Promotions are a great way for Amazon sellers to generate excitement and drive more sales for their products.
Shoppers are always on the lookout for a good deal, so a well executed promotion can often be the tipping point in convincing someone to buy, or convincing someone to buy from you instead of a competitor.
Whether it’s a new product launch, Prime Day, Black Friday, your brand’s birthday, or just Tuesday, you can always find an excuse to run a promotion and excite your audience.
Read on and we’ll explain to you why Amazon seller promotions are so powerful, and what options are available to you.
The Benefits of Amazon Seller Central Promotions
The most common objection to running a promotion is “I can’t afford it”. A lot of sellers don’t want to offer a discount because they don’t have any room in their profit margins.
While this may be true, Amazon promotions offer a lot of long-term benefits. It’s a mistake to view the profit from each individual sale as the only thing that matters.
Some of the top reasons to run Amazon seller promotions include:
Increasing sales velocity
Profit ($) is more important than profit (%).
You could have 50% profit margins, but if you only make 1 sale, it doesn’t really matter.
The higher your sales velocity – meaning total number of sales – the better. It gives you more cash flow, which you can reinvest faster into more stock, or other areas of your business. You’ll move through inventory faster, which means less money spent on storage fees. Amazon loves fast-moving stock too. Higher sales velocity will give you a better IPI (inventory performance index) score, which will allow you more freedom in terms of how much stock you can send to Amazon.
It’s almost always better to sell stock quickly, than wait around until you can sell it for a higher price.
Higher average order value
Promotions can also boost your average order value (AOV), by getting customers to spend more, with promotions like Buy One Get One or “Buy Together” promos (buy Product A, get Product B at half price).
Like sales velocity, a higher AOV gets more money in your bank account, faster. This is money that can be put to work for you, as opposed to stock that’s sitting in Amazon fulfillment centers, doing nothing.
Boosting search rankings
The spike in sales you get from a promotion often has a hugely positive long-term impact, via an increase in organic search rankings.
Sales are one of the most important ranking factors – Amazon wants to rank products with a proven history of sales. So, by increasing your total sales, you’ll usually start ranking higher, which leads to an even bigger jump in organic, non-discounted sales over time.
Any sellers who have a large and engaged email list know how powerful this can be. However, convincing people to join your email list can be hard.
Amazon Seller Central promotions like Percentage Off or Buy One Get One promotions are fantastic incentives to offer to your audience to convince them to join your list. Free content, e-books and other giveaways can work well, but a money off promotion appeals to everyone.
How to Create a Promotion on Amazon (to advertise outside Amazon)
Amazon promotions come under two broad categories.
There are promotions designed to promote to people outside of Amazon, and promotions targeted towards shoppers already on Amazon.
We’ll look at the first category now (off-Amazon promotions), then move on to on-Amazon promotions.
To create a promotion on Amazon, log in to your Seller Central account, then go to the Advertising menu, and click Promotions.
Before you get started you may want to create a product selection, if you plan to run promotions targeted to a group of products. This will allow you to quickly and easily add a number of products to a promotion, rather than selecting each product individually.
To do this, hit “Manage Product Selection”, then “Create Product Selection”. Then just add whichever SKUs, ASINs or product segments you want to include (such as products from a certain brand), and hit “Submit” to finish.
Now choose what kind of promo you want to set up.
To set up a Percentage Off promotion, first go to the Promotions page in Amazon Seller Central.
Click “Create a Promotion”, then the button under “Percentage Off”.
Step One: Conditions
The first step is to manage your promotion conditions. This includes:
- How many items must be purchased before the promotion can be applied
- Which products must be purchased
- Discount amount
- Which products the discount applies to
You can use the Advanced Options to set up a tiered discount – for example, buy one unit get 5% off, buy two get 7% off, and so on.
Step Two: Scheduling
Now set up your scheduling and tracking.
- Set a start date and end date for your promotion (if someone tries to apply the code outside these dates it will say the code has expired)
- Choose a description for your promotion
- Select a tracking ID
Make sure to set clear descriptions and tracking IDs for your promotions, as this will help you analyze and organize your promotions.
Step Three: Additional Options
At the final section you’ll set up your claim code(s).
First, choose from the following options:
- Single-use codes (each code is unique and can be used only once)
- Group code (no limit to how many times it can be used)
- No claim code at all (the product will be discounted automatically).
