In what is shaping up to be the most anticipated Prime Day event to date, we are doing a deep dive into everything you need to know going into Prime Day 2021 and what you need to know to maximize your brand's performance on one of the most significant digital commerce events on the calendar.
BWG Connect & Orca Pacific invite you to participate in an interactive discussion with your peers, exploring this shifting landscape.
As always, there will be no sales pitches and there is no cost to join.
Business Manager at Orca Pacific
He is a top online marketing professional, blending advanced technical knowledge with superior account management. Mackenzie’s specialties include Amazon marketing services, search engine marketing, data feed optimization, SaaS training, and much more.
Sales Operations Lead at Orca Pacific
Andrew Lorence is the Sales Operation Lead at Orca Pacific, a company that helps eCommerce brands improve their customer’s experience on Amazon. He has more than 13 years of experience in managing accounts and projects. In the past three years, Andrew has moved up the ladder at Orca Pacific from Account Manager to Business Development Manager to his current role.
Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect
BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
Amazon sellers all over the world are buzzing for the big event this June: Prime Day. So, what can you do to boost visibility for your products? And what steps should you be taking now in order to have a successful Prime Day?
Amazon consulting experts Andrew Lorence and Mackenzie Mendoza are here to share the leading strategies to gain visibility on Amazon Prime Day — and beyond. Since all sellers are getting a spike in sales on Prime Day, Andrew and Mackenzie suggest focusing on the relevancy of your brand both before and after the big day. If you forecast properly, look at your budget, and plan accordingly, you’ll be able to successfully jump rankings and thrive throughout the whole year.
In this virtual event, Aaron Conant hosts Andrew Lorence, Sales Operations Lead at Orca Pacific, and Mackenzie Mendoza, Business Manager at Orca Pacific. Together, they discuss everything you need to know before diving into Amazon Prime Day. Andrew and Mackenzie share how to build up sales around Prime Day, the best ways to advertise your product and increase your brand’s notoriety, and how to sustain relevancy in the months following Prime Day.
Aaron Conant 0:18
My name is Aaron Conant, I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director of BWG Connect, we are a networking and knowledge sharing group of 1000s of brands who do exactly that we network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, anything that's shaping the digital space as a whole, I connect with about 30 brands a week, to stay on top of those trends. If anybody like to have a conversation just on digital strategy as a whole, don't ever hesitate to reach out. The line is always open love to put time on the calendar and kind of walk through what we're seeing across the board. We don't sell anything here at BWG Connect, we do events like this. And so more than happy to just jump on the phone, especially if you're looking for any kind of connections across either other brands that might be in your space. And or if you're looking for any service providers, that's we've got a shortlist that we've compiled from all the brands in the network, and more than happy and that's Amazon to direct consumer international expansion. You know, a lot of people looking for digital age three deals right now SEO, performance marketing, whatever it might be, you're looking for somebody in that space, shoot me an email, and we'll just get you a shortlist back. With that. With that being said, just the last couple of housekeeping items here. We're starting a few minutes after the hour, and just a heads up, we're going to wrap up with a couple minutes to go on the hour as well, we're going to give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late. So don't worry about that. The last thing is if you have any questions along the way, hit star five will unmute you and bring you into the conversation. If you can't because of background noise, email me, Aaron, email@example.com. And with that, we're going to go ahead and kick off the call. So I don't think anybody's surprised we're having a call on Prime Day, you know, I'm talking to 30 plus brands a week 80% of them are asking about it. So we thought we'd throw together this call, we've got great friends, great longtime partners of the network at Orca Pacific. You know, you've probably heard him in calls in the past, they're helping you know, a ton of brands out within the network as a whole. And they're just all around great, great people. And so they agreed to jump on the phone today and kind of provide it overall guidance on what to expect from multiple different angles as well as answer as many questions as we can find. Or we can throw at them. And again, if anybody needs a follow up connection with them afterwards, just ping us more than happy to connect you with them and their team. They're helping tons of brands out. But with that, I'm going to go ahead and kick it over to Andrew, Andrew, do you want to jump in brief intro on yourself in Orca Pacific would be awesome. I know we have Mac on as well, we can kick it over to Mac, and then we can kind of jump into the conversation sound good?
Andrew Lorence 2:50
perfect. Sounds great. Thanks for having us on here. Aaron and team. Yeah, so I'm Andrew Lorence. I've been with Orca Pacific about three years now started out as an account manager and moved into business development area and kind of head up, you know, working with business development, but also sales operations. So talking with a lot of brands analyzing you know, situations issues that might be going through here. Such a quick introduction on myself, I'll do a quick introduction on Orca Pacific. And then I'll pass it over to Mac here to give a quick introduction on himself as well. So appreciate everyone joining here. Sorry, if you've read if you're a reoccurring attendee, you've probably heard our introduction a few times here now. But just to give a quick background, we are a full service Amazon the agency. We're based here in Seattle, we have about 50 employees, about half of them come directly from Amazon. So a lot of great internal working knowledge on the platform. We've been in business for about 13 years, really working with brands, help them succeed on Amazon, help them work through the intricacies and challenges that this platform presents to us all. So we built great relationships with Amazon over the years on the seller, central side, vendor central side, we do have a formal relationship on the Amazon advertising side. So that grants us access to doing beta programs. We have an open API to their DSP platform. And really, we work with companies of all sizes and life cycles on the platform as well. So all the way from New to Amazon. So those that are well established. And we really work across all major categories. So we have a lot of great insights that we can provide or work on creating some of those here today. Recently, we've branched out a little bit. So expanding out on those e-commerce services. So advertising on Walmart instacart, content, syndication, fresh, the wide range of retailers and really, you know, say we're focused on Amazon. And the way that we focus on Amazon is really that holistic approach though, focusing on the operational side strategy, consultation, content management and strategy advertising execution strategy. And the thing that really backed all this stuff is the data that comes into this. So we have our proprietary OC NAB dashboard that pulls in data from site surfing technology. We utilize a bid management software solution, but there's a lot of pieces in there that kind of drive our business suspicions here. So that's a quick introduction. I'll pass it over to Mac to give a quick introduction on his role of the company and how he'll be helping out in the call today here as well.
