Despite greater uncertainty over the holiday shopping season this year because of inflation, we at Lab 916 believe shoppers remain a safe bet to snap up Cyber Monday deals during this period. Sales may even inch up from last year.
Needless to say, Amazon brand owners like yourself should already be gearing up for crunch time during Cyber Week. But simply relying on the Amazon name is no longer enough to keep the tills ringing. With an increasingly crowded marketplace, having a targeted but flexible strategy is more crucial than ever to stand out from your competitors and make the most of this annual bonanza.
Here are 9 steps you can take now to get your Amazon store in the best possible shape as the countdown begins to the big day.
1. Prepare your products and deals early
Cyber Monday deals do not launch officially until November 28th, but offers and anticipation start building up from the beginning of November.
Amazon typically offers countdown deals from November 1st, with promotions hitting up, especially during Thanksgiving week. In fact, as in 2021, it has already started promoting holiday discounts in early October, including the Amazon Prime Early Access Sale.
Needless to say, preparing your storefront, listings and deals as early as possible helps to optimize your brand visibility, awareness and conversions throughout the month of November. Besides this, take the opportunity to analyze your competitors and finetune your pricing strategy to see how you can gain an upper hand.
2. Stock up on inventory
This may sound basic, but the shiniest storefront counts for nothing if it opens up to only empty shelves.
Expect a demand surge in particular for your most popular products and make sure of sufficient supplies through the month of November at a minimum. Better still, have contingency plans to replenish stock quickly if needed or for last-minute shoppers.
Do not forget to update your inventory availability on Amazon Seller Central. The last thing you want is a bunch of disappointed customers who have checked out but only to find that your items are actually out of stock.
3. Bundle your items
Bundling Cyber Monday deals can be even more powerful during this time when shoppers are especially sensitive to such bargains.
You can also take the opportunity to shift slow-moving products by packaging them with more popular ones, though it helps that they are complementary to some extent.
Your brand exposure gets a boost too with added listings on the marketplace without having to launch any new products.
The biggest reward, however, could well be Amazon’s “Buy Box” in your listings. This is the white box on the right side of product listings containing information like pricing, shipping and calls to action. More pertinently, it’s responsible for up to 90% of all conversions on Amazon.
Certainly something to aspire to leading up to the event if you do not have it already.
4. Ready Amazon promotional tools
Shopping psychology plays a subtle but crucial role in how much sales you make and underpins the design of Amazon promotional tools such as promo codes and coupons. Take a closer look at how these tools can complement your product pricing strategy and make your Cyber Monday deals even more enticing:
1. Promo codes. Operating like a gift card, these either apply automatically on your listings or are redeemable during checkout. They come in different shapes and sizes, including percentage off, one-time use and buy one/get one codes.
If your brand is in the consumables space like groceries and toiletries, tiered percentage off codes like buy one for 10% off, two for 15% off and so on are especially effective for your existing customers to stock up even more.
On the other hand, one-time use codes give new users who are pondering whether to try your products further reason to hit the checkout button. A trick is to present these as a time-limited promotion applicable during the holiday season.
2. Coupons. These are the digital version of classic newspaper clippings that appear below your listing prices when applied.
Compared to static promo codes which confine only to product listings, coupons are much more discoverable on the Amazon platform. Besides being searchable, they have their own dedicated Amazon coupon page where shoppers can “clip” a coupon and add the respective product directly to cart.
All of which mean greater visibility for your store especially to savvy shoppers on the hunt for discounts on top of the usual Cyber Monday deals.
5. Consider advertising your Cyber Monday deals
Targeted advertisements can be the difference between your brand getting lost in the noise and finding the right customers at the right time, something that the Lab 916 team knows only too well.
Amazon offers a range of advertising solutions to help you reach customers at every stage of their journey, from sponsored products and brands to display and video ads. For more precise targeting, there’s Amazon DSP which casts a wider net to off-Amazon users as well.
Planning for your ad campaign would need to involve the following considerations at a minimum so as to maximize the return on ad spend:
- Ad budget and how to deploy it. For instance, are you prepared to adjust your budget during Thanksgiving week when bid prices tend to spike? Further, if you have a limited budget, Amazon itself recommends promoting Cyber Monday deals over Black Friday ones due to much higher conversion rates.
- Underperforming ad keywords that generate clicks but not sales are far too common. Do you have a benchmark when it comes to deciding whether to pause ads on such keywords?
- Targeting strategy. This covers not just automatic versus manual targeting, but also the specific keywords and products that can make or break your campaign. Moreover, approaching negative targeting in a proactive rather than reactive manner by brainstorming such keywords beforehand can help save on a chunk of your ad spend.
