We now know Prime Day takes place 13th to 14th October; Prime members can access deals from midnight Pacific Times or 3am Eastern Time respectively. This year will be different, no doubt. We home in on the 4 key things CPGs must do now to drive growth on the digital shelf.
What does Prime Day mean in 2020?
The shopper mindset and mission will be different. With a pandemic and economic hardship at it’s backdrop and proximity to Christmas, shoppers will likely be looking for essentials at a cheap price and in larger quantities delivered conveniently — from pet food to toiletries — as well as items they can treat themselves with after a tough year and in the foresight of Christmas. With that in mind, what are the 4 things we deem essential CPGs must get right to capture shoppers willingness to spend online? We’ve asked our eCommerce specialists in the Customer Success team to share their top tips.
1. Optimise your product listings for the digital shelf
“Great images are crucial, the main image should show an exact representation of what the shopper is buying and be of high quality. “ — Jake Laxton, Customer Success Manager
Optimised product pages are critical. You’ve read it before but we can’t stress it enough. Revamping your titles and descriptions to engage your buyers can make a big difference. Ensure that your brand voice comes through on the pages, track these changes with digital shelf analytics.
In a nutshell:
- The main image should show an exact representation of what the shopper is buying and be of high quality. Additional images can give more detail and show features and benefits or lifestyle content.
- A clear title, no more than 70 characters and only relevant keywords and descriptors, don’t overload it.
- Use relevant keywords in your text content and optimised bullet points that are concise and informative product specifications, benefits and USPs.
- Create memorable A+ content that highlights usage occasions, lifestyle imagery, product comparisons and rich content.
💡 The top half of your page should be optimised to CONVERT; relevant, informative and concise. The bottom half of your page is more about DISCOVERY; engaging, creative and memorable.
(Using eye-catching imagery as well as gold standard titles are key in winning shoppers on the digital shelf.)
2. Boost your digital shelf search visibility
“Start with optimising your keywords and search terms. It’s important to use the phrases and language that your customers will be using to find your products” — Steve Abram, Customer Success Manager
When improving your product listings, CPG marketing teams must ultimately ensure that products can be found. Prime Day might be seen as a good opportunity to sell off any over produced stock and trial different bundles of products (i.e. mixed flavour pet food bundles), but also promote some of your top(-ish) sellers so they benefit from increased sales and improve seller rank longer term. These will require campaign specific keywords so get these implemented in time and checked against the competition. Digital shelf analytics will let you do just that and with ease.
There will also likely be an element of shoppers treating themselves at the end of a tough year. Premium items such as make-up, fragrance and tech goods that are not in gifting boxes are therefore important. Produce descriptions that are persuasive and tap into the ‘treat yourself’ positioning while factoring in the relevant keywords.
💡 Use social media to promote any involvement in "deals of the day" or "lightning deals" to raise awareness and boost findability.
(Match shoppers' search behaviour as close as possible to increase findability on the digital shelf).
3. Bump up your ad spend
“Now is a good time to increase your spend on Amazon sponsored ads. Make sure to pick the search terms that have high volume and relate to your products” Amanda Critchley, Customer Success Director
From bulk buying essentials to indulging in pre-Christmas treats, CPGs can boost some of their search visibility efforts by spending that budget that may have been put on hold during the height of the pandemic.
Following on from boosting your findability, we suggest CPGs:
- Sponsor premium products to encourage impulse purchase that is e.g. when looking at gifting for men, include women’s smaller impulse purchase items
- Looking ahead at Christmas, apply ad spend to relevant categories as shoppers may attempt to get ambient product purchases done early “just in case” availability degrades. This can include anything from alcohol to fine dining ambient treats.
💡 While implementing #1-3, do check any negative shopper reviews that might affect the premium or treat experience positioning and adjust where needed.
(In for a treat or just in case - shoppers will be hunting for deals early so boosting traffic with increased ad spend can help accelerate your digital shelf growth.)
4. Ensure availability of your inventory
“Be mindful of your pricing strategy as you will also need the availability in the warehouse to back it up!" — Dan Foy, Mars Global Account Director
As shoppers are likely to be looking for decent sized quantities in some categories, CPGs must ensure their big packs and Amazon only skus have plenty of stock and their listings are optimised. Items such as health and beauty for gifting, alcohol, fancy ambient food, toys and tech products will be sought after in the run up to Christmas so guaranteeing availability will be key.
- Think about ranging gift packs or rarer or more in demand products e.g. high end spirits or special edition fragrances
- Use this strategy to see what you should do on Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals etc and think about what products and price points might help you win for Christmas.
- Keep on top of your skus by analysing your availability with our digital shelf analytics in-built range reporting. Especially if you’re driving visibility and traffic with a mix of keyword optimisation and ad spend as discussed in #1-3.
When asked how CPGs can prepare for the Golden Quarter in our podcast The Digital Shelf Cast, John Maltman, CEO e.fundamentals commented
“Make sure you maintain availability on the digital shelf. It's a real brand killer to lose availability on core lines through this period, particularly when shoppers are online”.
And if that’s not enough evidence to you: according to the e.fundamentals / YouGov UK Shopper Insights Report, 75% of online shoppers agreed that they’d switch brands if what they’ve been looking for was out of stock. You’d better guarantee that your warehouse can deliver.
💡 Factor in time for a post-event analysis. Interrogate your digital shelf insights, evaluate what went well and why and understand if anything significant changed due to Prime Day, what did your competitors do and did that have any effect on your sales.
(A digital shelf analytics platform that helps you spot growth opportunities online can help CPGs scale digital growth fast and sustainably.)
Summary: How to leverage digital shelf analytics on Prime Day
This year, Prime Day is forecasted to generate $9.91 billion in worldwide sales for Amazon, up 43% from last year’s event according to eMarketer. With this in mind and acknowledging the shopper's attitude of “being in for a treat” and pre-Christmas bargain, here’s the 4 things our Customer Success team suggests CPGs must get right to drive their e-sales on the digital shelf.
- Optimise your product listings for the digital shelf
- Boost your digital shelf search visibility
- Bump up your ad spend
- Ensure availability of your inventory
Prime Day marks the start of a long deal-season at Amazon and across online retailers globally as Black Friday is just around the corner. CPGs late to optimising their strategies for the digital shelf could not this day be the right time to (finally) get started or else risk losing out on their share of basket.
If you think now is the time to optimise your eCommerce performance on the digital shelf with analytics, then why not get in touch, our Customer Success team is here to help. See for yourself and take a quick guided video tour around our platform.