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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Mastery: Tips for FBA Sellers

Threecolts
Geri Mileva
Published
February 23, 2024
Modified
March 26, 2024
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tips for FBA Sellers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BCFM) aren't just shopping holidays—they’re goldmines for savvy FBA sellers. You can turn these peak days into a sales avalanche with meticulous planning, targeted promotions, and strategic optimizations. This year, Black Friday falls on November 29, and Cyber Monday on December 2. For offline and online retailers, however, the planning starts as early as today. 

Winning business away from competitors on BCFM isn't just about giving discounts. To succeed, you must have a multi-faceted approach. This guide provides practical tips to maximize profit, handle competition, and come out on top after the holiday rush.

Why Preparing Your Amazon Store for BFCM is a Must

Neglecting Black Friday and Cyber Monday could spell disaster for your Amazon store, considering over 90% of holiday shoppers in the US turn to Amazon. Here's why preparation is crucial:

Unparalleled Sales Opportunity

Every year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday reliably generate the most sales for Amazon sellers. In 2023, BFCM made history, raking in $298 billion globally and $70.8 billion in the US. Although these big sale days are associated with American Thanksgiving, they've also gained popularity in numerous other countries. Being unprepared means forfeiting a significant influx of potential customers and revenue.

Enhanced Visibility and Ranking

Strategic promotions and optimized listings during BFCM can significantly improve your product's visibility in search results. This, in turn, attracts more organic traffic. Strong sales performance during the event can also positively impact your Amazon search ranking, providing an advantage beyond BFCM.

Strategic Deals and Discounts

BFCM is synonymous with great discounts. Preparing for these events means being strategic with your deals since consumers proactively research deals before purchasing. You can capitalize on this buying habit by carefully planning your inventory for the holiday season. This approach allows you to offer discounts efficiently without overstocking or understocking.

12 BFCM Selling Tips for FBA Sellers

BFCM Selling Tips for FBA Sellers
  1. Utilize Past Data

Evaluate your previous Amazon Black Friday sales to make strategic decisions this year. Your Seller Central report contains a wealth of data, or you can utilize a third-party seller tool for a more thorough analysis. Look for:

  • Internal Data: Check your best-selling products, peak sales periods, and conversion rates from past holiday seasons.
  • Consumer Behavior: Look into favored shopping times, average cart size, and preferred payment methods.
  • External Insights: Search for broader industry trends, competitor analysis, and consumer spending reports within your niche and industry.

Also, check the effectiveness of past promotions like discounts, bundles, and free shipping. Understand which offers resonated with buyers and led to higher conversions. Use this insight to create targeted promotions for the upcoming holiday sale.

  1. Review Inventory Limits

Amazon imposes storage limits on different seller accounts to manage fulfillment center capacity effectively. While these restrictions usually don't affect most FBA sellers throughout the year, they become challenging during peak seasons. If you exceed Amazon's inventory limits, you will pay a fee.

Amazon utilizes the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) to determine storage limits for sellers. A low IPI score restricts your inventory storage, preventing you from sending additional products to Amazon's fulfillment centers.

Familiarizing yourself with your current FBA storage limits across various categories is essential. Check this information on the "Inventory Performance" dashboard on the Seller Central page. If you are subject to inventory storage limitations, you can:

  • Send slow-moving inventory back to free up space for high-demand products.
  • If you’re eligible, consider using Multi-Channel Fulfillment to store and fulfill orders outside Amazon's FBA network.
  • Contact a third-party logistics company to establish an alternative solution during the holiday sale.
  1. Check Your Inventory

Conduct a comprehensive inventory audit by physically counting your stock and comparing it to your digital records. Identify any discrepancies and correct errors to get an accurate inventory picture.

To better understand the inventory you'll require, use inventory forecasting tools. Alternatively, analyze your year-over-year shipments and sales data to estimate the increase in holiday revenue. If you're a newer brand with limited data, you can use Prime Day as a benchmark to gauge the surge in sales.

Communicate with your suppliers and place orders for new inventory while considering lead times. Consider placing multiple small orders to reduce risks and anticipate potential delays. If you've had to reduce your restock limits, replenish inventory only for the top-selling products.

Track your inventory to avoid overstocking or understocking. Using real-time inventory tracking helps a lot, as the tool provides up-to-the-minute updates and allows you to respond promptly to sudden changes in demand. 

  1. Optimize Your Product Listing

Start with updating your search terms. These are keywords that search engines use to match ASIN queries. Review your inventory and enhance descriptions to match your products better during the holiday sale.

