74. Jungle Scout’s Jake Zaratsian Shares His Top Prime Day Strategies

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The Brand Builder Show
74. Jungle Scout’s Jake Zaratsian Shares His Top Prime Day Strategies

Prime Day is an Amazon event that creates a lot of opportunity for sellers.

Millions of hungry buyers flood the platform every year looking for good deals and exciting new products.

But how do we make the most of this opportunity?

That’s exactly what I talked through with Jake Zaratsian from Jungle Scout on this week’s podcast.

We discussed the best Prime Day strategies to help you maximize your sales, including:

  • How to optimize your listing ahead of the big event
  • The importance of setting clear goals for high-volume periods
  • Why you shouldn’t scale back ads in the run up to Prime Day
  • Maximizing ad performance during the event
  • Capitalizing on a ‘halo effect’ after the event
  • And a stack more!

So, whether you’re getting ready for an imminent Prime Day or looking to get prepared well ahead of the next big event, this is a super actionable, must-listen episode!

Episode Links

Additional Resources

Talking Points

  • 00:00 – Introduction To Guest: Jake Zaratsian, Jungle Scout
  • 01:12 – Jake’s Background
  • 03:30 – What is Prime Day?
  • 05:18 – Biggest needle movers for Amazon sellers on Prime Day
  • 11:10 – Prime Day advertising tips
  • 13:42 – Using seasonally-targeted keywords
  • 17:02 – Best approach to pricing and promotions
  • 19:30 – Prime Day deals strategy
  • 22:50 – Short-term preparation for Prime Day
  • 25:57 – Prime Day experience for Amazon sellers
  • 29:35 – Long-term preparation for Prime Day
  • 34:54 – Prime Day inventory management preparation for new sellers
  • 37:43 – Post-Prime Day: Leveraging the ripple effect
  • 42:31 – Key takeaways from Jake
  • 45:04 – Learn more about Jungle Scout
  • 47:38 – How to connect with Jake
Ben Donovan  00:00
Hey folks, welcome back to another episode of The Brand Builder Show and Amazon Sellers, this episode is for you today because Prime Day is coming. No matter when you’re listening to this podcast episode, whether it’s when it’s launched or whether it’s in months or years to come. Prime day is always really around the corner. And so we’re going to be talking about short-term strategies in this episode to help you if the Prime date is next week when you’re listening to this, and also some long term stuff that you can get ahead of the game to get prepared. So it’s gonna be really insightful episode, and I’m honored to have Jake from Jungle Scout on the show today. Jake, welcome to the show.

Jake Zaratsian  00:37
Ben, thank you so much. I’m a huge fan of the show. And I’m super stoked to be here.

Ben Donovan  00:41
Thanks, man. Yeah, it’s been great. We’ve been connected for a while and touching base with each other. And so it’s good to finally have you on the show. And I’m excited for all of the knowledge you’re gonna bring. You’re like the, you know, the wise face of Jungle Scout, you’re in so many of the tutorials, and so many of the YouTube videos. So you’re a guy who’s been around the block knows this stuff. So I’m glad to have you on to talk through what is obviously a massive, massive topic for Amazon sellers. Before we get into that, just do tell us a little bit about yourself. So you know, the 2% of people that have never heard of you can kind of get to know you a little bit more, your background, how you came to be with Jungle Scout, and yeah, what you’re up to now.

Jake Zaratsian  01:21
Yeah, awesome. Thanks, Ben, that that was too nice of an intro, I think there’s probably way more than 2% of people who don’t know me. But for those who don’t, my name is Jake Zaratsian and I work at Jungle Scout as a video content creator. I mean, a lot of YouTube videos has been mentioned. And as a seller myself, I just started about a year ago with my own brand. However, I have been consulting for the past, I think four or five or six years now. I kind of lost track. But I’ve been consulting for a while but haven’t started my own brand until I joined Jungle Scout. And I think that really speaks to Jungle Scout’s culture. They encouraged me to start selling on Amazon. And by selling myself I’m I’ve learned so much. And I’m excited to share that knowledge with other sellers, both from my consulting and experience selling myself. So that’s a little background, I did come from an agency before I have advertising, consulting experience there. So that was sort of my specialty before I became a sort of all around Amazon Seller through experience.

Ben Donovan  01:22
Awesome, exciting. Well, we’re at the time of recording in the run up to the first Prime Day I was gonna say Prime Day, but there are now two, which we’ll get into later in the episode. But we’re right in the thick of the run up to Prime Day. And so it’s exciting time, you guys must be kind of busy at Jungle Scout. It’s a big time of the year for Amazon sellers. And so I wanted to try and sort of break this down a little bit into, obviously a little bit of an intro to what Prime Day is and why it’s such a big opportunity for you maybe newer Amazon sellers, or Amazon sellers who haven’t maybe given it the focus it deserves. Then look a little bit of short term, like if people are listening to this episode, when it’s released or in the run up to another Prime Day, or even another big event like Q4, or that kind of thing. What are the things they can do to get ready to maximize the opportunity. And then towards the end of the episode, just talk more about, you know, future prep. If someone’s listening to this and the next one prime days not for a few months or even six months, what can they be doing now in order to set themselves up? Because there are of course, things that do take a bit more time in this business. So let’s start with Prime Day a bit of an intro to what is Prime Day? And why is it such a big opportunity for Amazon sellers?

