Preparing for Black Friday Weekend 2019

For millions of holiday shoppers and deal-seekers alike, the rush for gifts begins the day after Thanksgiving: Black Friday. This year Black Friday falls on November 29th and effectively runs through the weekend till Cyber Monday, which is December 2nd. Same as last year, Amazon will be running deals on both the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Black Friday/Cyber Monday. If you didn’t get in before the deadlines for those deals, fear not, there’s still plenty you can do to take advantage of this high-sales volume weekend. 


As with any major holiday shopping event, you can count on Amazon to smash records. Last year, Amazon announced that Black Friday was the single highest sales day in their history. And in good news for smaller brands, small and medium-sized businesses who sell on Amazon enjoyed 20% growth on Black Friday. Which is all to say, if you’re a seller on Amazon, start working now (if you haven’t already) to make the most of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. 


It practically goes without saying, but we’ll reiterate it anyway: performing well during these high traffic days will grow your brand, improve your search rankings, and lift your profit margins for weeks to come.


Similar to preparing for Prime Day, there are a handful of key things to do in the lead up to a big shopping event like the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.


Prepare Your Inventory

As with any upcoming shopping event day, we always recommend getting your inventory in order first. Select your line-up of high performing products, clear out old inventory, and look to past high-traffic days (like Prime Day) to help you forecast your inventory needs. Generally speaking, having 3 to 5 times your regular inventory on hand is advisable. 


Yes, storage fees are higher in Q4, but high-sales volume should off-set the extra costs. And what’s more, the momentum you’ll lose from running out-of-stock has its own costs (like loss of the search ranking you gained from all your PPC spend, and handing sales to your competitors.) 


And remember, this year you’ll need to get your Black Friday/Cyber Monday inventory into Amazon Fulfillment Centers by November 6 to ensure it will be available for purchase by Black Friday. 


Optimize Product Listings & Branded Content

Time to dust off your product listings because company is coming, and you’ll want to have set your brand’s proverbial table as attractively as possible. Things to polish up:


  • Photos/Videos: You should have at least 5 high-res images, including some that feature your product from different angles. Infographics and lifestyle images will improve your conversion rates and adding a video will help customers feel even more confident about your product.
  • Copy: Make sure the language in your bullet points, product description, and A+ content is accurate and clear. Accurate copy can help you avoid negative reviews from customers who misunderstood your product, while clear, well-written copy makes your brand appear more reputable. But most important? Your copy should be rich with high-performing keywords and longtail phrases that target the customers who are looking for your product. 
  • Storefront: Storefronts give your brand a curated, mom-and-pop feeling which is ideal for shoppers who’d like to support smaller brands on what is sometimes called “Small Business Saturday” during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. You can also use your Storefront to alert your customers to some of the deals and promotions you’re running across your catalog.
  • A+ Content: Giving you more room for keywords and product descriptions, A+ content improves conversion rates and inspires confidence in shoppers looking to impulse buy on Black Friday. If you’re already using A+, consider refreshing the copy and images for the holiday season. 


Advertise & Optimize Early

Start optimizing your PPC campaigns now so you’ll have the best strategies in place come Black Friday. Adjust your bids, curate your keywords, and leverage product variations to get the most out of your advertising spend. Make sure you are using Sponsored Brands campaigns, if you’re eligible, to raise brand awareness in addition to your Sponsored Products campaigns. These weeks before Black Friday are your time to experiment and figure out what works best for your products. 


Coupons/Promotions/Discounts

Black Friday & Cyber Monday shoppers are looking for deals, so give the people what they want—otherwise, you might just get passed over. There are various ways to grab the attention of bargain-shoppers depending on what works for your brand’s budget and sales initiatives. 


Note: Lightning Deals & 7-Day Deals are the two most expensive options, and we’re past the deadline for them to be in effect for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You might still be eligible to run them at other times during the lead-up to Black Friday, or after Cyber Monday during the weeks before Christmas. Lightning Deals are essentially flash sales that run for 4-6 hours, and 7-Day Deals run, unsurprisingly, for 7 days. You must be eligible to participate in these deals and have enough inventory to last throughout the duration. 

 

  • Coupons: If your product doesn’t qualify or you can’t afford a lightning deal, then coupons are a great option. A coupon will earn your item an orange flag that will be visible within search results and on Amazon’s coupon page. 
  • Promotions: Amazon’s promotion tool in Seller Central allows you to place a promotional message on the product page, such as “buy two, get one free.” Promotions are free to use and will help your products stand out to Black Friday/Cyber Monday bargain shoppers.
  • Prime Exclusive Discounts: Products with this discount will display a Black Friday or Cyber Monday Deals badge to Prime members—no additional fees are required to participate (besides the price discount you offer). Prime members will see strike-through pricing on your product, and a savings alert within search results, and on the product detail page. The deadline to submit for Black Friday/Cyber Monday Prime Exclusive Discounts is November 15th


Spread the Word

We recommend leveraging social media to promote your brand, products, and the deals you’ll be running for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Instagram and Facebook browsers can easily jump over to Amazon to snag a deal when they see your product come across their feeds, so consider posting gift guides that highlight your products and the deals you are offering. If it works within your marketing strategy, you can use influencers to broaden the reach of your brand as well. Familiarize shoppers with your brand; your logo usage, images, and tone should be consistent and aimed at your specific customer base. 


And a Happy Black Friday/Cyber Monday To All


Kick-off the peak shopping season in the best way for your brand. A healthy inventory, optimized product listings, smart advertising & marketing, and running deals/promotions/coupons are your ticket to an impressive Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Amazon performs well when their sellers perform well, so do take a look at their holiday selling guide to stay on top of the seasonal rush. Here at Egility, we wish you good luck and happy selling!

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