Amazon provides search term guidelines detailing how to optimize your search terms. Familiarize yourself with restrictions on temporary terms (e.g., "available now") and subjective terms (e.g., "cheapest"). While adhering to the rules to prevent ASIN or account suspension is essential, you can still optimize for popular keywords for the holiday sale. Use advanced keyword research tools to identify trends. Consider broader terms like "gifts for her" or "Black Friday tech deals" for broader deals. 

Remember that Amazon automatically determines the relevance of search terms to optimize search results and enhance the customer experience. Consequently, relevant terms may change over time as Amazon collects data. This process is automated, and Amazon may not utilize all your search terms.

  1. Use High-Quality Photos

Optimizing your images is essential on Amazon. They grab attention and keep people interested. Use five to seven high-resolution images displaying your product from different angles. Take close-up shots to highlight key features. You can also add a couple of lifestyle shots showing its use. Select your best image as the primary photo, ensuring it's clear, eye-catching, and accurately represents your product. 

For complex products, consider using infographics or text overlays to explain features or benefits clearly. Use a plain white background and consistent lighting for a professional look. Hiring a pro can make all the difference.

Moreover, enhance your Amazon storefront with holiday images. While you may not overhaul your entire store, minor adjustments can help you stand out. This approach can also make your non-discounted products more appealing to holiday shoppers.

  1. Leverage PPC Ads

When executed correctly, PPC ads on Amazon can make a significant difference. To optimize Amazon PPC ad campaigns, remember that targeted keywords and ad copy quality are vital to their performance. Focus your advertising campaigns only on ASINs with deals. Ensure your ads are optimized for conversions and avoid wasting money on keywords that generate minimal sales.

Here are some best practices to optimize your advertising strategy:

  • Utilize all available ad types. Use Sponsored Display targeting to promote your product line and prevent competitors from diverting shoppers from your detail page. Use Sponsored Products to promote products with ongoing deals and promotions. Update your Sponsored Brand creative with Holiday or Black Friday-themed imagery and copy.
  • Increase campaign budgets specifically for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you're concerned about advertising cost of sale (ACoS), concentrate on key terms, high-converting keywords, and brand keywords.
  • During the period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, competition intensifies. Be prepared for aggressive attacks on your products and ads by competing brands. Have a solid defense strategy to protect your market share and paid ad positions.
  1. Prep Your Customer Service

As your sales volume increases during the Black Friday weekend, ensure your existing pre-purchase and post-purchase customer service strategies are robust enough to handle the heightened demand. Coordinate with your team to maintain a swift response time to customer inquiries. Ensure your representatives are well-versed in BFCM promotions, return policies, and troubleshooting procedures. Provide clear guidelines and decision-making frameworks to address common issues efficiently.

To accommodate customer preferences, offer various communication channels such as phone, live chat, and email. Use chatbots and self-service options to handle simple inquiries and FAQs. This allows your team to focus on complex issues and personalized interactions.

Consider creating templates to streamline responses for FAQs, too. While templates provide a structured base, they can still be customized as needed, saving time, and ensuring professionalism in every customer interaction.

  1. Leverage Social Media for Promotions

Weeks before BFCM, share relevant posts on your social media channels and your business website. Posting once daily in the days leading up to and on the actual sales day will help attract traffic to your Amazon store. Once you have shoppers' attention during these major promotional events, continue sharing posts about ongoing holiday promotions to maintain your brand's visibility.

Also, use suitable hashtags to highlight your deals. Remember that hashtags related to BFCM generally have over 10 million posts, so research unique hashtags with 10,000 or fewer posts that align with your specific products.

  1. Reinforce Brand Protection

During the peak sale days, the last thing you want is to discover your top-selling product hijacked by an unauthorized third-party seller. Listing hijackers appear more frequently around Prime Day and BFCM weekend to capitalize on quick profits. To deter them, utilize Amazon's Brand Protection tools and services to identify and report suspected listings infringing your brand proactively. Additionally, consider employing third-party brand protection agencies for extra monitoring and enforcement.

Taking proactive measures is more cost-effective and efficient than dealing with infringements after they occur. Therefore, remain vigilant and closely monitor your listings, especially during the event. Here are some additional precautions to consider:

  • Enroll in Amazon Brand Registry for enhanced brand control, including access to brand protection tools and reporting.
  • Use high-quality, watermarked product images and detailed descriptions unique to your brand. This makes it more challenging for copycats to replicate your listings.
  • Encourage authentic customer reviews and actively engage with your audience. Positive reviews and brand interaction foster trust and set you apart from potential imitators.
  1. Extend Your Sales Timeline

Ensure your Amazon store remains competitive by extending the BFCM deals' timeline. While Amazon's Cyber Week event offers significant promotional opportunities, seller-exclusive deals can extend beyond the event. Start promoting your products through Thanksgiving week and continue targeting them with customized holiday deals until the year's end.