Jake Zaratsian  03:28
Yeah, Prime Day is like Christmas, except it’s coming early for sellers. Essentially, it’s a huge way huge day where a lot of shoppers on Amazon are excited to shop because they know they’re gonna get awesome deals. It’s essentially Black Friday. Last year, it was July 12 and 13th. And today it’s 11th and 12. So just a one day difference from last year. So it’s awesome that Amazon’s doing this each year around the same time so people are getting more ingrained to you know, this is the time to shop midsummer, essentially. The first Prime Day was 2015. And so it’s been going on for about like eight years now. However, recently, Amazon as of last year, introduced a fall Prime Day as well. So this is awesome. We have this Prime Day coming up. And even if you listen to this episode later, you can still use a lot of this knowledge or insights from today’s episodes really all throughout the year. I think what we’re probably going to discuss Ben is our general best practices throughout the year, but it’s heightened because of Prime Day. However, there is another Prime Day coming up in the fall unannounced right now. But maybe if it’s similar to last year, I think it’s I want to say October, November sometime before 

Ben Donovan  04:35
October. Yeah. 

Jake Zaratsian  04:36
October, great before Black Friday. So that’s a little background of Prime Day. But yeah, Ben, what specifically should we jump into first any specific strategies that you have or any questions?

Ben Donovan  04:49
Yeah, I think definitely the short term side of it because you know, when this is released, it’s coming up and the in a couple of weeks time or a week’s time even. And just to really How to get people ready and prepared for how to make the most of the event itself. So listings, all that kind of stuff to be able to really maximize the opportunity that comes with Prime Day. Yeah, what are those real big needle movers that are going to be there for Amazon sellers?

Jake Zaratsian  05:18
I think the biggest needle mover, before inventory, I think inventory is something that you need to have there. It’s a prerequisite to everything that we’ll probably talk about here is the lead up before Prime Day becoming very aggressive. So when you define your goals for Prime Day, which is very important, whether you’re gonna go profit, or you’re gonna go growth, which most people do a growth-driven primary goal. And that’s when you’re just going to accelerate sales, accelerate sales velocity, and trying to encourage increase your rankings your customers, all that fun stuff. That’s what most people do. However, maybe your goal is to use Prime Day to become more profitable. Perhaps you’ve spent the beginning part of the year doing a growth-driven goal, and you need prime data sort of went back your profit margin for the year. So defining your goals is so important. Once you have those goals, which could be at the product level, if you have tons of products, or if you have a few products that could just be at the brand level. But once you understand your goals for this Prime Day, I think the biggest thing you can do is attack early, a lot of sellers will sort of wait until Prime Day so those two days on the July 11 and 12th this year to run their deals to increase their bids to increase their budgets and just do a lot of things to collect potentially data. But what I like to do is do that a little bit early. And the reason why is Amazon has awesome campaigns, sponsored display campaigns that you can retarget customers. And even if your ACOS and your conversion rate is low now, which it probably will be consumers, whenever they log into Amazon app, they get hit with that banner ad that tells them when Prime Day is essentially just another way of saying hey, don’t buy something yet, but start researching. But what I like to do is get in front of those shoppers now get them to at least acknowledge me whether they’re clicking into my listing so I can retarget them. Or ideally, they’re actually hoarding my product and adding it to their shopping list. What that does is on Prime Day, they’re essentially going to be alerted and easily be able to access your Prime Day deal rather than researching your product. They can just go through their shopping list and find it again. What’s even awesome, but I will probably talk about this more later so I won’t I guess go too deep is what you can do after Prime Day is again, retarget these customers or shoppers. And then again, if anything is in their shopping cart on mobile, most customers have this enabled, where they get these mobile alerts whenever there’s a Prime Day deal whenever there’s a limited time deal. So think of Lightning Deals, or sometimes even coupons or standard price reductions. So what I like to do Ben is just go really aggressive in the weeks leading up to Prime Day, just to collect that data and to get those customers touching my product in any way. That way I can either retarget them or hit them on Prime Day or after Prime Day.

Jake Zaratsian  05:23
Yeah, that’s a good thought. Because I always get notifications on my app about “Add this power bank to your wish list. It’s got a deal now”. Yeah, that kind of thing. So yeah, I would tend to think because of those higher, or lower conversion rates, that higher ad costs in the run up to Prime Day. Often I’m tempted to kind of scale back a little bit before Prime Day, but what you’re saying there is actually that traffic that you’re generating before can help you with conversions on the day.

Jake Zaratsian  08:22
Absolutely. And afterward, like worst case, you know, customers may be have 100 products and they’re wishing in their wish list, they’re not gonna be able to buy them all. So maybe down the line, you’re gonna be able to get them later with a deal that you have, because they’re getting that mobile notifications all about sort of just getting them in the system now so that you can retarget them later.

Ben Donovan  08:40
Yeah, perfect. Okay, so with advertising, then would you say the best strategy really is to leave things as they are for your long term campaigns in the run up to Prime Day or should they sell or be doing anything special.

Jake Zaratsian  08:53
What I like to do differently with Prime Day is sort of what I should be doing all throughout the year. And I use Prime Day as a reminder for that. And that’s to segment my campaigns by the keywords I want to bid on for Prime Day. The reason why I think that’s really important is if you have a campaign with let’s say, even like 10 or 20 keywords, so a low amount of keywords on Prime Day, those are most likely going to be out of budget, if your budget campaign budget will be exhausted, maybe mid-day, and you spend the majority of that on keywords that are less profitable, maybe keywords that you know you have lower ranking on and or you just didn’t want to spend on but they are good keywords to keep in mind and to bid on throughout the year. But they’re not your most prioritizing prioritize keywords that you want to spend your budget on. So what I like to do is separate those keywords, the keywords that are in striking range, and what I mean by that is keywords that are close to the top fiber or one position. You can use tools like Jungle Scout to analyze that the organic rankings or what you can do or really additionally what you should do is segmented by the type of keyword. Maybe an example is best for this then is the product that we sell on Amazon. Jungle Scout is a Washington pepper dog, it’s one of the few products we sell. And the key term there, it’s washable, because we are competing against other products that are reusable. And so in our campaigns right now, we have been segmented by the type of keywords. So we have all of our washable keywords in one list, we have all of our crate pads and another list. So a bunch of other use cases. And those are separated so that we know Okay, waterproof or washable, is a lot better than our crate or our training mat. And it’s nice to have those separated now, because on Prime Day again, a lot of keywords are going to spend very quickly. And if you just have everything in one campaign you’re not able to, to pull as many levers to change where you’re spending as fast as you need to. So segmenting your keywords, in a nutshell, is what I would do right now. So that on Prime Day, you have ultimate control,

Ben Donovan  10:47
Yeah know, lots of great points. And definitely something I always try and do is in the run up to Prime Day, target those keywords that are top of page two, bottom of page one, see if you can get them a bit of a boost. Because even if you drive PPC spend on them. Now, that’s your breakeven or a slight you know, cost on them. Now, you can make that up in massive ways on Prime Day, if you can get to top of page one, for example.

