, should I have not? And what did the impact of all of those things have at a brand level, 'cause it's gonna vary by category by brand, even within those categories to understand what was the success or hopefully not, but un-success, not...
It's probably not even a word... Non-success that you had in Prime Day. And so the analytics of deals in of itself is a wild journey for several days or weeks after, and we're trying to help you guys out and leverage your software partners where it's paper or whoever else you're using to help alleviate some of that lift.
So then there's just kind of a pretty basic checklist, here are all the things that you should be thinking about after Prime Day, and probably another thing that you're getting out of this is like, this isn't really rocket science. There's no magic formula, like magic bullet or anything like that, and waiting on Prime Day, just executing the fundamentals really well, right? So first, step one, on your Prime Day reporting to your organization or leverage in the stuff to make your life easier, one fine day for the entire business by yourself. Right. So who's leading that effort? Can you kind of piggy back on that work and then kind of pepper in your own insights and have a more cohesive story, 'cause the reality is if you have multiple brands and ultimate, the overall review should be relatively similar across the board, so can you guys get together and figure it out. And then overall, how do you disseminate that information to your organization, it's really what technology helps, you can quickly drill it into the insights and use standardization and reporting to your advantage rather than having a bunch of different formats, having just one source of truth.
Everybody goes to that. Everybody feels good about it. Really powerful. Next, you have the budget and need to run promos after prime day, think about that, treating your inventory situation be the dead horse here. Do you have a post-Prime Day plan with your supply chain team? What about site traffic? After Prime Day, right? So even though site traffic is really high during Prime Day, it's still elevated after, and it's a good time to capture these shoppers who might be doing more routine shopping or just even perusing to see if there's any deals available. I know this is my industry, so I was just obviously on Amazon after Prime Day, but a lot of friends were to come on a lot, see anybody running deal with anything that I might have missed. Certainly a sense of FOMO was still there. And then think about it, that it's often easier to stick out post-Prime Day than it is during, so it's worthwhile to explore is another kind of option and driving as much volume as you possibly can, and then as crazy as this sounds... Holiday is right around the corner. Planning has already kind of started for most brands, what learnings can you take from Prime Day and then what can you apply to Q4? Are there any major shifts in overall consumer behavior as a result of these macro changes that we're talking about with inflation and a recession, do you double down on driving premium assortment or maximize the volume by driving more value-oriented products, so that each kind of has its pros and cons, but here's the questions you should be thinking about coming out of prime days, like the things that you did, did they work? If so, can you improve upon that if they didn’t, what you do differently, or do you have to just change strategies altogether.
So AMC, this is probably one of the things I'm most excited about for Prime Day 2022 is all of the data and insights that we're going to be able to garner an action off of because of the unlock that AMC gives us. So we've done a ton of work at Pacvue, shoutout Jack Linberg, doing the work for brands and agencies to adjust the magnitude and complexity of data that AMC is, build it into reports that help you quickly obtain insights and action-ability from all of that data. And then thirdly, then do something about it based on what the data shows you, and so some of the things that I'm really excited for the prime days, it will inherently behave different than traditional everyday business on Amazon, your search campaigns, your DSP campaigns, their performance will vary not only just from a CPC standpoint, but also from a conversion rate standpoint, probably to vary by audience types on what type of deals or ads resonate more with certain groups of people, and AMC is going to unlock that for us and we're gonna start to be able to understand how did search and DSP interact during Prime Day? Is it different than what I've been able to understand on an every day in his own business lens, and then what do I need to do differently as a result of that? Should my budget split look different, do I need more DSP funding next year then I currently have allocated or do I need less multi-touch attribution is gonna really help us understand what are my most often purchase paths, what type of assets do I need to put in place to capture, consumers don't live on Prime Day, but then also the weeks two, three weeks after Prime Day, do you start to think about how I influenced your decisions or purchases down the road, and AMC is gonna be able to power all that, so I'm excited.
