If you are selling on Amazon, chances are you know the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They are the two biggest shopping days of the year, and Amazon is one of the most frequented online stores on these two days. If you haven’t already started preparing, you’re probably too late!
That being said, there are a few things you can do at this point to be sure your Amazon store is ready for the holidays. Our mentors shared some solid advice…and this ain’t their first rodeo:
Do your research.
Ben Cleary: Look at last year’s sales (if possible) to see the trend and what you sold on prime day to get an idea of the volume your products will sell on and around Black Friday. Every market is different so some will see a big bump in sales around Black Friday whereas other markets will go nuts for weeks.
Eric Rautman: Sales volume often hits at 2-3 times normal daily volume. If you haven’t already, do your sales projections NOW with those numbers and make sure you have enough inventory to last until the last Christmas shopping day. If you see that you won’t have enough, contact your supplier NOW to order more and have it shipped by express.
Inventory, inventory, inventory.
Joanne Hayes: BUY INVENTORY.
Ben Cleary: Allow some extra days for checking inventory into Amazon as there are usually delays during this busy period.
Sue Sibly: Have more stock than you thought possible.
Don’t be afraid to switch to FBM.
Peter Gehr: If you DO run out of inventory, don’t be afraid to switch to FBM and take orders. As long as you know that your inventory will arrive within 30 days, you can then switch back to FBA and fulfill all the back orders. It takes a little more effort, but if you’re organized and plan it well, you can benefit from what would otherwise be lost sales. You just have to make sure your inventory will arrive prior to your FBM fulfillment responsibility.
I did this last Christmas and ended up with several hundred pending orders. However, you have to communicate with customers to explain that shipping would be delayed due to the busy season, but offer a discount for their trouble to gain goodwill which potentially convert to 5 star reviews.
Have stock ready and waiting at your supplier’s factory.
Brett Kraiger: If cashflow is tight, one thing I do is have stock ready and sitting at my Chinese factory. In other words, pay for stock upfront, only needing shipping organized and paid for. This keeps the cost down, but has you ready to stock up as quickly as possible if you need to. If you don’t sell as much as anticipated, you can hold off paying for shipping until later.
Prepare your product listings and reviews.
Sue Sibly: Put ‘Black Friday,’ ‘Cyber Monday’ and even ‘Christmas’ in your keyword search in your backend.
Mike McClary: To maximize the really big sale dates, you’ll want make sure your last 3 – 4 reviews are 5-star and also have a few good reviews “teed up” should any grumpy customers try to rain on your parade.
Go through your Seller Feedback a few days prior and identify good ones that could also be used as product reviews, and reach out to about half of them to get a few good reviews going.
Don’t contact the other half until you see a bad review come in (which always seems to happen right at the worst time), so that way you are ready to reach out to them immediately. Try and get them to post a few good reviews to push any bad ones down.
Joanne Hayes: Be ready to do some customer service!
Chuck Harmon: No matter how much prep you do, you’re probably going to run out of inventory so if you do, don’t think you’ve failed…you sold a LOT of product. Celebrate what you sold instead of worrying about what you MIGHT have sold.
Are you ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? What have you done to prepare for the big shopping days?
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.