Jake Zaratsian  11:10
Absolutely. What are your favorite advertising tips, Ben? Do you do anything different with your budgets or bids in particular,

Ben Donovan  11:19
My recent last couple of prime days, what I’ve tended to do is just increase the budgets, but leave the bids as they are. Because what Amazon will tell you to do is increase your bids to crazy levels. And then because people are so click-happy throughout Prime Day, it costs a fortune. And so I think, obviously what it comes down to and you made a great point on growth versus profitability. If all that matters is growth, and you just want to blast products out there. Prime Day is a great opportunity to that, to do that if you are willing to increase your bids, but it may become very expensive for you. So I tried to err more on the side of profitability. Because otherwise, it can just do havoc with your inventory planning, which we’ll talk about. So I tried to take a nice little bit of a boost, you know, maybe 2x or 3x, and sales, but you know, still isn’t profitability, and they’re trying to try and grab the best of both worlds if that makes sense.

Jake Zaratsian  12:11
Absolutely. I think that’s a great approach. You can always adjust your bids throughout the day, if you’re logging in midday and you’re not getting the spend or impressions you want, then you can adjust there. I think that’s a great strategy. And secondly, what I like to do is start low and eventually scale up as I’m either getting or not getting impressions there.

Ben Donovan  12:27
Yeah, cause it’s pretty real time updates, isn’t it to to your bidding, so you can adjust as you go? Absolutely. Okay. So yeah, in terms of advertising, then on the event, we’ve talked about the run up, keep going through. I’ve mentioned their bids, adjustment, budget adjustments. Are there any other things you mentioned sponsored display before? Is that something the average Amazon seller should be doing over Prime Day? Or is that more of something to do after Prime Day?

Jake Zaratsian  12:52
I think it’s something you really should be testing all throughout the year, but on Prime Day would be if you haven’t done it already, these specific campaign, the retargeting campaigns, that I would try it on Prime Day, just because it’s a great time to test that campaign. Just keep in mind that the data is going to be way different than the data you’ll get throughout the year on a non Prime Day event. But I think yes, starting with your first campaign on Prime Day, specifically, the sponsor display retargeting campaign, was a really good idea to just test it out and see if you’re able to capture sales from people who looked at your product a few months ago, even and are now getting reminded about your deal on Prime Day. So that’s one of my favorite campaigns to run on any type of day like Christmas, or I guess leading up to Christmas Q4, are these retargeting campaigns? Yeah.

Ben Donovan  13:39
And what about seasonally targeted keywords? Christmas, obviously, example Christmas gifts, etc. But maybe more specifically for Prime Day, Prime Day discounts, Prime Day deals. Some sellers think well throw those keywords into my campaigns, which are obviously not relevant to any products at all. Do they convert? Are they worth putting in? What are your thoughts?

Jake Zaratsian  14:01
You know what I haven’t actually done that, to be honest with you. I do think I’ve seen in my automatic campaign search reports that pop up a little bit. But I haven’t taken the initiative to bid on them in Amazon keyword targeting campaigns. However, a good strategy with that, then is to actually do that on Google. A lot of shoppers are going to Google first to find their Prime Day deals. And they’re just trained that way to use Google as a way to either jump onto Amazon or jump on another direct consumer website. So if you’re going to, to bid on Prime date related keywords, I do think Google is a great way of doing that. And if you’re using Amazon attribution, you will save a little bit on that sale. So just a quick quick intro to that. It’s essentially by using an Amazon attribution link, you’ll save on the referral fee, up to 10% of the referral fee, just by bringing traffic to Amazon. So that I think is a great way of using those prime date related keywords is with Google campaigns.

Ben Donovan  14:55
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Yeah, I’ve never done targeted you know, specifically Amazon, also Prime Day deals Prime Day discounts, because I think obviously, it’s going to be such broad traffic and so relevant to your products. But I suppose the middle ground may well be testing it with your products, you know, if you’re selling a yoga mat, yoga mat Prime Day deal, yoga mat Prime Day discount, you know, including it within more of like a phrase form or broad match with keywords that are related to your product might be worth trying. But yeah, I’ve never been brave enough to test it because I just feel like that’s a budget is gonna get ran through so easily.

Jake Zaratsian  15:30
Agree. One more thing, Ben too, on the topic of advertising, is a lot of people who actually don’t run Prime Day deals. So what I would highly suggest doing is running product targeting campaigns to products specifically, or just your category. Because Amazon’s gonna do a good job of knowing who doesn’t have Prime Day deal and who’s more likely to click on a product that does have a Prime Day deal. So once customers land on a product, they scroll down, and they see that carousel of similar products, that’s a great spot to be if the product above and next to don’t have prime to deal. So I love running product targeting campaigns, I think video campaign, least for our businesses, the most profitable, however, the other campaigns when using keywords, get the most spend out of it. So whether you’re targeting your products, your competitors, products or categories, I think that’s another great, I guess, tactic to run on Prime Day.

