If you’re at all familiar with Americans and their holiday-shopping tendencies, you’ll know that Black Friday (the day after American Thanksgiving) falls on November 23 this year. But there’s Black Friday, and then there’s Black Friday for Amazon sellers. Didn’t know there was a difference? Then read on to discover six tips for success on Amazon this Black Friday.

1. Start Early to Capitalise for Amazon Black Friday

If you wait until even mid-November to start marketing to shoppers, you’re too late. You’ll need to prepare your inventory and marketing strategies so that you can hit ‘go’ in September/October. What most people know as Black Friday is actually Black November for Amazon merchants. Know how stores (both online and brick-and-mortar) start their Christmas advertising earlier and earlier? The same goes for Black Friday and you don’t want to be the black sheep that gets left behind. This way, you’ll be able to attract more shoppers, capitalise on more sales, and increase brand awareness.

2. But Don’t Put All Your Eggs into One Basket

Sure, Black Friday — and its corresponding cousin, Cyber Monday, represent two of the biggest shopping days on the Amazon seller’s calendar. But if you focus 99% of your energy on those two days, you’ll be missing out on valuable selling opportunities elsewhere.

Think of shopper psychology for a second. Buyers are conditioned to think two main ideas about holidays and shopping:

  1. A sale prior to a holiday usually means that when the actual holiday hits, the discounts will be even bigger because the merchant will want to keep up with their competitors. So, they’ll be more inclined to bookmark your site and come back to it in a couple of weeks, and getting customers to return is no easy feat.
  2. There will always be last-minute shoppers who will run into decreased inventory. To avoid that, smart shoppers visit ahead of time — but they’ll want some incentive to buy earlier.

Spreading your specials around is one of the top ways to increase your sales as much as possible.

3. Have Enough Stock to See You Through the Whole Holiday Season

One of the worst fates an Amazon merchant can suffer is running out of inventory before the holidays are over (see: last-minute holiday shoppers). Most Amazon sellers don’t deal in fresh goods, like groceries, so stock up on enough inventory to last you until January is half-over.

4. Set Yourself Apart with Free Shipping

Holiday selling is a cut-throat business and you need every advantage you can to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Haven’t offered free shipping before? Make it a main selling feature to lure more consumers over to your page. Already had it in place? Bundle, up-sell and/or cross-sell to increase your sales even more. (P.S. Strategic bundling is one of the best ways you can land the Amazon Buy Box).

Each year, there’s a toy, or a few things, that are particularly popular and sell out like hotcakes. You don’t necessarily have to make it the backbone of your line, but you should look into stocking it. Devote an hour or two of your day toward sourcing trending products and bring them in. Not only will you make shoppers happy, but once they’re on your page to purchase it, odds are much higher they’ll stay there to buy other things.

6. Become the Shopper

Think Black Friday is only good for you to make money selling things? Not so much! It can also be a time for you to buy items and load up your inventory cheaply so you can turn around and sell those products at a later date for a higher price. And remember, with the increase in sales, Black Friday is a prime time to get more Amazon reviews.

*Originally published here