To see what insights and efficiencies that brands can drive with the data and the power of the data that she really gives us for the first time on Amazon, and then using that same lens, because Prime Day is at the time... It is this year, you're gonna be able to leverage DSP and AMC to do some really creative things heading into the holiday seasons and make sure that you've got plans in place from a re-targeting standpoint for people who may have interacted with your prime ideals, but didn't close, I capture new competitive shoppers who may have SAP swept from my brand during prime day because your competitor, the side, decided to run an Uber steep discount for the day, and so you're gonna be able to leverage AMC and DSP to think about those audiences and put a strategy in place to bring them back in your brand universe or to influence the purchase that you need them to make, and so I'm pumped. I think then I can't wait till we do this again next year, we can... I'm undoubtedly sure that we have an entire section dedicated to insights that AMC delivered last Prime Day and what we should be doing differently because of what we found...
Yeah, definitely, I think there's some interesting things I'm already starting to see with geographical reporting, tension, conversions or detail rate based off or in the state. So they kinda skys the limit at this point, I think we're just really scratching the surface, so I'm pretty excited to hopefully you and I partner on this once again, mostly they might be back, that is, if you sell more volume, you get more reviews... Right, that's generally how it goes. Playing the game of numbers, so having a system in place to collect and extract information from reviews is incredibly important, pretty obvious. So if you picked up a shopper volume on Prime date, you should expect an acceleration of these reviews coming in, but what are you really dealing with, right? How are you currently monitoring reviews for issues like safety, expiration, packaging issues that lead to Shoppers receiving broken products? I remember when I had my first... And on cord, I don't know what to do, like, how do I fix this, right? But just having a proactive approach to things like that, really important, and reviews are a really good source of information to get ahead of a potential concerns or things that might lead to a disruption in your business, and if you have a way to collect reviews, how do you organize them, you do it manually, reviews by themselves are interesting and tell a lot, so don't get me wrong, but what you're really looking for are bigger trends and for that you need organization, and that really takes us to how do we identify trends, Pacvue’s getting ready to launch sentiment analysis for shop reviews, and what that just simply means is that we're gonna track reviews over time to report on net new net negative reviews, and we're gonna provide some high-level machine learning-based sentiment analysis to better understand points of friction with your products right, so as shoppers are buying them, leaving reviews, how do you extract those trends to better one address packaging, maybe there's someone dissatisfied said really strong things like that.
You really need some type of way to do that. And technology is in your answer for doing so, and really the ultimate goal for any reviews, it's not to just hear what shoppers are thinking about your product, which obviously it is, but it's to drive sales. When shoppers see five stars, 2000 reviews, they have the confidence that what they're about to buy, they can trust they're gonna be satisfied with that, so ultimately, it's a sales driver, five-star reviews as a core lever to drive more volume and drive more consumption. So that really brings us home to kind of recap what we've talked about today, macro events are likely to bring more cost-conscious shoppers to the platform, so it's not all doomsday. I think there's definitely some concern that we're gonna enter a challenging economic environment where shoppers are gonna be even more cost-conscious grass pulling back on consumption, but really that's kind of what Prime Days there for is to allow them to make those transactions and feel good about what they're buying... Because they're getting a deal. We've talked a lot about content and just basic promo strategy, this stuff, not really sexy, retail fundamental is not really a fundamentally sexy thing to talk about, but there's really...
The things that move the needle for you. Right, if your foundation is not solid, all the other stuff they do on top of it, it's not gonna have as big of an impact or as good of an ROI as you would if you played the fundamentals. Right, and then our industry is just definitely in a different spot than we were even three to four years ago, so a lot of the challenges that Alex and I have had on the manufacturer side are now solved by technology, right. So we really recommend looking at how your company is currently doing things and then asking some critical questions on, is there a better way and then, is that better way? How much is that worth to you? Right, so doing some really critical thinking or analysis on if you don't have technology, if you don't have a scalable solution for it, well, does it make sense, and then what's the overall payout for it? Yeah.
