How to Capture DTC eCom Sales during Amazon Prime Day

May 26, 2021 12:30 pm1:30 PM EST

Summary

Amazon's Prime Day drives more traffic online than perhaps any day in the calendar year and there's no reason why your DTC site can't benefit too. Join us to learn key insights into how to steal your share of the online audience and drive sales.

BWG Connect & Coalition Technologies invite you to participate in an interactive discussion with your peers.

As always, there will be no sales pitches and there is no cost to join.

Discussion Topics

  • Why brands & retailers should be focusing on capturing DTC eCommerce sales vs selling on Amazon & other marketplaces
  • The importance of collecting & effectively leveraging first party customer data
  • Paid digital & social media marketing tactics that can help drive incremental traffic to DTC eCommerce websites
  • SEO & Organic marketing strategies for increasing visibility of your DTC eCommerce websites across digital & social channels

Event Partners

Guest Speaker

Jordan Brannon

President at Coalition Technologies

Jordan Brannon is the President of Coalition Technologies, a digital agency focused on web design, SEO optimization, and marketing strategies that boost revenue for established small and midsize brands. Jordan has been with Coalition Technologies for 11 years, previously holding many digital strategy roles.

Jordan is heavily certified in digital strategy, including certifications in Google Analytics, Google Adwords Search, and Google Adwords Shopping. He’s also a BigCommerce Certified Partner and a Shopify Expert.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant

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.

Key Discussion Takeaways

Prime Day is considered an honorary internet holiday. With brands on and off Amazon taking advantage of this huge period of sales and promotions, how can you leverage your products to stand out? Is there a set formula to follow so you can have a successful Prime Day year after year? Jordan Brannon thinks so, and he’s here to share it with you.

Jordan is the President of Coalition Technologies, a digital agency that works with small and midsize brands on developing their strategies for skyrocketing their revenue. He has years of experience in the digital advertising and eCommerce industries, and if anyone knows what makes brands shine during promotional days and sale events, it’s him. Prime Day is coming up; how are you going to prepare?

In this virtual event, host Aaron Conant talks with President of Coalition Technologies, Jordan Brannon, about everything you need to know when it comes to Prime Day. They discuss how to roll out content and landing pages, framing discounts and offerings in appealing ways, gaining a bigger customer demographic, and much more.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Jordan Brannon explains why brands should view Prime Day as an honorary internet holiday — not just an Amazon promotion
  • The first steps companies should take when preparing for Prime Day, like making sure you have a promotional plan in place
  • Why building content around Prime Day sales and promotions is key
  • What does preparing a content strategy look like?
  • How landing pages provide a solid framework for sales and promotions
  • The importance of leaving a legacy with your brand
  • How to market both your content and landing page to your audience
  • Gaining a bigger customer demographic through Prime Day
  • Jordan gives more tips on how to build new audiences through Prime Day
  • What are hook products?
  • Tricks to market and frame discounts and offerings
  • Good goals for brands to have during Prime Day

Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Hey, everybody, Happy Wednesday. I hope everybody's having a fantastic day so far and a great work a great work week. so far. Just a quick note as we get started here, starting three to four minutes after the hour, and we're gonna wrap this up with three to four minutes to go in the hour as well. The other thing is at any point in time, if you have a question, hit star five, the handle up on the screen here, we'll take it out to you, and allow you to jump in and ask whatever question you want. That being said, also, if you can't jump in to the background noise, don't ever hesitate to shoot me an email Aaron AARON@BWGConnect.com we'll get the question answered that way that includes, you know, an hour after the call tomorrow next week. Do you have any question that digital space, don't hesitate to reach out. So we'll go ahead and kick this off. My name is Aaron Conant. And I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director of BWGConnect where networking knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands who do exactly that we network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the newest trends and strategies, everything that's shaping growth in the digital space today. So I talk with 30 or 40 brands a week. And with those digital strategy sessions as the whole kind of asking everybody, what are your biggest pain points? What are the top was? What are the things that are top of mind for you? What would you like to tap calls on and that's where we get the topics for these calls as a whole. So we'd love to have a follow up conversation with anybody on the line, we don't sell anything here at BWGConnect, there won't be a sales pitch, there will just be a great digital conversation as a whole. Also more than happy to help anybody out with service provider selection across the board. We've got a shortlist from the nearly 10,000 brands in the network. Now this kind of compiled these, these top recommended list of service providers. That's everything from Amazon, to direct to consumer replatforming performance marketing, digital age 3PLs to extended warranties, or whatever it is you have international expansion marketplace management. So don't ever hesitate to, to reach out. And, you know, something just going along those lines, often those conversations, something that's come up over and over again, nobody's going to be shocked at Amazon Prime Day. And we've had a call directly to you know, maximization of Amazon Prime Day sales on Amazon. But also, you know, with this huge focus over the past year on the direct to consumer side of things, a lot of questions around, hey, how can we leverage Amazon Prime Day The increase in traffic across the board on the internet people in a buying mood? How can we leverage that other direct to consumer side today and still got some great friends, great partners, longtime supporters of the network at Coalition Technologies, helping a ton of different brands out come highly recommended across the board. And just you know, just all around fantastic people and so Jordans on the line today to kind of, you know, lend us his insight on what they're seeing, but Jordan, I'm gonna kick it over to you if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and Coalition. That would be awesome. And then we can kind of jump into some of the, you know, the meat of the discussion today.