Ben Donovan  16:23
Yeah, that’s a great tip and a great segue into promotions and what sellers should be doing there. Obviously, there are a few options. And I suppose we could bundle this in with pricing as well, you know, what’s the strategy here? Because I always feel that wrestle between, I want to do a nice juicy discount, I want to do a great promotion, because it’s going to generate sales. But what Amazon wants, obviously, is cheap, cheap prices? And do I want to go there? Or do I want to, you know, try and stand my ground. So what do you feel is the best approach to pricing? And then we can come into promotions? What are the options there? In terms of, you know, vouchers, Prime Day deals, etc?

Jake Zaratsian  17:02
Yeah, I think to your point that we’ve mentioned earlier, that is, depending on your goals there. If you’re a growth-driven mindset, which is I think the majority of this question here, you definitely want to do a Prime Day deal. But if you didn’t set that up in time, maybe you just didn’t have inventory, or you just forgot, I think it was like mid-April, or late April that you had to submit these deals, so it was a quite a long time ago. If you didn’t do that, that’s completely fine. It’d be ideal too. However, I think coupons are another great way to draw an attention. People will actually go to the coupon landing page on Amazon. So there’s like a, its own dedicated page to products have a coupon. And they’ll sort of use that for the Prime Day shopping. So that’s a great way, if you didn’t have a Prime Day deal, is to have a coupon. But if you don’t want to do a coupon, maybe it’s just gonna be too steep for you, you can lower your price. So let’s say your price is you know, $20. And it’s been that way for 90 days, and at least had a few sales on it. If you lower your price manually, Amazon does the strikethrough and shows the customer what they’re saving. And they’re essentially just using if you sold it at a higher price in the past 90 days as like your list price. So you can actually have a list price and a regular price. Or you can just reduce your price and Amazon will display like a deal. I guess the downside is you don’t get a nice little fancy label there that helps you with your click-through rate in the search results. Doesn’t stand out. But once shoppers get to your page, they’ll see that deal. And it looks so similar to a Lightning Deal that I think it helps with conversion, especially on Prime Day. So again, if you’re not using a Prime Day deal, which is completely fine. If you forgot or just couldn’t at the time, a coupon or manual price reduction is great. And then keep in mind too if you’re running off Amazon traffic like Google ads, or you have social media promotions, and you know that’s going to help you drive sales without having a direct promotion embedded into Amazon. So those are some options to lower your price outside of a Prime Day deal.

Ben Donovan  18:56
Yeah, yeah, the coupons I’ve always found to be very effective because you get that special Prime Day discount sort of flash sticker on in search results, which definitely does help with click-through rate. The downside, obviously is you do have to do a minimum of 20% discount on the lowest price I think in the last 30 days or 60 days. So if you’ve especially for newly launched products, if you’ve had a low price, and then been raising it then you have to go crazy low for one of those but we’ve always found them to convert really well. So definitely worthwhile looking at in terms of Prime Day deals. What’s the best sort of strategy again, it’s too late now for say Jul when we released this but people can start getting ready for October Prime Day with deals and start preparing inventory, etc. What’s the kind of the strategy there is it to go? Because I don’t run too many deals honestly. I just do the coupons because, you know trying to manage that inventory kind of craziness is too much for my stress level. So I just tend to do the coupons but With Prime Day deals, that’s from what I’ve read in, you know, from other people doing it. A few years ago, it could go absolutely bonkers. But now it’s not quite as crazy as that kind of right from your experience.

Jake Zaratsian  20:13
Yeah, in maybe this is a great way to answer it. Last year for my product. And keep in mind, I just launched the product, it was about four months old, I want to say at the time. I test this out, I shouldn’t have done it, I should have just gone full Prime Day deal two days and just gone for it. But what I did was I had a Prime Day deal on the first day. And my typical daily sales at that time was anywhere from like 10 to 20. So it’s doing pretty good. And then on Prime Day sold like 150 to 200 on just the first day. And that was through a Prime Day deal. The second day, I only had the Prime Day deal go, I don’t have so much inventory left. So the Prime Day deal stopped itself. And I just had a regular price reduction on my on my page. So it looked like a primary deal kind of just didn’t have the badge was a lot cheaper than the Prime Day deal. I think my Prime Day deals like 30 or 40% off. And the price reduction was like five, and I got about 50 to 70 sales, I can’t remember the exact amount, but it was significantly more than my average daily sales at the time, but just way less than the Prime Day deal. 

Jake Zaratsian  21:11
There’s two variables there. Obviously, there’s like the first day and second day everyone’s excited about the first day. And then there’s actual dollar off in the badge or the percentage off I should say. And then the Prime Day badge or lack of Prime Day badge. So I think you don’t need to have a deal if my story is, you know, accurate to other products. But certainly if you do in my experience, it’s going to in your in your case, or in your words explode. Or at least you could expect it to explode. And keep in mind, I had a lot of ads running at the time too. So I was really losing, I did lose a lot on Prime Day the first day. But it did help me actually on the second day to not have that Prime Day deal going. And I really stopped my ads. I think I had one automatic campaign going. And I made up a lot of what I lost the day before. So both options are good. Whether you do have a deal or not. I think just one over the other though the Prime Day discount will significantly increase your sales if you’re going for that growth driven goal.

Ben Donovan  22:06
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve just noticed from what a lot of people said is it can be come quite unpredictable. Now, because there’s so much volume for Prime Day, there’s so many sellers doing deals, your deal could get lost in the you know, the point all of the deals going on, or it could get picked up and go crazy. And it’s very hard to plan inventory based on those kind of variables. So I think they are definitely like you say a good option if you are in growth mode, and got lots of inventory that you could sell. But if you are worried about selling through inventory or you know running out of stock, then then maybe it’s better to allocate your budget in other places could be a summary, I suppose. Absolutely. Okay, and then final thing on sort of short term prep on Amazon, specifically, listings, aside from the usual listing optimization, you know, images, copy, etc. Are there any other things sellers should be doing? Should we try and put Prime Day in our back end search terms? You know, is there anything like that any little hacks that we should be doing? Or is it just the usual listing optimization principles?

