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Amazon Holiday Prep: 5 Last-Minute Tips to Win During Cyber Week

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, follow these recommendations to optimize your Amazon performance during peak holiday shopping events. By Natalie Taylor November 17, 2020
Amazon Holiday Prep Series: 5 Last-Minute Tips to Win During Cyber Week

81% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product with free shipping as an incentive.

Despite the ensuing economic impact and uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority (72%) of consumers still plan to spend the same or more this holiday season compared to last year — and their dollars are more likely to go toward items with added incentives, such as free shipping and pricing promotions. 

Indeed, Amazon this year has invested billions of dollars to expand and optimize its fulfillment capabilities after the supply chain issues and delivery delays experienced at the peak of the pandemic.

Aside from ensuring that your entire catalog is Prime-eligible, what other steps can you take to drive sales from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday and beyond? Here are five helpful tips below.

1. Monitor your KPIs and account health daily.

A staggering 73% of Amazon sellers make up to half of their total annual sales on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Given the immense weight that these holidays carry, you should check on your customer metrics regularly. Monitor your account health so you can identify any blind spots and resolve any operational issues in a timely fashion.

Excessive order defect rates (which are impacted by negative feedback and A-Z Guarantee claims) can lead to account suspensions and even closures, so monitoring these alongside metrics such as average daily orders, average daily sales, and profit margins can help you maintain a holistic view of your business during a peak sales period.

2. Make sure your campaigns are during the lead-up to and the lead-out from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Nearly two-thirds of consumers have already begun their holiday shopping this year, according to Feedvisor’s 2020 Holiday Shopping Preview report, and 51% of consumers said they viewed Prime Day as the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. 

This year, brands and retailers have had to plan their inventory accordingly and allot ad spend to account for more high-traffic shopping days earlier and consistently throughout the holiday season versus solely during the traditional peak shopping events. 

Be sure that your products and promotions stand out among the competition and keep shoppers engaged over the entirety of the extended holiday season by leveraging high-quality, creative ads with relevant and impactful messaging. Using fresh imagery and copy will help maintain shoppers’ attention and entice them to continue making purchases over the course of the holiday shopping season.

Launching your campaigns at least two weeks before key moments in time, such as Cyber Week, with a minimum $100 budget will give you time to monitor performance and make any critical, last-minute adjustments. Additionally, be sure to analyze your week-over-week advertising performance and identify any poorly performing campaigns in need of optimization throughout the holiday season.

3. Solicit reviews and have a plan in place to monitor top-performing products for bad reviews.

Social proof is critical for influencing shoppers’ purchase decisions — 44% of consumers said positive product reviews are among the top factors that will drive their purchase decisions this holiday season. 

Driving reviews during the lead-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday will help your product visibility as well as your conversion rate. Providing a seamless end-to-end consumer experience will help promote positive reviews from buyers. 

Moreover, 79% of consumers go to Amazon to check reviews prior to making a purchase, so you should constantly monitor your reviews to ensure customers do not abandon their potential purchase and buy from a competitor due to a negative review on your listing.

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About the Author

Natalie Taylor is the content manager at Feedvisor, where she oversees and executes on the company's content marketing strategy. Prior to her work at Feedvisor, she wrote for a B2B supermarket magazine, focusing on merchandising and marketing trends in the grocery industry.

4. Leverage data to optimize performance before, during, and after the “Cyber Five.”

Using data to your advantage will help you mitigate the risk of running out of stock during Cyber Week. You can use last year’s holiday sales data and your Prime Day performance data to help forecast this year’s sales and inform your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. During those five days, you can utilize data to remain agile and ensure your strategy is more proactive than reactive, monitoring sales and traffic metrics to identify any inventory adjustments.

Lastly, you can use data to perform a post-mortem analysis once the year is over. What were your product sales this holiday season versus last? Did your advertising sales improve? Which day in the “Cyber Five” produced the best results for your Amazon store?  You can look back on the days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday to draw out specific insights and sales data, but you should also look at the entire fourth quarter in a comprehensive snapshot to fully understand any consumer trends or shifts that took place and impacted demand, are relevant to your catalog, and require action on your end.

5. Ensure your prices are optimized. 

Over three-quarters (76%) of consumers say price is among the most important factors when selecting a gift this year. Furthermore, 39% of consumers said they will be more price sensitive this holiday season compared to last year.

Given the ongoing economic restraints due to the pandemic, personalized offerings, competitive pricing, and promotional capabilities will be key to winning over consumers who often wait for specific shopping events to save money on their purchases.

Be sure to do a final review of your pricing on a SKU-specific level, making adjustments wherever necessary. Look at your pre-defined floor prices and consider lowering them to be more aggressive for peak season. 

If the prices are unrealistically high, the products may not sell. With items that make sense to liquidate, be prepared to go down to competitive floor prices to sell through stagnant inventory. The heightened state of competition during Q4 is quite significant, so you need to analyze your pricing for each product, particularly top performers, to see what last-minute changes need to be made to improve sales velocity through the end of the year.

Final Thoughts

Black Friday has repeatedly produced record sales days for Amazon. With the early start of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are no longer taking place on one particular shopping date but rather are occurring throughout the month of November and into December. 

In fact, Amazon recently announced that its Black Friday deals will start on Nov. 20 and occur through Nov. 27. Other retailers, including Walmart and Target, have announced similar plans as well. 

Leveraging these relevant tips will help you capture incremental revenue and profits and enable improved performance of your entire catalog during these critical sales days.

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