Jordan Brannon 3:32

Yeah, thank you. So my name is Jordan Brannon. And I've been with Coalition really, for the last 11 years. We're a digitally focused, eCommerce focused marketing agency really do most of our work for established small businesses and midsize brands. We have a healthy number of enterprise companies we work with that are looking at developing eCommerce and growing that either on a brand specific or product specific basis. We do most of our work in that DTC eCommerce space support a number of Amazon and marketplace focus campaigns are really our emphasis is on brands .coms and similar type of properties. And again, I tend to think of things from that marketing background. So in any commerce although we are full service than to everything from design development, through you know, website support and maintenance, so we do quite a bit there but usually that's all with sort of the lens of how we grow the marketing opportunity. And that's sort of I think, what we're known for

Aaron Conant 4:38

Awesome, love it and just, you know, a quick reminder to those who have dialed in Star five if you have questions and you want to jump in or email them to me, AARON@BWGConnect.com. And we'll get them answered that way as well. But so I want to kind of jump into this because they kind of set the back the backdrop here right one of the byproducts of the pandemic right was, you know, you have, you know, Amazon is this massive runaway freight train just capturing all of this market share as a whole, and, you know, tons of focus on it, you know, in this unassailable position in eCommerce. And then then last year, you know, when COVID hits a couple of things that I think Amazon set in motion itself, right was, hey, we stopped shipping non essential items. And there's this, you know, executive team to set up like, wait, what I mean, you know, Amazon's not partner, they have them order more have tell them to ship our products, give them a discount, but it wasn't happening. You You tack on to that supply chains being disrupted, right. In the middle of the year, maybe things get a little back to normal. You hit q4, Amazon starts shrinking down inventory allowances on FBA, how many if you're not giftable, the amount of space and the pios they're there, they're issuing to you. And you know, there's a big emphasis on now on shopping local, many small businesses that are successfully launching their own direct consumer ecommerce experience. You know, it seemed like this 2020 can be this really cool starting point for this shifting balance in eCommerce. I think it is at least a focus wise. So Prime Day 2021 slated for June, we can all guess it, the day is probably started Tuesday, maybe it's multiple days, we're getting lots of brands trying to take advantage of this new you know, eCommerce holiday, for their for their own direct consumer sites. So I'm sure you guys are working with tons of brands, DTC is huge. I mean, it's your focus you three, you guys crush it. Is this even plausible? Right? Are there opportunities for brands the next 30 days to convert these Prime Day sales into sales through their own read consumer, you know, websites, the whole? Like? Are you seeing that? And is it actually lead people should be over indexing on their own direct consumer site?

Jordan Brannon 6:56

Yeah, I think Well, I think you can do probably more than what you would think I think one of the things that we've seen prove out over the last several years is this, this particular strategy and focus has been a bigger deal to our clients, we've seen that you can be really successful turning prime into a, you know, an agnostic holiday, where it doesn't have to be something that's exclusive to Amazon, it's been helped along by the participation of the Targets and the Walmarts and the BestBuys and others like that. So really, I think that's that's kind of a consistent truth that we've seen as Prime is now sort of an eCommerce holiday and not necessarily just an Amazon holiday. And, you know, I think we've seen that really play out so for smaller and mid sized DTC eCommerce website experiences are the last few years. So I'm really confident that there are companies and there are opportunities for other companies to see growth and in the same sales period.

Aaron Conant 7:54

Now, I love it from that standpoint of you know, if this is the first key takeaway I have is that it Amazon, it doesn't have to be Amazon Prime Day is now a Prime Day, and you're right across the board. Everybody sees it and sold it and treating it holistically as Prime Day as this new now I love it is a new, you know, internet holiday. So this this growth capitalize on it, you know, is that difficult for brands to achieve? Given the shorter timeline we're dealing with right now, you know, is that feasible for this year? I think is a lot of questions is what do I do next?

Jordan Brannon 8:28

Yeah, I mean, I think it certainly I think everybody's sort of marketing calendars got thrown up in the air is maybe, you know, some brands haven't thought about it as much, or maybe didn't put the effort into it. But I think it is really feasible even with the shorter timeline we're talking about. Although I think getting into the habit of treating, treating prime days as a part of your regular holiday and promotional cycle every year is going to help amplify what you can achieve. I think the key is really just to be dialing in on the things that you're set up to do well today. And then to look at a few of the opportunities that maybe exist in tomorrow's in sort of the near term ecosystem to think about how you can apply that, you know, to to your brand, and what you're going to be doing in the next few weeks, or hopefully, more will be kind of scattered all plays out.

Aaron Conant 9:13

Now. Got it. So if we start then, like where, where do you start? Where would you start looking for Prime Day opportunities for most, you know, direct to consumer eCommerce companies as a whole. Where should they? They leave the call today? What's the first few things they should do?

Jordan Brannon 9:31

Yeah, I think the obvious place is to just really make sure that you do have a content plan and promotional plan in place, you can run a great sale, but you just don't have any way of communicating that you're going to be in the weeds anyways. We obviously don't have a confirmed date yet. So we really need to ensure that, you know, for us, our clients are ready to run as soon as that date is announced. You know, you'll want to have a plan that you can use to sort of preview your promotions, you know, gets Your your audience interested in their appetite up for what you're doing, you want to have an idea of you know how you're going to roll out banner ads, what schedule what you know, what are your text ads that you're going to be running with the social media engagement plan. And that's going to be hard to do if you're waiting until the very last minute to prep, you know, your Prime Day content. So I really started beginning to build that checklist and the content that's necessary to deliver on that checklist today, rather than to wait, obviously, if we're talking about, you know, Prime Day landing, you know, as soon as next week, that sort of, you know, creates a bit more of a condensed timeline. But certainly, you can start planning those activities and begin building them out now. Most of our clients were building out their Prime Day plans around around a calendar, and then sort of coming up with slight alterations and content based on whether or not we know the date of Prime Day when our promotional dates hit. So kind of working off of, you know, day of Prime Day, what are we doing, and then sort of working our way out. And if we get into a situation where, you know, our content and promotions are further out, if we still have ambiguity about what that promotional date is going to be have some alternatives there.

