Selling on Amazon Prime: Lightning Deals and What You Need to Know to Compete

Don’t know what kind of opportunity you’re missing on the platform? Turns out the best leverage for getting ranked higher in search results is your content, according to Michael Mitchell of MMP Living. As one of the largest US toy, pet and housewares category sellers on Amazon, the company knows exactly how to get products to succeed on Amazon. Michael and his team works with over 400 vendors to optimize how brands can access the Amazon Prime user base – and they know what works, and why.

Can you tell us a little bit about how your business supports brands on Amazon?

MM – when we made the decision to join the Amazon marketplace in 2008 the focus was on selection and competitive pricing. We started with 200 SKUs and within 4 years had 20,000 items listed! That was a crazy business and went against our philosophy of working closely with brands and developing great relationships with both our end customers and suppliers. Over the next 3 years we cut our selection down to 4,500 items, making the pages for many of the items we sell look fantastic and developing a host of marketing tools on and off Amazon to drive traffic to those pages.

We are also starting to build buyer analytics into our system. Over 500 lifestyle and demographic variables will be available. This will allow our brand partners the ability to really understand the profile of their Amazon buyers and ultimately help in the decision making process for new products.

In your expert opinion, what is the most underestimated part of a brand’s Amazon profile?

MM – telling a story is such a critical part of selling an item on Amazon. You have one shot to catch that customer and compel them to buy. Lifestyle images and strong copy are also very important. We recently helped Capabunga list the Cheese Vault on Amazon. It was brand new to market and a super cool item. Content, copy, images, video, keyword optimization and target advertising are all being used to get customers to see the item and strong product reviews have helped too (find the Cheese Vault on Hubba).

How do promotions work on Amazon to benefit a brand?

MM – there are a host of options to promote a brand. Coupon codes, GWP (Gift with Purchase) and Lightning Deals. Lightning Deals typically are the most effective. They are a 4 hour promo and to support an email is sent to 20-30M customers who have an interest in similar items. It’s a great way to get immediate visibility to a brand and the duration of the promo is so short it has no long lasting determent to the overall value of the brand.

Of the various ways to gauge the success of a brand’s profile (i.e., stability, pricing, attributes etc), how do you prioritize the area that can make the most impact?

MM – that is a great question and it really is a combination of page development, pricing, use of marketing tools and inventory management.

Anecdotally, what is most remarkable results you’ve seen come out of creating a fully integrated system with Amazon?

MM – It would be to now manage 4,500 products verses 20,000 and still grow healthy each year. That is a testament to the quality of our systems and integration with Amazon.

Click here to connect with Michael at MMPLiving on Hubba.