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September 18, 2019

8 Tips for Setting up a Lightning Deal on Amazon

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Flexport Editorial Team

September 18, 2019

This blog post was originally published by Deliverr, which is now Flexport. The content has been adjusted to fit the Flexport brand voice and tone, but all other information remains unchanged. With the merging of Deliverr’s services (DTC fulfillment, B2B distribution, and Last Mile delivery) into Flexport’s existing international freight and technology services, we’re now able to provide merchants with true end-to-end logistics solutions spanning from the factory floor to the customer’s door.

Amazon is the top destination for product inspiration, and Amazon Lightning Deals are the perfect way to create that inspiration and win sales before your competitors. This guide explains how to set up a Lightning Deal for optimum exposure, success, and return on investment.

What Is a Lightning Deal?

Amazon Lightning Deals are promotional offers that run for a limited amount of time. Lightning Deals appear on the Amazon Deals page (also known as the Gold Box) and throughout the website, for between 4 and 12 hours.

Why Set up a Lightning Deal?

Amazon Lightning Deals are great for customers and online retailers alike. As an Amazon seller, you benefit from:

Increased Visibility

Lightning Deals are promoted throughout and are emailed to signed-up deal-hunters. This boosted visibility generates more brand awareness, listing clicks, and customer sales.

Cost Benefits

Lightning Deals are a cost-effective way to advertise your products and increase sales - especially during peak periods such as the holidays and Amazon Prime Day.

New Customers

Lightning Deals are displayed to all Amazon visitors, exposing you to new customers who may not have found you via the organic search results.

Reduced Inventory

Lightning Deals are a great way to move excess stock, slow-moving products, and out-of-season items - making way for your next product lines and reducing your FBA fees.

Increase Organic Ranking

Lightning Deals can also boost your organic search result ranking due to increased clicks, sales, and customer reviews.

Overall, Lightning Deals are a smart addition to your Amazon sales strategy - and, they’re straightforward to set up.

How To Set up a Lightning Deal on Amazon

To set up a Lightning Deal on Amazon, follow these eight tips to ensure that your deal is approved by Amazon and successful with customers.

Make Yourself Eligible

First, you have to be eligible to offer deals on Amazon. Specifically, you must:

  • Be a Professional Seller with an Amazon sales history
  • Receive a minimum of five seller ratings per month
  • Hold an overall 3.5-star rating.

You can improve your Amazon feedback rating by providing exemplary customer service through quick responses, on-time deliveries, and fast product replacements.

Make Your Products Eligible

The product you want to be featured in the Lightning Deal must also be eligible. Specifically, it must:

  • Be listed as new, with as many variations as possible
  • Have a minimum 3-star rating, from ratings compliant with the customer product reviews policies
  • Not be restricted, offensive, embarrassing, or inappropriate

Make Your Fulfillment Method Eligible

Lightning Deals are only available for products that are Prime-eligible in all regions. This requires using either FBA or SFP.

Fullillment by Amazon (FBA)
Fulfillment by Amazon is Amazon’s end-to-end fulfillment service. FBA requires you to ship products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, for Amazon to pick and ship orders to customers. FBA is an effective fulfillment solution for single-channel Amazon sellers with high order volumes and profit margins.

Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)
Seller Fulfilled Prime is an alternative Prime fulfillment option, where you fulfill orders either in-house using your own operations, or using an outsourced SFP fulfillment provider. SFP is recommended for multi-channel Amazon sellers of all sizes, and single-channel Amazon sellers with low order volumes, slow-moving stock, or heavy items.

Important consideration: You must be able to fulfill all of the orders generated by this deal. If you don’t have the capacity to handle an influx of orders, outsource your fulfillment to FBA or an SFP fulfillment provider who can handle your sales volume.

Create an Enticing Deal

The primary outcome of your Lightning Deal is sales, which necessitates an enticing offer encouraging shoppers to convert. Improve the desirability of your deal by:

  • Offering an attractive discount of at least 20% off, compliant with Amazon’s pricing policies
  • Increasing the exclusivity of your deal by selecting a time-frame of between 4 and 12 hours, and not repeating the same deals regularly
  • Choosing a week for your offer to run that balances customer demand and the cost of listing a Lightning Deal (e.g. Prime Day Deals will be more expensive but generate more sales)
  • Ensuring that your deal cannot be found elsewhere

Bonus tip: It’s important to remember that once clicking on the deal, customers are taken to your product page. Ensure that your Amazon listing is properly optimized with high-quality photos, descriptive content, and informative reviews to encourage conversions.

To create your deal, go to the Deal Dashboard, click 'Create', and select your item. Clicking Advanced Edit enables you to set the price, quantity, schedule, and variations before clicking 'Submit.' 

Ensure Your Products Are in Stock

Maximize the success of your deal by ensuring that you have enough stock to fulfill all orders. If you’re a multi-channel seller, we strongly recommend investing in inventory management software to synchronize your inventory across your sales channels - avoiding the reputational damage from overselling and under-delivering.

Note: Amazon may cancel your deal should stock levels fall below your intended quantity in the seven days preceding the deal.

Boost Visibility

Amazon promotes your deal across its platform, but that doesn’t mean you can’t promote your Lightning Deal yourself. Increase the volume of customers visiting your listing through:

Organic search result placement
Improve your ranking in Amazon’s organic search results by using:

  • An Amazon keyword tool to identify the right keywords for your listings
  • Descriptive listing titles and product descriptions
  • High-quality images that accurately display your product

Amazon advertisement
Run a Sponsored Product Ad to drive traffic to your deal and increase conversions.

Multi-channel visibility
Improve your visibility on other sales channels, using SEO best practices and fast shipping programs such as Walmart TwoDay Delivery, to capture any online shoppers conducting price comparisons.

Monitor Your Deal

Once submitted, you can view your deal’s status in the Lightning Deals Dashboard. Statuses and actions required include:

  • Draft: An error has been made. Resolve the issues and resubmit
  • Under review: Your deal is being reviewed by Amazon
  • Needs edits: Edits are required. Resolve the highlighted issues and resubmit 
  • Pending: Your deal has passed the eligibility requirements and is awaiting scheduling
  • Approved or Upcoming: Your deal will go live on the date and time mentioned
  • Suppressed: Your deal doesn’t meet the eligibility requirements. Review quickly and make edits as soon as possible

End Your Deal

If for any reason you need to cancel your deal, do it as soon as possible, and with at least 25 hours’ notice. This ensures that you avoid paying the deal’s fee, as well as avoiding potential blacklisting from listing future deals.

To cancel, go to the Lightning Deals Dashboard > All > View > Cancel Deal

The contents of this blog are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. We do not guarantee, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents of this blog because they are based on Flexport’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This blog has been prepared to the best of Flexport’s knowledge and research; however, the information presented in this blog herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this blog.

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September 18, 2019

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