Amazon Lightning Deals: What Is It?
Amazon Lightning Deals are flash sales wherein a discount is provided on a limited number of products in a short span of time - normally from 4 to 6 hours. Shoppers can find these deals on Prime, Today’s Deal page on Amazon, as well as in organic search results. They will be marked with a special badge so that buyers can easily spot them if they use the Amazon search bar.
Both sellers and vendors can use the Amazon Lightning Deals option. Products will only be available to customers during the Amazon Lightning Deal period set or as long as the goods are available through the promotion are in stock.
Be aware that this option involves paying a fee (we’ll cover this later).
What Are the Amazon Lightning Deal Requirements?
You can take part in Lighting Deals if you are a seller with Professional Selling Plan. You can figure out whether or not the specific items meet the criteria for visiting the Amazon Lighting Deals Dashboard. Here, you will see the current qualified products displayed. However, Amazon considers different criteria when figuring out product eligibility.
Here are the requirements that should be met by the seller to make a lighting deal:
- 3.5 overall seller rating is the minimum requirement.
- Professional Seller Plan must be used.
- You must have at least five Seller Feedback marks within a month.
In addition, not all products are eligible for Amazon Lightning Deals. This can be easily verified by going to the Deals Dashboard and selecting the appropriate option. If you see your products here, you can try setting up a promotion. Yes, just try it, because even if your products are available in this promotion, Amazon may reject the creation of such a deal later (we'll talk about this a little later).
Products must also meet the following criteria:
- The Product's rating is at least 3 stars.
- The Product is available with the Prime shipping option.
- Category of goods "new", "used" are not allowed.
- Max quantity of product’s variations is included.
- The product must not violate the Amazon pricing policy rules and has a valid reference price.
- Products must not fall into the category of prohibited, offensive or inappropriate.
These criteria may be changed depending on the country and time of year.
Like other promotion options on Amazon, Lightning Deals provide a great opportunity for a seller to boost product sales and increase brand awareness. The main benefits you will get by using it include the following points:
- Ssales growth;
- Increasing brand awareness, attracting new loyal customers;
- Clearing an inventory that is selling out slowly;
- An increase of product’s position in organic search results (due to explosive growth in sales);
- Presentation of a new product at the time of its launch for a large number of buyers;
- Improving BSR due to sales growth;
- Improving product rating, growing several positive reviews (if you have high-quality goods), and Amazon A9 Algorithm loyalty.
Sales growth is always the expected result from any promotion a seller uses. In the case of Amazon Lightning Deals, you also get increased traffic to a product listing, attract new customers who don’t know about your brand, and improve product rankings, which positively impacts future organic sales.
While there are many positives, Amazon Lightning Deals have several disadvantages that you must understand if you want to get the most out of this promotion.
1. Amazon chooses when Amazon Lightning Deals will launch and how long the promotion for a product will be active (4 hours or 12 hours).
When you launch a promotion, you can select the date range from only those that are available to you (set by Amazon). This means that your control over the promotion launch schedule is limited. You can choose the week during which the Lightning Deal will be launched, but you cannot specify the exact start date (neither day nor time). This limits your options a lot. This is especially true for "hot periods" (Prime Day, Cyber Monday) when it is more important to control the progress of the promotion than ever.
Therefore, when starting, you must consider the seasonality of the product and the specifics of the “peak” season’s sales in order to win the maximum benefit for yourself. Use the product's sales history for this and analyze when it is the most profitable to start such sales.
It can be fixed. Amazon always notices the start date of the promotion, indicates the day and time of launch. Track the status of the promotion to be aware of its current status. If the day and time that Amazon chooses does not suit you, you can always cancel the launch of the promotion. You must do this no later than 24 hours before the start. In such a case, the Amazon Lightning Deal will be canceled without charging a fee. You will need to repeat the launch process again to get a more suitable launch schedule.
This method has its drawbacks. For example, if you cancel everything at the last moment, it may affect the future availability of this type of promotion to you. The fact is that Amazon Lightning Deals are not available to every seller or product. If you frequently cancel deals without launching them or cancel them at the last moment, you risk not receiving such offers from Amazon again in the future.
