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Prime Big Deal Days and Amazon Turkey 5: What is the Best Q4 Strategy? 

In Q4, Amazon sellers are not only managing their brands through the busiest time of year, but also have the chance to participate in a Prime shopping event. Last week, Amazon shared that Prime Big Deal Days 2023, a 2-day sale for Prime shoppers, will take place October 10 and 11. 

Prime Big Deal Days occurs roughly 3 months after Summer Prime Week and gives sellers a second chance to launch lightning deals and other promotions ahead of the holiday season. One of Amazon’s goals for the Fall Prime event is to kickstart holiday shopping earlier than normal (i.e., before Black Friday and Cyber Monday).  

Stock photo of a shopping cart with cardboard boxes on top of an open laptop.

Sellers should expect increases in impressions and CPCs with “an emphasis on giftable products, like handheld tech, gaming bundles, beauty sets and kitchen appliances”, says NBC News. The spike in searches and impressions should continue into early November, as with past years, and only grow more as Turkey 5 approaches. “Turkey 5” is the Amazon’s industry term for the 5 consecutive days of sales that take place from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday: 

  1. Thanksgiving 
  1. Black Friday 
  1. Small Business Saturday 
  1. Sofa Sunday 
  1. Cyber Monday 

Because Prime Big Deal Days is only about 6 weeks before Turkey 5, many clients ask, “which event should we participate in?” and “is it worth participating in both events?” In this article, we’ll discuss the decision-making process your team should go through in order to effectively answer these questions. 

The Problem is Budget 

When deciding whether to participate in Prime Big Deal Days and/or Amazon Turkey 5, it really comes down to 3 factors: 

  • Your Q4 Amazon budget 
  • Your Amazon product categories 
  • Your historical sales performance during past October Prime Weeks and Turkey 5 

The most common issue we see is a limited Q4 budget. Typically, brands will identify their Amazon budget for the year anytime from November to January for the upcoming year. Regardless of when you set your budget, you’re likely setting a specific amount for each quarter of the upcoming year. Then, when you later arrive at that quarter, you may have realized you are unable to accommodate more spend on ads and promotions to account for the 2 shopping events. Since the Prime 2 event wasn’t communicated until mid-Summer, it’s likely that many brands didn’t budget for an extra Prime holiday. This usually puts brands in a tough position; where should they invest? Luckily, Run AMZ has noticed that focusing on one event – rather than both – can be just as effective. However, if your brand can afford it, we recommend leveraging both.  

Use Historical Performance 

The best way to decide which shopping events to participate in is by analyzing your historical performance. At Run AMZ, we are firm believers that making decisions off of data is the most effective way to set your business up for success.  

Look at how your business fared in past years’ October Prime and Turkey 5 events. Focus on metrics like: 

  • What month did your products get the most impressions (October or November)? 
  • Which products had the most conversions overall? 
  • Which keywords were most valuable for organic and paid placements? 
  • What repeat purchase behavior can I expect this year? 

Also consider whether the promotions you ran in the past were competitive. Did you provide an adequate discount to drive purchasing decisions, or do you need to be more aggressive with an even larger discount? Answer this by looking into your competitors’ metrics, as well as the actions of competing brands drastically impacting promotional performance. 

Ramp Up with Amazon Prime Big Deal Days 2023 

Regardless of whether a brand participates in Prime Big Day Deals promotions, we recommend using the event as an advertising ramp-up period for Turkey 5. The goal is to determine which ASINs will likely convert best during Amazon Turkey 5. 

First, analyze historical ad performance and allocate your budget towards high-value keywords. Consider promoting ASINs that are already at the top of the SERPs and doing well organically. Use Share of Voice to compare where you stand against competitors in the space. Prioritize ASINs that already have the highest demand as they will likely have the most conversions during both shopping events. Your focus should be on what we call tactical audience targeting: grabbing existing data for brand mapping. Following this method and using October Prime Day 2023 as a test period is one of the easiest ways to forecast your brand’s potential sales for Amazon Turkey 5. 

Graphic showing 3 steps to ramp up for Turkey 5: planning Q4 budget, launching promotions, and predicting best sellers.

Throughout this process, be aware of your inventory levels and cost per unit. Make sure you have someone internally or at your Amazon agency keep a close eye on your ad budget to ensure it aligns with your inventory levels. You don’t want to spend advertising dollars on a product that is out of stock, so maintain your ads and inventory closely. And of course – make sure you don’t go over budget. 

If you’re working with a very limited budget or are concerned about going over budget, focus on promoting only 1 or 2 ASINs during Prime Big Deal Days 2023. For example, if you already expect that your #1 best seller will generate sales, then we recommend re-allocating your ad dollars to other products that could use the push. Even promoting 1 or 2 products should result in increased impressions during the Amazon October sale.  

Waiting is the Biggest Mistake 

You may have already guessed it, but waiting until the last minute is the biggest mistake that an Amazon seller can make. And, unfortunately, we see brands do this every single year. Our recommendation will always be to get started as early as possible. Waiting for the events to be announced to determine your participation in them, or even a week or two before, will already place you behind competitors and likely cost you more in the long run. Planning up to a year in advance will allow your team to make a better decision for your brand.  

During internal conversations, refer back to your budget (whether you’ll need to set aside more than before) and historical performance (which campaigns did or didn’t work). And, when in doubt – use the Prime Big Day Deals event as an advertising ramp-up period for Turkey 5. This will help set your brand up for Q4 Amazon success and prevent increased CPCs and competition that come with launching last-minute campaigns.  

One thing is clear: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to selling on Amazon. Do what makes sense for your brand – and always keep your inventory and competitors in mind. Good luck with the events, if you choose to participate! 

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