In the last two Riku, I just got off my AMC soap box, I’m going to Hop right back up, the advances in the data that is unlocked with AMC insights, frankly, is going to change how we go to market and how we execute strategies across both DSP and search, and this is the first Prime Day that we have access to that data. And so it will undoubtedly be a turning point on Amazon brand strategy on what gets deployed, how it gets deployed, and what strategies are moving forward, maybe a drastic change or maybe subtle, but I guarantee in all scenarios, we will have movement in regards to what that data delivers for us, and then the last piece is Prime Day undoubtedly will be an indicator into How Cyber Five is gonna go. We steered away purposefully of some of the macro-economic issues that are going on in the world right now in inflation and shopper behavior, and you could see the earnings of Walmart and Target, and that behavior is obviously shifting and they're spending money in a different way, and on different items. And so from an Amazon perspective, Prime Day is really gonna be our first indicator on how our shopper is gonna behave in the holidays, 'cause I'm not a an economics major in any way, and I don't spend a lot of time forecasting macro economics, but I doubt...
We're in a much different scenario in the world from an inflationary standpoint, supply chain standpoint in four or five months than we are today, and so understanding what happens on Prime Day will very much impact what you should do and how you should act on Cyber Five and holidays, so make sure you spend some time really understanding are your assumptions from consumer behavior standpoint... Correct, heading into Cyber Five, and if not, do you need to make a little bit of a pivot and bring to life your strategy in a different way based on how crime they reacted.
Alright, that wraps it up for our section, we've got actually quite a few questions, Zach been answering them in the background, so take a look at some of the questions that have been asked, that provides some clarity there, but Alex you wanna take a few minutes and walk through some of the the questions that have been left unanswered... Sure. The first question is, I don't see any organic movement when I sell significantly more units on prime day, why not? We definitely need more information to root cause that, generally speaking, if you outsold everybody else in the category on Prime Day, you should see movement in how you show up organically, right. The quality score, how Amazon decide where you rank is not... It's a secret on how they do, weight things in there, but what goes into it, it's relatively transparent, and sales volume and velocity is one of them, so if you're out pacing everybody else in the category, you should technically be seeing an improvement. So if that's not the case, there might be some other underlying issue that you'd have to figure out...
Yeah, I think the other side of that coin Riku, you're spot on with what the question is, but I'll take it in a slightly different way of maybe you don't... After Prime Day, moving forward, maybe you don't actually see organic run rate improve on your business, even though you had a gang buster Prime Day, you could tell a shit ton of units on Prime Day and for the next three, six months, not actually see that translate to significant organic improvement from a run rate standpoint, and that circles back to, you really need to understand that Prime Day isn't for every brand and it isn't for every strategy. And you need to be really crystal clear on what will participating in Prime Day do for my business? And does it make strategic sense? And then constantly analyze and assess, did that happen and did that come true? And so I know that's probably not where the question was going, but what I think is important for every brand to think about and analyze after they participate in Prime Day and monitor their business moving forward.
I'll just add to that really quick, the short answer is, because everyone else is selling a lot too, so it's possibly you're selling a ton and other people are selling more, or they could be selling the same amount, the organic ranking is based on a mix of sales volume by units and by dollars.
So if you're selling a lot of low dollar items, someone might be selling a smaller number of high dollar items or the opposite could be true that they're selling so many more cheap products, so there's a lot that goes into organic ranking, and Prime Day is just one day so there's a recency bias. What they do take into account historical performance as well.
How do I plan for a dip in conversion rate and increase in CPC during Prime Day? How do I set threshold? Zach you wanna take this one?
Yeah, sure. So what I would do is I'd use historical data to set your expectations for traffic changes, so you may look back at last frame day or the Prime Day before, and if you had similar promotions or lack of promotions, expect 5X traffic or 10X traffic versus the lead in average lead in day, from there, I would say set your conversion expectation, what the change in conversion is versus a regular day using historical data as well, and you use that to calculate what your max cost per click level that you can pay and still hit your efficiency goals is, so you can do bulk edits in Pacvue, you can adjust your automation during lead in to make sure that you're starting Prime Day at the bid level you want, and then monitor competitor activity during lead-in and then during the start of prime day, just be comfortable and ready to adjust or if you mention that before is you don't know, you're reliant on what competitor activity is for changes in cost per click, you may see that your competitors are totally inactive, you may see that they are all...