Mackenzie Mendoza 5:09
Thank you, Andrew. Hello, everyone. My name is Mackenzie Mendoza, everyone calls me Mac. I am a lead consultant here at Orca Pacific. I've been here for 18 months at this point. I've been in the industry for 12 years, I've worked on the technology side, I've worked directly for Fortune 200 brands, and I have worked on the agency side with multiple agencies. I've been running brands, Prime Day campaigns, those Prime Days in session years ago, and I'm happy to be here answering questions you might have.
Aaron Conant 5:41
Awesome. So let's kick it off. And just a quick reminder, if you have questions, hit star five, and we will bring you into the conversation will unmute you and bring you in or just email me questions. Aaron, firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll field them that way. Anyway, so got a couple of us. Well, this is awesome. We got a couple questions in already. The first one is around advertising. How should we approach advertising leading up to Prime Day during Prime Day and after Prime Day? And then we've got a few other questions just you know, already coming in. And on top of that, so yeah, so advertising side of things. Top of people's mind? Sure.
Andrew Lorence 6:20
Yes, definitely, I can handle that one. So there's a couple things to take into consideration here. And I think that different brands will be looking at this a little bit differently based on if you're really taking part in Prime Day or not. Regardless, though, you want to be gearing up, increasing your span relevancy, leading up to the Prime Day. And then a key piece there that I think that a lot of people don't think about is really in, including that, that strategy to go past Prime Day as well. So a lot of people will do the build up, they'll do the day of the days of, but then they'll say, you know, afterwards, you know, we're done with that. And we'll go back to kind of pre Prime Day levels. So I was talking with one of our senior advertising managers last week about Prime Day and kind of gearing up and so forth. And one of the key things that they brought up, is to make sure that you have that, that budget that in place for the 30 days after Prime Day as well, you build a whole lot of relevancy kind of building into Prime Day, you get a lot of great sales, you know, you're starting to move those items up in the organic search rank, and so forth, and really get that share voice to be increasing. But a big mistake a lot of people make is dropping that off, you know, for the month following. So you really want to keep things relevant advertising for that following month to really show the, you know, Amazon algorithm that your continued, you know, success and continued relevancy there. And again, you'll be rewarded with that for kind of that long staying power within the relevancy there. So I think that's one key piece there. But really, the main piece right now, and especially since we're getting so close, is really driving the relevancy of those top products, the products that you want to be promoting, if you do have deals that are running during Prime Day starting to promote those. Another piece that think about is when we actually get to the days of Prime Day, understanding when those deals will be displaying on the site, and make sure that you're looking at if you have the ability to look at day and time parting as well within your advertising strategy. So as we start to look at when your ads will be displaying during the day, how much you're spending, we want to make sure that we're spending during the times that your you know, deals are running, but also leading up into that. Another thing that a lot of people run into is the lack of day and time parting, they don't have the ability to lower or minimize those bids in the early hours. So people that don't have that capability might end up spending a majority of their budget at you know, between that 12am and maybe 9am. spot, and then they don't have the budget to go throughout the full days there. So I think really looking at kind of how your budget is aligned there is extremely important. So there's a couple quick things there. I can cover a couple more as we go through the call specifically about DSP and some other pieces. But that's kind of a quick rundown of some things to consider around Prime Day there for advertisements.
Aaron Conant 9:08
So really quick, DSP was another question that came in it was how are you looking at the blend of what I call a, you know, we call a massive, you know, sponsor products versus DSP. We'd love to hear your thoughts on that just have a different couple different questions that came in different than last year, I think.
Andrew Lorence 9:27
Yeah, so DSP is definitely unique to advertising strategy is something that a lot of our clients are taking part in. It's definitely a more advanced advertising strategy. One really interesting thing here is if you are or are not running DSP, a great way to get a lot of people into those audiences, is to set up your DSP campaigns campaigns prior to Prime Day because they're going to get a lot of glance views are going a lot of people coming in looking at your detail pages, and you can really kind of increase that audience group by using DSP. So the idea As the DSP campaigns in advanced, Amazon will start tracking those customers that are coming in. And then if they purchase great, but if they're not, then you can really kind of set up those retargeting audiences. Or if you have, you know, accessory items or complimentary items, you can really start targeting those same customers to view those products during Prime Day, after Prime Day as well. So, DSP is definitely an area that we've won, you know, if you have the ability, if you have the budget to be setting up to be putting that in place, in terms of that next in terms of budget, that's really going to depend on kind of what your overarching strategy is. So we're always happy to kind of have those, like in depth specific conversations on levels and kind of what that mix might look like.