Jake Zaratsian  23:13
I do think it’s a usual listing optimization principles. However, what I would do, even if you just have a week to lead up to it, start testing things. And the two most impactful test would be, or maybe even three here, one, your advertising, which keywords are going to work in which targeting tactics you want to use. So create new campaigns that you haven’t already, again, maybe a sponsored display campaign or two. But the two most impactful I think, are your title and main image. So start testing that now maybe you have another angle of your product that includes your packaging, or something else that you can just start testing now. Whether it’s through Amazon’s manager experiments, or just yourself by manually sending out the photos, I think your main image will probably be the most impactful. But marrying that with your title is a great way to do A/B test. So a good example of this is if you have a waterproof product, moving up that waterproof keyword to the beginning, and then making sure your main image shows that your your product is waterproof. So marrying those two together, I think is a great way to test before Prime Day. And then you can implement the winner on Prime Day. However again, like these are things that you can do all throughout the year. But the most impactful listing tip would be to test. 

Jake Zaratsian  24:23
The second in my opinion is to, you mentioned Ben, like your back end keywords is really clean up and see what you can do to fill in more information on the back end, whether it be search terms, whether it be just product information. Funny enough, Amazon is now implementing later this month, mid month, new sellers when they add a new product, they need to fill out a lot more information than when you first had to do like a couple months ago, a couple years ago. And it was just essentially saying hey, give us more information about your product. We want to be able to show in search results better. We need to know your product much better. So right now what you could do is you can go back and fill in a lot of these details that, you know, new sellers have to fill in, but you didn’t have to at the time. And that’s going to help Amazon index and rank you a lot better. And it’s just a little thing you can do before Prime Day is clean up your back end.

Ben Donovan  25:12
Yes, good, really good tip. I always say to our community, you know, the next big event is always coming. You know, Christmas is coming. Q4 is coming Prime Day is coming. And you make a great point there about continually testing, you know, week before Prime Day, when this episode will be released is probably not the time to. Yes, as you said, you can do little bits, but what you really want to be doing with thoughts like that is thinking, you know, October prime days coming. So how can I test something every week, every two weeks, so that by the time these big, high volume traffic events come around, my listing is as optimized as possible based on the data, the testing, you know, so I think yeah, that’s a really good tip about continually be testing, so that when these events come around, you can make the most of them. When the event actually does come, what should sellers expect? If this is their first Prime Day? What is the two days like? Is it a crazy amount of traffic? Do they need to be glued to their computer? The whole, you know, event period? What what’s it like for a seller?

Jake Zaratsian  26:12
Yeah, this is a tough one, because it goes against everything that I typically say about waiting multiple days or weeks, even until you learn from your, your data, essentially, I think it’s always great to not make knee jerk reactions, but Prime Day is a hard day to not be hypocritical. So I do it myself, I I’m in their mid day, usually I give it the morning to see what spending typically I’m just looking at the keywords that are getting the most impressions or spend behind them. I’m not so worried about the cost per click that as much unless I’m trying to correct something. So what I tend to do on my prime days are just look at my main keywords, first my main campaigns and say, okay, am I spending on these keywords enough? And if the answer is yes, then great maybe actually lowered down a little bit. If no, then this is where I’m gonna be spending most of my time and maybe popping in every like two or three hours to just see if it’s made a difference and keep adjusting upwards if not, so I’m mostly just looking at spending impressions. Because again, last thing I want to do is see that the majority of my spend are going to keywords or even campaigns that are less priority than my top ones. If that’s the case, then you know, something you learned from like the first day could be applied to the second day, maybe you stopped campaigns certain campaigns altogether, you stopped certain keywords altogether, you just maybe your bidding strategy from up and down to just down only or fixed even. But I typically learn halfway through day one, apply those learnings to day two, and then just hope that that actually worked or that adjustments being made. So again, just like keyword spend, am I getting the right keyword spend from the ones that I’m really prioritizing this Prime Day?

Ben Donovan  27:44
Yeah, good thoughts, good thoughts. And in terms of, you’re just protecting your listing as well, if you’re in like a real high volume category of your real prominent product, it can attract maybe some bad behavior from other sellers. So that’d be a good time to have your Jungle Scout alerts turned on to make sure there are no issues with your listing, there’s no you know, craziness going on in Seller Central, just good to have those kinds of things covered as well.

Jake Zaratsian  28:12
One more thing, too, I use. So it’s called Rank Tracker. I did mention it earlier indirectly. But it’s a Jungle Scout tool that helps you see your organic and sponsored rankings. And you can do it for your competitors as well on any keyword. What I like to do is one of my little quirks that I do is almost every couple of hours, I’ll look at those on Prime Day. And you’ll see there’s like a right hand column of when Jungle Scout updates the data. It’s typically daily for most keywords, but some keywords are so frequently used by other sellers, or it’s just a high volume keyword that it’s updated multiple hours during the day. And so I like to see like okay, it might not one just getting the most spend out of my keywords in my campaigns that I want. But is it actually going up towards the top five or top one? Ideally on either sponsored organic, organic might not take up as much but the sponsored. I’m really curious to see am I getting up there? Because the last thing you want to see is okay, you’re spending a lot of money but like your sponsored ads aren’t really showing up where you want to show up. So they’re showing up maybe at the bottom of the page. There’s that whole like top of search verse, product page placement, but there’s no way to get your product, not to show at the bottom of search results, which is a placement on Amazon. So that’s what I like to see is am I actually showing up at the top if I’m spending a lot of money? That’s a great way to double check is using a tool like rink tracker just to verify your organic or sponsored search rankings.

Ben Donovan  29:33
Yeah, it’s good, good. Okay. And then in terms of more long term prep for say, October Prime Day, Q4, even and then the just the next Prime Day that’s coming. We’ve talked about the short term stuff like getting your advertising ready, getting your product pricing promotions, your listings ready. What are the things with a longer view that sellers need to be planning and preparing for?

Jake Zaratsian  29:54
Yeah, well, I’ll try not to repeat anything we already talked about just to give some actionable advice here. and hopefully, if you just learn one thing that’s will be impactful for you. The biggest thing with inventory, which is the number one thing that you should be thinking about throughout the year, and especially planning for the Fall Prime Day is understanding your average daily sales. And that might fluctuate throughout the year, maybe you have a season, a peak season, or maybe it just for some reason in July or August that your price upticks a little bit. So it’s not technically a season, but it’s just a trend, a yearly trend. And what I like to do is bake in my current Daily Sales vs what happens typically throughout the year. An example of that is I’m getting 10 sales a day right now. But last year, it went, I went from 5 to 10 will get just double there. So I can expect now to go from 10 to 20 this year, and just knowing your average daily sales, and what you can expect it to go either up or down is super powerful, and allows you to easily like gauge how much you need to order on to get on time on Amazon. And that’s another really important point, Ben is a lot of sellers understand, okay, I know how much I need to order, but they don’t know when to order it. And, you know, they can look at things like their production lead time, their shipping lead time, but there may be missing the fact that Amazon especially during peak seasons, like leading up to prime day, leading up to fall Prime Day, and especially leading up to Christmas or Q4, the check in times to your FBA warehouse will be a lot slower. So understand that and bake in a few extra days, there’s tools like out there like Jungle Scout, there are a bunch of other tools as well that help you effectively plan your inventory by telling you, hey, this is how much you usually sell this how much you’re gonna need to order because of that. And here’s what you need to order this day. So yeah, I use our Jungle Scout inventory manager for this. But if you’re not using that tool, you can you can do it manually if you have a few products, just by running Excel formulas. But if you have a bunch of products, and I highly recommend just making that investment on an inventory management tool. That to me, Ben, is like the biggest long term planning that you can do before Prime Day. 

Jake Zaratsian  32:01
Maybe another more actionable. tip here, though, is when you’re getting that new order ready for prime Dat, think about what happens when someone opens it. And this isn’t just like a general tip I’m speaking about like product inserts, you’re going to be selling a lot of inventory, hopefully. And what you do after that is sort of up to you like is do you have anything that customers can do after they buy your product? Or did you just make a bunch of sales, and hopefully your keyword rankings went up on Amazon, which helps you get more organic sales. So what I like to do is really not just hope that happens, but hope that they stay with me longer or come to my social media, maybe they leave a review or anything else I want them to do, maybe it’s a Subscribe and Save, just awareness. And a product insert is a great way of driving that. So leading up to a big event like q4 Prime Day, or any other event, just try to do that extra little thing. Maybe it is a product insert, maybe it’s something on your packaging that you can tweak and make better or stand out with branding. I think that’s one of the best things that you can do longer term to have a post-Prime Day effect

Ben Donovan  33:05
Yeah, this is such a key thought as well as that idea of a halo effect from Prime Day. Because you don’t want to just sell a load of products on Prime Day, you want that ongoing sort of ripple from that to impact your organic ranking to impact your reviews impact your email subscribers on your brand’s email list, there’s so much beyond just the sales over Prime Day, the Prime Day can have an impact on over the coming months of your business.

Jake Zaratsian  33:30
Absolutely. Maybe one quick little tip here, Ben is what I like to do. And I really kicked myself for not doing it every year is setting up my campaign search reports to download either automatically or manually after Prime Day because right now if you’re listening before Prime Day, and you sold last year, you’re probably really hoping you had that data from last year. And if you don’t download it within 30, or no sorry, 90 days, your Amazon search term reports are gone. And this is really getting the importance of segmenting your campaigns. So you can easily analyze them post Prime Day really post any event is to just download those. So after Prime Day, maybe give it a few days because there’s a 14 day attribution window for sales to trickle in. Give it about like 15 days, maybe and then just download that report. So that way next year, you can name it in your file, like Prime Day 2023, you can look back at that, and then use that information to help you with the next Prime Day. So I think organizing your campaigns that you can easily analyze a search from reports is another great thing that you can do right now to plan for the next Prime Day.

Ben Donovan  34:31
Yeah, that’s a really solid tip. I think just getting in the habit of doing it once a month setting yourself a task and your task tool of just downloading the search term report every month even if you don’t look at it for 6, 12 months just to have the data there I think is a really really valuable exercise. So that’s a reminder to me as well. I should be doing that. That’s good man. But you mentioned post-Prime Day which I would just want to finish on in a sec. But just to come back on the inventory thing to round up on it. I want to ask you an impossible question. Which is for a new seller that hasn’t got the data from previous prime days? How should they approach the potential bump? They obviously don’t want to order too much. They don’t want to run out of stock. Inventory management is not a cookie cutter solution. There’s no perfect answer I know. But as a new seller yourself, how did you go into Prime Day last year, just order as much inventory as you could afford? Or what was your mindset there?

Jake Zaratsian  35:26
To be honest with you, Ben, I did. I ordered as much inventory as I could possibly store on Amazon. And I utilize that full amount because I knew if for some reason to sell through it. And I had a lot of inventory that needed to get out before, you know, I start getting hit with long-term storage fees, that I knew I would continue to be aggressive post-Prime Day with lightning Day deals or aggressive advertising, to steamroll from the Prime Day success that I product was given in terms of like keyword rankings. So yeah, I think if you can order as much as you possibly can, if you don’t have any data from last year, just to suggest how much you could sell how much you can possibly fit into Amazon FBA. However, just understand the risk of that. So I was fully aware that I could probably, you know, lose out on some long-term storage fees. And I was okay with that I did just launch a new product. And I wanted to just make sure that I could, you know, have my primary deal go throughout the duration. And my whole goal at the time was I need reviews, I need to get to my first 100 reviews fast. And so that was my goal, and I ordered as much inventory as possible. But if you don’t want to do that, you want to be a little more cautious. You can still use what we talked about earlier about your average daily sales velocity, and give it a slight bump, maybe it’s a two to three bump, times bump. And now we’ll give you somewhat of an indicator of how much you should order. If you don’t have enough space in Amazon to to fill that you can always use it three Pio or what less sellers do I don’t, I don’t do it personally, just because I don’t have the man hours, I have a full-time job. And I got a lot going on outside of work. So I just don’t have time to do this myself. But you could create an FBM offer. And if you have inventory sent to your house, you could package them and deliver it yourself. You just have to be ready, maybe take off the day after Prime Day or something just to get those shipments out of the door. But that is another way to have enough inventory in time is to create that FBA offer. Or maybe you are using a 3PL storage facility and you have them fulfill those orders, those overflow orders, but hopefully, it’s not too much.