Then choose whether to restrict your promotion to one redemption per customer or not (relevant for group codes or no claim code option).
If you go with a group code, you can customize your code here, or generate a random code.
Next, if you choose to go with claim codes, you will choose your claim code combinability settings: Preferential, or Unrestricted.
This is important if you have multiple promotions running at the same time. This setting will dictate how your promotions will work with each other.
“Preferential” means customers can only claim one promotion – the one with the highest value will be applied.
For example, if you have a single-use code for 50% off and a group code for 25% off, the single-use code will be applied (and the group code will not)
“Unrestricted” means there are no restrictions, and customers can claim more than one promotion on the same order. In the above example, a customer would be able to get 75% off by using both codes together.
Finally, you can customize the messaging on your product page and in the checkout. For example, what message shows up when someone redeems the promotion, and what (if anything) to display on your detail page.
Most of this can be left as the default. The most important thing to take note of is the “Detail page display text” option. If this is selected, it will show the code and redemption instructions to everyone who comes to your product detail page.
If you want to use your promotion as an incentive, and don’t want it to appear for everyone, make sure to unselect this.
Buy One Get One
Most of this is set up just like a Percentage Off promotion. Go to the same place – Advertising, then Promotions – to start with. Then choose “Buy One Get One”.
The difference here is the “Conditions” step. You’ll need to configure how your promotion will work.
Now set up the follow options:
- “Buyer purchases”: either a certain quantity of items (e.g. 1 Product A), or a specific dollar value ($15 of Product A)
- “Purchased items”: which product(s) are included
- “Buyer gets”: this will be limited to “Free items” for this type of promotion
- “Applies to”: keep as “Purchased items”
- “Buyer benefit applies to a quantity of”: this is where you set up the specifics of your deal. For example, the buyer gets 1 free product when purchasing 1 unit.
The rest of your promotion will be set up the same as above. Set up your scheduling and tracking at step two and promo code settings under “additional options”.
Be sure to choose the correct Claim Code Combinability option if you’re running another promotion (such as a Percentage Off promotion) at the same time.
Once again, most of this is the same as the two previous promotion types. Get started by choosing “Free Shipping” from the promotions menu in Amazon Seller Central.
The difference here is the “Buyer gets” field will be set to “Free shipping”. You also have a “Qualifying Shipping Options” box, where you will decide which shipping options qualify (for example, you may have an express shipping option that you want to exclude).
All your other conditions, scheduling and additional options are the same.
Free Shipping promotions can be effective for merchant-fulfilled sellers, as an alternative to Percentage Off. Even though the customer may be saving the same dollar amount, the words “Free Shipping” just hit differently.
This type of promotion may not be so useful for FBA or Prime-eligible sellers though, as these products may already have free shipping available.
Social Media Promo Code
To be eligible to create a Social Media Promo Code you’ll need to be a professional seller with a feedback rating of 4 stars or higher.
If you qualify, you’ll see this option beside the others on the Promotions hub in Seller Central.
The setup follows the same flow as the others – first set your conditions, then scheduling, then claim code settings.
This type of promotion is a group claim code by default.
You can also choose how many times a customer can redeem the promo:
- One unit/one order
- Unlimited units, but just one order
- Unlimited units and unlimited orders
With a social media promo, if you choose multiple products to include in the promotion, all these products will show in the landing page for your promotion. This can make it a great way to drive people to buy more than one product from your catalog.
How to Promote Your Promotion
Unless you choose to display the promotion on your product listing (by selecting the “Detail page display text” option), you’ll need to drive traffic to the promotion yourself.
There are a few ways you might do this, including:
For more on your external traffic strategy, check out this guide.
Whichever channel you choose, you should put your promotion front and center. This is a great opportunity to encourage people to click through from your ads, your emails, or whatever it is. So make sure it’s clear.
Along with discount code promotions, there are several other Amazon seller promotions that are targeted more towards shoppers already on Amazon.
The most common are Amazon Coupons (which a lot of people confuse with promo codes). You’ve also got limited time promotions like Lightning Deals.
Coupons can be an effective way to get more visibility for your product on Amazon, as well as convert a higher number of people that land on your listing.
Lightning Deals (also 7-Day Deals or “Deal of the Day”), are very effective at boosting sales and visibility. However, these are expensive, and require you to offer a big discount.