Aaron Conant 9:40

Just to can you just, you know, a couple people really like what's going on, but can you walk us through what that looks like, in actuality, just to help us kind of visualize what you're talking about?

Jordan Brannon 11:24

Yeah, I mean, practically speaking, I think, you know, for many of our clients, you know, their, their content, and, you know, marketing calendars are, they're built into our project management software or tool like Google Sheets, or something else that the client uses. And they're pretty straightforward from a, you know, calendar perspective, it's just the month with no dates flagged for specific promotions and content to go live. But specific to the Prime Day, we're kind of looking at it, like, if we reach June 1, and we still don't have a confirmed prime date, you know, period of time, we'll have two variations on our advertising campaigns around this sort of Prime holiday ready to go. You know, for the most part, the creative, and visuals, which are maybe more time intensive, will be the same. But we're just looking at sort of some text substitution. Certain platforms allow you to even queue these up. So maybe there's a email headline, that may call out how many days we are from Prime Day if the date is known, or it may simply call out that Prime Day is happening soon. And then may have some encouragement to the customer to take some desirable pre shopping actions so that they're still in the know when that day hit.

Aaron Conant 12:30

Okay, So I mean, yeah, building out calendar now, specifically, including Prime Day kind of a necessity is what I'm picking up on. There's when there's the interesting thing, though, right, the ambiguity around when Prime Day happens, but now being hugely impactful. It's kind of building up, you know, two separate, you know, same calendar, two separate options to be going forward with, and then just waiting for an announcement to be able to enact one says double the work. I mean, seems like a lot of work, you know, I mean, obviously, in your mind that you think it's worth it, we'd love to hear your thoughts around the amount of work there.

Jordan Brannon 13:06

Yeah, I think it is, I think it is, it's probably part of why Amazon is as willing as it is to sort of bounce the dates around. You know, we sort of were trending towards a kind of a repeated theme date, up until COVID. And then we got pushed back. But I think I think part of Amazon's intent is to make it a lot of work for everybody else. So if Amazon declares Prime Day's at a different date, and everybody sort of scrambling to kind of keep that we're not necessarily planning every year to have a Prime Day in July or prime date in June. And so I think the key for for brands that are listening today is to find some balance, you don't have the time, the budget, the energy the audience to duplicate and come up with a and b versions for every type of advertising campaign don't, some of our clients are simply going to drop or eliminate some of the marketing they had planned. If Prime Day runs, and it will just be set up to run the next campaign up because the date is announced. So really not necessarily trying to build out two completely different campaigns and have to sort of do that I think each brand has to be sensitive to what you can pull off and what you can pull off well, and then build from there. And I think that'll that'll be what sort of gets you the the traction you need.

Aaron Conant 14:21

And I want to I want to narrow the focus, you know, on some specific opportunities. JJust before that, just have a question that comes in with like, you know, can Jordan clarify what he means by prepare your content? You know, seems like he referred to content as banner as text as social media. Is there other content and more traditional sense of the word that also needs to be prepared for landing pages other on site content?

Jordan Brannon 14:48

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, so be thinking about what you're going to do with a sale landing page. Do you do you already have a sale or clearance or or some sort of other promotional landing page where people tend to gravitate to when they land on your site and are looking for discounts? Should that page be live at this particular point in time, when we kind of kick off a primary promotion, are we going to change the navigation link in the in the super navigation to feature that? Absolutely. So if you've done Prime Day promotions in the past as a way to refresh an old blog post or press release, that, you know, that same piece of content is helping to promote what's happening this year. So, you know, I'm a, I think, if you've heard me talk about content marketing in the past, they sort of view content as almost anything we put out in front of an audience online. And so that can cover everything from from banner display ads all the way through to blog posts, and emails and everything else. So I think the answer is, yes, if you have the time you have the budget, be considering how you can leverage Prime Day or leverage content to help promote a Prime Day promotion.

Aaron Conant 15:55

Awesome, and I'll just remind others, if you have questions, you can hit star five, and we can unmute you and bring you in, or you can email them to me, AARON@BWGConnect.com. So I want to get into something really specific as well, you know, is, you know, Prime Day landing pages, I know, I just brought up there some opportunities, you know, are there ones that are higher value, we just talked a little bit about time, effort, money, you know, higher value for all brands that might be worth investing in, you know, regardless of the eventual dates of Prime Day, whatever year it is, this year, next year. And you just had mentioned, like landing pages, I also think of this is like we did one around Black Friday. And, you know, don't scrap that page. Right? We'd love to hear is that part of it? And are there other ones as well?

