Time is flying by and Amazon holiday selling season is right around the corner. Many experienced sellers have already started preparing for the busiest time in Q4 and for those that haven’t started yet, it’s not too late. We’re going to share some Amazon holiday selling tips on how to boost sales and finish strong this holiday season.
Set up a timeline
The timing of your preparation is critical for a successful selling season. If you’re sourcing from China you will want to place your orders now in order to receive your shipments before the Amazon Inventory Deadline. Amazon usually lists the key shopping dates and inventory deadline in its seller central help section. You can review the 2019 FBA Holiday Guide for more information and tips to help you make a good sales plan.
2019 Key FBA holiday selling dates for Amazon.com:
Knowing your supplier and freight shipping lead times is important as it helps your Q4 inventory preparation and ensures safe and on-time delivery to your destination. This will leave you with enough time to send your products to Amazon and have products stored and ready before the busiest shopping season. You should mark the important dates of Amazon holiday selling season on your e-commerce marketing calendar and decide when to run your holiday promotions.
Holiday season returns
Amazon has an extended holiday return policy, which means that products purchased during the holiday season, whether it’s FBA or FBM, can be returned by the end of January for a full refund. Increased sales might accompany a higher return rate, you would need to watch out for your customer satisfaction and your product quality. Learn more about Amazon return policy.
Remove slow-moving products
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into sourcing, and getting your products prepared and shipped. So you might be hesitant when we tell you to remove products. However, Amazon greatly increases FBA storage fees during Amazon Holiday Sales season and slow-moving products can quickly rack up huge fees, so it’s a good practice to get rid of your excess, slow-moving or old inventory during this time. You can consider having a promotion by offering 50% to 80% discounts. An inventory that never runs out within the year, or depletes very slowly within six months is a good way to identify slow-moving inventory. Offering discounts can stimulate your sales but also reduce the risk of having to pay the storage fees significantly.
Run promotions and PPC
Don’t focus too much on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and forget about all the other potential sales days. Many shoppers start planning gift ideas in late October or early November. So you’ll want to make sure you start running promotions early. Starting on the week of Black Friday, Amazon will start featuring more promotions including Deals of the Day and Lightning Deals. Sellers should run their own promotions to boost traffic and sales. We also recommend running sponsored ads to boost search impressions and sales and increase sales rank, which will help you get even more orders.
Stock up on inventory until early January
Running out of stock and waiting to restock can cost you precious sales. Keep an eye on your inventory levels and restock early on if you’re running low. Keep in mind that orders will often double during the holiday season. We recommend using a product research tool to track your inventory levels. You can also set inventory alerts to notify you when you are running low. BigCentral can also help you estimate sales which will help you plan the right amount of inventory.
Have a back-up plan
Even the most experienced sellers can’t prepare for anything that might go awry. Inventory could get lost in FBA, buyers have questions about the product, or your competitors may run a sales promotion with a big discount. It’s important to stay calm and make adjustments to unplanned events. For example, if your competitor is running a promotion you have to react quickly to avoid losing sales. With BigCentral you can monitor your competitor’s best-selling products, sales, and any promotions they are running. This will give you more time to focus on your selling strategy. In case buyers have product questions, make sure to respond as soon as possible.
Expand your product line
It may sound crazy, but Q4 is a great time to try new ideas. There will be a lot more traffic and you never know if your new product might be a hit. Test the water with new products and start generating sales. You can use the buyer reviews and feedback to prepare your product list for next year. You can also use BigCentral to monitor product performance metrics, pricing history, and track product reviews. You can analyze negative reviews to see how you can improve your product. Another tip is to use automated email software like BigCentral to solicit reviews from your customers via emails. This will save a lot of time and help you take advantage of the increased order volume to skyrocket your review count.
Amazon best-selling practices & guidelines
Finally, before you start sending in shipments, responding to questions, and analyzing your sales metrics, it’s a good idea to read the Amazon Holiday Selling Best Practices. If you’re selling in the toys category we also recommend checking out the Guidelines in Toys and Games.
Also, don’t forget to spend some quality time with family and friends during the holiday season. Happy selling and we hope you have an awesome Q4!
This blog post was originally published in September 2017 and was updated in October 2019 due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.