In 2020, an increasing number of smaller businesses began approaching direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce as an option outside of Amazon, with a great deal of success. This builds on a longer trend, as such sales have been steadily growing over the past decade. As of Q2 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau recorded that retail ecommerce sales had climbed to $211.5 billion, a 44.5% increase over 2019. One way to take advantage of this ecommerce boom is by marketing specifically during Amazon Prime Day.
Prime Day is most naturally associated with Amazon, of course, but there is ample opportunity for it to become a more general retail holiday. Many major companies, including Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, run their sales to compete with Amazon on Prime Day. As consumers hunt for bargains, well-timed DTC sales can benefit both smaller and mid-level companies who take advantage of the increase in consumer activity.
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Preparations for Prime Day
So how does a company take advantage of Prime Day for their own DTC ecommerce? It isn’t a challenging prospect if you plan. Building a promotional plan ahead of time, which can be quickly modified based on announced Prime Day dates, is a significant first step. Do not forget important aspects of promotion, such as display advertising, social media engagement, and more.
Setting up this material ahead of time so you are ready to roll out once you have a date is critical. Imagine being a week into June when Amazon reveals Prime Day will be within the next week — that is a lot of work to do on the fly! Save yourself some trouble and work ahead. Prepare some variations on the marketing, with one version highlighting the month and another version that you can update with specific dates. It may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll thank yourself when you roll out your marketing for Prime Day — and see DTC ecommerce sales soar.
Keep It Going Year-Round
Building on your work for the most recent Prime Day can easily position you for the following year. To drive those DTC sales, you should make it easy for consumers to find your information year-round. Start with your existing customers and provide discounts and a dedicated landing page informing them of the Prime Day sales on your website. Next, examine your DTC ecommerce sales throughout the year and prepare to work with those brands and products during the Prime Day period. That may mean establishing a few loss leaders to drive sales based on your most popular products.
Why Loss Leaders?
Loss leaders and discounts can also drive new customers. However, you should avoid using such discount sales as a dumping ground for clearance items and seasonal closeouts. Customers will notice — while you may benefit from clearing some stock, discounts on major items are what will bring in and keep customers.
Know Your Market
Find sites with traffic in the content you are trying to promote on Prime Day and reach out to them. Such sites will help you reach out directly to the consumer and strengthen your ecommerce experience.
- Deal and discount sites compete for unique offers and exclusives.
- Smaller niche sites can also offer a specialized audience at a reduced sponsorship cost.
- Use Google to search for the top two or three spots for Prime Day-related keywords and seek sponsorship opportunities.
- Prepare your platform for a storm of search engine queries and be ready to direct consumers who arrive on your site. Don’t forget to prioritize mobile-friendliness, as 57% of web queries are from mobile devices.
Use Social Media
Social media influencers and groups can be harder to find metrics for but can also be lucrative sources to increase DTC sales. A practical approach to social media-driven marketing is critical, such as generating naturalistic engagement through meaningful discounts. Social media tools help track where, when, and how potential consumers are discussing targeted terms. Staying on top of social media trends is a crucial strategy for growing DTC ecommerce leads.
Market on Other Sites
If you know certain websites will be running promotions on Prime Day, such as Amazon or a smaller retailer, having ads ready to go leading up toward Prime Day is a smart move. Google and Amazon ads are essential resources for marketing as Prime Day approaches, but don’t neglect smaller retailers. General searches for products grow as Prime Day approaches, as consumers are hunting for deals. Pitch your deals ahead of time. 62% of consumers, according to Google, planned to start online shopping earlier as of 2020. Larger Amazon competitors will focus a lot of their advertising toward Amazon, but you can market your deals on the sites of those competitors, targeting their audience base. It creates a DTC sale pipeline from Amazon, to their competitors, to you.
Find a Hook
Having discounted, clearance, or overstock items ready to go for DTC ecommerce is essential, but don’t neglect to have a hook. Your hooks are competitive items; often, loss leaders or discounted products encourage consumers to purchase additional items because of their perceived value, driving consumers to buy other items at better margins. So don’t forget to push that hook on your site, too.
Rethink Classic Strategies
To improve click-through rates for your DTC ecommerce ads, consider the following strategies. First, discount codes may not be the best strategy to drive sales during a period of time-sensitive shopping such as Prime Day. Second, you want consumers to buy immediately, so instead of codes, aim for percentage or dollar-off discounts; the perceived value will drive DTC sales. Lastly, consider prioritizing free shipping over expedited shipping. Not everyone can compete with Amazon’s two-day shipping, and free shipping can often drive sales more effectively.
Ready to Work With Us?
If you feel like you’re in over your head preparing your sales team for DTC ecommerce in advance of Prime Day, consider working with Coalition Technologies. We have helped hundreds of businesses like Pink Lily expand their sales, building on what works for them. To see how we can help you prepare for Prime Day and increase your DTC sales, call us at (888) 506-7096, or contact us online for more information.