Aaron Conant 10:41
Yeah, awesome. So yeah, people online, if you want to follow up, like, hey, do a deep dive on strategy as a whole, I'm more than happy to connect you. With Mac and Andrew, after the call. Next question that comes in is, like, get some feedback. And this is specific to the impact of, you know, supply chain over the past year and challenges with increased costs, right. You know, so brands facing supply chain shortages and price increases coming in, does it make sense to promote this particular year, even during Prime Day, their brands? Right, I'm thinking a lot of people have supply chain issues. Maybe, you know, Amazon's looking to do they look to do bulk buys couldn't do it. You know, is there going to be an over indexing? You know, how are you kind of advising brands in this space that might have to push through trying to push through a price increase? It's an interesting call that I would say, 1%, you know, maybe I should say 5% of brands dealt with two years ago. And this year, it's 30%.
Mackenzie Mendoza 11:37
Right? So I can jump in and take that one piece of apart with, with two separate questions here. If you're having supply chain issues, yes, your costs are going up. But also, you know, you could be adding scarcity of inventory. So you really need to see how much inventory, you're able to get over to Amazon. Right now. From all the smoke signals, we're reading all the TVs we're seeing, we think Prime Day is going to be on June 21. Which means you know, we're just gonna we're four weeks out from getting the Prime Day. And we have seen receiving times at Amazon start to backup. So if you're trying to send an inventory, if you want to do that last Born to Run, trying to get Amazon stocked up now is the time I'm sure everyone falls on the three piece side. And on the one piece, I'd have seen Amazon receiving times delayed. On the one side, we've also seen Amazon actually start to curtail their orders orders are down between 50 and 60%. From what we're seeing on our customers, that's because Amazon like most of the warehouses across the country is running into a labor shortage, this labor shortage is resulting in massive receiving backlogs in Amazon, I mean, candidly, is just struggling to get the inventory again for Prime Days. So if you are worried about inventory, or you know, if you're thinking about what to advertise what not to on Prime Day, you really shouldn't be looking at your week of cover levels, not just weeks of cover going into Prime Day, but what are your weeks of cover coming out of Prime Day. And pretty much for all of July, I would say when Prime Day ran last year in October, we've been receiving delays for three weeks before Prime Day and three weeks after Prime Day. So when Andrew talks about, you know, needing to advertise after Prime Day, do you have that week of cover on your top products to handle that? And if you don't, you really need to consider should I be pushing these products or not? The reason that there's elevated levels of demand after Prime Days because a lot of people sign up for that 30 days free Prime trial to take advantage of Prime Day and then the 30 days after. That is why we see elevated demand after Prime Day. And that is really where, as Andrew mentioned, this is a great time to play within the relevance. Now touching on the cost question. That's interesting. Can you get you know this more for the one piece, I tend to get a cost increase push through on Amazon, or for the free cheat sites? You know, maybe your margins are getting crunched? I understand that inputs are going up on the supply chain side, I understand that logistics are just a ton more expensive than that they're shipping container issues. The question is, you know, for these top products, can you afford to see your relevancy? You know, Amazon is a real estate business, right? We all own real estate on the sites for brands under the most highly trafficked keywords, you're not going to grow if you're not going to participate in that based on margin. Is that a temporary thing? Or is that a permanent thing? You know, if it's a temporary margin issue, is it worth feeding that hard fought PageRank to not participate in Prime Day to kind of stay some margin on the channel or is this a moment where you need to get a little skinny on your margins in order to keep that demand up in hopes that maybe one you can push a cost increase to or to your your inputs level out on the supply chain side. So all factors to consider here. But in my opinion, inventory is the is the biggest item that people should be focusing on. Heading into prime data. If you're not up on exactly where your weakest cover are on your top items on your promoted items, you need to get there, you need to run the analysis v suborn to run as soon as possible. And you need to have a plan for whether you're going to promote or not based on your stocking levels
Aaron Conant 15:15
mean awesome, I think you know, a key takeaway for for people on the line today while you're saying that is get to a poor find a digital age three PL somebody who can do your drop shipping, because that solves a ton of issues around not being able to get inventory into Amazon, including when you look at looking forward. This q4 we're gonna hit the same thing we did last q4 we're FBA for Amazon has not been able to double the number of fulfilment centres, right, they hit the number that they need to handle all the inventory for people to put in there, we're going to see FDA restrictions in place, we're gonna see lower POS for non giftable items. And you know, the, if anybody needs a recommendation on you know, one of these digital acpl that can handle the drop shipping, just ping me after the call, you know, Aaron email@example.com send a quick email there, and we can, but I think you nailed it on the inventory side, you got to be able to ship it. And then if you can't get it in, you have to have an alternate route or Prime Day, Prime Day advertising doesn't matter. Right? If you can't get them the if you're out of stock, you know, you're advertising back on the show and you can't ship it's gonna be a bad experience. Next up, but just reminder, hit star five, if you want to jump in with a question or keep emailing them to me. He talked about controlling sponsor ads and the time to running. How do you do that, without an agency,
Andrew Lorence 16:43
you basically need the advancement of software solutions in place to do that. So you need something I mean, you can do it manually, if you like, you can go in there and pause bids increased lower amounts. But unfortunately, through the Amazon advertising portal, you can't go in there and set up rules to like, you know, increase bids at 9am or lower bids during this time of the day. And so it would be more of a manual process. Now, this is a two day event, it might be worthwhile if you don't have those capabilities to actually have someone going in there increasing those bid amounts during the time when your deal is showing, or during kind of those prime, you know, buying times of the day. So yeah, it is it is pretty hard, unfortunately, if you're just utilizing just the regular, you know, Amazon advertising portal at this point. So, you know, the way we do it is we partner with Kenshoo, which is bid management software solutions. So we can set up automated bids, we can have rules set up in there as well. And then we can really kind of set it you know, we're looking at trends prior to this as well, of understanding when people are going in and purchasing those products, what time of the day, the days of the week, and so forth. Obviously, that gets thrown out the window during for during Prime Day. But again, those are ways that we can create more efficiencies surrounding an advertising budget. So if you're not utilizing it, I'd recommend looking into something or looking into having someone manager Amazon advertising, I'd say, you know, I talk with brands pretty much all day like you hear and then and when I hear people are running advertising in house, and they're not utilizing a tool that you know, my ears obviously perked up because there's a ton of opportunity in that space to further optimize advertising strategies.
