7 Tips for Preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday on Amazon

It’s important to make sure that you’re ready to go for the holidays on Amazon, but how? Here are seven simple tips to make sure that you’re ready to roll.

   Check Your Stock Status

Any competent retailer will want to make sure that they have a desirable product selection and any popular items that are currently out of stock are going to be replenished in time for peak season. (If you ship items to an Amazon warehouse for Prime eligibility, there’s an extra layer of logistics here!) This also means making sure product data and landing pages are accurate and optimized.

   Plan Your Promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Along with making certain you have products in stock, you’ll want to put Amazon holiday promotions in place, or at least discuss if a promotion is a viable offering. Promotions increase click-through-rate and conversions – after all, who doesn’t like a good deal? They also help you stay relevant against your competitors, who will almost certainly be offering some kind of deal during the holiday season. People make purchases during this time of year because of perceived value or actual value, so make sure you’re offering just that!

   Analyze Your Amazon Black Friday Data

One of the biggest issues we see with retailers going into Q4 is inefficient data utilization. Harvesting last year’s results helps predict trends and improve efficiency. If you have the data available from Seller Central, analyze what did or didn’t work last year and adjust accordingly. For example, if you had a promotion in place for an item but that promotion yielded little to no return, you may want to consider re-visiting your strategy this year. Additionally, if you know a specific category does better than others during this time of year, be prepared to allocate more spending to this category by setting specific budgets. (A good Amazon product segmentation strategy helps a lot!)

   Start Planning for Amazon Black Friday Early

There is no point in launching new campaigns, ad groups, ad copy, etc. the week of Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You want to have campaigns up and running so they can collect data beforehand, and so you have time to optimize.
If you launch a new campaign the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the cost per click turns out to be much higher than expected (which it’ll likely be considering the time of year) with a similar conversion rate, you’ll waste a lot of ad spend. Having campaigns live before the big day means you’ll already have a good idea of what’s working well and what isn’t, which helps you understand how to allocate spending. The lag in Amazon reporting makes this especially important.

   Make Sure You’re Competition

Many retailers are advertising on multiple channels during the holidays, which can complicate price comparisons. Keep a close eye on the conversion rate for your most popular and your most price-volatile items. Remember that Amazon is just one channel – what’s being offered on Google or other channels can impact your sales as well.

   Be Aware of the “Amazon Effect”

Amazon can have a serious impact on your other sales channels. We often see retailers price themselves out on one or more channels – by charging more on their website than on Amazon, for instance. If this is the case, Amazon will likely get the sale, and with most businesses that means less profit per sale. It’s sometimes worth it to price Amazon items lower, if you drive a lot of volume through Amazon or if those sales tend to create add-on purchases or repeat customers. However, it’s still worth careful consideration.

   Don’t Set It and Forget It

Regularly monitor your Amazon holiday campaign performance, and re-allocate spend appropriately. This is something a lot of retailers fail to accomplish during this time of year. We see businesses come to us after the season that have failed to be aggressive enough and left revenue and profit on the table. We also, unfortunately, see businesses that have spent disproportionately to the returns they were seeing —and that have lost money as a result. Amazon’s attribution reporting makes this process more difficult than on other channels – but it’s still crucial to ensuring profitability.

The single biggest piece of advice for managing the Amazon holiday period: be prepared. Plan and prepare now, and be ready to launch campaigns early to collect important data. Know your competitors, and understand the effect Amazon may have on your other channels. Finally—be ready to watch performance closely on Black Friday and through the holiday season, so you can reallocate spend or adjust campaigns as needed.


CJ is a Senior SEM Analyst and has been with Omnitail since 2016. His background includes working on various one-off projects for a variety CPG brands while studying Brand Management at the VCU Brandcenter. He has worn many hats in various advertising and marketing organizations. CJ thoroughly enjoys finding insights that aid in helping our clients reach their business goals by implementing our unique strategies and tactics at Omnitail.

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