On the 26th of November in 2021, retail stores will brace for impact with the largest day of sales. Black Friday makes up 30% of the year’s entire sales. Regardless of where you sell, you can’t afford to miss out.
While Amazon makes a bigger huff about Prime Day, Black Friday still holds much of the weight. Because of the huge weight, many people schedule their online and offline shopping around that period. So let’s start with a simple definition.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a popular shopping day associated with the beginning of the holiday season.
Black Friday is called such because businesses go into the “black” for the first time in a while. That means they make a profit (or at least a larger profit) compared to the non-holiday shopping season.
Outside of Black Friday, retail businesses spend a good deal of time in the red, meaning they lose money. Even Amazon, who classically has another special day to itself, gets in on the action.
How to increase sales with an Amazon Black Friday Strategy
Knowing that Amazon uses this day to increase sales is a sign that sellers need to prepare as well. While they don’t have to deal with the “storming the gates” feeling that retail workers do, there’s still a good deal of traffic that can be overwhelming pretty quickly.
If you’ve found yourself struggling with Black Friday in the past, check out this list of tips you can use to boost sales on Amazon.
#1 Prepare before November
The first step of any good battle plan comes from preparation. Start preparing for Black Friday in September, two months ahead of schedule. If you come across a day that makes up 30% of your yearly sales, you’ll thank me for this advice later.
The first preparation step involves stocking up your inventory. Assuming you sell 1000 of your product per year, that 30% sales rate assumes that you should have 300 of your inventory ready to ship.
Of course, 30% is a very generic term, as you’ll want to sell more than one product. You will also want to mentally prepare your employees if you are a Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM) seller. FBM sellers handle all of their logistics, meaning they need to be ready to work hard on this day.
If you are new to Black Friday, ask your fellow sellers for advice. The Amazon forum is full of people willing to share valuable tips. Being prepared ahead of schedule will increase your online sales heavily.
For example, take a look around Walmart to see how they repurpose their space for additional inventory. In some cases, you’ll see flatscreen TVs in the produce section.
#2 Plan marketing and advertising strategies
Arguably an essential part of being an Amazon seller is having a solid advertising strategy. Amazon Advertising is so important in exposing your product to the right audience. During high sales periods, that importance is reaffirmed.
Check the performance of your advertising campaigns constantly. Be ready to tweak them before Black Friday if you find that your sales aren’t meeting your expectations.
Continue this heavy monitoring period at least one month before, during, and after the shopping event. If your ads aren’t increasing your conversion rates, someone is taking your sales.
Familiarise yourself with all forms of Amazon Advertising:
- Have your lightning deals ready to go to encourage people to buy based on the scarcity of a deal.
- Have your sponsored products and sponsored brands advertising prepared to go with competitive bid levels.
- Offer complementary products with everything you sell to encourage your holiday shoppers.
- Make sure to notify your off-Amazon customers through an email marketing campaign informing your followers about your Black Friday plans.
A good Amazon Black Friday strategy is a combined and aggressive attack. Ensure that your marketing strategy has consistent language across your sales channels.
Take advantage of both Amazon search engines and off-site search engines. As the biggest shopping day of the year, you want to overbudget for your proven advertisement methods.
ABLE, a well-known fashion brand, shows a great example of effective advertising. Check out its Black Friday sale next time they come around.
#3 Offer free shipping and returns
Anytime you can use the word “FREE,” people are more likely to come running. So anywhere you can remind your customers, make sure they know that you offer a free something.
One of the most common methods to attract customers is through free shipping and returns. It is Amazon’s policy to offer this as a complimentary service.
However, most customers do not know this. So, by mentioning this in your marketing communication, you use a powerful buzzword to draw sales.
It is essential not to mention this on your Amazon product description page. There are pre-existing sections informing visitors about what shipping types you offer.
As an FBA seller, you already qualify for Amazon Prime. So while you should mention your ability to make quick shipping in any off-Amazon communication, you don’t need to worry much about it. Don’t forget to calculate your backend FBA costs!
If you are an FBM Seller, you will want to log in at Seller Central and change the information. In this case, free shipping is something you can offer through Amazon, but you will have to pay for it out of pocket regardless.
#4 Perform research on price and demand
Knowledge is power. It’s something your teachers remind you of, and it’s another critical factor when it comes to making sales.
Knowing the demand of what products you currently offer is essential. It enables you to make decisions whether it’s time to expand into other product categories on Amazon.
When coming up with product ideas, it is crucial to sell high-demand products. If your product lacks high demand, you won’t make those desired sales.
A big part of your Amazon Black Friday strategy goes back to finding the right tools. Some Black Friday Sellers utilise tools like the AMZScout Pro Extension. You need to find the right tools that fit.