Aaron Conant 18:25
Awesome. Love it. Yeah, fantastic. So next question that comes in is around content. Are you advising brands? Are you helping brands to update to Prime Day specific content?
Andrew Lorence 18:37
Yeah, definitely. So with content, there's a lot of things that we want to look at here. So you know, just general best practices would hopefully be in place up to this point. If they're not, then you saw some time to update those pieces. So there's some key pieces that we want to be looking at. And one of the things that I'd like to talk with a lot of brands about that I don't think is really on their mind is how consumers are actually engaging with their content. So you think you know, you're probably sitting at your desk or your laptop, looking at your desktop or laptop screen and kind of looking at those detail pages? Well, most shoppers are shopping on mobile. So 60 to 70% of shoppers are starting to search on mobile. And I would say especially with Prime Day, I would say that's even higher, because it's you know, throughout the day, and most people are, you know, finalizing that purchasing decision on their mobile device. So you start thinking about when you look at the Amazon Detail page on your mobile device, you're seeing the titles, you're seeing reviews, you're seeing those, you know, the image carousel, most people aren't scrolling too much for this map, they might go down to the plus content, but those bullets, we're just calling us as key features are pushed down to the bottom. So that's where you start looking at like technical products or products that are really trying to define some of the features and benefits and those bullets, start thinking about text overlays, putting those in, you know, icons, whatever it might be to kind of raise the attention to that. The other pieces as you start looking at those text overlays, making sure that they're legible. On a mobile device, though, anytime you're updating any content for your detail pages, check it on your desktop, but also open it up on your mobile device to make sure that it's visible there. The other thing as we start looking at like a plus content, if you have it great, you're already on the right track. If you don't, you know, that can increase your conversion and sales. You know, Amazon will pay anywhere from 10 to 15%. You start looking into the different modules, there's the Compare module, which is generally people kind of put at the bottom, it's a way to cross merchandise your other products, again, trying to avoid people kind of going out into those search results. The other piece I just want to mention is that you can update things for, you know, having, you know, Prime Day specific content or deal specific content, a big way that we like to utilize that with some of our brands is through the brand store. And so that's a great place to have a sub page four of highlighting deals, that you can go in there and create a sub page, you can schedule that page to only show for those two days, if you'd like you can have it going on longer if you have deals that are running for a longer period of time. But that is a way that you can drive, you know advertising into the sponsored brand ads, you do have to be a little bit careful. If you're running those ads, though, in terms of how you're lifting out any texture thing on there. So you know you, for example, you can't live list out like Prime Day deals like here. So there are some restrictions there in terms of the advertising there of how you lift that out. But that's a great way to kind of deliver people in with that banner out up at the top into a deal page that is really covering any coupons, Lightning Deals, any of those other deals that you might be running during this timeframe,
Aaron Conant 21:40
possibly is there an average discount that you're seeing across the board for for Prime Day is the next question that came in. And then next one is how do you see this leading in the back to school? So a couple different ones that are out there, there. And then yeah, everybody just keeps sending in awesome questions, keeps shooting them over Aaron firstname.lastname@example.org. Sure, I
Mackenzie Mendoza 22:00
can jump on that one. So you're going to be running a lightning deal going to be running 20% off. Honestly, whatever you can do to get discount badging on the BTC, the, you know, exclusive deal, just get the badging, people are going to look at it. But what we mostly see on Prime Day is around the 20%. So that's a pretty good barometer, you also have to take a look at what's going well, for Prime Day, you know, anytime we're getting into these really high traffic days, you know, Cyber Monday or Black Friday, you have to think about your category and where your category stacks up in terms of what the consumer is looking for, you know, if you're selling the flat screen TV, and you're running a slamming deal that could you know, that's going to get a lot of traffic, that's going to get a lot of traction. If you're selling first aid kit, and you're running an assignment deal, you might not be getting the same amount of eyeballs as you would selling something in this the tattered board, right. So I would always encourage you, if you have a product that isn't, as you know, kind of sexy for these drives times to make sure you have PPC dollars in it that can drive the eyeballs to your item, you know, so you got to have a mix. Sometimes just having a discount on Prime Day isn't enough. You also have to figure out a way to get eyeballs over to us for most of the categories on Amazon. So always something to consider. Now Aaron, was there a backup of that question?
Aaron Conant 23:38
Yeah, it was like how are you seeing people drive this momentum into back to school. So last year was really muddy, right? Prime Day keeps getting moved out and blends into back to school. You know, is the timing on this one might have been moved up. You know, is there any planning or strategy that you're working with brands on that? That kind of blends that in? So one of the things I was thinking about that you were saying is probably spurred this question as a whole is paid remembered to average don't cut it off at the end of Prime Day give yourself a high five there's a ton more to be made 30 days following it. And then are you blending that into a back to school strategy which then again blends into you know, q4 anyway, so that that was it. It was one it in with a back to school strategy. Do you see a carryover there?
