T his is the last stop before Black Friday and Christmas, as I’m sure you’re all aware.
OK, so Prime Day is over – Amazon are counting their pennies, and ordering swarms of drones to blacken the skies with hundreds of Prime Now packages, while the roads fill with Amazon Logistics lorries, both from their depots and your warehouse. What next?
For starters – Summer Holiday. Sellers need their rest before the busy months to come. Look after yourself, and your staff – It’s gonna get hectic.
Coming soon are the busy times. People buying in advance for Christmas, people saving up for Black Friday& Cyber Monday… I’m hoping you’re ready?
Thanksgiving is the 23rd November in the US this year, making Black Friday the 24th. That’s a whole month of time for everyone to order all the presents they couldn’t get cheap on Black Friday. I’m sure that won’t harm the sales figures, or upset the bank.
With Christmas on a Monday, it might be worth looking at what you can do for Weekend shipping – People will just flock to you if they can panic on Friday and get it on Saturday!
Are you selling in China and Southeast Asia yet? In which case, don’t forget Singles Day (11th November)! Alibaba did $17.8 billion in sales in 2016 on Singles Day! A little more than the $12.8 billion spent over Black Friday to Cyber Monday the same year on Amazon, for example, and only one day, not 4.
It’s usual at this time of year to try and get yourself ready for the onslaught – Warehouse clearups, reorganisations, etc. It’s also a good time to consider some more things at the same time, though:
- Are you using Linnworks? If so, this is a great time to start using their batch functionality to help you with stock organisation and distribution – Each batch has a stock level and a BinRack location for picking in the same Warehouse Location.
- If you sell items that are perishable, don’t forget the batch functionality includes Expiry Dates. Also, Linnworks have enabled the ability for FIFO (First In First Out) Inventory, so the system will help you to manage and avoid issues with stock rotation.
- Picking and Packing Procedures – As you move towards the busiest time of the year, this is a good time to look at how you pick, pack and despatch your orders. Time saved here will multiply under load. Also, if you can reduce the complexity, it will make it easier to train temporary personnel. Maybe you could even consider going paperless? Warehouse Plus supports purely electronic picking, packing and dispatch.
- In preparation for the busiest period of the year, you want to make sure your listings are optimised. Amazon Sellers can often make relatively small updates and increase the visibility of their listings, giving better sales without price changes. AMZ Peak is a tool we offer to help you make just those changes. With a mix of amazon’s own reports and our own knowledge, it offers insights and advice to improve the performance of your Amazon listings. And it can even apply changes through Linnworks for you!
- Take a chance to review how you’re shipping goods. Make sure you’re using the right services and allocating correctly, with as few manual interventions as possible – Speed up the process, and reduce late delivery complaints and other things which will affect your seller performance and visibility at peak periods.
- Check your Ordering procedures and consider ordering ahead, if you haven’t already for core and high performance lines. The worst thing in the world is selling a great product at a great price and running out in October!
I know that most of you will have a lot of this in hand, but for some of our newer friends in the Seller Community, it’s always good to think about these things now. In a few weeks there won’t be time for changes; it will be FAR too busy!
Wishing you a busy, profitable and enjoyable winter and Christmas, wherever you are!!