Amazon Seller’s Guide for Higher Profits on Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Amazon Seller’s Guide for Higher Profits on Black Friday & Cyber Monday
October 26, 2018
Black Friday Mobile Shopping

Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday traditionally herald the official start of the holiday shopping season. During a period lasting from the day after Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 30% or more of the total seasonal sales volume typically takes place.

In 2017, online shopping ballooned to $7.9 billion, up 17.9 percent from the previous year and there’s no reason to believe that this trend of yearly increasing mega-sales numbers will not continue.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are tremendous marketing opportunities for every Amazon seller to redefine the financial profile of their businesses, but only if they are well-versed in how to prepare and execute a precise plan customized to their niche, that will account for as many of the major considerations and variables (known and unexpected) as possible.

Successfully navigating Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a winning marketing strategy can be stressful for many Amazon sellers. They need to design their Sponsored Products Ads campaigns and prepare their businesses for the influx of additional traffic, new sales and support requests.

Those savvy Amazon sellers who will experience an unprecedented level of sales on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, will utilize advanced software tools (like Entourage Spotlight) to help them to create Headline Search Ads (Sponsored Brand Ads) that magnetically attract shoppers to their product listings.

They will also take advantage of a Blueprint that will take them step-by-step through the many variables and considerations when creating powerful HSA’s.

Cyber Monday

There are always new milestones to reach regardless of where an Amazon seller may be on their entrepreneurial journey. The objectives are simple: increased sales, satisfied customers, fewer headaches… it’s the implementation and successful completion of those objectives that’s often hard.

Developing Your BF/CM Game Plan

Black Friday Good Ideas

  1. Choose the products you want to feature for your BF/CM sales.
  2. Schedule their start dates and sale prices.
  3. Work with your suppliers to ensure they’re prepared to handle your projected sales.
  4. Choose the products you want to feature for your BF/CM sales.
  5. Schedule their start dates and sale prices.
  1. Work with your suppliers to ensure they’re prepared to handle your projected sales.
  2. Put more thought into product copy and ad placement – plan the ads and ad copy for your BF/CM sales and promotions ahead of time.
  3. Create a BF/CM Sponsored Ads budget – bids can get more expensive during the competitive holiday season depending on your niche. You may need to increase your bid price on specific keywords or for certain audiences to increase the visibility of your ads during BF/CM.
  4. Create contingency plans – think about worst case scenarios for your business and devise contingency plans wherever possible. It’s easier to plan in advance, than troubleshooting in the midst of the biggest sales weekend of the year.
  5. Make sure that shoppers have access to all of your featured products for BF/CM via mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.). *
  6. Make sure to examine your checkout process (especially on mobile) – filling in every field required to check out can be a conversion killer, allow shoppers to auto-fill saved information, to reduce the number of keystrokes or clicks required to make a purchase.
  7. Problem solve for your shoppers – look for common snags or areas where potential customers are frequently confused or frustrated, and brainstorm solutions to make the process easier or more explicit, or ways to eliminate a particular hurdle entirely.

*(Commerce marketing firm Criteo noted that 40% of Black Friday online purchases were made on mobile phones, up from 29% from last year).

Structuring Email Campaigns (+ the Sneak Peek)

Every Amazon seller should have a few email marketing campaigns planned to raise awareness and to bring shoppers back to your products in order for them to act on your BF/CM sale offers.

Whether the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion is a deep discount, an exclusive product, or free shipping, start teasing them early to your email list, so they’re on the lookout for the announcement and are eager to get their share of the special bargains.

Cyber Monday Email Marketing

The sooner you begin these email campaigns, the more momentum you’ll have during Black Friday and Cyber Monday when you finally announce the sale.