Mackenzie Mendoza 24:26
Sure. We absolutely do. I mean, Prime Day is always kind of been the kickoff to back to school, even when it was in mid July. It was a little easier to boost yourself right into those late July early August back to school timeframes. Now being at the end of June, it's a little bit more of a lag. But we're also seeing I mean, people around last year in this category, which we were back to school was a little skinny last year, right? We're expecting big cost this year on back to school and a lot of people have a lot of dollars in inventory writing on it. So we're expecting a big back to school if you're counting on that on The Amazon channel, you need to be using Prime Day as a relevancy booster to get yourself as high as possible running into that back to school timeframe. So while it is, it does seem like it's going to be a little bit more of a gap, you can't afford not to participate and try your ramp after if that's not going to work, you need to use Prime Day as your ramp going into back to school. Awesome.
Aaron Conant 25:20
Awesome. Love it. Let's jump out. So next question. Just reminder, if you have questions, hit star five, we can bring you in the conversation. Are there any key misses that you have with companies gearing up for Prime Day,
Andrew Lorence 25:34
I can cover a couple of those and then Mac you can join in with any others. I think there's a couple things we've already touched on. I think, you know, if you're running those deals or taking part in Prime Day, really making sure that the content is is best in class, you're going to be spending that money, you're going to have those eyeballs on your products. Getting that in place. I think the other piece that we talked a little bit about is if you have the ability to run DSP and you're going to be working on kind of retargeting and building up those audiences getting DSP in place. And so, you know, people might decide to run DSP later in the year will this is a great time, so maybe move that that budget up a little bit there as well. We are both talked about lowering your ad budget right afterwards. Again, that really goes into sustained relevancy. So if you see a big spike, or Amazon sees a big spike, during Prime Day, everyone's getting a big spike during Prime Day that's taking part in Prime Day. So what you want to do is stand out as like we had that sustained, you know that that increase that spike, but then we sustained it afterwards. And that's where Amazon will really start to reward you, it's a great opportunity to start jumping rank there. The other piece here to think about is if you are not taking part in a deal and your competitors are, don't get into a crazy bidding war with them on, you know, specific, you know, keywords there, because they in essence are going to have a promotion going on possibly at a lower price point, if they're a direct competitor. And so that's something to also think about it that you don't want to spend a crazy amount knowing that they are going to be up there as well, with a lower price point, you know, that could, you know, obviously affect your return on investment there. So that's another one. I think that hopefully it's something that people realize. But Amazon is not a great place for liquidation. It's very costly to gain relevancy. It's obviously costly to take part in advertising during Prime Day, you know, these deals and things like that, if you're trying to liquidate a product, you're in essence, spending all this money in this effort to get the relevancy up to sell through it. And then it basically gone. But you've built up that relevancy to kind of then wither away. So, you know, this is, you know, in some categories is very counterintuitive, especially when you're thinking about fashion. You know, Amazon looks at things in terms of longevity and relevancy over time. Instead of you know, what's the, you know, new, latest and greatest. So, they do get some, you know, obviously some interest in that. But I think the main thing here to think about is not going in on something that might be gone in a couple of months here. So that would be another one that we see. Mac, do you have anything else to add in there?
Mackenzie Mendoza 28:05
Sure. A lot of brands, they save all of their gunpowder, right? And they want to blow it all out on prime if they're going to do a 40% off deal. And you know, they're expecting to move two months worth of inventory on that one day. That's just not how the Amazon engine functions if you haven't done the work. And we're we're talking six to eight weeks before Prime Day to build up your relevance to be ranking highly on those high traffic keywords, you're just not going to have enough eyeballs for that promotion to really hit. So I think people need to be realistic on what the channel is and how the channel operates and realize that it's the relevancy channel. As Andrew mentioned, it's a relevancy channel that has a lot of longevity built into it. And you know, there's not a lot of silver bullets on Amazon this if you're already writing high and you've already done the work to have your relevancy and then you drop in that slamming doodle Yes, that's when you get those huge 10x type stories that you'll see you know the top headlines on Reddit or wherever you're reading these types of things that can work but if you're kind of coming out of left field and you haven't you know laid the foundation for yourself and you're expecting Prime Day to have eggs. You might want to rebalance those expectations the next day.
Andrew Lorence 29:22
I just want to get a couple things here Aaron as well as the write up a little bit earlier and I think it might have been glossed over a little bit is really ensuring that you're setting up your fulfillment methods I know you've talked about three PL but really making sure and I think probably if you were selling a decent dollar you probably saw this in q4 of last year and a lot of issues with fulfillment last year with COVID research and
a lot of our brands and sellers that we're working with we worked with them to set it up as backup fulfillment offers. So fulfilled by merchant whether that's through you or through PL making sure that's in place because if Amazon is out of stock if a shipment is delayed, Or doesn't get picked up or whatever it is, and you're running into stocking issues, you want to make sure that you have that still available on the site. So you're not losing relevancy on the vendor central side, setting up those dropship offers as well. So the nice piece between those is that it can toggle back and forth between, you know, whether it's, you know, fulfilled by Amazon, you know, on the VA side, or fulfilled by merchant if they're out of stock. So, having those backup offers is extremely important. Again, worst case scenario would be that you set all this into motion and moving forward towards Prime Day. And then you have an out of stock issue, whether it be prior during or afterwards. So again, making sure that your fulfillment methods and strategy is really solid during this time. The next question is, How
Aaron Conant 30:43
much? How much do you see brands using traditional paid search social budgets to drive to Amazon during Friday? So it's kind of the flip, right? I mean, in a lot of cases, brands are looking, they want to own that customer, but they realize how much is going on at Amazon. So they're using that but they also are spending a lot of paid search and social a drive to their drive to consumer site. And we know with this much online shopping all during Prime Day or prime week, whatever it is, everything goes up by how much? Are you seeing a shift of inward ad dollars for traditional paid search and social into Amazon? Or do you see the opposite? Coming out of
Mackenzie Mendoza 31:22
it? Very, very interesting question there, especially in light of the new 810 algorithm. You know, everything we're hearing about the eighth algorithm, organic traffic from off site, or just off site traffic in general, right towards the detail pages is going to be a little bit more than it has in the past. And, you know, I could see brands starting to prioritize that usually when you're talking about, you know, hostile PPC or social Yeah, that's a DSP play for most brands, right, they don't want to take the margin hit driving that into Amazon. But if it's going to have an oversized effect on your relevance on the channel, and drive that traffic, and there, it might change people's happiness. So, um, well, that hasn't been in the past, I've used push, I could see it starting to shift here, as people get more familiar with the output. Now, on a day, life Prime Day, yes, you can get most brands to, you know, include Amazon in their email that day, and drive traffic to Amazon on social for that day, especially if you're going so if you're brand new, or if you're, you know, a sales rep that's in charge of Amazon channel, you probably don't get a lot of media, a lot of love like that coming your way, this is an opportunity for you to raise your hand and ask if you can get, you know, some of those dollars to bribe course plan. Awesome.