So be very careful about restarting Lightning Deals to avoid getting into the blacklist.
2. Short-term effect of explosive growth in sales.
Of course, you run a promotion with the goal of selling inventory and getting sales quickly. And, perhaps, you will be successful in this. However, don’t expect the same amount of sales after the end of the promotion. Customers often come for bargain purchases, but they don’t hurry to come back to you if you don’t provide excellent service and product quality. Therefore, following the explosive growth in sales, you can observe some decline, which is quite normal. Don’t expect the long-term effect of explosive growth after the end of the promo.
3. A sufficient amount of inventory in the warehouse even before the start of the promotion.
When you select options at launch, you specify the amount of inventory you want to sell during this promotion. Before the launch, Amazon checks the availability of goods in the warehouse. And if it’s not enough, then the deal will be canceled. Therefore, it is important to take care of the availability of the goods in stock. On the other hand, if you miscalculate your sales, you end up with excess inventory. If your sales are sluggish, you may face a situation when additional fees will have to be paid for its storage.
4. Dependence of the availability of deals on internal Amazon factors.
The fact is that Amazon constantly monitors not only those factors that it openly talks about but also many hidden parameters. For example, how much inventory you sold during the previous promotion and how much you wanted to sell (the amount you specified in Quantity), whether previous deals were canceled, when and how often you did it, etc. If you plan to sell 100 units of a product and indicate this number in Quantity but sell only 20, this is a wake-up call for Amazon. So, calculate the volume as accurately as possible. This and similar situations affect whether Lightning Deals will be available to you in the future. Take this into account.
Amazon Lightning Deals Costs
You can’t determine the exact amount of fees. Amazon takes into account various factors when it exposes you to the final fee when setting up a promotion. Among these factors is the period when the promotion will start (on Prime Day and Cyber Monday, the fee can go up to $ 500), the estimated volume of traffic that the listing with the product will receive, and much more. Usually, you will be charged about $ 150, but this is only a rough estimate.
By the way, no one can guarantee that you will receive exactly the amount of traffic that the internal Amazon algorithm predicts (you will not know about it either). You can only be sure that the specified commission will be deducted from you. At the same time, you can estimate the sales volumes only after the end of the promotion.
Don’t forget that you are selling a product at a discount, so you lose some of your income. And if you are planning to sell 100-200 units at a 20-30% discount, this can be quite a tangible amount for you. Add to this the usual payment of the commission we talked about above, and you realize that Amazon Lightning Deals are not always beneficial to the seller.
Whether to use them or not is up to you, given the goals that you pursue. If you aim to attract attention to a new product and expand the influence of a brand in a niche, it is enough to make your campaign at least break even. Those, if you are ready to receive a minimum income after launch or even go to 0, you can try Lightning Deals in action. Just calculate your break-even point and use those numbers when calculating the cost of launching a promotion.
If your goal is maximum profit, and you are aiming to get the most orders on peak days (for example, on Prime Day), this option may be a losing one, because the commission is too high during such periods, and your margin may not allow you to cover all costs (commission + discount amount) in order to stay in good financial advantage.
Keep in mind that a temporary return must not be your aim with this kind of deal. Rather concentrate on long–term profitability, which results from increasing your organic search ranking and getting new clients.
When Should I Use Amazon Lightning Deals?
You must think of running these deals if you’re interested in developing long-term success for a specific item, not only for temporary sales boosts.
Amazon Lightning Deals are costly. Therefore, you should not expect too much profit from such sales. This option is great for such targets:
- Attracting additional traffic to the listing.
- Increasing the number of sales (we are not talking about a serious increase in profits, but only about total sales growth).
- Increasing position in organic search results due to more units sold and improved rankings.
- Sale of stale goods.
Amazon Lightning Deals are more efficient as a portion of a bigger technique or strategy. One amazing perk of this promotion is its capability to offer an increase a position in organic search results that have a bigger impact on sales. If the deal is successful, it affects the conversion rate, and also boosts sales, not only now, but also in the future.
