Prime Day just went by and Black Friday and Cyber Monday is around the corner. Yes, it’s 2020.
What’s different in this year’s Black Friday?
Everything. Just like all the events, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 is going to be anything but normal. Fears around the COVID-19 pandemic have shifted customers more and more away from brick and mortar stores. Besides, Walmart has decided to close the stores this Thanksgiving, so a jump in sales is expected. As more and more shoppers rush to Amazon for their holiday shopping, it is crucial that you prepare your store for a surge in demand.
But hey, when is Black Friday 2020?
Black Friday traditionally falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is most of the time the last Thursday in November. This year, Black Friday is on 27th November 2020. Cyber Monday falls on the first Monday after Black Friday, so this year, it’s on 30th November 2020.
To help you stay organized, we have created this practical checklist that will get your Amazon store ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Have you started yet?
For normal people, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but for Amazon sellers, it’s undoubtedly the busiest time of the year as they are on their heels all four months. If you wait until mid-November to start your prep for Black Friday, then darling, you better not because it’s too late. Don’t be the black sheep that gets left behind. You need to get your inventory management and advertising strategies in place from around mid-October (which is now), so you are all set a week before the Black Friday weekend. What are you waiting for? Open your Seller Central account and get started!!!
Have you added holiday-related keywords in your listing and backend and literally anywhere else, there is space?
Although making tweaks in your listing and adding keywords sounds like too much, trust me, these little changes go a long way in improving your ranking and conversion. For example, if you are selling kitchen products, you would want to include some general search phrases like “cooking gifts,” “kitchen gift ideas,” “gift for cooking enthusiasts,” and more. Even though these keywords may not have as much traffic as the main keywords, the conversation rates are dramatically higher as the keywords are more targeted.
Make a list of top holiday and gift related keywords, sprinkle a couple in your title bullets, description and a few in your search terms provided you have space. No room in your listing copy? Of course, the first priority for adding holiday-related keywords are your title, bullet points and description but if there is no room, add in your backend fields and your advertising campaigns. We would also highly recommend creating separate campaigns for such keywords.
- If you want to get your hands on some great keywords, do a quick keyword research for Amazon from Merchant Words and Helium10.
- Do remember to remove the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other gift related keywords once the season’s gone.
Heads-up! Don’t add Perfect Gift or any such related phrase in your title, or Amazon can block the listing.
Have you bundled your products yet?
If you have multiple products listed in your catalog that complement each other, then the holiday season is the best time to strategically gather them into an attractive bundle and increase your total order quantity. Because it’s Black Friday weekend, a discount offer is a must. However, how much discount to offer totally depends on your budget. By providing relevant products together for a discounted price, you will have the perfect opportunity to grab the shopper’s attention with something different from what every seller offers.
To know more about Amazon Virtual Bundles, click here.
Do you have “just enough” stock?
Before you get too busy with your advertising campaigns, ask yourself one thing: do you have enough stock? Enough here means that you shouldn’t go out of stock during the sale (that’s a grave mistake!) and you shouldn’t have excess inventory that just sits in the FBA center and costs you money (that’s even worse).
If you run out of stock, you are not only losing the sale but are also disappointing a shopper. That is why you want to make sure that you never, ever, ever run out of stock. There is no bigger sin for an Amazon seller than going out of stock during the sale days, or any other day in that matter.
Similarly, ordering too much stock just to be on the “safer” wouldn’t be a smart move either. After the holiday season, there is a sales slump and if you have stocked way too much, you might end up on the wrong side of the IPI bar. Ideally, you want to order stock that lasts till the first week of January, when the holiday rush finally starts to slow down.
Now the question is: how much to order? The best way to predict is by reviewing your past year’s sales data. Although sales fluctuate from year to year, the data will be enough to get an estimate.
Have finalized on promotions and deals yet?
The promotions and discounts you offer on the Black Friday weekend are just as important as your product. After all, customers shop madly on these days so that they can get a great “deal.” Make no mistake’ it’s the holiday season and if you don’t have a great offer in your virtual shop customer, your rivals will. So what are the offers your customers are looking for? We have prepared a shortlist of what you can offer your shoppers during the sale days:
- Free shipping: Need we even say this? Free, fast and flawless, that’s how your shipping should be
- Easy returns: Just like free shipping, easy returns are a must. It customer-friendly and open return policy offers shoppers the confidence they need to make a purchase
- Lightning Deals: Lightning deals are a great way to help shopper discover your product and they also tend to attract more shoppers
- Coupons: Coupons and percentage off are the most effective conversation booster, so don’t miss them out
Are you done with Amazon Listing Optimization?
During the Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, and the whole holiday season, you are going to get hundreds and thousands of first-time shoppers on your listing. This is your chance to make a lasting first impression. For starters, you can make sure your listing has enough information so that shoppers can make an informed and confident purchase decision. This is where listing optimization, A+ Pages, infographic images and Amazon seller storefront come in: you want to write content that information-packed yet scannable, you need to make sure that you have an infographic, lifestyle, measurement and white background images, you should create an attractive A+ Pages that showcases your brand and answers your most common customer questions.
Are you ready for the unknown?
Being prepared also includes regularly asking yourselves questions that have “what if.” It is rightly said that hope for the best but prepare for the worst and this year has proved this wise quote. Do you have your backup plan ready if things don’t go as planned? We don’t want to stir up unfounded fears but asking yourself questions that make you uncomfortable will help you last in challenging situations. Maybe if you are proactive enough, nothing bad will happen in the first place. Think about everything that can go wrong and make contingency plans well in advance. It will be much easier to spare a few hours now then troubleshoot the problem amidst the chaos.
Is your Amazon Sponsored Ads strategy ready?
This is not any other day and so the advertising strategy you apply for a normal day won’t work today. Take a deep dive into your advertising campaigns and think about how you can get your products in front of more eyeballs? Here’s what I do. I usually assign most of my budget to the most top-selling products. The average products or the low-velocity ASINs will get attention but not too much. Finally, I won’t even bother spending on the low performing ASINs because this is not the time. During holidays, the competition is high and if you intend to improve the performance of your low-performing ASINs, you will just lose money. What you can do is bundle a high selling and low selling product to get rid of excess stock.
Instead of spending your money on all the products, capitalize on a few products that are working well. Lower the spending of poor performers or disable the campaigns for them temporarily. It would be best if you discuss your plans with your Amazon marketing consultant.
Have you bought gifts for your family?
A tad off-topic, but this is just as important. Thanksgiving weekend may be the best time to double or even triple your income, but at the same time, do remember that there are your loved ones waiting eagerly to begin Thanksgiving dinner once you get home. So, don’t just sell things, buy gifts for them, fall asleep watching TV with a full stomach, binge watch your favorite series and have the best family time! I know what you are thinking…what about my business? Well, we have a solution. Hire Amazon Consultants from eStore Factory and out your seller central account on autopilot mode. We will take care of everything, so you don’t have to worry….ever J. Contact Us now!
Bonus tip: Black Friday deals don’t just happen on Black Friday
Everyone knows that Black Friday is the biggest shopping season of the year after, of course, Amazon’s self-made holiday – Prime Day. But what sellers don’t know is that you will see an increase in sales the week before and the week after. So don’t just stop the campaigns and efforts once the sale day is over.
Want to stay on top of everything? We have introduced the “Amazon Seller Updates” page where we regularly post the most relevant, important and need to know updates. Bookmark this page and return here to catch up!