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Black Friday: Top five ways that Amazon sellers can prepare
September 16, 2021
The biggest shopping events of the year are just around the corner. The sales extravaganzas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, fall on 26th and 29th November respectively.
However, the deals start way before these dates, with thousands of sellers offering discounts throughout November.
As a retailer, it’s your responsibility to make the most of it. From choosing what to sell, to setting the right price; from making sure you have enough stock, to posting in time, super-smart planning is key.
But where do you start? We spoke to Amazon expert James Pitts-Drake (CEO and founder of Optimizon) to find out five ways an Amazon seller can prepare for Black Friday.
If you haven’t already started planning your Black Friday promotions, now’s the time.
Our Amazon data shows shoppers start looking for offers much earlier than you’d expect (some as soon as October), so leaving it until mid-November is too late.
To capitalize on sales and increase brand awareness, you should think of it as Black November rather than Black Friday.
By getting in early with some great offers, you’ll start to grow your visibility, making sure your product page optimisation is up-to-date so shoppers can easily find your products.
If potential customers see you offering great deals early, they’ll bookmark the product, and come back closer to Black Friday, to see whether you’ve discounted it further.
Being quick off the mark means you can start collecting data and have time to optimise and refine your products and offers.
Draw customers in with attractive discounts, fast and free shipping, and must-have offers - as well as using enticing/emotive language - to keep them coming back for more.
When selling on Amazon, next day delivery can help you win more sales over your rivals. If you’re not utilising FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon), now could be the time to make the most of the service and get those products listed on Amazon Prime.
Do not get left behind.
Choose products wisely
Choosing which products to sell across Black Friday and Cyber Monday needs to be given considerable thought and planning.
Household gadgets are expected to top shoppers' wishlists this Black Friday 2021, with Apple, Echo, Dyson and Samsung products tipped to cash in with the best deals.
While it might be tempting to jump on the trending bandwagon, you don’t need to focus on just the most popular items. These hotcakes will have huge competition and low margins. But do look into stocking them so you’ll be in the running.
If you have it, go back through your historical data to show which products sold well in the past - and which were returned the most and why.
Opt to offer competitive deals and big discounts on a smaller selection of items rather than a small discount on a huge range of products.
In addition, think about making Christmas gift sets and bundles, then plan how you’re going to market them.
If you haven’t started taking inventory and ordering your products for Black Friday, now is the time to start.
The last thing you want is to not have enough items to meet the demand. You’ll lose out on sales and risk getting negative reviews.
Likewise, you don’t want to be left with too much overstock. Therefore, sit down and work out your projected sales.
Work out whether you’re going to be able to ship within the estimated shipping date. Being a FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) seller, when your products are stored at Amazon warehouses and shipped by Amazon, is worth its weight at these key times.
For those who handle their own order fulfilment, look to bring in extra staff or even friends and family to help you get items packed and posted quickly.
The right price
Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are expecting to find incredible deals. So when it comes to success as a retailer, there are two things that really matter: pricing and promotions.
If your competitor has the edge when it comes to discounts and deals, look at how you can remain competitive.
Mix and match and get creative - find the best discounts that work for you. Most sellers will be slashing their prices by at least 20% on Black Friday, while others will be offering 30% for five or more items, or half-price deals for first-time buyers.
Can you offer free shipping? Black Friday shoppers tend to click - and buy - elsewhere when they see an extra shipping charge, so that extra fee could result in lost sales.
Think of it like this: if there's an increase in customers and sales thanks to this extra step, it will help to cover the cost.
Creating bundles is also a great way to encourage extra sales - and it could boost your exposure by helping you to win a place in the Amazon Buy Box, which is incredible for visibility.
This white box on a product detail page has the ‘Add to Cart’ call to action and accounts for 82 per cent of Amazon sales (higher for mobiles).
Take your main product, then look to add two associated but smaller items, and bundle them together at a really competitive price - making sure to create a new UPC for it.
As a seller, you’ll stand out as it’s unique to you - and it’s also a great way to sell items that have proven more tricky to shift on their own.
Start preparing early for Black Friday on Amazon; this will mean you’ll be in a stronger position, already have some sales or bookmarks, and be more visible.
Decide what you’re going to sell. Do your research - can you offer competitive deals on this year’s must-have trending items? Look to make your products stand out, with creative discounts and free shipping.
Ensure you have enough stock to meet demand, and enlist additional resources if you’re not FBA - so you can meet your estimated shipping times.
Set the right price - go in early with enticing discounts that will lure shoppers back for the main event.
Additionally, think of how you could build some unique bundles which could mean you make the Buy Box.