If you’re an online seller, then you know that there’s a difference between Black Friday and Amazon Black Friday. That’s because the world’s largest online retailer plays by its own set of Black Friday rules.
Between the early start, aggressive promotions, and millions of buyers it lures, Amazon Black Friday is a unique major event. For some sellers, the sales from this day make up their biggest chunk of yearly revenue.
Online sellers must be ready to boost Amazon Black Friday sales because of the massive upswing in online shopping traffic. And, since Amazon broke its single-day sales record on Prime Day in July, there’s a good chance it’ll happen again.
Luckily for you, we have vital tips to help you maximize Amazon Black Friday and, hopefully, break your sales record.
Read on to see if you’re best prepared for the national holiday shopping frenzy.
1. Be ready to sell when November begins
Retail giants like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target begin releasing Black Friday ads about a week before the big day.
But one week prior isn’t enough lead time for Amazon Black Friday deals to go public.
Amazon is opening its Black Friday online store on November 1st, essentially turning the event into Black November.
Amazon expert and co-founder of BestBlackFriday.com, Phil Dengler, estimates that total Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales will increase 5.39 percent YOY and 6.22 YOY, respectively.
Those represent a massive drop from the previous year-over-year increases of 13.27 percent for Black Friday sales and 19.77% for Thanksgiving sales, perhaps indicating we're getting closer to "peak Black Friday."
The forecast is even brighter for eCommerce sales according to eMarketer, who predict an increase of 15 percent YOY in 2017 after predicting a 17.2 percent increase in sales YOY in 2016.
Since Amazon Black Friday sales are going to start super early this year, you need to prepare earlier, too.
Bottom line: Have your inventory stocked and listings set by November 1st to capitalize on pre-Black Friday promotions.
2. Offer free shipping for Amazon Black Friday
The entire point of Amazon Black Friday is for consumers to score great deals. (Or, at least to think that they are.)
So, unless you’re Cards Against Humanity, you’re going to want to offer lower-than-usual prices and free shipping.
If shipping costs are added on top of the cost of your items, this will put off many potential customers. And, because many Amazon Black Friday purchases are impulse buys, you’ll want to avoid triggering instant negative reactions.
Potential customers seeking a popular item will be motivated by low prices and fast shipping times above all else. So, you’ll risk losing sales to Amazon and other 3P sellers offering free shipping if you fail to do so.
Retailers like Target and Best Buy also plan on offering free shipping, so you could lose sales to them, too.
Do everything you can to offer free shipping, and you can make up for the costs by making more sales.
If you don't use automated repricing software to drive sales, consider adding one with pricing strategies that account for your profitabiliy. That way, you can optimize your prices for each listing based on different goals, such as volume selling or higher-margin sales.
3. Stock your inventory heavily and account for promotional sales
When Amazon Black Friday arrives, it’s vital to have enough units in inventory to satisfy the huge uptick in demand. You may also want to monitor your inventory to ensure you have leftover items to sell at higher prices later.
First, make sure you understand how Amazon promotions wo5rk.
Then, if you sell FBA, check your inventory to ensure that it’s protected and reserved for Amazon Black Friday sales.
Lastly, if you run sales projections, don’t forget to account for Amazon Black Friday sales prices in your revenue estimates. The last thing you want is to overestimate your figures because you didn’t account for lower Black Friday prices.
4. Source products that are trending and use hacks to cut sourcing costs
Listen on social media, watch TV commercials, and pay attention to what different age demographics like before you source. That way, you’ll make educated, strategic sourcing decisions rather than turning your sourcing process into a crapshoot.
You can even use this awesome tool called Jungle Scout to make sourcing great products even easier.
Q4 is when you should be selling time-tested winners, not testing out new listings in hopes that they catch on.
That’s why you should consider sourcing toys, TVs, video games/consoles, and classic gifts, like clothing, home decor, and appliances.
You can find detailed predictions about Amazon’s Black Friday deals all over the internet. Study up on what the experts think will happen so you’re best prepared for different scenarios unfolding.
Consider that eCommerce influencer Armando Roggio is predicting that colder winter weather will drive more consumers to online shopping and source accordingly.
There are also ways to cut your costs with Amazon sourcing hacks. And, if you lower your sourcing expenses, you can translate that into lower selling prices, tempting even more potential buyers.
5. Use strategic product bundling to win the Buy Box and boost sales
Strategic product bundling can help you win the Buy Box, boost exposure, and make more sales. When you create a unique bundle, you have to assign a unique UPC to it, essentially creating a new product. Until other sellers copy your bundle, your listing will own the Buy Box.
Low-cost complementary items can significantly increase the perceived value of the main item in a bundle. Compare a guitar selling by itself versus a guitar bundled with a case, tuner, strap, and picks. Parents would be more inclined to buy the guitar bundle for their future rock star since they’d likely purchase the other items separately anyway.
Poor-performing products can also be bundled with top-sellers to help move them from your inventory. After all, paying inventory storage fees for slow-moving SKUs is a losing situation.
Analyze what items have been sitting in inventory, and consider what you can bundle them with to create sales synergies. As the thinking goes, a bundle is worth more than the sum of its parts.
6. Take advantage of Black Friday deals to source products to sell later
Just because you’re a seller doesn’t mean you shouldn’t capitalize on all the Amazon Black Friday hoopla. After all, you can easily spot an awesome deal when you see one.
So, why not make the most of the great buying opportunities to source products to sell later?
Look for can’t-miss deals online featuring products that are likely to remain hot throughout December. And, if you’re brave enough to handle long lines and crazy crowds, brick-and-mortar stores often offer unbeatable discounts.
Make sure you bring any paper ads with you to ensure you get the best prices at stores. And, have a plan of attack ready so you know exactly what you need and where to get it. Otherwise, it could end up being a very stressful day of shopping.
We hope these Amazon Black Friday tips help you have
the best Q4 holiday selling season ever!
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