Black Friday weekend (November 27) is approaching fast, which means it’s Q4 crunch time for online retailers. The National Retail Federation reports that November and December account for nearly 30% of all annual sales for most retailers, with the majority of those numbers racking up between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to The Black Friday, 2020’s Black Friday week will look a lot different than it has in the past. Many big-box retailers from Walmart to Target have announced they are shutting down on Black Friday with no in-store events planned.
With a pandemic still spreading throughout the country, retailers are doing their part to prevent long lines and large crowds battling it out over a bargain. With shoppers looking for a place to spend their hard-earned bucks, Amazon remains the top online retailer for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Seizing Amazon Black Friday, Cyber Monday Sale Opportunities
As you can see, Amazon can be highly lucrative in 2020. However, it is also highly competitive—especially when you consider the restrictions in place this holiday season. For Amazon sellers to be successful, they need to be adequately prepared in order to capitalize on this sale period. With improved usability of Amazon’s mobile app and an expansion of their assortment of barcodes, shoppers can conveniently compare prices while they are standing in the store. In the end, the app allows shoppers to find a better deal online. Why not use this opportunity to make that better deal YOUR product for Amazon Black Friday 2020?
Both of Amazon’s recent changes are going to make significant strides in putting Amazon sellers at the forefront of the Black Friday competition this season. Keep in mind, you are not only competing with other sellers on Amazon—you are competing with huge retailers like Walmart and Target who are severely cutting prices to gain customers amidst this pandemic.
As you can see, it is safe to say that Amazon is getting prepared for the holiday season. So, let us look at some tips for selling on Amazon marketplace this Amazon Black Friday 2020.
Tips for Selling on Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Black Friday 2020
1. Use Your Data
To begin, take a look at your most recent or successful Amazon Prime Day promotions. Amazon’s 2019 Black Friday was the most lucrative day in Amazon history, far surpassing the numbers from 2018. If your business partook in Amazon’s Prime Day, Amazon Black Friday, or Amazon Cyber Monday, you already have a strong advantage in understanding your upcoming Amazon shoppers. On the other hand, if you are inexperienced, now is the time to seize your sales goals with Black Friday.
Take some time and look at the following data points to analyze the difference between a strong and weak sales performance:
- Which of your products did you offer at a discount?
- Which products sold the most?
- What discounts were the most effective?
- Which keywords did you optimize for that brought the strongest return?
- How did you handle your inventory? Were you over or understocked?
- Which products were returned most often?
- What did the majority of your negative feedback say? How will you address any issues that were raised?
With this data, your business can easily determine what products to sell, what discounts should be applied for success, and how to solve any customer service issues in the future. You do not need to offer the same discounts or promotions as you did on Prime Day necessarily, but it does give you the opportunity to identify the more successful products, promotions, and keywords that performed better than others.
If possible, do the same with your Black Friday sales from last year. Note that trending products may differ, but consumer behavior likely has not changed much.
Not sure how to interpret your data? Contact Seller’s Choice for a convenient personalized consultation of your strengths and opportunities to set a strategic goal for Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
2. Choose Your Products Wisely
Promote products that your customer wants to buy. You do not necessarily need to be selling the hottest items trending this holiday season, because those will have a high level of competition and low margins among big box retailers. Instead, opt to sell products currently trending in your specific industry. If you haven’t started taking inventory and ordering your products for Black Friday, now is the time to start, ensuring you are not lacking necessary products.
Bonus: Create product bundles for promotion. Product bundling will help you win the Buy Box, boost exposure, and effectively grow your sales. Moreover, bundles have their own UPC, so competitors can’t mooch on your listings. Learn more about product bundling here to get a leg up this season.
3. Offer Only the Best Promotions
Pricing and promotions are the number one factor for ultimate Black Friday success. As such, you will need to price your products accordingly to remain competitive. When you offer the best price, you are in the runnings to be placed in Amazon’s Featured Merchant Status. When you earn this status, you get an instant boost to your visibility and an ability to win the Buy Box. Keep up to date with Amazon’s repricing software to take a thorough inventory of your margins.
Another inspiring idea is to offer free shipping for this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Often, Black Friday shoppers are impulse buyers who are turned off by having to pay for shipping as well. Amazon Black Friday shoppers are looking for a deal. Therefore, they immediately click on another selection if they spot an additional charge for shipping. Another reason to consider free shipping is due to the fact that Target, Best Buy, and other Amazon sellers will be offering free shipping. In the end, these extra steps will help you remain competitive. The goal is to ultimately make up the costs of free shipping with an increase in the number of customers and sales.
4. Order the Correct Amount of Inventory to Meet Amazon Black Friday Demands
Thanksgiving weekend often sees an increase in order volume with 2-3 times the normal daily volume being ordered. To make money and keep up with customer demand, you are going to want to order extra inventory. This way, you do not run the risk of lacking units and ultimately missing an opportunity amid the Black Friday craziness. In fact, the best thing you can do is to order enough to last you through the month of January.
