Preparing for the Holiday Season
There are now over 100 million Amazon Prime members in the U.S. Selling on the Amazon Marketplace is a huge opportunity, especially for brands. The all-important holiday selling season on Amazon begins in early November. Start preparing now with the following four steps.
Develop your merchandising plan. Review your sales reports to see the items that perform well. Focus on the products that generate revenue and profit. Time is valuable. Concentrate on the listings that provide the highest return for your efforts.
Inventory planning is critical to hitting your sales goals. Many brands fail at this, however. I have seen Fortune 100 companies run out of inventory on Amazon during the holidays, costing hundreds of thousands in lost sales. But I’ve also seen small companies double their sales and increase brand visibility with careful preparation. Amazon is flooded with deliveries during the holidays. It’s not unusual for inventory to sit in trailers for weeks, waiting to be received. Thus it is essential that your inventory arrive before you need it — not later than the second week of October. This will ensure that you have plenty of stock during the sales surge. It will also provide time to restock, if necessary.
Budget for advertising. During the holidays, advertising click costs increase by two or three fold. It’s essential to spend your advertising budget wisely to maintain a profitable ACoS — advertising cost of sales. Amazon will bombard brands and other sellers with options to participate in Lightning Deals, Black Friday Deals, and Cyber Monday sales — for a fee.
The holiday season can make or break your sales year. Make sure your product listings are optimized, you have ample inventory and you advertise.