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6 Smart Strategies One Entrepreneur Uses to Win Amazon Prime Day This small business owner shares how his company, Volcanica Coffee, prepares for a surge in sales related to Prime Day.

By Maurice Contreras Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Volcanica Coffee

Order placed. Every small business selling products on Amazon likes to read those two words. If you are like me, and your business reaps substantial profits from the commerce giant, then you know that participating in Prime Day is a no-brainer. The 48-hour shopping extravaganza is one of the internet's highest traffic days of the year. Purchases reach the billions and result in unprecedented profits for brands. Last year, we experienced a 69% increase in sales over the previous year.

Related: You're Probably Falling for All of Amazon Prime Day's Psychological Sales Tactics. A Marketing Professor Reveals Them — and How You Can Actually Get the Best Deal.

But if you aren't prepared, Prime Day can be a colossal miss. It's crucial to plan and get your online presence in tip-top shape. Here are some of the tips we've adopted to ensure Prime Day is a success:

1. Invest, no matter what

Don't have the budget for ongoing marketing? Doesn't matter. If you take advantage of Prime Day, you can reap benefits all year. If marketed correctly, the high traffic will pay off. There are many ways to participate, from special offers to deals, discounts and ads. Coupons are a worthwhile investment. An affordable and compelling offer can draw volume. Promoting the deal on your social channels draws traffic to your Amazon listings, something the retailer likes.

Prime Day isn't only about the one day either. Special offers leading up to it increase conversions, favored by Amazon algorithms. This pushes your product higher up in search results. One way to do this is to invest in a "Lighting Deal," a time-bound, promotional offer featuring a limited number of hours on the Amazon Deals page.

Related: A Guide to Finding Online Deals Outside of Amazon Prime Day

2. Update your listings

Review your titles, photos and descriptions to ensure they are in good shape before driving traffic to your pages. Listings should focus on the consumer benefits and answer the question, "What's in it for me?" Descriptions should be simple and enticing. Avoid industry jargon, and use bullet points for easier readability. Product photos should be shown from multiple angles, ideally against a plain white background. The primary photo is the most important. Include at least three other shots, including one of people using your product. If you can, add high-quality video, as it enhances your listing and perception of the product's quality.

3. Send enough inventory

Participating in Prime Day means more sales, so ensure Amazon can fulfill the orders. Lack of inventory decreases search rankings during Prime Day and in the future. Make sure to ship plenty of products in advance. I have had my product sit in a trailer in the parking lot for a few weeks waiting to be received. Send at least 1.5 to 2 times the amount sold in the last 30 days, depending on the product and if you run a Prime Day promotion.

4. Generate product reviews

More traffic and sales provide a prime opportunity to increase your product reviews. If you have a great product and customer service, positive reviews will reflect it. Consider engaging with a company that helps increase customer reviews, such as Feedback Genius. This service significantly boosted my company's reviews.

Related: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Through Amazon

5. Use your website

Consumers often research a brand by going straight to the product website before purchasing on Prime Day. This is an ideal time to capture traffic and offer complimentary coupons/deals with email opt-ins. For example, feature a similar offer to the one on Amazon, or create a special offer for website visitors. One alternative is to point Prime Day customers back to your product on Amazon.

6. Review, document, repeat

After Prime Day, review and analyze your program. Look at conversion rates, visits, coupon redemptions and more. Did the program work as expected? What can you do differently in the future? We detail and document all findings and revisit them when planning for next year's Prime Day.

Prime Day offers epic deals for both sellers and buyers. As a small business, our participation has generated incredible results, but we've had to tweak our involvement year over year to get the most out of it. Planning and preparation are crucial. Without it, you can harm your brand and spend the year fixing it, instead of reaping the benefits. Using these tips will ensure you score the best deal.

Related: Guide to Starting a 'Fulfillment by Amazon' Business

Maurice Contreras

Founder & CEO, Volcanica Coffee

Native Costa Rican Maurice Contreras started Volcanica Coffee to import excellent-tasting coffee from volcanic regions, such as his homeland, to consumers. He started the company in his garage and now operates a coffee plant near Atlanta with 20 employees, including his wife and two adult children.

Previously, Contreras was a regional director for AT&T and the national marketing director of TracFone Wireless. He also held senior management positions with Verizon and Blockbuster Entertainment.

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