  • Begin planning, creating, and scheduling the emails you’ll send out during your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales at least four weeks in advance minimum.
  • Start piquing the curiosity of your potential customers around your upcoming sale. While it may be easy to announce a Black Friday / Cyber Monday series of sales, the true secret sauce for driving sales through the roof, lies in building suspense and buzz about the experience your shoppers will be able to participate in during those days.
  • Tease your prospective customers with emails that reveal what’s to come. Send details of the sale ahead of time to your existing list.
  • Create a reminder email when the sale officially begins.
  • Test out QR codes in your marketing emails. QR codes offer shoppers a quicker, more visually friendly way of accessing your BF/CM deals.
  • Create abandoned cart emails for when a shopper adds a product to their cart, but leaves without purchasing it (write a compelling email to bring them back to complete their purchase).
  • Send an email which offers a special deal that’s only available to your list (it’s an effective means of capturing the attention of shoppers in a crowded BF/CM inbox). Also, let them know when to expect the “subscribers-only” offer.
  • Have a “final reminder” email to send before the sale ends. Because of the sheer volume of emails sent over BF/CM, it doesn’t hurt to remind your list that your special sale is almost over (you’ll probably even inspire some procrastinators to jump on the expiring deals).

If for whatever reason, you find yourself unsure of exactly how to structure the verbiage and flow of your emails, you have the option of gathering ideas from the competitors in your niche. Simply subscribe to their email list and study the different types of emails that are sent and how often they send them. **

Also, you should probably keep tabs on your competitors on social media and set up Google Alerts to see which websites are talking about them.

** (Please be sure to use your competitor’s email sequences as ‘inspiration/models for your original ones.)

Accounting For Mobile Shoppers on BF/CM (Checklist)

Black Friday Mobile Shopping

An essential component of any plan for Black Friday/Cyber Monday involves taking into account how to appeal to small-device shoppers.

A full 50% of all web visits in 2017 were from mobile devices, like SmartPhones and tablets.

Your BF/CM mobile strategy should include:

An essential component of any plan for Black Friday/Cyber Monday involves taking into account how to appeal to small-device shoppers.

A full 50% of all web visits in 2017 were from mobile devices, like SmartPhones and tablets.

Your BF/CM mobile strategy should include:

SMS marketing in your campaigns – use a third-party service to integrate text messages into your marketing, allowing you to reach mobile users in a variety of ways.

Reach potential customers on mobile-friendly social media platforms – like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Make your mobile headlines brief – while you may want to use as many keywords in the headline as possible, remember how valuable screen space is on mobile devices (you don’t have room for keyword stuffing).

Use a third-party service that can compress your product images, but keep them at a high quality – so when users tap on an image to view it, it still looks good.

BF/CM Game Day Strategies

Make buying from you will feel like a no-brainer.

Offer a legitimately can’t-miss-out-on deal on a popular item to attract customers, at a price point that you don’t offer during any other sales event during the year.

The overall strategy behind this is once shoppers have come for your ‘jaw-dropping’ deal, they may purchase other items before going to their checkout cart.

Black Friday Sale

Your initially featured item serves as a “loss leader” (the deep price drop being made up by shoppers adding more to their cart than they would have without the featured item’s considerable discount).

Remember, shoppers are already in the mindset to entertain impulse purchases; your goal is to nudge shoppers to add more to their cart beyond just the initial offer that convinced them to visit your Amazon store. ***

*** The power of “a bargain” (several studies have shown that as many as 65.2% of all people, when presented with the opportunity, have purchased an item on sale that they wouldn’t have purchased if it wasn’t on sale).

Cyber Monday Word Cloud

Build – strengthen relationships with your new, current and former customers.