Ben Donovan  37:20
Yeah. And the good thing about Prime Day as well as ease a couple of days, obviously, Q4 is a bit harder. Because if you especially if you have a product that it does do well in Q4, that’s an extended period of time to plan that extra inventory for the Prime Day is a little bit easier because it is just a couple of days. But still, that’s good, helpful advice for getting prepped on that front. Yeah, to finish with then just post Prime Day, what should sellers be doing to make the most of that ripple, that halo effect we talked about, you know, not just being a, you know, a two-day event in a vacuum, but actually impacting your business moving forward. What are some other things they can do?

Jake Zaratsian  37:57
Similar things you can do is, if you’re already past the point where you can’t include a product insert in your packaging, to ask for a review, you can always still send a review request afterward, in Amazon. So within Seller Central, you can manually go to each and every order and click request a review. And that review has to come at least I think it’s three to seven, I think it’s three days after they receive it at their doorstep. But it expires within the next 30 days. And so they have a short window of time to manually go in there and ask those customers hopefully it’s a lot of customers leave a review. And to me, I think that’s so impactful. Like you use Prime Day to get your sales or get your product out the door. And now you need to bring that review, hopefully into your listing, you can do it mainly through Seller Central. But if you have tons of orders, what I would do is jungle scouts automated this whole process, we have to code review automation. It’s why a lot of people actually sell or sign up for Jungle Scout. It’s to just use this one feature, you log into Jungle Scout, and once you sign up, you toggle this button to the opposition. And every time you sell a product essentially, in that the eligibility window will send a review out for you. It’s not a customer review. It’s really just like someone going into your account and pressing those review buttons for you. So it’s all just done through Amazon’s system, we’re automating it, but getting reviews, whether you’re doing it manually yourself or through a tool like John’s got to automate it is great. You want to make sure you’re to your point, just like using prime date to do more than just accelerate your sales. I think what’s really powerful though, is to we talked about this in the beginning, Ben, it’s great to re-circle back to this is post-Prime Day, what do you want to do? Do you want to recoup your money? Did you lose a lot of money having these deals and advertising campaigns on full blast? Or do you want to capitalize off a lot of people doing that so a lot of sellers will want to recoup and they’ll stop advertising or raise their prices even. But what you could do is your keyword rankings will be a lot better positioned to do this is to continue it so have a coupon but maybe a lot lower than your Prime Day deal, or slash your price from the list price, or just general sales, price reduction, or do anything you can maybe just through advertising, you keep your price the same, or even increase your price. But you go aggressive on advertising, you could use Prime Day as a way to, I guess steamroll into the next season or into the next in the next period of time, whether it’s a peak season for you or not. So, to me, it’s, it’s how much you’re willing to lose, or how much there is to gain if you just launched your product, then I think that is a great idea, because you’re just trying to get reviews right away. And your your product, and your listing will be in a prime position, no pun intended, because you’ll be using Prime Day as a way to just get in front of other competitors, who you wouldn’t be in front of any other time throughout the year. But because they’re stopping and you’re continuing going, you can hopefully get, you know, use Prime Day as an acceleration to keep it going and get more views. So that’s one thing I did that last year with my new product launch, if that’s helpful. But yeah, immediately after I did have to slow down, I had to stop pull everything off in order new inventory to avoid completely going out of stock. But that’s one of my favorite ways to use Prime Days, the post Prime Day attack.

Ben Donovan  41:08
Yeah, definitely. And I think it’s really brings us back to that point you’ve made many times is it’s about your goals. And it can be frustrating, maybe for some people to hear this and, and think, Well, you know, just tell me, what should I do? Should I do it this way or this way? And the reality is that it does depend, you know, it’s not a great answer. A lot of people don’t want to hear it. But it does depend on your goals. And the beauty of it is there are many ways to approach it. And you’re right, you know, I haven’t sort of even considered that thought that after Prime Day, a lot of people are going to be trying to recoup that. So there in itself lies another opportunity to get market share. And so if you can withstand the cheaper pricing, there’s lots of opportunities there as well. So it really is dependent on your goals for Prime Day also your goals after that. So I think yeah, everything you said really just brings us back to that key point is about understanding what your goals are ahead of time, in order to be able to execute on the best strategy for your business, not to put words in your mouth. But that’s kind of great, the summary of what you said 

Jake Zaratsian  42:13

Ben Donovan  42:16
Any other sort of final tips or advice before we close Prime Day, or otherwise, kind of secret hacks that you’ve learned being one of the leading Amazon tools in the world, you got all that inside knowledge, man,