How to Set Up a Lightning Deal?
Once you have an item that is listed in the Deals Dashboard (Advertising tab in your Seller Central Account) as deal qualified and you would want to submit this for an Amazon Lighting Deal, you are able to do it. According to Amazon, the available ASINs change every week. Therefore, those that are available today may not be available for a deal in a week. Сonsider this. Then you’ll have to go through the next steps.
- Click Create a new deal button.
- Choose the Lightning Deals tab and select an eligible product.
- After choosing a product, set a start date for the promotion. Remember that you can only select the week when the promotion will start, but you can’t select the day and time of its launch.
- Configure a promotion by setting up a deal price, the number of units, discount per unit.
Deal price - the maximum price at which you plan to sell each unit. Remember that Amazon expects you to reduce the price by at least 15%. Think about what discount you are ready to give customers, calculate and indicate it when setting up a promotion.
Discount per unit - the amount of discount you offer to buyers.
Committed - set the number of units that you plan to sell during the promotion period. Remember that Amazon takes into account your experience (good or bad) regarding the number of products sold during the period of such promotions. Therefore, don’t bet too large a number, if you do not plan that there will be many successful deals.
Optionally, you can add product variations to take part in the promotion. So, make sure to think of which variation to integrate into the lighting deal.
5. Submit a deal for checking and approval. This usually doesn’t take long and approvals almost instantly.
Amazon reminds the seller that the Amazon Lightning Deal is ahead about a week before it starts. Remember also that at least one week before the launch of the promotion, Amazon checks the amount of inventory that is available in the warehouse for the selected ASIN. Make sure that it is sufficient considering how much you intend to sell at a discount during the promotion period. This is important because, according to Amazon, a stock shortage is a good enough reason to reject a promotion (and you won't be able to get the fee back).
How Do I Track the Status of a Promotion?
You can track the status of a promotion by monitoring its status:
- Draft - you made a mistake while setting up a promotion and must fix it, or Amazon still hasn't checked the conditions and settings of the lightning deal (you need to wait some more time and check the status again).
- Audited - the deal is in the process of verification (if it is carried out manually, and not automatically).
- Editing required - the deal still needs to be edited and changed, after which it needs to be submitted again for approval.
- Approved - the promotion is confirmed, Amazon has chosen and set the exact date and time for its launch.
- Suppressed - the deal no longer meets the requirements of Amazon, or the product you selected no longer meets the recommendations. You can still make changes (for example, remove an ASIN that is no longer eligible) to allow the deal to be accepted.
- Active - the deal is active and the promotion is currently running successfully.
- Finished - the promotion has already ended.
- Canceled - the deal was canceled by the seller.
How to Cancel Amazon Lightning Deal?
Remember that you must cancel the deal no later than 24 hours before the start. Otherwise, you will be charged a fee without the possibility of a refund.
You can cancel a deal by finding the one you need in the Deals Menu and clicking the View button. Then click Cancel Deal to do it.
Why Did Amazon Reject My Deal?
Well, there are several possible reasons for this:
- The product has ceased to meet the requirements set by Amazon (for example, its rating has worsened, or the number of units has decreased and doesn’t correspond to the quantity selected for sale, etc.);
- Product variations are not included (for example, for clothes, you need to include at least 65% of variations in order for the deal to be allowed);
- You are trying to include a non-eligible item (even though Amazon initially showed it to be available to do so).
Track the status of the lightning deal and you will be able to react to its rejection in time and fix it. Even if you don’t understand why this happened, and you are sure that everything should be in order, you can always contact Amazon Seller Support for clarification.
It is easy to set up Amazon Lighting Deals. The only complicated and hard part is qualifying for these deals. When you’ve submitted your deals, ensure that you’ll have sufficient inventory to cover once the deal runs and ensure it will cover the days before that sales. Don’t neglect the opportunity to increase your sales, albeit for a short time. After all, in the long term, this will help to improve the rating not only of the product that you have chosen for sale but also your seller rating, as well as other account metrics.