BF/CM is an opportune time to implement strategies to build relationships with the different segments of your customers that include:

  1. Offering exclusive deals as an incentive for new shoppers to leave their email before leaving your site, affording you the means to develop, maintain and nurture your relationship with new customers you acquired during BF/CM.
    1. If one-time BF/CM shoppers don’t sign up to your email list, or follow your social media accounts, then retargeting is an ideal option.
  2. Giving existing customers the chance to access a sale earlier (making them feel special and appreciative of the ‘first dibs’ opportunity, which in turns strengthens your relationship with them in the future).
    1. Build in scarcity whenever possible. Let them know when a deal is about to end or when a particular product is going to sell out. Consider including a countdown timer, or ‘left in stock’ alerts.
  3. Having an exclusive sale (“we miss you”) for former customers on your email list. (Use a proven strategy to incentivize their participation and boost your average order value, such as offering free shipping above a certain threshold or special product bundles).
  4. Keep all of your customers engaged year – round by staying active on social media and sending out post-sale emails to your email lists. Ultimately, you want to turn Black Friday/Cyber Monday and holiday seasonal shoppers into year-round customers.

The Vital Role of Customer Support During and Beyond BF/CM

Part of providing a customer experience they exceeds expectations on BF/CM is having in place a customer support-service process that has a quick response time and is defined by a culture of courteousness and respectfulness under pressure (especially when dealing with “discourteous” and impatient customers).

Achieving these standards of excellence often comes down to…

Call Center

Having scripts, phrases and replies at your (or your team’s) fingertips for use in the trenches throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

No one knows your products like you do. Get the specific information out of your head (write it down) and share it with your support team, on how to best handle upset customers effectively and empathetically.

Teach them (or if you are a solo-entrepreneur, brush up on), what constitutes a genuinely exceptional customer support and service experience.

Up to 40% or more of Black Friday shoppers end up buying something they regret. ****

After you have addressed the ‘intangibles’, make sure to turn your attention to items like making sure that you have in place a return policy that is clear, fair, and well-communicated on your Amazon store.

It might just convince on-the-fence shoppers to pull the trigger, since you’re showing confidence in your product(s) and removing potential risk for them.

**** The types of items that BF/CM shoppers are most likely to purchase on sale and later regret are technology/electronics, followed by clothing and accessories and household items. Other categories (in descending order) include food/drink, shoes, music, cosmetics/fragrances and literature.

Use Multi-Channel Customer Support

Having an email address and phone number for support may not be enough.

During BF/CM your potential customers will be using multiple channels to interact with Amazon businesses in order to acquire information about various products and to make purchase decisions.

You need to be right there (on the channels they are leveraging), ready to interact with your prospects, persuading them that you have the item or product solution that they are searching for.

Even if you add live-chat to the mix, shoppers demand your attention through other methods that can segregate your customer service operations as a whole.

This dilemma is what Multi-Channel Customer Support seeks to solve.

It includes popular customer channels and platforms like:

  • Facebook Business Pages
  • Facebook Messenger
  • •Twitter
  • Text message
  • Instagram
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Phone calls

Explore applying these multiple support – service channels to your Amazon business during BF/CM and beyond, to provide the best possible experience for your new and existing customers.

In order to have a successful BF/CM, Amazon sellers need to build a revenue model based upon consistent and exceptional customer service that sets their businesses apart and ahead of the competition in their niches.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just about a series of special sales events; there’s much more at stake. It is the lifetime loyalty of those customers that you acquire on those days… and that loyalty (or lack of it), often determines who wins on the playing field of the Amazon landscape.

BF/CM: an Opportunity to Learn and Grow Your Amazon Business

Cyber Monday Plan For Success

Preparation, planning, and starting earlier rather than later are the keys to a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It is also a huge opportunity for all Amazon sellers to implement new strategies and tactics, then carefully track their results (document decisions and outcomes), so that they have a solid blueprint from which to work from, that will provide the proven insights necessary to fashion a successful and thriving Amazon business in the coming months, that will provide them with financial and personal freedom.

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About Mike Zagare

He is the owner and founder of PPC Entourage, one of the original amazon ad software and management companies. Mike started off as a physical therapist in 2015 and just knew there had to be a better way so he started his ecommerce journey. Using the power of Amazon Ads, he built a 7 figure brand in less than one year. Now he helps other sellers do the same with free valuable education, PPC Entourage software and the ad agency. He is also the author of the Amazon Ads Playbook series.

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