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How You Can Increase Sales on Black Friday
From Black Friday through Cyber Monday 2018, digital ad spend by U.S. retailers is on pace to reach nearly $6 billion. Additionally, 48% of those retailers plan to increase their ad spend this holiday season versus last. Given that the holiday season is so crucial to Amazon sellers’ and brands’ annual revenue, it is important that you have a thorough plan in place well in advance of the four day period from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. From incorporating strategic advertising to leveraging external traffic drivers, we have compiled five ways that you can increase brand awareness and drive sales on Black Friday.
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1. Learn From Last Year and Adjust Accordingly.
Use historical data to your advantage to analyze last year’s orders during the peak season in preparation for this season. Review your ad campaigns’ weakest keywords so you can optimize them in time for Black Friday and Cyber Week. Not only will using relevant data points help you streamline your priorities, but it will help inform your decisions leading into Black Friday so you can optimize your impact.
Analyzing your items’ sales rank and top sellers from last year will help ensure a strong inventory position and anticipate the demand. Looking at how customer buying behavior has changed from last year versus this year will also be beneficial so you can tell what worked to get shoppers to convert and how you can optimize and personalize the customer experience moving forward.
2. Advertise and Run Promotions.
The holiday season, particularly Black Friday and Cyber Monday, represents a key time for sellers and brands to capitalize on conversions in a twofold manner — first, to drive net new business from customers that have never made a purchase from your Amazon store and secondly, to enhance shopper loyalty.
Getting customers to come back a second and a third time will not only convince those shoppers that you are a reliable, credible source, but they will most likely tell others about their experience, which can lead to incremental business. Given all of this information, you need to be sure that your products are discoverable and have a solid rank on Amazon search.
In order to do make sure your items are seen, incorporating advertising into your Amazon strategy will be extremely impactful. The ad opportunities that exist on Amazon are designed to help you increase your exposure, generate incremental sales, boost your organic SEO ranking, and drive growth to your business. Experimenting with different ad types — think Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, display ads, and Amazon Stores — in advance of the holidays will help you discover which one yields the highest return for your specific products and you can then reallocate your Q4 ad budget to that ad type to maximize performance.
In addition, both 1P and 3P sellers can leverage a handful of classic retail promotions to entice buyers to convert:
- Free shipping. Set up a limited-time, free shipping offer for a subset of items in your catalog.
- Giveaways. Run promotional giveaways to drive sales and get your products in front of new customers.
- Percentage off. Establish a promotion with a tiered discount structure to encourage the customer to buy more because they get a greater discount. You can also discount single unit purchases through a limited-time sale price.
- Buy one, get one. Set up a limited-time, “buy one (or many), get one free” offer to highlight a new product or to sway your existing customers to buy differently.
3. Create Your Social Media Posts in Advance.
One of the best ways to drive external traffic to your Amazon store is by building your brand via organic social media. You can post from your business page and in relevant groups that target your ideal customer. Establish a cadence for your posts in advance of the holidays and start promoting your Black Friday deals or even pre-Black Friday deals at least a week before the day itself.
Given that people consider the week around Thanksgiving a holiday time period, social media usage sometimes drops off so because of this you should start posting early to increase visibility and showcase or tease the deals you will be offering. Be sure to include compelling and personalized content with each post, tailoring messaging to your target customer. You can also focus on incorporating engaging multimedia content such as videos or carousel ads, as retail marketers plan to dedicate 14% of their campaign budgets to video ads this holiday season.
4. Prepare for Increased Customer Demand and Inquiries.
To manage the significant rise in demand that comes throughout Q4, create an action plan to help you stay on track throughout the holidays. If you are an FBA seller, be sure to include key FBA shipment dates and build padding around check-in times and fulfillment center transfers so you can be absolutely certain that your inventory arrives to Amazon with enough time.
If you want to be in stock for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you should ship your inventory out no later than the first few days of November. If you are running a merchant-fulfilled operation, know the lead time it takes to get items ready in your warehouse and plan accordingly. Train your warehouse employees to expect increased order volume and maintain high-quality customer service.
5. Maximize Add-Ons to Drive Customer Loyalty.
Amazon’s detailed product bundle policy states that bundles must consist of items that are highly complementary, meaning the additional item(s) enable or enhance the use of other items in the bundle or provide convenience to the buyer by purchasing them together. A bundle can be composed of different branded items, but the bundle itself should be branded according to the highest priced item in the bundle.
After you have created a new bundled product listing on Amazon, you should find that the item is inhabiting the Buy Box. In order to capture this coveted positioning on a routine basis and in time for Black Friday, think of products that when sold together make each other more appealing and add value to the customer. When done properly, bundling can not only increase sales, but allows your customers to discover things they actually need that they may have forgotten about. All of these elements together increase customer satisfaction and makes shoppers want to keep coming back in the future.
The National Retail Federation predicts holiday retail sales in November and December will increase between 4.3 and 4.8% over 2017, which is great news for sellers and brands on Amazon. Last year, over 66 million people shopped online on Black Friday. With more and more shoppers shifting to online-only buying, these statistics only further prove how you need remain agile this holiday season — acting on your Q4 plan, making sound inventory sourcing decisions, ensuring an effective demand planning model is in place, and providing a robust customer experience from end to end.
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