Jordan Brannon 16:43

That's good to know, you're paying attention. But yeah, I think it's same same principle applies, right. So I think, you know, good marketing tends to provide a solid framework, regardless of the event or the seasons. So kind of speaking to that Black Friday example, and even a little bit of that question we just talked about, make sure you have a Prime Day landing page that's on a single URL that you can use year in and year out, just you know, see a lot of brands not taking that strategy. And so look to build out a page that, you know, to the effect of, you know, brand.com/prime-day-sale, or something similar to that, that you can run and have live and have available year round, maybe it's sort of devoid of content or is sort of, you know, coming soon coming next year, sort of language in the offseason. But avoid making the URL too date centric, again, make sure that you're sort of earmarking it for future years, next year, in the year after, you know, plan ahead. I think a lot of one of the things I think is interesting is there's a lot of turnover. This is unrelated to marketing. But there's a lot of turnover and movement happening in eCommerce and digital marketing careers right now, people are sort of shifting jobs. And so one of the legacies of being a good eCommerce marketer is to leave a good footprint for the people who come after you. So build that documentation so that people know that, hey, this page exists, here's the strategic reason why we chose to do it this way, and have that available for the year after, you know, today populate that with some basic coming soon, or stay tuned type content that is optimized around Prime Day, your generic keywords or branded keywords that you're going to be promoting, you know, sale on discount on cheap, you know, if you're kind of playing that particular card, you want to be a bit cautious with reusing and abusing Prime Day as a phrase, you don't want to run afoul of, you know, trying to, you know, get into some sort of trademark discussion about whether or not you can really do that, especially if you're a bigger brand. But, you know, if you're using it once or twice, it's less likely to draw the attention of Amazon. And I think, especially if you're using it in the context of Prime Day alternatives, and then presenting alternative discounts, you're kind of in a safer zone, we did have a client, some kind of maybe speaking kind of an example that we had a client who last year had some success, and they created something of a shelter for themselves, by having that landing page feature, some direct links to their Amazon product listings. And Amazon discounts then, and then also had some brands Store Exclusive mixed in. So they've kind of using their website as sort of a funnel to both Amazon and to some other brands store and they intentionally obfuscated, which is which. So there's a little bit of visual cue that you know, this would take it Amazon but not a lot. And so I'm intentionally that sort of allowed people to come in feel like they're shopping a Prime Day Sale, and sometimes directly from Amazon, sometimes not. You know, on average, that mixed approach really does seem to show a higher engagement rate. It showed you know, better click through rate, better actual transactions, than a lot of other brands that we were working with at the time. So if you have the opportunity to do both, then that may be worth considering.

Aaron Conant 19:56

So I do want to pull that string a little bit more in and then talk about where you'd market that content and that landing page, we just have another question that came up, I think directly related to kind of what you're saying. So are you seeing direct consumer sites be successful in recognizing this promotional this promotion event as Prime Day promotions, even though it's not on Amazon? For more so keeping it an unmentioned thing and just happened to be running a promotion at the same time?

Jordan Brannon 20:24

Yes, I think yes to both and the maybe for brands, especially brands that have a product listing on Amazon, doing both and being more explicit about it being Amazon Prime Day is probably been what we see functioning better. For brands that aren't selling on Amazon, and are, you know, us you don't want to do if you're not selling on Amazon, you don't want people to think I should go check on Amazon. And so using some of the language, but again, not making it sort of keystone to to those pages is sort of what I would do strategically there, if that makes sense.

Aaron Conant 21:04

Yeah, it does. And just another comment that came in that says, please thank him for the comment about leaving a good legacy. It's so important, and it is right, these are, yeah.

Jordan Brannon 21:19

As an agency, you make me pull my hair out, you frustrate me you, to use French, piss me off. A lot of times, I sort of come into these areas. And it's just really clear that there's been frequent turnover, whether that's, again, sometimes this company, sometimes it's the personnel, but it just it really is that you want to if you want to see a brand fail in eCommerce, you know, eCommerce marketers that leave a poor legacy and aren't thinking about who's coming after them, are a great reason. And just to also from having grown up now in a company, right? We're bigger than I thought we were going to be with my brother and I were selling auto gauges, sort of how we got into eCommerce. The one thing my brother always hammered on, much to my annoyance was the idea that we have to plan for the people who are going to do our job tomorrow, whether that's because we're doing something else or what but it really has been key to our success inside, we message us a lot with our customers is that, you know, if you want to grow, plan for growth, you know, be prepared for that. Completely off topic, but but I'm a big believer in it. So I'm gonna hit that one.

Aaron Conant 22:27

Yeah, in it even as a as relevant. it's ever been with this. You know, everybody played musical chairs right now. And yeah. So I want to jump back to, you know, going back to the marketing, you know, that the content the landing page as a whole? Where do you market it? You know, both the content and the landing page?

Jordan Brannon 22:52

Yeah, start with your own audience, right. I mean, the most of us on this call today. I mean, just based on sort of having done a few of these in the past, most most brands here have a bit of an audience already there. We're not usually talking to micro merchants in these conversations. And so, you know, to start with your own audience, we've trialed a few experiments over the years and found that most of our clients have audiences that make an off Amazon purchase from a brand they want to shop with on Prime Day, they feel that the discounts in the holiday are legitimate enough to go out of their way and shop at the site, they may not be planning on making a purchase with otherwise. You know, our keys have had good success with marketing towards audience segments that are already looking at buying the product you're promoting. For on Prime Day, prior sale, shoppers, people have already sort of gotten into a bit of a discount mode with you, that can be a great audience to target. Customers who shop in prime popular categories. If you're doing any look alike, or maybe affinity brand type advertising can be really great. So you may want to review your segments sooner than later for your audiences. Are you actively segmenting users who do shop and sale categories or discount to them? Are you segmenting those who are navigating to your promotional products that maybe aren't purchasing right now? These are sort of offset, you're kind of near term, best opportunities to get the additional transactions in.