Jake Zaratsian  42:29
Maybe a few actually. So a few like little quick tips, maybe like if you fast forward into this section, here’s what you can take away some like quick tips outside, what we talked about already, is think about like your creative. So a really good tip here is not just to your main image or other secondary images on your listing. But think about your your sponsor brand, your sponsor display creative images. So essentially a custom add image, these images convert so much better than just your brand’s logo or some generic text. So when advertising on Prime Day, or really anytime throughout the year, consider using a custom image, maybe you’re using AI to create that or you’re using a professional photographer or some other image you have, that’s a lifestyle image. Using that instead of just a generic what everyone else is doing on Amazon, or most people are doing on Amazon will crease your click-through rate. And hopefully, when you get people there, they’ll see your price and then your conversion rate will go up. Beyond that, I think the way I like to dumb it down is just to focus on if there’s if given three metrics on Amazon outside of profitability, of course, I would say impressions, click-through rate and conversion rate. If you can just increase all three of those, then I think it becomes very simple of what you need to do. It’s like a three-step process. So yeah, one of the things is to get people to even think about buying, get them to click and using a custom image, whether it’s through your sponsored brand sponsored display campaign would be a quick little tip, I’d recommend here. Anything else that I can recommend? I think there’s a lot of tools out there, not just Jungle Scout. But if you do have Jungle Scout, or you’re considered centering using Jungle Scout, you can use the previous year’s Prime Day data. So keyword data specifically, it’s actually what I’m doing right now. And what I started doing when Amazon announced it is I’m going back to the keywords that saw the biggest increase on Prime Day last year. And John Scott’s got two years of keyword data. So you can use a graph to see that sales increase or I’m sorry, that essentially that demand increase for those keywords, and then use those or prioritize which ones you want to bid on. So I guess understanding what your keywords are that are working now, but maybe understanding what keywords grow the most. And using that as a way to prioritize which ones to bid on within your campaign. So yeah, I guess understanding your keyword data would be another great tip.

Ben Donovan  44:42
Yeah, no really good thoughts. Definitely. Yeah, some really useful thoughts in the prep for private and just general beyond as well. Very, very helpful. You’re so right about impressions, clicks, conversions. That’s what I talk about all the time. Those are the three numbers if you can master impressions, clicks and conversions. You can succeed on Amazon. So, yeah, really, really good thoughts. If people do want to get hold of Jungle Scout, you’re very modest and say there are other tools, but you’re here to represent Jungle Scout. So let’s give it a promo. If people want to get involved with Jungle Scout what’s, you know, what’s the best option for them? There are obviously different packages. I don’t know. I don’t know if you guys have got anything special for Prime Day or anything like that, or what’s Yeah, just what’s the best place to send them ready?

Jake Zaratsian  45:26
Yeah, we do have a Prime Day deal. So if you’re, if you’re on the edge of getting a tool like Jungle Scout, then Jungle Scout will have a Prime Day special offer. So you can head to our website, junglescout.com, you can join our mailing list. So on that homepage, you just scroll down a little bit, enter your email, and then we’ll alert you whenever there’s a deal. It should be available when you’re watching this episode now. But even if you’re not going to get it now, throughout the year, once you join that mailing list will alert you whenever there is a deal, but the Prime Day deal is gonna be one to get it’s going to be an amazing day. I don’t know the exact number now. But last year is the greatest discount that we’ve done. And this year is probably going to be very similar to that. So head over to Jungle Scout and join the mailing list or just sign up for Jungle Scout. There are a few different packages for you. There’s a basic, a sweet and professional, however, there’s also another package. So you’ll see this when you’re on the pricing page, you jump over to the Packages tab there. And there are a few other options there, including Freedom Builder Bootcamp. So Greg Mercer, the founder of Jungle Scout, is so insightful. He’s got this course called the Freedom Builder Bootcamp and includes our 12 months, or I’m sorry, occludes, 12 months of our professional plans for our top plan, and it’s a heck of a deal, I’ll tell you that, and he’s got a full module set up for you, it’s going to be awesome. Like, you’ll learn so much, whether it’s your first time selling, or even if you’re trying to launch additional products, and you’re an experienced seller. So that’s what I would do is I’d take advantage of the Jungle Scout deal to get our full suite of tools, and especially if you can is to use Greg’s knowledge to your advantage. And you’re not just gonna teach you how to use Jungle Scout pool, he’s going to show you the best way to sell on Amazon and the mindset you need to have. So that has been my pitch to use Jungle Scout to take advantage of the Jungle Scout deal for Prime Day?

Ben Donovan  47:09
It’s good, man, it’s good. Yeah, highly recommended. We don’t, you know, promote stuff that we don’t believe in. It’s, you know, the first tool I ever used and, you know, highly, highly recommended. And, you know, very well widely respected in the industry. So, yeah, very happy for you to promote that. And obviously, we’ll leave the links in the description, and the show notes for people to be able to navigate to that from this episode as well. What about you, Jake, Is there anywhere that people can sort of connect with you and what you’re up to as well?

Jake Zaratsian  47:38
The best way is through YouTube, actually. So we’re in the comments all the time. Every video, we answer questions, we talk to customers, we talk to viewers, and that’s probably the best way you can reach us on YouTube. However, LinkedIn is a great way for me personally, Jake Zaratsian or Jungle Scout. I’m in the social account as well. So I can I can read your comments there. Instagram is probably where we’re most active from a company we get sent out the most updates. So those three platforms, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great.

Ben Donovan  48:05
Yeah, yeah. Well, you guys are doing an amazing job for industry education. So, you know, keep up the good work. We appreciate all the value that you bring to the community, man, and thanks for coming on the episode. It’s been really insightful, and I’m sure it’s gonna help a lot of sellers prepare for Prime Day.

Jake Zaratsian  48:21
Well, likewise, Ben, I’m a huge fan of the podcast. I’ve been listening to it for years. So this is like, I’m stoked to be on myself. I appreciate you having me and keep up the great work as well.

Ben Donovan  48:30
Thanks, man. Appreciate it. Awesome, folks. Thanks for listening to this episode. I hope you have got as much value out of that as I think you will have so much actionable advice there to take away, implement and have the most amazing Prime Day whether it’s 2023 or 2033. By the time you’re listening to this, hope you have the most amazing next Prime Day coming up. And if we can help with anything else, please do reach out. And we’ll see you in the next episode. Same time next week. Take care!

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