They all have deals and they're all bidding top of search, extremely high cost per click, just be comfortable with a couple of different routes on Prime day and adjust your strategy as you go.
Yeah, I think it's great to have a plan B and a plan C. If the competitiveness enters an arena that you're uncomfortable with, how do you think about pivoting to different asset types or different levers that you can pull that may may not be as competitive? And I think that's the beauty of what a partner like Pacvue can do with our platform, and you can put those scenarios in place heading into time to help... Automation drive a lot of that for you. But it's always always a good idea to have a plan B and a plan C on Prime Day. Just 'cause you are frankly at the liberty of a little bit how your competitors act and respond to day.
Great responses. Next question, and going to the topic of war room, so my agency told me we should have a war room with all day hands-on keyboard coverage during Prime Day. Is that true? Do I need this with automation?
Fun one. So I think... Is it a requirement? And necessity, maybe not... Undoubtedly that it will do is help. And we'll have the right people in the room, we're on the phone together for a significant amount of time to allow you guys to make a pivot if you want, or get a hold of whoever it may be that needs to be... Gives you guys a chance to hang out for a day and mark off your calendars and no meetings you're gonna get together... Automation undoubtedly helps with a ton of that, right, and I think it's moving again, from reactionary and every person in that room reacting to what they see online to automation and software helping you notice things that could be coming or prioritize your time specifically against things that are gonna have the biggest impact. So not a requirement to be in a room for 24 hours together, no bathroom breaks and no lunch, but just getting everybody together for a significant amount of time, or at least on call, ready to make it a call or pivor will definitely be beneficial.
I think Alex hit the nail on the head as well as... Think of it from a leadership perspective as well as an opportunity to build culture, right? There's a sense of, We're all in this together. We're all use the word us all in it together. At that point, it's a really good way to feel just overall rapport on your team, deliver... If you deliver it, if you're all together, if not, give people a stipend or something like that, and I think it's something that can bring a pretty powerful bond to your team, so there's definitely tactical advantages as well as... In the soft team building stuff as well.
I'd also recommend making sure you check in during deal split periods, so Amazon has deals that run at a different time, both links and start times, so about every six hours, you'll have a big, large amount of deals change, so most lightning deals are gonna run six hours or so, so at midnight, 6am at noon, check all of those different time periods and understand if a competitor's strategy has changed because a deal has started or stopped. So those are the key times to really be ready to adjust quickly, and just like everything else, you're monitoring, you're monitoring performance, and you need to be comfortable adjusting as needed, so those check-ins allow you to do that, you don't need to be... Everyone at the whole company doesn't need to be hands-on keyboard the entire time, but you do need people shopping the site frequently seeing what's happening and adjusting your strategy as you go.
Next question, what's your advantage with Walmart connect, and I think this question is kind of what is the advantage of using Pacvue on Walmart? Well, you just kinda get the whole suite of benefits and capabilities that you would get on every other platform, automation via rules, there's AI, budget management, reporting all in one spot, hands-on, hands-off, keyboard execution, like a machine can do thousands of millions of changes per day that human being take hours to do so everything that you would expect and being advantage on Amazon and the other platforms there for Walmart as well. Then the last question is, When will sentiment analysis be available? I'd say it, shoot us a note, happy to have a conversation with you on that one... Send my email after this, or you can just take a note email@example.com, Alex you wanna give your email as well...
Yeah, just Alex.Juday@pacvue.com as well. And let's have a conversation on that one.
Alright, that wraps it up for the Q and A. Thanks, everyone.
While Prime Day 2022 hasn’t been officially announced yet, now is the time for eCommerce sales teams to start preparing for one of the biggest shopping events of the year. From inventory management and buy box monitoring to Prime Day deals and post-event reporting, there is a lot to prepare and optimize before, during, and after the event.
Join the experts on May 19th at 11:30 am PDT to learn how to optimize your full eCommerce business for Prime Day, including:
...and more! Register for the webinar now.