Aaron Conant 24:10

When you think about the you know, a lot of people trying to look at, hey, what's the next customer demographic? Or how do I get more of the current right net new customers? What about developing new audiences or trying to identify net new customers and use Prime Day is a gateway to create that relationship? Is that something that -

Jordan Brannon 24:31

Yeah, that's a big opportunity. I mean, I think already cut you off there. But I think it's just a big is a big thing. I mean, like there's, you know, Prime Day if you shouldn't just you don't want to get your own audience exclusively sort of trained into this or this discount mindset. But there are big opportunities to make Prime Day a great way to introduce your brand and your products. For brands that are on Amazon, and maybe your that's just sort of your your primary mindset, you know, going heavier on the discounts, especially if you're packing In other things are going to incentivize and encourage people to end up at your site later, maybe there's a follow up purchase that's needed. Anyways, for the product, you're selling, just getting real heavy on your Amazon Prime Day discount and running up to that loss leader it and get them to your site later. That's sort of, again for the Amazon people here. But there are customers who are shopping on Prime Day that tend to go deal seeking. And that doesn't always mean though that they are deal seekers period, you know, many customers are going to view a heavily discounted product as as a way to buy something they may not otherwise purchase, the great opportunity to give people a first trial of your brand or product. You know, for a lot of our brands, we're sort of strategically planning these events, we tell them to pick a few really popular products, and then treat them as that loss leader for the event. If you know it's highly rated, well reviewed, you can ship it on time, it's gonna provide a great outcome for new customer, that's usually the better product to start with. For these types of things. You can use Prime Day as a clearance opportunity, get rid of offseason close outs. But again, that tends to have less success in the past sort of getting new customers back in the doors later. So you sort of only get the discount, narrow margin purchase. And that doesn't provide sort of the long term value. And so outside of targeting your existing audience, I think there's a few things you could probably actually do to build new audiences. Again, if you have that promotional product, and discounts all lined up for Prime Day, get the word out to sites that primarily traffic in that type of content. There's a lot of deal sites and couponing and discounting sites that compete for unique offers to get to their audience. And so having some exclusives that you can go to market with to them can be really helpful. If you're in sort of a, you know, you don't want to go to a coupon calm. There's a lot of travel bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, influencers, smaller niche sites that offer really targeted audience, and may have comparably better overall sponsorship costs. And they may be more interested in co-promoting a discount like this. Look for sites that already rank well for the generic, or the branded keywords that are going to be relevant to you for those Prime Day offers, do a quick couple of Google searches, the who's ranking in the top two or three spots for Prime Day sales, coupons, discounts, et cetera, et cetera, on sort of your, your, your related terms, and start with the outreach to their sponsorship pages. You know, most sites, I think, are willing to share some some basic performance metrics. And, you know, they'll include some options, you know, maybe sometimes even all inclusive option to include, you know, social channels, email lists, and things like that. So you can sort of beginning target those niche sites, you get a lot of value out of out of a relationship there. You know, social media influencers, social media groups are another great area to achieve that sort of same outcome, they can have a little harder sort of value tracking and quantification upfront. But you know, certainly there's usually a chance for a good new audience growth there, we had a client who use their social profiles, their company's social profiles to drop into message threads, comment discussions, forums on relevant deal hunting topics that were tied to their products, and they use that to help promote audiences saying, Okay, we've got this sale running for Prime Day on XYZ date, and here's a discount we're doing and it's been pretty successful, even though they weren't necessarily holding the headline position in that thread in half to sort of be in the main comment, they could just be in the comments and that would work well enough. So if you're going that approach, certainly want to have sort of those social forums and those influencers and things like that, you wanna start narrowing those things down now it's gonna be hard to try and track all of this down in the moment. So you want to make sure you kind of know what keywords or tags or accounts you're going to be monitoring and looking to add to the discussion have that content plan again ready and you know, we use Sprout Social or primary tools along with a few others to help identify where when and how people are talking about those specific things. But certainly, there's others other tools out there that can help you get set up today and start kind of getting ear to the ground.

Aaron Conant 29:06

Yeah, love it. Wow. I've got you know if that's your starting point, and just a quick note for those who have been able to join halfway through having a fantastic conversation with Jordan Brannon from Coalition Technologies around you know, maximizing the you know, essentially maximizing the traffic of Amazon Prime Day to drive sales and increase you know, customer conversion on your own direct to consumer site. Jordan, his team are great friends and partners of the network and if anybody wants to connection afterwards 100% worth you know, having a conversation with him his team they're they're great friends and partners to a lot of brands and the network but you know, if that's your like starting point, then you know, what are your second and third tips, right, and people are taking a bunch of notes. What are your second and third tips for building new audiences? Or or with Prime Day promotion? As a whole in mind?

Jordan Brannon 30:01

I mean, advertising on Amazon, or other notable eCommerce sites in advance of Prime Day isn't too bad strategy either. If we're sort of talking about building new audiences, you know, as a sale events get closer and closer, people begin to check out the Prime sale categories, you know, other pages of these these sites, and they'll be shopping, electronics, they'll be shopping, you know, outdoor furnishings, we've seen sort of increased popularity, you know, some of that some overlap with kind of our Memorial Day category. And so you're running your ads and doing some advert additional advertising, through these third party sites, that's not a bad idea, you know, cut in on that action, you know, try to get some attention going to an increased interest going towards your site, your products, I mean, ads to be run on Amazon, they can run on Google, they can be run major eCommerce sites, some of them have their own Prime Day sales, which is their advertising. And so again, they'll allow you to advertise on their site, and you can kind of cut in that way. And sort of interesting is that, you know, sometimes, you may not be able to necessarily afford to run your own sort of full fledged Prime Day promotion, but you can put it very nicely, you can kind of leech off of others who are really heavily investing in that. And that can be a great kind of great strategy to consider, especially you sort of build a new audience through Prime Day, I think maybe my third suggestion was sort of touched on earlier, you know, get more aggressive advertising going towards competitors, or affinity brands, you know, a lot of your bigger name competitors, who maybe are already doing a bit more on Amazon, or through eCommerce, they're going to double down, they'll spend aggressively to get the word out about their Prime Day, you know, piggyback on some of that by targeting their brand, their brand audiences, instead of just targeting Prime Day directly. You know, competitor ads sometimes are cost prohibitive to run, but they can work really well during a Prime Day season, especially if you've got a great discount, that's a great alternative to what they're doing. And that can be, you know, affordable, you know, comparably, you know, then trying to actually target the the holiday itself. And so that can be kind of another strategy there. And so, and maybe a sort of a tail into that, you know, I'd say also try to get people off the market today, you know, Prime Day has gotten a bit sloppy of late, you know, people are sort of, you know, unclear as to the day to when it's gonna happen and what it's actually going to contain. So people are shopping, now, they're sort of browsing and looking for pricing and discounts and things like that now. And so you can start promoting, or even running your own sales in advance of Prime Day, you know, you know, get those loss leader discounts out. And it could be a great opportunity to get someone off the market, get them purchasing that close out clearance status season overstock stuff, you know, you know, in advance of Prime Day, it's also a really good opportunity to sell what what I call hook products. You know, but if I'm a big believer that brands that are using their product mix, as part of their marketing strategy, are going to be more successful. And I think sometimes there's a disconnect between buyers and marketers that results in sort of big missed opportunities there.

