Sellers are in a mad scramble to find the perfect e-commerce platform that can give them a significant boost in their sales. Of course, you can follow some practical tips to boost your marketing efforts, but you need to know where you need to start selling, first.
Amazon has proven to be the leader in e-commerce in the last few years. In fact, 89% of consumers are more likely to buy products from Amazon as compared to any other e-commerce website. With its loyal customer base, there’s no doubt selling on Amazon can make you a successful retailer if you know what you’re doing.
It’s sometimes not enough to optimize your listing and forget about it, especially for new sellers whose brands aren’t known by buyers yet. The best way to improve your visibility and increase sales is to create Amazon lightning deals.
First, let’s find out what Amazon lightning deals really are and find out if they’re as good as everyone claims.
What Is an Amazon Lightning Deal?
A Lightning Deal is a promotion on Amazon that offers discounts on select items for a short period, or until the whole inventory runs out. They’re usually found on Today’s Deals or the Prime Day page. The discounts can vary depending on what sellers are willing to offer. Just remember, a bigger discount can mean more sales.
Who Are Eligible to Create Lightning Deals?
Now, everyone can create these deals. The primary requirement is to have a professional seller account (pay $39.99 a month). Without this, it’ll be impossible to create Amazon Lightning Deals. It’s actually one of the perks of being a professional seller. If you’re already one, then it’s not a problem. If you’re an individual seller, make sure your projected sales can cover the cost of upgrading your seller plan and the Lightning Deal itself.
The other requirements are as follows:
- You have sold on Amazon before and have a seller rating of at least three stars.
- Prime members in all regions can buy your products.
- You need to follow Amazon’s Fair Pricing Policy.
- Your products’ condition should be new.
- Restricted products aren’t allowed.
- Numerous variations for your product are preferred (different sizes, colors, etc.).
- Comply with the Deal Frequency Policy.
- Don’t violate the Customer Product Reviews Policy.
Creating an Amazon Lightning Deal
Here’s a simple step-by-step process on how to create your own Lightning Deal.
1. Once you’re sure that you’re eligible, log in to Amazon Seller Central. Go to the Advertising tab and click deals.
2. You’ll see all of the past promotions that you’ve created on Amazon on the next screen. Click Create a new deal on the upper right.
3. Choose the product that can be offered as a Lightning Deal. Once you have chosen the product you want, set your discounted price. The fee will also be specified on the screen. In this case, the cost is $150 (see image below).
4. Choose your preferred schedule. Remember that the fee sometimes changes for major events like Prime Day. It’s also worthy to note that you have no control over what time your deal begins.
5. The last step is to configure your Lightning Deal. The information needed here includes the maximum price you’ll be setting for your product, the discount per unit, and the number of items you’ll commit from your inventory (the higher, the better). Then, all you need to do is submit it for approval.
Important note: Amazon does not guarantee sales from this deal, and they don’t refund the deal fee either.
How an Amazon Lightning Deal Can Help You
There are three ways this promotion can help you: brand visibility, increasing sales, and inventory clearance. Let’s talk about each one.
On average, sellers experience a 65% boost in sales when the Lightning Deal comes out. Getting your products on Today’s Deals will increase the number of people who can see your product. Though it’s for a limited amount of time, you can be sure that your brand will be seen by the majority of Amazon Prime’s 112 million members. That in itself makes Lightning Deals worth doing.
There’s no doubt about it, an optimized product listing will definitely increase your sales. To top it all off, the improved visibility of your product will usually translate to more sales. Consumer behavior tells us that 80% of the people who click on Today’s Deals or the Prime Day page will end up buying products. Otherwise, they won’t waste their time going there as Lightning Deals are offered for a limited time, and the most sought-after items usually run out within 24 hours.
Creating a Lightning Deal is an excellent way to clear your inventory with the added advantage of making your brand more visible to buyers. Give a bigger discount, and you’ll see those products flying off the shelves.
What Do I Need to Make Sure My Lightning Deal Succeeds?
Not all Lightning Deals end in happily ever after. Some fail because sellers fail to do a few things. Let’s count the ways you can set your success rate to 100%.
Answer Customer Queries Promptly
Since your deal is only available for a limited time, customer queries should be answered promptly and completely. Delaying your answers to buyers may result in lost sales. It’s also important to note that each customer can only buy 1 item. The more customers you can sell to, the more profit you’ll have.
Compute How Many You Need to Sell to Break Even
To get this number, you need to know how much your regular profit is when you sell an item. Next, apply the discount that Amazon requires (at least 15%). Once you get the profit for the discounted item, divide the Lightning Deal fee (usually $150) by the discounted profit. The result should be the number of sales you need to break even. Every sale after the break-even number should be pure profit for you.
Make Sure Your Inventory Is Enough
Once you figure out how many sales you need to break even, make sure you have at least 200% of that number. It’s not worth it if the number of sales you need to recoup the costs is 20, and your inventory is 21. In that case, you’re giving yourself more chances to fail than succeed.
Buyers aren’t the only ones who should be wary of an item’s price. Sellers should be, too. A good Amazon SEO guide will tell you that competitive prices also affect your search ranking. This doesn’t change for Lightning Deals. Remember, Amazon can have as many as 2,000 of these deals every day. An excellent way to catch their customers’ eyes is to offer the best value for money.
Look at your competitors’ prices, and compare them to yours. Then, find out how big a discount you can offer without sabotaging your chances of turning a profit. If you think about it, it’s a lot like bidding.
Is It Worth Doing or Not?
Many surveys suggest an additional 200% in sales for the duration of the Lightning Deal. Crunch the numbers and determine if your profit from that sales bonus is enough to cover your costs plus the Lightning Deal fee. If the answer is yes, then by all means, go for it! If not, you don’t have to hurry. Wait for another opportunity and let the lightning strike.
Jayce is the managing director of Seller Interactive, an Amazon full-service marketing agency dedicated towards helping brands grow on Amazon. His content marketing expertise has led him to work with brands such as Toyota and GoDaddy, producing content that reached over 20M views in a month. He is on a journey to help D2C brands scale their business on Amazon.