6. Improve your Amazon SEO
Getting your keyword research right is half the battle won when it comes to Amazon SEO. Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s Brand Analytics for insights into popular terms shoppers type into the search bar. To give your brand an even greater edge, consider Lab 916’s expert research service in such keywords.
Underlying consumer trends could surface and prove valuable as you finetune your Cyber Monday deals.
Up next is to polish your listings to give them the best chance of ranking on Amazon SERPs. Revisit the following to make sure they adhere to Amazon SEO best practices:
- Product title. Include all relevant keywords of your product but avoid stuffing. You can also consider suitable keyword variations.
- Bullet points. Rather than a copy-and-paste job, now is the time to exercise your creativity to better highlight the most worthy features of your items. Are there any “hidden” benefits that your customers or competitors might not even have thought of?
- Product description. This should be concise but persuasive, and complement the bullet points. A+ content can contribute to higher rankings as well with visual elements like videos and images which Lab 916 can help with as well. These help to enhance customer engagement with your listings and signal their popularity to Amazon’s A9.
- Images. Sharpen your product images if necessary, because high-resolution photos of at least 1000 by 1000 pixels from multiple angles are a must nowadays. Try to explore from a customer’s perspective how to better contextualize the images to bring out the product’s usefulness more.
- Buyer reviews and ratings. Reach out to past buyers through Amazon Seller Central who have yet to give you a review, as positive feedback matters that much more during busy periods like the Thanksgiving weekend. Top spots on SERPs often go to listings with the most favorable reviews and ratings. You won’t want to miss out on sales just because your past customers forgot to share their awesome experience with you.
7. Get social with Amazon Posts
Amazon SEO isn’t the only way to boost your brand profile and user engagement at no extra cost.
Although still in beta, the Amazon Posts program has huge potential to propel your customer experience to the next level with a more immersive, social media-like look and feel. Sellers get to create image-based posts for their store’s “feed” which tell their brand story and help shoppers better visualize how to use the products in realistic settings.
There’s no doubt that social commerce is growing and Amazon Posts allows you to cross-purpose content between your Amazon store and social media channels, amplifying user reach and engagement both ways seamlessly.
An eye-catching, carefully crafted post can even end up on your competitors’ listings as part of related posts, drawing shoppers to your store instead. Potentially, category-based feeds curated by Amazon are a source of exposure as well, depending on your products and post descriptions.
Injecting your Cyber Monday deals with a dash of social hence ups the entertainment value of your brand and further distinguishes it from the crowd. Put your creativity to work and start thinking like an influencer as much as like a seller.
8. Strategize your shipping
Among others, research by the Baymard Institute found that shipping costs account for almost 50% of cart abandonments. Impulse buying is a huge influence behind holiday shopping and you should definitely explore free shipping to sweeten your Cyber Monday deals for shoppers and prod them over the line.
Beyond this, there are also the nuts and bolts of fulfillment to think about beforehand.
For one, weigh the pros and cons of FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) versus FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant). FBA provides Prime shipping which allows customers to receive your items within 1 to 2 days at no extra cost. Generally shoppers are much more likely to buy from sellers with Prime shipping than the ones with only standard shipping.
On the other hand, FBM gives you greater control over your shipping ops, either by yourself or with another third party provider. It can also serve as a backup to FBA especially when it comes to local deliveries.
Hybrid shipments are another way to cope with the congestion that can occur during this period. Smaller parcels tend to move faster than FCLs (Full Cargo Loads), though it helps to figure out whether the higher unit costs are worth it.
Shipping as a marketing tool
Shipping is not merely about transportation; it can be a vital cog in your overall marketing and branding machinery, such as in customer loyalty.
For instance, the higher traffic to your storefront during this period marks an excellent opportunity to foster new repeat customers through Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program. Free shipping, together with discounted pricing on recurring deliveries, is a huge draw of this program for shoppers.
9. Follow up with your buyers post-Cyber Monday deals
Finally, what happens after Cyber Monday deals are over?. From aftersales to new product announcements, there’s plenty that you can do to nurture long-lasting relationships with customers new and existing.
The Manage Your Customer Engagement tool, available through Amazon Seller Central, allows you to create email campaigns to follow up with shoppers who have purchased from your store. It’s a convenient way to build a community around your brand, and the opportunity to do this does not come any better than during and after Cyber Monday.
If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with this tool including its dashboard and various metrics for performance tracking.
Lab 916 Solutions
Rather than scrambling to get ready your Cyber Monday deals, these tips can help you confidently set up your Amazon store for success on the big day and beyond.
To give your brand even more of an edge, you can consider partnering us here in Lab 916 Solutions. We are a full-service Amazon marketing and consulting firm that’s built for brands like yours. With over 10 years of real-world experience in Amazon product branding, listing management, logistics and more, we can help to turbocharge your sales all year round.
Get in touch with us today for Amazon expertise like no other!