Aaron Conant 33:09

Yeah, you sent me like chuckling a little bit, cuz you're saying get them off the market now. Right, which is what's happened was Black Friday, right? Remember when Black Friday was just on Friday, and now it's Cyber Monday, and now it's cyber week. And then now it starts in September? That's basically like paid. Yeah, right. Exactly. So no, I love it, especially if you're off Amazon, you're not restricted by it. And it is the hype. And people are, I'm looking forward, then you're like, Hey, this is my Prime Day discount. And it's offered this month, or it's offered this week, or whatever it might be and just guessing go for it and say, Hey, this is our second Prime Day discount of the month and then do it. There's no restrictions there. But I just love to do like get them off the market. Now. That's essentially what brands have done in q4 with Black Friday is why wait to this day?

Jordan Brannon 34:02

Yeah. The mistake is we sort of wait for Walmart to do it. You know, Amazon starts at Walmart follows target follows Best Buy. So but again, I mean, there's not necessarily a reason that you have to sort of wait for them to establish that pattern. You know, if you're compelling and you're advertising your pricing and your promotion, people will buy and they'll feel like they're getting an early you know, access early advantage thing. So yeah, I would say it's something to consider.

Aaron Conant 34:28

Why not try it? Why not try it? I think I love it like some of those like head celeb moments. Like, who cares if he did it and it didn't work? Like there's gonna be more increased traffic on the actual Prime Day you can do it again. I mean, it's testing and learning. It's what makes great brands outperform other brands in you know, these digital ecosystems is it's trial and error and find what works faster. Now, I love it. But I do have a couple questions around, you know, hook product, but can you cover that last point in a little bit more detail, what do you mean by hook product? And how can better connections between buyers and marketing, marketers in full influence performance as a whole? And then I have a question about affiliate as well. So.

Jordan Brannon 35:14

Yeah, hook product is a term that I use that I don't think it's commonplace, but it's basically items that you can sell that are going to require out on purchases, or just increase the likelihood of an additional purchase later. You know, it can be an item that is sort of trending and is, you know, sort of, again, designed to get people interested in your store, maybe it's something that's aggressively price, maybe it's something to just advertise more heavily at a loss even, so that when someone buys it, ultimately, though, the goal is to get them to pick up another two or three items for you at a better margin, in the same shopping cart, or, or, or even later. And so I think, again, having been in eCommerce for nearly 20 years, hook products are I think, are present in almost every successful eCommerce brand. There, they're not always static, they're not always planned. But they really do make a big difference in the stability ofeCommerce sales. And every season could be lights out, if your brand doesn't have sort of that, that kind of hooked product. And again, recognizing that some of the participants is color are coming from multi billion dollar companies. And eCommerce is sort of nothing burger. I think if you can get to the point of having a solid book product, you can really sort of transition and get people into the eCommerce mode of purchasing your products instead of buying from retailers or however else they're doing that today. If you choose there, I think just sort of looking at thinking about that. And the idea of buyers, marketers or together marketers, you really have to keep an eye on your hip products, their performance is often going to drive overall eCommerce store performance, they may not necessarily always be the thing that's most purchase. But they may be what's getting people in the store and then shopping and then driving those additional purchases. So be really aware of what they are today, and how they're sort of changing over time. You don't have to be overly loyal to hook products, they're going to come and go, they fall in and out of favor. I think this is where marketers are really key. You know, they need to help the brand to stay informed about what's happening and why I think sometimes bad marketing will be bad for a product, but other times the product itself becomes an issue. marketers need to be capable of determining which is occurring, what's occurring. Your seasonal plan for more than one product. A lot of our clients are fashion brands, and fitness brands. And so there's some seasonality. And so for our SEO strategies, we try and pick a fall winter category or hook product in the spring summer category, or product hook products in all of our keyword strategies. It'd be kind of an example that would be like a thing about cardigans is sort of your product that you're going to sort of be pushing the fall and winter and maxi dresses, maybe it's what we target in spring and summer. But that doesn't work. If your buyer sort of decides that, you know, cardigans are out and doesn't communicate with you, right. And then the last point, I think, just track the data, marketers usually have more data than the buyers buyers, even in large companies we work with often seem to sort of follow personal tastes and personal insight, which is good sometimes, but not always look at keyword performance and ads and organic search, report that back to whoever's doing your buying, you know, check the data broadly outside of your site, look at expected search volume on Amazon and other sites that have tools that can help you estimate, look at what category relevant social posts are generating more interest. Look at what's showing up in images in your feed, you know, that you're kind of looking at, they're getting category focused social media influencers tend to be really influenced easily by others in their categories, they often see sort of certain lifestyle trends show up pretty quickly before the trend is even really reached sort of trend status. So get all that information back to your buying department. I've seen a lot of great campaigns, you know, killed because of inventory issues, or buyers moving on from certain products, including the marketing team. And I guess kind of that went down a rabbit hole again. But going back to the original primary conversation, if you can get your buyers involved in the marketing calendar, start to plan certain items to be on hand for Prime Day or other important holiday stretches. Those types of sale events don't need to be the trendiest items for the most current, it's really just about the size of discount or perceived value most of the time.

