You probably won’t have customers lining up for your Black Friday 2018 sales. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook this holiday shopping season. Here are this year’s final tips to get ready for Black Friday on Amazon.
Our last installment in the “Get Ready for Black Friday on Amazon” series is dedicated to marketing. We touched on the topic of marketing for Black Friday in our Last-Minute Black Friday and Cyber Monday Checklist. In it, we shared some tips for merchants selling exclusively on Amazon.
But there’s more to marketing for Black Friday 2018. To set up an irresistible Black Friday promotion, you also need to draw up and synchronize your strategies to maximize conversions. Here are some business and marketing for Black Friday tips to help you achieve just that:
Boost the Budget
In 2017, customers waited until Black Friday to buy big ticket items, says Rakuten Marketing. But click-through rates and ad engagement peaked the week before the shopping day. So, your marketing budget may need a boost if you want to keep your edge that week.
But don’t take our word for it. Feefo claims one of the most popular Google searches this time of year is for ‘‘Black Friday adsˮ. So, if you’ve thought of enlisting Google or an advertising company’s help to get your website out there, you’re not alone.
When it comes to Amazon campaigns, though, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a bit different. Our Sponsored Products Dos and Don’ts post mentions several tips to help you budget and get ready for Black Friday on Amazon. Here’s one nugget of wisdom: monitor your campaigns and boost your bids when you hit the ‘sweet spot’ (ACoS 20%-25% ).
Use Several Advertising Tools
Brand owners have a host of advertising options on Amazon. Black Friday promotions, coupons, campaigns, and Lightning Deals (for eligible products) are the norm. They can also give out free gifts in the Early Reviewer Program or pitch their products with enhanced ads.
Third-party sellers have fewer options, depending on the type of product they sell. Some enlist the help of companies that specialize in Amazon growth, such as Viral Launch. Others do it themselves, running separate campaigns for every day of BFCM and timing their ads just right.
But you may not have the resources to hire specialists or create sophisticated campaigns on your own. Luckily, Amazon features tools that enable you to set Promotions and Coupons for your customers in minutes. Here’s one seller’s advice for those who want to offer discounts on Amazon:
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: you need to embrace social media. Millions of social posts will be mentioning the sales event. Many of them will refer specifically to Black Friday on Amazon.
If your sales channel of choice allows native shops, then it’s worth using it to promote your products and your website. If you’d like to draw more Internet users to your products, consider creating social media promo codes. The video tutorial above can help you set up your discount codes.
Find the right time to post for your specific customer base. Stay on top of comments and questions. Ask prospective customers to message you for extra perks. If you saw similar campaigns on Prime Day, take your cue from them.
Boost Your Website Speed
Some buyers check the seller’s website and compare prices. Prep for any potential spikes in traffic by optimizing images across your website to minimize load times. If that’s not an option, try an image compressing tool or other ways to make onsite navigation run smoothly on various devices.
While you’re there, test your server’s load capacity and use whatever professional tool you can to minimize downtime. Check your network and consider using a professional tool to monitor it. Give your on-site devices a once-over, update them, and carry out some basic maintenance.
Launch Your BFCM Landing Page
If you have the resources, design a BFCM landing page for your website. Announce the sales you’ll be offering this Black Friday on Amazon and lure customers in with cross-selling techniques. Crucially, you need to add an email subscription option. That way, you drive up email signups and build your customer database for a rainy day, as explained here.
Bear in mind that customers expect some level of consistency, so you want an evergreen page. Ideally, you should re-launch the page every year. But if that’s not possible, at least make sure it looks great on any device.
Design Your Email Campaigns
You may not be able to promote existing Black Friday offers to Amazon buyers. But you could draw some website customers to the offers you’re running this Black Friday on Amazon. A well-thought-out email marketing campaign and a good referral programme could make all the difference.
Use your customer database to pitch top-selling products with great subject lines and custom links for Thanksgiving Day. Give your message a personal feel with email segmentation. Include a clear call-to-action at the end and make your offer time-sensitive.
Pitch Your Products
Get those gift guides up on your website or blog. If they don’t get much traction, enlist the help of a popular blogger who can feature your best products in a post. Do your research and make sure it’s a vetted blogger with a genuine interest in products like yours.
Draw Up a Contingency Plan
You can’t realistically aim to get ready for Black Friday on Amazon if you don’t have a backup plan. Create an archive of product images, keywords, and descriptions. Set up a dedicated backup server for all your IT tools and resources, if you don’t already have one.
Make sure top employees have access to all the data they need, regardless of proximity to the office or time zone differences. If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, authorize your company’s designated firefighters to step in as needed.
Rescue Abandoned Carts
Amazon does a pretty good job at retargeting Prime members and regular shoppers who abandon their carts. Unfortunately, cookies don’t go away – not even after buyers go through with the order.
So, Amazon’s reminders can be a nuisance. With one exception: when the seller lowers the price. The week before Thanksgiving Day, check your Seller Central reports to pinpoint items and campaigns with good traffic but no sales. Focus your repricing efforts on these products.
Work on Your Refund Policy
Amazon customers expect free returns and replacements. Now that FBA customers are automatically offered replacements, the onus will soon be on MFN sellers to match this offer. Even if you didn’t fulfil an order doesn’t mean you can’t impress a customer with your service and possibly even persuade them to come back.
Feedback and Product Reviews
Amazon recently changed its policy to allow sellers one review request per product, as seen below. Obviously, your email should make no reference to discounts or any other type of future incentive. However, you can still direct the customers to your storefront and point out that sales are forthcoming.
Also, nothing forbids you from replying to your positive feedback and product reviews with comments of your own. You can praise your products and invite customers back to your storefront for the upcoming sales event. But to do so, you need manpower and time, so plan ahead for the holiday season.
As a final thought, bear in mind that Black Friday on Amazon may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Apply the lessons you learn in the first half of BFCM on Cyber Monday. Hold on to your analytics and your heatmaps, and if Amazon doesn’t seem to work for you, get back on your feet and focus your efforts on your website instead. Happy selling!
Disclaimer: We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the sellers and service providers featured in this post, or any of their subsidiaries and affiliates.
Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed.