To set the scene I have been selling on Amazon UK since August 2015, so about 15 months at the time of writing. I have not been aggressive in terms of product launches, giveaways and promotions and have adopted a long term mindset. I.E. I am happy to wait it out as my product sales slowly grow rather than try and spike sales for an instant win.
How I started selling on Amazon UK
I started with one product and I now have three unique products (all within the same niche) and for one of these products I have two colour variations with a third colour on the way.
I have had to drop the price of my first product from around £14.99 to just £9.98 to counter the high and fairly aggressive competition that has arrived on the scene. When I launched this product 15 months ago there were two main competitors with similar products, now there are 10+ with almost identical products.
Race to the bottom
To make matters worse one of these competitors has clearly used review groups and giveaways to spike sales and (dodgy) reviews. They came in at a very low price (I guess around break even for them) and suddenly they are the Best Seller in the category and drove my sales from around 15 per day to virtually zero. I put off reducing my sale price for as long as I could but other competitors started to drop their prices too which forced my hand.
This race to the bottom is not what I want to get involved in but unfortunately when you rely on Amazon and sell a non-unique product this can and probably will happen. I dropped my sale price, invested in better quality images, updated my listing description, reviewed my keywords, and increased my Amazon Sponsored Listings (AKA PPC).
Amazon sales started picking up
I started getting more sales and it reached a point where I was selling 20 to 30 of this product, and I plan to keep this situation until I reach a Best Seller Rank in my niche and then I will likely raise prices again.
My other two products sell around 2 to 10 units per day, which is OK.
You are now up to date. This is where the excitement happens…
Amazon Lightening Deals – WOW!
I was in the back end of my Amazon Seller account and noticed that I had the option of a Lightening Deal. It was only available on one of my products, my product#2. So the product was currently selling 2 to 10 units per day.
Lightening Deals on Amazon basically let you offer your products at a discounted price for a limited amount of time. In this instance it would be for 4hrs on the 15th November. If I took this Lightening Deal option my listing would appear in the Today’s Deals section of Amazon, but it also coincided with the Black Friday deals.
I decided to take this Lightening Deal, and I made 100 units available for this deal. In my wildest dreams I would not expect to sell 100 units of this product. Remember at the time the product was selling between 2 and 10 per day at £14.99.
Are Amazon Lightening Deals worth doing?
1pm I checked my Amazon Seller app on my phone, I’d done 14 sales. Not too bad. 2:05pm I refreshed my app, 42 sales. I thought it was an error but then I remember the Lightening Deal. Could this really have generated 28 sales in just over an hour?
The short answer is yes. This number jumped to 56, 67, 79, 101… I had to take a break from refreshing my app because I had other work to do.
By 4pm I had made 137 sales for the day. To put this into perspective I made 39 sales for the whole day the week before. By close of day on the 15th November I made 171 sales. I sold all 100 Lightening Deal products.
The breakdown looked like this:
Product#1 Colour#1 (my original product):
Sales same day the week before: 23
Sales on the 15th November: 29 (26% increase)
Sales same day the week before: 0
Sales on the 15th November: 1
Product#2 (my Lightening Deal product):
Sales same day the week before: 7
Sales on the 15th November: 130 (1757% increase or 329% if exclude 100 sale items)
Sales same day the week before: 9
Sales on the 15th November: 11 (22% increase)
Lightening Deals impacted all my products
Both my Product#1 and Product#3 sales increased by over 20% compared to the same day the week before even though their sale price was exactly the same. I put this down to increase product/brand awareness due to the increased number of visitors to my Product#2 listing (i.e. Lightening Deal product).
The 100 sales that I made at the discounted price for Product#2 was amazing and unexpected. It really opened my eyes to the huge power and potential of Amazon in combination with limited time deals. But I also made 30 non-discounted sales of Product#2. There was a ripple effect that generated additional sales after the promotion ended.
Some of these extra sales came when people purchased two of my Product#2, one at the standard price and one at the discounted price, but a lot of the additional sales happened after the end of the Lightening Deal. Why this is I am not exactly sure, but I had heard people talking about this phenomenon so I was aware that these extra sales may happen.
My Product#2 is now a Best Seller in its category, which is a result of selling 130 units in one day. I also have 130 more opportunities to get reviews on this product, and because I have systems in place to attract people to my website I have 130 more opportunities to get people on my personal email list.
Warning about selling on Amazon
I have always done things efficiently and optimally when it comes to my ECommerce business. I am building up my brand off Amazon through my own website and through social media. I am building an audience that I will be able to nurture and reach out too to help grow my ECommerce business.
However, saying this 99% of my sales come through Amazon UK, which is my primary sales channel. Amazon is huge no matter what country you are in. For this reason I am expanding into Japan where my Product#1 is now selling. But it is a dangerous game to rely on one sales channel like this, particularly if you are not in full control of this channel.
Amazon is probably not going to go away anytime soon, but you never know. If Amazon does go it will impact on my ECommerce business hugely, but I have systems in place that means I will survive. A lot of Amazon companies do not, which is a worry. Another concern is that Amazon is effectively in control of my listings. I set them up and I am the brand owner, but I do not own the listing on Amazon. Amazon owns it and can do what it likes with it.
Amazon can shut my listing down and other sellers can in theory sell my product on my listing. Say someone somehow gets hold of some of my products, they can then sell them on my listing. This means they could directly compete on what is know as the Buy Box, driving down my sale price.
Screenshot of my Amazon Seller Report showing the huge increase in traffic and sales due to the Lightening Deal
I wanted to let you in to the world of selling on Amazon a show you my experiences of Amazon Lightening Deals. Everything I discuss here is important so hopefully this post has stirred your imagination or helped you in some way to start something new or improve on what you already have.
Good luck and please ask any questions either here in the comments or send me a direct email using my contact page.