Amazon Coupons vs Promotions: What’s the Difference?
Amazon Coupons are featured on Amazon’s deals page, as well as on your product detail page, where anyone shopping on Amazon can “clip” the coupon and get the discount.
Discount code promotions require the customer to enter a code at checkout. Coupons, however, are applied automatically.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using Amazon Coupons, versus promo codes.
As coupons are available to everyone, they offer a lot of potential for increased sales. Coupons are particularly effective at increasing conversion rate on your product listing. The Amazon Coupons page also helps drive additional traffic to your products.
However, coupons being available to everyone means they can cut into your profits a lot faster. You should think of it like you’re decreasing your overall selling price for the time the coupon is running, rather than offering a discount to a select group of people.
Also, be aware that people will be able to combine coupons and promo codes. If you give someone a promo code for 75% off, and you already have a coupon for 25% off, they’ll be able to get the product for free.
For this reason, try to stick to one or the other. And if you do run Amazon Coupons, keep the value low, to avoid too much damage to your profits.
Amazon Seller Promotion Best Practices
Here’s some advice to help you get the most value out of your Amazon seller promotions, and mitigate any potential loss or damage caused by the promotion.
Use single-use codes for high discounts
If you’re not comfortable selling all your remaining stock at the discounted price, make sure you make discount codes single-use.
Group (multi-use) codes can be used again and again. These codes are often shared on deal sites and all over social media, especially if they give a large discount. Your competitors can also use these codes to buy up all your stock, and even sell it against you for the original price.
Set a max order quantity during big promotions
Be aware that even single-use codes by default can be used to purchase multiple units of your product.
The code can only be used once, but it doesn’t mean you can’t buy 99 units in the same order.
If your code is for 70% off, that means the customer just got 70% off 99 units.
The solution to this, if you’re running high discounts, is to set a max order quantity for that product from within Seller Central. This will limit the maximum number of units someone can buy in a single order, meaning competitors and hijackers can’t buy up and resell all your stock.
Use your promotion to build your list
Discount codes are an awesome way to capture emails. If you’re sending people from Google, Facebook, YouTube etc, you should take this opportunity to build your list.
Instead of giving a discount code and a link straight to Amazon, link people to a landing page, where you offer the discount when they opt in with their email address.
This is a really powerful list building tactic. Once you have a list, you can use it to launch new products, up-sell or cross-sell other things you sell, or drive traffic for future promotions.
Don’t incentivize reviews with a discount
Incentivized reviews are when a seller offers a customer anything if they leave a review for a product. This is against Amazon TOS, and Amazon is very quick to take action on sellers who break the rules.
Don’t do anything like offering a 25% off promo code for people who leave a review. This is going to get you in big trouble.
Don’t ask for reviews on high discounts
Even if you don’t offer discounts in exchange for reviews, reviews coming after a customer gets a big discount look suspicious to Amazon. A lot of these reviews, and future customers might be blocked from leaving reviews on your listing.
Small discounts (less than 30% off) can be okay. But anything higher than this, consider turning off any email follow-ups you have running.
What’s the best discount % to give?
There’s no “one size fits all” answer to this question. It depends on what you’re looking to achieve from your promotion.
A discount around the 25-35% range fits for most cases. This is big enough to generate excitement, but not so big that it’s going to cost you a ton.
If you really want to drive a lot of sales and get a lot of redemptions, you could go up to 50-70% off. Just make sure this is within your budget (and don’t forget to set a max order quantity).
Keep in mind, big discounts are not always best. Above 70% appears to have declining returns, based on our data. Landing page optins actually decrease above 70%. Super high discounts can cheapen your product’s image, making customers less willing to buy.
Amazon Seller Central Promotions: In Summary
Amazon seller promotions such as Percentage Off, BOGO and Free Shipping are an excellent way for sellers to get their customers excited, and drive more sales.
Not only do you get the benefit of increased sales and cash flow, promotions also give you a long term benefit from incentivizing email optins, and helping to boost your organic rankings.
To make it easier to run successful promotions to audiences outside of Amazon, check out LandingCube. Our software tools – including landing pages and Messenger chat bots – help you automate sending unique promo codes, as well as capturing emails from your audience.
Next time you run a promotion on Amazon, make sure you use LandingCube, and you’ll have a higher chance of success.