Aaron Conant 39:32

Um, really quick another question that comes in over emails around promoting via affiliate. So have you seen this is, you know, beneficial, you know, specifically around Prime Day?

Jordan Brannon 39:42

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So again, what I usually look at there is, does that affiliate, you know, usually have strength in sort of that type of content. And that can be a big driver. You know, so it's a Yeah, honestly, I guess maybe should walk back that whole caveat, I just say yes, affiliate advertising, this seems to work really well around Prime Day, we see everything from lifestyle influencers who don't do a lot on sort of sale and discounting big impact with, you know, sort of a pay this is, you know, my favorite brand, and they've got a Prime Day promotion running. You know, that's worked really well. And then also just sort of the more direct like, here's a discount on XYZ product is all the content we ever produced. But kind of running that type of promotion can't work. The one caveat I would give you Be very careful with those two, sort of, especially if you're looking for new audiences be really restrictive about brand and brand variations. You don't want to have to compete with someone you're paying for your own search and your own traffic that would otherwise be free, you just don't want to fall into that trap, where you're sort of, you know, driving up bids on your own keywords, because you sort of didn't put the right restrictions in place with your affiliate advertisers.

Aaron Conant 40:52

Awesome. Love it, you know, which I want to jump into just discounts and offerings, because that has come up a few times, right? And people are kind of struggling as a whole. You know, what do we do? How do we compete with Amazon? And yet, they would rather have it on the dress consumer site. So it's Prime Day are their Prime Day? Are there particular ways that you would frame discounts or other offerings, anything you would recommend, you know, to do or not to do?

Jordan Brannon 41:20

Absolutely. I mean, one of things we're aware of is that, you know, as much as I'd love to think that, you know, my unique SEO, or pay per click, social media strategies, and email strategies are all sort of unique to us. And to our brands and our campaigns, there's some sort of, I think, underlying general rules and things like that, which can help drive performance, whether that's, you know, clicking through from advertising or just a conversions to get to the store. So generally speaking, it's been our experience that coupon codes usually perform poorly, compared to more explicit dollar off or percentage off discounts. People just want to know that they're getting money back in their pocket, you know, use coupon codes, when you're wanting to exchange something, you know, get an email address, or a mobile phone number, use the coupon code then right, if that's sort of the target, but if you're getting for sale today, think about how to use a percentage off or dollar off more explicitly, indirectly. You know, once you know the price, you can and will sell something for figure out which is the bigger number, the dollar off, or the percentage off sort of super old advertising trick. But it still seems to work really well. Customers will buy based on what appears to be the biggest number discounted. And so kind of example would be if you got $50, off orders of $200 or more people are more likely to to buy because of that presentation than 25%, off orders of $200 or more. People sort of see the 50 versus the 25. And they go with 50, even though the 25% off might ultimately be the better discount if you're spending, you know, anything over $200. Right. So it's, it's just sort of placed that sort of psychological bias towards the bigger discount. And then I think final one is probably just free shipping, free shipping matters more than expedited free shipping, I see a lot of retailers try and match Amazon and others in sort of the free two day category. And that's the plus when you can do it. But given the chaos and shipping times over the past year. And ultimate even prior to that, we found that free shipping and free expedited shipping doesn't have as much of an impact on conversion rates as just free shipping period. So it kind of makes that clear. It's not to say that free expedited shipping isn't necessarily going to help improve your conversion rate from free shipping to may not be profitable. And that's sort of where that data conversation is important. You know, from a marketers perspective, you want to understand the difference between free shipping and its impact on conversion rate, and free expedited shipping, and how that sort of increases if at all conversion rates. And, you know, then sort of begin to think about, you know, what does this do to our margins, especially with the discounts that we're running. So I guess, kind of something that went up a little better. Free Shipping is really important in terms of conversion rates with the incremental gains, if we do free expedited shipping, on top of that free shipping, so but you have to sort of weigh that carefully Am I going to see enough incremental improvement from that to make it worth my while. And that may be kind of does come into sort of another kind of good thing to be considering? Yeah, with sort of this Prime Day opportunity, you know, make sure you're tracking your analytics that they're on point now, before the bigger sale event. One of the things that you really want to have built into your sales and into these big sort of marketing campaigns is what are you going to learn? We sometimes get so so so focused on the dollar value of the sale in the promotion that we lose sight of what we could learn for next month or next year or next quarter or whatever and So, if you are typically a big summer season product, if you're big back to school, you're bigger quarter four this opportunity, sometimes the sort of frame of Prime Day type event here as a way of sort of testing and evaluating, learning improving, maybe you're about to go through a site redesign, or maybe you just relaunched a new site, a great time to do some A B or multivariate testing, you want that sort of higher volume of traffic in a shorter period of time to give you statistically significant insights. And so, so really making sure that you're planning in, you know, what you can learn as a result of this is really good. But you have to have tracking and analytics that are set up properly. And so if you've got good tracking and analytics configurations today, then maybe consider running a few AB tests just to see how to best advertise and promote during the actual salesman, when it comes to start, maybe testing multivariate testing before your primary promotion Now, if you're already sort of set up for it, and that can be beneficial. And when you actually get to the sort of the final event.

Aaron Conant 46:05

Awesome, I love it, you know, lots of note taking. So when we do Black Friday call, I can recommend I can reference back here. But you know, awesome tips as always Jordan, you know, assuming, then we get a handle on a successful event and marketing plan, you know, what are some good goals that you would say, for for people on the line to have for Prime Day, you know, direct to consumer promotions as a whole?