Aaron Conant 32:48
I mean, just it's super interesting as a whole how everything is, you know, just having a constant shift of those ad dollars and where to spend it. The next question that comes in around DSP, and what you're able to do now with DSP, to isolate the Amazon shopper and drive it to your direct to consumer site are used, are you seeing brands, I can almost see a pattern. So I'm going to add on to this question a little bit, where in this case, you're driving as many brands as you can to Amazon to purchase the item on Prime Day, and then pick those people apart on DSP program, post Prime Day to drive them and capture them to send them back to your direct consumer site. I don't know if you have those plans with brands as a whole. But if you want to elaborate with some of the capabilities with DSP, and how to optimize, you know, to see optimize get the most out of that program, post Prime Day.
Andrew Lorence 33:48
Yeah, that's definitely a unique strategy. And it's something we've done with different brands, we've actually worked with non endemic brands, meaning that they're not selling products on Amazon. And so we are able to utilize that to shift people to the.com or to Amazon. Most of our clients honestly are looking at kind of, you know, building up their relevancy on Amazon, so a lot of that is spent to get them into Amazon specifically. But obviously, yes, we can kind of shift those strategies to if there is a breakdown, so if it's a 5050 break, you know, 50 go into the.com 50 day Amazon, we can do 100% and Amazon and then shift that after the fact. Again, it's specific to the clients that we're working with and kind of what the strategy is that they're looking for there. But obviously there's you know, the nice thing with DSP is or is that we can do that isolation of customers. The other piece that just to mention is kind of going into this conversation specifically into DSP. We can also you know, if you have a large enough of you know, customer database and list we can also isolate those customers that might be already a.com shopper and exclude those And or segment those out to then direct those to the.com instead of delivering them to Amazon. So there are a number of different strategies there. Again, talking about very specific, this sounds like a pretty specific strategy, versus a brand would be happy to kind of jump on the phone and even bring in one of our advertising managers to talk specifics on that one as well.
Aaron Conant 35:18
Awesome. Love it. And just, you know, as people keep sending questions, Aaron, email@example.com. The next question that I'd like to tackle is, is it too late to make a difference in our relevancy prior to Prime Day? So I think people are looking for, okay, it's right around the corner. Is it too late to do anything? What should we be doing right now? to maximize the potential of that, you know, that sad event?
Mackenzie Mendoza 35:49
No, I do not think it's too late. You know, for what we're seeing, we're about four weeks out, you know, you can certainly do CRMs around very specific problems of yours, even consolidate your AML spend around, you know, your two or three tentpole items that you're running on Prime Day, pick out the five keywords that you know you want to rank on and really push them if you you know, do a concerted effort to push them over the next four weeks running into Prime Day, you can certainly boost your relevance on those items. Is it too late to get your inventory in? We're getting close. You know, I don't you can't wait to ship at the start of June, I'll tell you that much. If you ship at the start of June to try to get your inventory in for Prime Day. And for the rest of July. You're probably going to miss the boat there, unfortunately. But you probably have a little wiggle room here, if you can get those shipments out this week to hopefully get your stuff in place. So no, I don't think the story has been written on prime date just yet. But but we're getting close. So something to consider them.
Andrew Lorence 36:49
Yeah. And to piggyback on that one, I think they pre jump into content pieces. Yeah, the content definitely can be adjusted within that timeframe. So you can be making that up until the time that you know, you have Prime Day, obviously, the sooner you can do that, the better, you know, traction, you can start to get from those updates, and keyword optimizations and so forth. So that's another one there. Another piece that is something that you can do really just leading up into Prime Day, if you have an are running a great coupon or deal, that's a great way that you can run those product display ads as well, where you can show ads on your competitors pages. So as I was talking about earlier, don't get into a bidding war with your competitor, if they have a deal. Well think about your competitors, that they're not running a deal, why not show your deal on their Detail page and try to pull those customers away. So there's some other kind of cool things that you can do, you know, the day of basically to try to get the most customers over onto your side there.
Aaron Conant 37:44
Yeah, I think that's a great thing that you guys bring to the table with that that additional strategy piece. Right Of all the things that are going out there that are day to day and layering on top that piece of strategy because that was awesome. The next the next question that that comes in was around you know you talked a little bit about or we talked a lot about Hey, what is the digital age three PL you know getting a back edge or you have your own three PL you can do your own drop shipping, trying in how long does it take on the back end of Amazon to flip that on, if you're on the vendor side, to set up, you know, a product for merchant fulfilled prime?
Mackenzie Mendoza 38:21
Sure. So if you're wanting on Amazon, and you want to do the Amazon grants, so Mike Brown, and use that as a backup, it's just a matter of getting signed up and getting your items loaded in on that new dropship vendor code and you'll be given this is something that should be able to be accomplished within a week. Now, I don't know if there's going to you know, plug each guy into that and try to get your orders automated package inventory automated, that can be a bit longer but you know, and manually take down orders from vendors, you can manually update inventory files every hour. So a lot of people needed it the best practice to use the Amazon direct system and the Amazon dropship program on Wednesday side as a backup that will automatically switch to do So assume has you exhaust all of your hidden network imports for Amazon Amazon will then automatically over to your direct fulfillment offered, as long as you have an agent motivated on your direct fulfillment vendor code and you have inventory setup on that is
Aaron Conant 39:28
awesome. Love it. Everybody keeps it any questions. The next one is what sort of volume Do you expect on Prime Day compared to last year, so a series of volume questions coming in. So one, how are you seeing sales trend on Amazon right now? Have they leveled out or slowed down over the past 12 months or are they keep increasing? A lot of people are trying to level set for back half of the year right now. So I mean you guys are managing a ton of business for a ton of brands you have this like higher perspective on that. everything's going well, how do you look at? You know, the volume year over year? What should people be expecting through the back half of the year? And what are your expectations on Prime Day based on what Amazon is? is pulling in on to?
Andrew Lorence 40:15
Sure. So, you know, in terms of the macro channel, we're seeing sales continue to grow. You know, there's always the question there, what will happen when we get especially right after, you know, when we start to laugh, right after that, that quarantine phase, right, we had a panic buying last year in 2020, where people were only buying, you know, toilet paper, you know, food. And after that people realize, okay, we're also alive here, we're going to now we're going to be home for we don't know how long we're going to start using Amazon to buy a number of other products. And we started seeing very elevated levels in 2020, around April and May. for that. The question was, this year, when we got April and May were we going to be able to pump those numbers, you know, what we're still going to, you know, be in the black, and we most definitively have been, so Amazon continues to grow year over year, it does appear that even though people started going back to the Walmarts, and these other big box stores, it seems like Amazon has been able to keep those customers and those customers have continued to spend. Now we have seen it drop off just a little bit as people you know, work through their stimulus check and kind of work through some of that pent up spending demand. And we've started to see released into the economy. But still, we are seeing the Amazon channel grow, we would anticipate that that growth will continue. So I was personally very nervous about it. But it does seem like Amazon did keep those customers and those customers have continued to bed. Now in terms of Prime Day, what can we expect, you know, Prime Day in October, to me felt a little thrown together felt a little rushed, felt a little Amazon had to do it just to maybe try to get out of some inventory that was you know, maybe already stocked up going into the summer, I think this Prime Day will be much cleaner, much well executed. And I would anticipate that it does outperform what we saw in October. So we're bullish on the channel, we're seeing the channel continue to grow. And, and I would say that at this point, I mean, usually every Prime Day, that's the new record from what Amazon has done, and I do not see that changing this year.
That is a piece I just want to throw in there is that, you know, last year we had Prime Day was in October, which is right before you know, you know, Black Friday and so forth. And so spreading these out a little bit more, I think brands will also the you know, in essence more sales in 2021 because you will not have kind of that overlap of purchasing both in October and November like we did last year. So some people maybe started their holiday shopping during Prime Day last year. Generally you wouldn't start your holiday shopping at least I wouldn't personally here in June but there are people out there that probably are but so I think by having that split you're really going to see also the ability to kind of really build up even more sales during 2021 that you might have had in 2020 awesome,
Aaron Conant 43:12
love it everybody thanks for the great questions so they keep coming here you know second follow up on the one t merchant fulfilled option when making this available to Amazon does this stop orders for reduced orders Amazon will place for their warehouses
Mackenzie Mendoza 43:29
and so I think Yeah, go ahead. Sure. And you know, I've run a number of tests on this okay, if Amazon warehouses are filling up and they know I have you know, I filled out not ordered back in network from the you know, I kind of put that onus on me or my three to ship it out. I have not seen that happen. So a lot of movements on this a lot of AV testing to see you know, and for level seven it does not or how it's not in the past Amazon still likes to say on average on four to eight weeks of cover on any average item with your catalog and probably 10 was the cover or above on really high volume catalog I have not seeing that change when I activate reconcile offers that it makes sense to me that if Amazon is super strange, they would scale down to that but it doesn't seem to be the way that business function. Amazon likes to rely on their own network better than you know having to be merchant fulfilled. You know, they want speed, that customer delivery date, customer promise date and ensure that the customer is running fast so that all the logistics as possible and direct the film is encouraged as a backup and I believe that so Amazon as well.