Capture the attention of early-bird shoppers with promotional offers like free shipping and enticing item descriptions highlighting your products as ideal holiday purchases. Grabbing their attention early can also encourage them to return for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Even after the main promotional events, continue updating your special offers and descriptions, especially for items offering next-day delivery or serving as excellent last-minute gift options. By adapting to the changing needs of shoppers, you can create promotions and deals that help your products stand out.

  1. Plan Your Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday revolve around fantastic deals and customers saving money on their favorite products. Amazon provides various deal options you can utilize during these occasions. Since Amazon typically runs deals throughout Cyber Week, scheduling your deals in advance is necessary. This allows you to secure a specific date. To schedule a deal, go to Seller Central account > Advertising > Deals > Create a new deal.

You can opt for either a 7-day deal or a 4-hour flash deal (Lighting Deal). Running a deal for seven consecutive days may incur higher costs than usual due to intense competition. If you choose the flash deal, the Lightning Deal will be set to run on a single day within the selected week.

  1. Monitor Your Performance

Keep track of your sales and performance throughout the holiday sale. Actively monitor their performance and adjust your listings or PPC campaigns as necessary. If your inventory is selling faster than anticipated, consider sending in more FBA inventory or using an FBA alternative warehouse for FBM orders if your FBA storage is full. If your sales are slower than expected, review your PPC campaigns to see if increasing bids for specific keywords could help. You can also try out different promotional strategies to speed up inventory turnover.

6 BFCM Sales Promotion Ideas

BFCM Sales Promotion Ideas

With increasing customer acquisition costs and rising online competition, the effectiveness of your marketing campaign during this BFCM is more crucial than ever.

  1. Create Product Bundles

Bundle products to offer more value and boost sales for a healthy profit margin. To enhance the appeal of your offers, consider offering multiple tiers of bundles at various price points to cater to customers with different budgets. Depending on your brand, you can take this concept further by introducing a mystery bundle featuring some of your top products at a significant discount for those willing to purchase the entire set. This approach also helps clear out underperforming inventory.

You can also add an element of mystery by keeping some items in the bundle undisclosed and revealing them gradually during Cyber Week. By unveiling the items individually, you can attract different segments of customers each day and generate consistent traffic and revenue throughout the entire sale period.

  1. Offer Gift Cards

One innovative way to utilize gift cards is as a reward in a promotion. Customers who buy a specific product or order above a certain amount could receive a complimentary gift card for a future purchase. Since gift cards are only used when redeemed, this method creates a beneficial scenario where you either gain a repeat customer later on or attract a new customer if the gift card is given to a friend or family member.

  1. Exclusive Promos via Email

Your email subscribers are already engaged with your brand and interested in what you offer. Secure some sales before Black Friday by sending out an exclusive BFCM email campaign solely for your subscribers. This exclusive promotion encourages customer loyalty and provides a direct channel to connect with interested shoppers.

You can provide an additional discount to your email list or offer them extra time to take advantage of deals before they are available to the general public. Offering exclusive first-look access creates a sense of urgency and ensures that valued customers feel appreciated.

  1. Craft a Gift Guide

Crafting gift guides during the holiday season can help shoppers find the perfect gifts while showcasing your product range. Utilize target persona research to devise gift guides tailored to various customer segments. For instance, you can create gift guides based on interests, personality types, or activities. Take it further by showcasing discounted items or bundled products to boost sales and take advantage of holiday shopping trends.

  1. Initiate Referral Rewards

Incentivize your customers for referring others to promote your business. Provide rewards for each new customer referred, such as discounts, coupons, or redeemable points. Platforms like Facebook's recommendation posts can be helpful for users seeking recommendations from friends. Motivating customers to refer their friends can enhance sales, grow your customer base, and raise brand awareness. This strategy drives immediate sales and fosters long-term customer relationships, leading to higher retention rates overall.

  1. Create BFCM Collections

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, some shoppers have specific items in mind, while others seek inspiration. By curating collections of relevant BFCM items, you can showcase your top deals and draw in customers. These collections can be based on similar products, specific themes, or aligned with existing gift guides. These curated collections capitalize on the excitement of BFCM, prompting impulse purchases.

Final Thoughts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the busy yet rewarding events FBA sellers live for. It can be challenging, especially for new sellers, but with proper planning, you can tackle the rush of activity smoothly. The more prepared you are for BFCM, the more successful it will be.

Platforms like Threecolts cater to Amazon sellers, aiding in preparation for the year's busiest online sales event. With its specialized products and tools, Threecolts enables you to create and execute a comprehensive, data-driven strategy, freeing you to focus on other tasks.