If you don’t use these tools to confirm product demand, you won’t earn much. This situation applies regardless of whether it is Black Friday or not.
Some of the most significant and most high in demand products are electronics and appliances. So if you can expand into the smart home sector or sell other practical kitchen or home goods, now would be a good time to invest in that direction.
Sales history, which you can find through online tools, requires a significant focus around Black Friday. Always be sure you have a plethora of information to see what products work in your niche.
#5 Analyse past experience and create future guidelines
If you have experience in working on Black Friday, you must gather from that. Personal experience will tell you what to look out for.
For example, bump up the inventory levels if you found that one of your products sold more than you thought. If your sponsored products advertising mainly were ineffective, take a closer look.
Did you have few sales of products that would go well together? It might be time for more complementary products. Personal experience enables you to respond with greater effectiveness later.
If this is your first Black Friday, now is the time to take notes. Anytime you succeed or fail at something, write it down or type it in a document. It’s essential to learn from your failures and recognise your success.
If your overall goal is to create the best shopping experience for your customers, put effort into it. Know what you can do to push further to get an effective holiday strategy.
#6 Optimise product listings
Another often overlooked area is product listings. You might think you already have an engaging description with fantastic images. But are those listings optimised for Black Friday?
A solid Amazon Black Friday strategy includes an evaluation of your product listings. You’ll want to modify them in the same way you would modify unique holiday time marketing material.
For example, using keywords like “Black Friday deals” can enable users to find your product on the list. Your marketing efforts can also apply to search engine optimisation.
If you are struggling to find Keywords on Amazon, you’ve got a few options:
- Utilising existing Amazon PPC tools to see appropriate keywords
- Using specialised keyword tools (like the AMZScout Keyword Search) to find the most popular keywords
- Typing in different combinations of keywords to see what comes up in the Amazon search bar
The choice you make from the options above depends on your budget. As we mentioned earlier, having a robust advertising budget is incredibly important. Amazon SEO is an essential part of advertising.
If your advertising costs feel a bit high, run a comparison with what you are earning as a result. Ideally, your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) should be much higher than usual. If not, you need to go back a few steps and see what’s going on.
#7 Provide excellent customer service to your buyers
One of the most overlooked seller tips with online stores comes back to the basics: customer service. It isn’t enough to provide the product; you’ve got to offer it with class and kindness.
When managing an online store, some people struggle with this concept. However, a crucial part of communicating with your customers is using multiple platforms.
If your most extensive base is on Amazon, utilise product inserts. Product inserts are inside of the packaging and are an excellent opportunity to thank your customers.
While you are disallowed from including URLs on these inserts, you can provide information on your socials. Amazon discourages anyone from advertising to off-site ecommerce platforms (like a personal store). However, they don’t say much regarding social media.
Once you have them on social media, they can contact you directly regarding issues. You can filter this communication to your personal site’s support system as a result, reducing clutter on your socials.
An interesting Amazon Black Friday strategy is to use your spread for advertising those social media accounts. However, you’ll want to focus on providing excellent customer service with quality products and fast shipping.
Another best use of product inserts is to educate customers on how to use your product. OXO, a food brand, includes recipes to teach people step-by-step on product use.
#8 Do not concern yourself with product cannibalisation
Many sellers worry that offering their products on multiple platforms will take away products from others. On Amazon, this isn’t much of an issue given the overall volume of traffic they offer.
Amazon has had nearly two and a half billion visits over the past six months. That amount of traffic is more extensive than most countries put together.
With that in mind, unless your product is famous, you will likely receive mostly new product buyers. Smaller brands struggling to gain awareness aren’t likely to outperform Amazon.
That being said, people who prefer to keep a single stock can take advantage of Multi Channel Fulfillment by creating a Shopify storefront. If you are considering a new storefront for Black Friday, Shopify is excellent at integrating with Amazon.
So don’t let cannibalisation prevent you from putting new lines of potential products. If you’ve been holding back, your Amazon Black Friday strategy is to put more significant amounts of your product line on their platform.
Amazon’s private brands like Essentials, Presto, Belei, and Mama Bear are great examples. Their growth into becoming part of Amazon recognises the effectiveness of becoming a more robust brand on their platform.
Look around Amazon for other brands that keep a solid presence on and off-site. You’ll find the most successful brands are typically the most active.
With all of the information above, you might be wondering what to do next. If you need a bit of support to set yourself up this Black Friday, our team at Underwaterpistol can help you out.
Our team specialises in creating best-in-class ecommerce solutions. To ensure your brand has an overall consistent marketing strategy, contact one of our knowledgeable consultants today.