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8 Steps to Prepare for Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The fourth quarter of the year brings about so much possibility, but the biggest is the opportunity to skyrocket your sales more than any other time of the year. Strategically navigating this holiday shopping season is vital for any Amazon seller.

The best time to optimize your Amazon store for these critical events is just ahead of Q4. This year, Black Friday falls on November 26, and Cyber Monday follows on November 29. Now is the time to optimize and perform a final check of your Amazon store to avoid unnecessary issues that could complicate or delay your sales during this period.  

What steps should you take to ensure that your Amazon store is ready to handle the demands of this transformational sales week? Let's find out.

Why do you need to prepare your Amazon store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

It's easy to get distracted by Amazon Black Friday prep and Amazon Cyber Monday planning that you forget to plan logistics in time. In the few months leading to the holiday season, your focus should be on optimizing your Amazon store to make the most of the upcoming online shopping spree. Why?

  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday are vital to your bottom line; they're huge sales events for Amazon sellers. During this time, shopping volumes grow tremendously since buyers are prepared to open their wallets and spend more than at any other time of the year.

  • Careful inventory planning for the holiday shopping season will save you money while helping you avoid overstocking or understocking, thus giving you an advantage over your competition.  

  • During the holiday season, Amazon's inventory and fulfillment services get strained because of the increased demand. As Black Friday and Amazon Cyber Monday approach, you must stay on top of the projected increased demand by ensuring that your shipments get out early enough that you have inventory available for the upcoming shopping events.

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Unlock the best steps for Amazon Black Friday prep and Amazon Cyber Monday sales

You need the right marketing approach to make the most of the November holiday sales. Due to the many deals available during this period, you can expect some delivery limitations, which is why you must prepare for these events in advance. Here's how:

#1 Review your inventory storage limits

Amazon subjects different seller accounts to storage limit restrictions to better manage fulfillment center storage. While these policies don't affect most FBA sellers most of the year, they are a big deal when peak season approaches. Sellers who exceed the inventory limits set by Amazon have to pay an inventory storage overage fee. 

Amazon uses the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) to set storage limits for sellers. Your IPI score determines how much inventory you can send to Amazon. A poor IPI score will see your inventory storage limited, so you can't send more merchandise to Amazon fulfillment centers. That's the last thing you want to stress about as your Amazon Black Friday prep and Cyber Monday approach.

First, determine if your seller account is subject to inventory limits or ASIN-level restrictions, as this will dictate the amount of inventory you can send to Amazon warehouses. If you are subject to inventory storage limitations, find ways to sell the items that may take up most of the storage space before Black Friday. You might also want to contact a third-party logistics company to set up an alternative during this busy November holiday sales period.

Checking inventory is pivotal to understanding the forecast of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

#2 Order enough inventory to meet the demands of Amazon Black Friday prep and Cyber Monday

Orders will likely increase as Black Friday and Amazon Cyber Monday approach; you don’t want to be caught unprepared without enough inventory to meet increased demands. Start working with your suppliers to establish an ample lead time between your products' production and delivery date. Doing so will afford you enough time to handle any unforeseen problems in the logistics process.

#3 Optimize your Amazon advertising campaigns to increase conversions

Advertising is a great measure to get your products in front of millions of potential customers. If you have advertising campaigns running, you’ll want to optimize them to perform at the highest level for a higher return on ad spend during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Increase your Amazon advertising budget. Black Friday comes right after Thanksgiving when competition increases for Amazon brands. You want to ensure that your store is ready for the spike in bids and the increased number of sellers clicking on your ads. Running out of ad budget before the end of the day isn't what you want since it will mean losing sales. Your best bet is to increase your budget to handle the increased traffic. Do so a few days before major holidays, but don’t forget to lower bids several days after the end of the event.

  • Review your keyword strategy because some keywords may generate a lot of clicks but may not convert to significant sales. Go through all the keyword targets in your ad campaign and pause the ones that aren't performing as desired. You can always enable them again once the holiday sales season passes.

  • Monitor the search terms your ads are displayed for, and add the terms that aren't related to your product to your negative targeting lists. Your ad performance should decrease if an ad displays on a search that isn't relevant to what the customer searched for.

  • Adjust your bids. Amazon allows you to choose the price you want to pay per click but also provides bid recommendations so you can decide to increase or decrease your bids accordingly. You can also select a suitable bid strategy that you know will work for your brand during this period.

#4 Optimize your product listings for conversion

Amazon Cyber Monday and Amazon Black Friday prep mean giving your listings the best possible chances to convert and increase sales. To do that, you need to ensure your listings are well-optimized. There are two factors you need to pay attention to in that regard – keyword optimization and image optimization.

  • Keyword optimization: Keywords are how buyers find your products on Amazon. Relevant and high-volume keywords will help you rank higher and show up more in organic search results. If you haven't been optimizing your listings for SEO, start doing it now. Leverage keywords that your customers use to find your products. To optimize your listings for conversion, make sure you use these keywords on different parts of your listings from the product title, description and bullet points. However, ensure a good balance of these keywords so your listing makes perfect sense to the buyer.

  • Image optimization: The images you use on your listing will determine if people are drawn to your listing or not. High-quality visual effects and unique images will increase your conversion rates. Leverage lifestyle and infographic images to demonstrate your product's best features and benefits.

#5 Plan your promotions before Black Friday and Amazon Cyber Monday

These two sales days offer great deals so buyers can save money on products. Your competitors will provide irresistible deals and discounts to increase conversion. Plan your promotions in advance to ensure you don't make losses and can keep up with the increased competition.

Buyers know that Amazon runs special deals the entire week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so you’ll want to schedule these deals early. You don’t want to miss out on offering a deal that customers can’t resist.

#6 Leverage existing analytics to make intelligent and strategic marketing decisions

Using existing analytics are great ways to see what the season can bring you.

You want to streamline all your operations during the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Analyze your inventory and sales data for the past few months and the previous year or two.

  • Analyze your competitor's data, reviewing metrics like ranking, search volume, and CPC rates. Identify top-performing keywords to use in your product listings and ad campaigns.

  • Identify the best-selling products in your niche and your portfolio. Also, identify your peak sale days and products with the potential to perform well.

Ensure you cover all bases, including setting alerts for price changes and Buy Box. You want to stay informed on every move your competitors make, including their product price changes and Buy Box losses, so you can adjust your holiday selling strategy.  

#7 Offer hard-to-resist delivery incentives to drive traffic to your listings

The Amazon Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales week are about incredible deals and promotions. Special incentives like free returns and same-day delivery, especially for Prime members, provide shoppers added peace of mind as they sort through the millions of great deals on Amazon.  

#8 Revamp your social media marketing to increase brand awareness  

Decide what social media marketing platforms work best for your brand, be it Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram. Include them as part of your marketing funnel to actively engage customers and drive traffic directly to your landing pages and Amazon product listings. Create realistic and measurable goals when creating ad campaigns on social media platforms. Social media marketing can help increase brand awareness and customer relevancy, especially during big holiday events.  

Summary

If you are an Amazon seller, it’s time to ramp up your Amazon Black Friday prep and Amazon Cyber Monday selling preparations. Order enough inventory to keep up with the increased demand and ensure that your campaign strategies and promotions are second to none. Happy holiday selling!

Questions about Q4 preparation and optimization? Drop them below.

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