Aaron Conant 44:48
Awesome. Love it. I mean, that makes sense, right? I mean Amazon wants to control as much of the customer experience as possible, and holding on to that inventory pieces. Is is the is key to that. So awesome. Yeah, thanks for that, because I think a lot of people have been wondering that and then holding off on flipping that switch, because they're not the best individual pick pack ship. Right? They would rather Amazon be doing it. But if that's the the end outcome, that is awesome. So yeah, I think we're an
Andrew Lorence 45:22
error. One thing to note in there, it does cost you a little more, right, you're your own boss is using your own labor stick pack and ship, you can put in some elevated prices for direct assignment, compared to your average in network, I see a lot of brands, you know, have offered us five to 10% for their direct system and offers, and Amazon is one of those increases based on extra time labor and material that
Aaron Conant 45:50
somebody tells me, you're going to get a follow a lot of follow up questions on that right there alone. If anybody needs additional information on that, you know, we'll just connect you with the team because that is extremely interesting as a whole. And I think it's a it's a lever that most brands at this point in time wants to poll, just because even if it's not for Prime Day, q4, it's going to happen again, where there's just long backlogs, there's not enough, you know, there's actually not enough space in Amazon fulfillment centers, being able to control your own inventory, even if it does cost you a little bit more on the dropship size, it's going to be it's going to allow you to maximize your ability to to your your overall total performance on any one of these days going forward. When you can never go out of stock unless you have actual supply chain issues. You'll never go on a stock at Amazon because it will flip to your own inventory when you when when the warehouse that Amazon has gone. Are there other things. You know that that we didn't get to today that you thought you think are top that people should know that are top of mind for this? So you guys are working with them with the brands that you guys work with?
Mackenzie Mendoza 47:02
Aaron, I think I think you just yeah, I think you just touched on it there with the inventory piece. I mean, all our clients that Orca has their inventory for May, June, and July all sent over to Amazon at the start of May. And so you mentioning the same backup is going to happen in q4 I believe it is and I believe that all your inventory. By the start of October, your inventory for October, November and December needs to be sent over to Amazon by the start of October. People have to realize the crunch that is happening with with Amazon fulfillment centers with the lack of labor in receiving and you have to get in front of it, I think you're going to see a lot of disappointed brands that just you know have inventory sitting waiting to get their FBA inventory into Amazon. And it's been sitting there for a month. And meanwhile, you know that the lights are out on their on their top items. So talking about direct fulfillment is important. But also, you know, getting your in network orders, getting your boards run orders, getting your FDA orders in early is going to be key and the people who take that seriously who forecast properly for that are going to be the people that win this year.
Aaron Conant 48:09
Awesome. Love it. Andrew Steele over to you, your your thoughts there.
Andrew Lorence 48:13
I didn't have anything else to add in. I think the main thing is just, you know, focusing on the things we talked about here, I think there's a lot of those key pieces that we've talked about. And the nice thing is is that you know, I know we're talking about this in relation to Prime Day, they should be really put into place where your overarching Amazon strategy. So you know, whether it be to for peak selling times, you know, right now for Prime Day, really they should all be things that you're striving forward with and making sure that you're you know, presenting the best both on content advertising and really set up properly on the back end operationally. So I think we've pretty much covered most of the key items here though.
Aaron Conant 48:48
Yeah, no, awesome. I mean, it's been a fantastic calls a halt. I don't know if there's if there's other questions that people want to send over. Don't hesitate to do that right now. And we still have a couple minutes left here to capture those but also want to say a quick thank you to everybody who dialed in today, look for a follow up email from us love to have a conversation with you. Well, we don't sell anything here at BWG Connect. But we'd love to jump on the phones here hear what your pain points are. It helps us craft what our next set of calls are. But also if you're looking for any kind of service providers, you know anything from direct to consumer to fulfillment to obviously Amazon space as a whole more than happy to make connections on that side from the shortlist and this space you know Orca Pacific great friends partners of our network for a long time now helping a ton of brands out if you're looking for additional healthcare 100% worth a conversation with them and their team set up a digital strategy session with them on Amazon. They're fantastic. And, you know, Andrew last year key takeaways, ways to reach out ways we can put you in touch with brands hear other things that have popped up on your front from Orca Pacific standpoint. You know, different offerings that you guys have, you know if you want to jump in for a quick 32nd set The great and then we can get on with our week.
Andrew Lorence 50:02
For sure. Yeah, again, appreciate everyone joining the call today, as their admission, rose up, open up a conversation, so can be a strategy call, it could be about a specific issue opportunities on Amazon, he category insights, as I talked about, we work with people across pretty much all major categories, or just to talk to the changes on the platform. There's a lot that we went through with our clients in the last year with COVID and restrictions. And you know, all of us here love to jump on the call and kind of talk through these. And sometimes we needed a little dig a little bit further. But you know, we're all problem solvers and love to look into these these items here. So always happy to have those conversations. Hopefully, you guys can continue to join us for these types of calls as well. We're expanding our capabilities, both here in the US, but also globally, additional services have talked about a little bit earlier. So by all means, don't hesitate to reach out. I look forward to seeing you guys on future calls.
Aaron Conant 50:52
I think you nailed it, Andrew is if you're looking to expand international on Amazon, you know, reach out, the team at Orca build out something pretty impressive on that side as well. I know that's another topic that we have to have a call on for sure. It was that i think you know, we're going to wrap up here with you know, three minutes to go just like we promised but hope everybody has a fantastic Monday. Thanks, Mac. Thanks Andrew for your time today. Everybody look for a follow up email from us. We'd love to put some time on the calendar. And with that everybody take care of stay safe. And well. One other thing if you're looking for a list of those service providers, including the digital age three piles that are popping out for that fulfillment shoot me an email Aaron firstname.lastname@example.org it's email@example.com. And we can connect you with him. So with that, hope everybody has a fantastic Monday. Great rest of the week. It will for about email from us we'll be in touch. Thanks, Andrew. Thanks, Mac. Alrighty, take care, everybody. We'll see you already.