Keep reliable sales projections readily on hand to be certain you get the right amount of inventory in time. If you have yet to stock up on inventory, there could potentially be heavy backups and a stockpile of unfulfilled orders.
5. Get Your Business Comfortable with FBM
If you stock up but still manage to run out of product, you will ideally want to switch to FBM (if you’re an FBA seller). FBM or Fulfilled By Merchant, lets the customer know that you will send out the goods yourself when they become available. Running out and switching to FBM can help you gain an added 30 days to deliver products to your consumer. This means you have time to contact your factory, order more merchandise, and have it delivered right to your home or business. Next, you will prep and send the inventory yourself, which is ultimately quicker than sending it through FBA at the last minute. Choosing FBM can be a strong backup if you have a good partnership with your supplier and have trust that you will get your inventory within that 30 days.
This allows your customers to basically create “pending orders” of your product. Three keys to this strategy:
- Ensure your product arrives within 30 days
- Ensure the product reaches the consumer by the holidays
- Reach out to the customer to explain any delays and offer a discount for their trouble
Keep in mind that switching to FBM is ultimately a last-ditch strategy if you get yourself into a bind. It’s always better to overstock than order and send late shipments.
6. Put Your Inventory into FBA
The moment you receive and prep your inventory, go ahead and put it into FBA (if you are an FBA seller). At this moment in time, Amazon warehouses are already having to turn people away because they don’t have the room for all the different merchandise varieties. In fact, you need to get your units to your FBA warehouse ASAP. Moreover, consumers are already shopping holiday sales, so you should have inventory prepped and ready for purchase in FBA.
If you’re not sure how to manage your inventory appropriately, we recommend a service like Skubana. Skubana will effectively streamline your inventory across all channels and automate your inventory processes for you. It can also help to eliminate your losses and increase profits during the very busy Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
7. Start Selling your Top Promotional Items Early
To no one’s surprise, customers often begin looking for holiday deals in the very first week of November. By offering an early season sale, you’ll start to grow visibility early, gaining the interest of customers that will inevitably come back for more. Consumer Psychology says: “If they’re offering a discount now, imagine what their Black Friday discount will be. I’ll have to bookmark this product and buy it then.” Once they make a purchase, your business will instantly be added to their shopping list.
The increased visibility you receive this season can help give you a competitive edge, when promotions and deals all start to look the same later in the month. Plus, select customers may actually buy during the early sale in order to avoid missing out on the product in question during Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 weekend.
8. Update Your Product Listings
Optimization rules are constantly changing as the internet evolves. As such, you need to ensure your listings are completely up-to-date to show up FIRST among search results, giving you the chance to win the Buy Box. This optimization process includes adding in back-end keywords related to the sale with terms like “Black Friday,” “Cyber Monday,” “Christmas,” and even “Amazon”.
Another great way to improve your product listings is by updating your product imagery. Luckily for 2020 Amazon Sellers, our friends at Placeit.net offer easy-to-customize templates for all your Amazon products! Access thousands of templates and download as many mockups, logos, design templates, and videos as you want. No design skills required. Each template is carefully made by design experts so your product imagery will always look great!
9. Clean Up Your Performance Metrics
In order to win the Buy Box, you must have a relatively low return rate and high degree of positive feedback. In this final month, you should do whatever you can to prepare your listings to look as attractive as possible. This “polishing”, so to speak, should promote your business’ most positive, recent reviews. Your Black Friday shoppers are in a rush, so they will only look at the first few reviews before making their decision. If you’ve had bad reviews coming up first, this could damage your ability to sell.
More than anything, you want stellar recent reviews to show off to your customers. You can try to obtain these reviews by going on your Seller Feedback page and reaching out to certain customers. Avoid incentivizing customers or you will be penalized. Instead, just ask your customers if they wouldn’t mind submitting a review about their experience. If one of your product listings has low metrics and isn’t salvageable by Amazon Black Friday, it is best to remove it for the holiday weekend. No one wants to let one listing pull down your whole business for the entirety of the biggest annual promotional period.
10. Create a Customer Service Process
Black Friday is hectic; there is no other way to put it. In the end, something is bound to go wrong. To combat any future problems, you want to have a set process in place for each possible problem. How will you handle late orders, inventory concerns, and customer complaints? To be a success, everyone on your team should be briefed and trained in these customer service procedures to ensure a smooth and successful Amazon Black Friday promotion.
The Key to Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday Success
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are happening in just a few short weeks. Use this time and carefully evaluate whether your Amazon-based business will be ready. A profitable Thanksgiving weekend sale will ultimately determine how you finish Q4 and initiate next year’s business growth. Are you feeling ready and prepared to take on this hectic Thanksgiving weekend rush? With this guide and its helpful resources, your business can conquer Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020!