Jordan Brannon 46:32

Yeah, I mean, I think we've kind of maybe seen this thread come up a couple of times and in the questions, and then sort of just the response to them, I would definitely say that you want to be thinking about what to do after the event. You know, part of what we're trying to do is, is, you know, again, I talked with enough directors of eCom, eCom marketing managers, we sort of whatever your title is, you usually have to report back to someone above you. And usually the question is, well, how much do we make what was sort of the value of this particular event? And there is a lot of focus on sort of just the, you know, immediate impact. And we sometimes as marketers get distracted by that, because, again, that's the question we've got to answer, we've got to, you know, report to somebody else about what benefit we provided today. But you'll again, be setting yourself up for longer term success, if you're thinking about post event, you know, after Prime Day, what is sort of the value that I'm getting out of it, you know, we don't want to get too lost in this sort of momentary sale stretch, you know, think about what we can do afterwards. Am I set up to run some follow up email and SMS campaigns? Am I even set up at the moment to get approvals to do mobile marketing, email marketing, other forms of marketing to these customers that I sort of asked and gotten permission to do those things? Am I in a position where I'm going to be able to remarket to these people, you know, check in with your pay per click, whether it's paid social or paid search, and my setup to do remarketing campaigns, to, you know, get people back to the store who maybe didn't purchase, or maybe who did purchase something, but we want them to purchase something else? You know, is there some additional follow up promotions that I can run, help build sort of that customer lifetime value? Or even if your shopping cart has the capability, is there an opportunity to get someone back in to increase their order size, with an additional percentage off $1 off? I've seen a client recently who was having good success to offering faster expedited shipping if you increase your order with additional purchase. So, you know, you set up to be able to run those sorts of campaigns. And then I think, certainly take a cue from what started priming, you know, Amazon Prime membership, is there an opportunity to create a VIP group incentivize participation in some sort of rewards program or membership offering that you can that you can leverage, and think outside of the box too, because I think sometimes we get so caught up in e commerce, you forget that social commerce is also a huge thing. So some of our clients are running exclusive VIP Facebook groups, or sort of a separate Instagram profile, a secret Instagram profile, or something like that, to sort of help, you know, again, I don't have to necessarily get you onto my website and creating an account and then tracking points there, you know, make a purchase that's big enough. And we're going to get you into this sort of, you know, semi secret page. And obviously, if the word gets out, the word gets out, but that actually is kind of good, right sort of the point of marketing. So those are maybe some of the things that I would suggest this sort of thing. Okay, let's let's carry the primary promotion just past primary itself.

Aaron Conant 49:40

No, awesome. And I love it. And I see we're pretty much in a right at time. We have about a minute left. I do want to you know, kick it over to you for key takeaways. In just a wrap it up here but a quick thank you to everybody who dialed in. Thanks for the great, great questions that came over. Look for a follow up email from us. I'd love to have a conversation. With you, we don't sell anything here at BWG Connect. But more than happy to set us aside some time to do you know, quick digital strategy session as a whole, you know, just networking knowledge share across the board, but also get topics for upcoming events as well. And Jordan, you you know, in this space, joining the team, Coalition Technologies, great friends, partner support network, working with tons of brands in it 100% worth a follow up conversation, just all around crushing it on the direct to consumer side of the house. So, Jordan, key takeaways here as we wrap it up in the next minute or so.

Jordan Brannon 50:32

Yeah, I mean, I think plan for longevity, that's sort of the theme I hit on a couple of times here just you know, plan for longevity of the customer, the marketing campaign, your own eCommerce brand. You know, Prime Day is just sort of an excellent doorway. And where do you send people after that is probably a really big thing. Again, you start that calendar, start that plan, start that promotion, get it out, and work your way out from the actual sale event and work your way backwards. You know, that way, you can, again, have some commitments that are ready. And again, with these sorts of events, if you're planning that longer term opportunity, don't be afraid to take some bigger risks in terms of discounts and dollars offs and things like that just to, again, get people in the door. Just make sure you've thought through what happens afterwards. You know, usually that's sort of where the wins really will occur is when you sort of are able to go to step two and step three and step four after you hit step one. Well, that's that's probably it. But just a quick plug, you know, I love to have these follow up conversations with brands that some of you do opt into this kind of talk with me afterwards. And I love to kind of learn a little bit more from talking to all of you, and I hope I can help you learn a bit too. And we have this conversation.

Aaron Conant 51:44

Awesome. Yeah, agreed 100% worth a follow up conversation with Jordan, his team, all around digital experts and helping tons of brands out in the space as a whole. And with that, I think we're going to wrap it up. Once again, look for a follow up email from us love to have a conversation with you on the Connect side. let you know about coming in person events. We did that poll, it looks like over 90% of people will be open to a small format dinner as a networking event. So look, look for, go on to our website. You can check for upcoming events there but also look for follow up emails on that front as well. With that we're gonna we're gonna tie a knot on this one table on it and send it off. So hope everybody has a fantastic Wednesday a great rest of the week. Thanks again, Jordan for your your time today and your expertise. Everybody. Take care. Stay safe look forward to having you on a future call. Thanks again, everybody. Alright. Bye bye.

Please enter your information below to request a copy of the post-event written summary or recording.

Event Information

May 26, 2021 12:30 pm - 1:30 PM EST

Event format

Roundtable Layout
Featuring 20+ executives, where everyone can contribute, ask questions and learn from peers
On-Topic Discussions
Q&A format, moderated by BWG Connect with group interaction throughout
Make Connections
Opportunities to network before and after

BRINGING TOGETHER INFLUENTIAL EXECUTIVES AND SENIOR PROFESSIONALS

What is 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.
envelopeusercartphone-handsetcrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram