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Amazon Cyber Monday: The Best Ways for Sellers to Thrive

Black Friday gets all the Amazon holiday shopping hype, but online sellers should be more concerned with Amazon Cyber Monday.

Between all retailers, the spendathon on the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend brought in over $3.45 billion in sales in 2016. That’s a 12.1% increase from 2015!

If you think those figures sound enormous, you’re right:

Cyber Monday 2016 was the single biggest online sales day ever. 

That makes Amazon Cyber Monday the best day for sellers to bulk up their Q4 revenue.

To help you have the best Cyber Monday ever, we’ve compiled a short list of seller survival tactics.

Are you ready for the rush? Read on to find out!

Make the most of Amazon FBA perks

Sellers who use Amazon FBA during the holidays will have an easier time making sales and handling operations.

Outsourcing tedious work to Amazon is reason enough to shift listings to FBA. After all, Amazon's staff handles shipping, returns, and customer service for FBA listings, taking major burdens off your back.

FBA sellers can also offer free two-day shipping, allowing them to target Prime members, a huge Amazon Cyber Monday demographic.

On top of that, FBA sellers can comfortably list at higher prices than their MFN/FBM counterparts. That’s because fulfillment is believed to be the most heavily weighted factor in Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm, which gives preference to FBA listings.

Considering that an estimated 90 percent of Amazon sales are made via the Buy Box, using FBA to boost your chances of winning it during the busiest time of year is a no-brainer.

If you rely on ample business via mobile, using FBA is even more worth your while because the Buy Box is even more prominent.

Try finding other seller options when using your smartphone to shop on Amazon. You’ll quickly see that Amazon doesn’t make it as easy to see other options besides the Buy Box winner on mobile devices.

So, any advantage toward winning the Buy Box is vital for sellers who drive big portions of sales from mobile.

Sell items in the most popular Amazon Cyber Monday product categories

Researchers have found that Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday each have their own top-trending product categories.

Thanksgiving is known for consumer electronics and tech products, kitchenware, and tools/hardware. Black Friday is ideal for headphones, speakers, video games, and garden items.

So, where does that leave online sellers on Amazon Cyber Monday?

Smart sellers will focus on sourcing toys, clothing, and beauty products to capitalize on Cyber Monday’s typical trends. Also, stock up on appliances, as Amazon Cyber Monday is the best day to score them all year.

Also, understand who your likely demographics are on Cyber Monday. According to comScore, a global media management and analytics company, women accounted for 59 percent of Cyber Monday 2015 buyers. This data should factor into your sourcing strategy.

What you shouldn’t do is stock up on new products or products that have been slow-sellers during the year.

The holidays are no time to test new items in hopes they catch on. Stick with your strongest sellers and ditch poor-performers. Clean them out of your inventory to free space if you must.

If you need help liquidating poor products, an automated repricer can help you do it quickly and easily. Just use a price-matching strategy or opt to automatically beat your competitors’ prices to help drive fast sales.

Ensure you have enough inventory on hand for the big day

When potential buyers place orders only to discover you’re out of stock, it’s more than embarrassing. It has the ability to damage any chance of future business you could have made with that customer.

That’s why it’s critical to be on top of your inventory during the intense Q4 holiday shopping rush.

Customers are on a one-track mission to get stuff. If you don’t have what they’re looking for, they’ll go right to the next seller with a great offer.

Don’t let yourself miss out on what could be the easiest sales you make all year.

Use an inventory management tool to help stay organized. Or, hire someone to help you keep your top-sellers stocked. The cost of labor is far lower than the profits you could potentially lose from horribly timed stockouts.

Even if you don’t plan on running Amazon Cyber Monday promotions, you can still benefit from the increase in shoppers on the marketplace. On the Amazon Seller Forum, the following questions were asked by user Outlaw Soaps:

“If you have not done any [Amazon Cyber Monday and Black Friday] promotions, do sales increase on these days? Should we expect to send more stock to cover those days even if we do not promote specifically on those days?”

Amazon seller Boardgames4Us had this to say in response:

“Sales definitely increase for the entire weekend. If you want to sell during that time, be prepared with some extra inventory or be prepared to restock soon after. Christmas is still coming and you will still make more on the days leading up to Christmas than on that weekend.”

Which brings us to our next Amazon Cyber Monday survival tactic:

Have enough inventory left over to sell after Amazon Cyber Monday

For some sellers, the sales after Amazon Cyber Monday will be more pivotal when it comes to their profits.

Boardgames4Us said this about the chance to make higher-margin sales after Amazon Cyber Monday:

“Remember that [consumers] are looking for deals [on Amazon Cyber Monday], that means low margins on every sale. I prefer to keep my inventory for those who are not as keen for deals to make more profit on each sale.”

He then went into more detail:

“I price some items I want to clear attractively, but keep my popular items for afterward. Why sell out your inventory for a 5% profit (or less) [on Amazon Cyber Monday] when you could sell it later for a better profit?”

While Amazon Cyber Monday could drive sky-high sales figures, you could be more profitable with fewer sales in the weeks after.

Set your prices right to maximize your margins

Amazon Cyber Monday deals offer some of the lowest prices you’ll see all year. That means margins will likely suffer even though sales can soar.

That’s why it’s so crucial to strike the right balance between your prices and your competitors’ prices. To do this, several factors should come into play.

Have a firm grip on your costs: everything from sourcing to FBA fees (if they apply).

It’s also vital to understand the supply and demand of products you sell. If you know how much inventory your competitors have on hand, then you can raise prices when they sell out. It's all about strategy.

Since Amazon Cyber Monday presents so many other management challenges, your pricing process may be better left to automation.

That's why we recommend using an automated repricer to win the Buy Box more often and drive sales, while avoiding the perils of using a manual process for price management.

And now that you can set your automated repricer to reprice based on your desired profit per sale, it's easier than ever to set up this kind of automation to help your business run seamlessly while constantly generating profitable sales.

We hope you take some of this advice when it comes to optimizing your Amazon store for Cyber Monday. Best of luck breaking your sales record this year! 


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