Looking forward to the holiday season

If you’re like most people you haven’t even begun to think about Christmas yet. You might have had a few thoughts about replacing some of your older computer kit on Black Friday, but that’s about all.

But if you’re an Amazon FBA seller, you need to start thinking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday now. In fact, if you’re only just starting … you’re already a bit late! You’ll need to get your stock ready by half way through September – that’s just a fortnight away.

Plus you need to remember, if you have stock coming from China and you want it before the New Year, you’ll want to have it ordered by the end of October. And November 1st is your last day to get inventory into Amazon’s warehouse for Black Friday.

And now look what’s coming up – Thanksgiving, Hanukkah (28 November – 6 December), Christmas and New Year, Kwanzaa (26 December-1 January), and Diwali (November 4). Plus Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That’s a lot of sales, and you’ll need your stock ready.

You may also want to think about special bundles that you could put together for the occasion. For instance if you have a number of wellness products, you could create a Pamper Package – but timing is tight! Or you might offer special pricing to make the most of the opportunity.

Advertising just ahead of the big sales seasons delivers the best bang for your buck if your products are relevant. Make sure you’ve optimized your keywords, and boost your regular PPC campaign before and during the season. If you have social media make as much use of them as you can –  post news of bundles or discounts on your Twitter feed, pics on Instagram, put up TikTok videos and make sure your Facebook page is helping to build the excitement.

If you have a really well performing product it’s worth paying the (considerable) fee to run a lightning deal during Black Friday Week – twice the price of such a deal at any other time. Get it scheduled now. (If your product isn’t a top performer, it may not be worth the cost.) If you can create coupons as well, customers will see they’re getting a really great deal. You can even add a Prime Exclusive Discount.

Again, whatever deals you’re arranging, flag them up on your social media accounts, blog, and website – even if you aren’t specific about the exact terms, make sure people know there will be a great deal available.

However, navigating this season has to be done with care. Amazon charges extra inventory fees, so if you’re selling something for which demand is not seasonal – industrial dehumidifiers, vitamin pills, or computer paper, let’s say – you really, really don’t want to have too much stock in the warehouse. (Above all, make sure if you have any unsellable stock, it’s destroyed or sent back to you.) You probably shouldn’t have Easter eggs in stock right now, either!

On the other hand, if you think you’ve got a product that could go gangbusters, you may want to have your own delivery channel ready in case Amazon simply can’t cope with the demand. That’s particularly the case if you’re subject to any inventory storage limits. You’ll probably want to have three or four times the amount of stock that you would normally, if you have a product that might be gifted or that will sell well for Cyber Monday; if you have specific holiday related product such as decorations or themed packs, you’ll want even more.

Well over half of all Amazon sellers see the upcoming season as crucial to their bottom line. So you need to get it right. And if you haven’t started yet, get your business ready as soon as you’ve finished reading this article!

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