ER 017: Black Friday Cyber Monday Prep, Inventory Removal, Facebook Ads Problems
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This is The Ecommerce Roundup, Podcast 17, today is September 29, 2017, I’m your host Bryan, and here’s the ecommerce news roundup for this week –
First, I just want to do some quick housekeeping. Last Friday, I didn’t publish a podcast and it’s because I’ve been traveling a lot this month and just have had a lot going on, so unfortunately, for now, the podcast has taken a backseat to other obligations. Also, I’ve got a lot going on over the next couple weeks, so it’s looking like I won’t get a podcast out again until mid October. I apologize for this, but I appreciate you listening now, and if you don’t see a new episode again for a couple weeks, know that I will be back in action around mid October, so please subscribe to the podcast to get notified when new podcasts are out.
Okay, now onto this week’s episode. Since I didn’t publish last week, I’ve included a few things in this episode that are related to last week but you still need to know about them so we’re going to include them today.
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday on Amazon
- Free inventory removal on Amazon
- Facebook ads getting disapproved and accounts being disabled
- A report published by Amazon that shows you the top ASINs
- A document published by Amazon that tells you how to prep ads for the holidays
- Wall Street Segment
Black Friday & Cyber Monday on Amazon
Amazon is now letting you apply for lighting deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Unfortunately, you have to be invited to do this, but if you are, then sign up right away and get your place in line for this. We ran lightning deals over Prime Day and it was unbelievable the amount of volume we saw. Even if Black Friday and Cyber Monday is half of what we saw on Prime Day it’s still worth it.
The fees are still going to be $500 if the deal runs on either day or $300 if the deal runs during the week. I think the day deals are totally worth it. I don’t know yet if the week deals are worth it. It just depends on what times they give you.
But, go into your lightning deals tab and sign up today for as much as you can to get deals going during those weeks. Hopefully, Amazon will give you one of those two days or both.
If you get the days. Do them!
You have until October 16 to submit your deals. So turn this podcast off right now and submit your deals now!
How do you increase your chances of running a deal on one of the two days? Amazon says –
Deals submitted for the Black Friday & Cyber Monday window will be reviewed against all other Deals submitted. Amazon will choose the Deals for each event day that provide the best value to the customers based on a combination of best discounted price and available quantity. The best price and quantity for your Deal can be different from what is suggested on the Lightning Deals dashboard. Deals not selected to run on Black Friday or Cyber Monday will run on other days during Black Friday & Cyber Monday Week, which can have higher customer traffic.
So, this means, make a lot of inventory available and give Amazon your very best deal. Then make sure you have enough inventory in stock to make the deal happen.
Free inventory removal for a limited time on Amazon
On October 1, monthly inventory storage fees are increasing a lot for October, November, and December. However, you can now remove inventory for free if you want to avoid these fees. If you have too much inventory for fourth quarter and you want to avoid storage fees, then act now and recall some inventory.
However, I advise you be cautious with this. It’s far worse to run out of inventory rather than pay Amazon a few extra bucks for fourth quarter.
Yes, it’s too bad Amazon is raising their fees. However, it is what it is, Amazon still provides amazon access to customers for most businesses.
If you want to get some inventory back, then figure that out as soon as you can.
Facebook ads getting disapproved and accounts being disabled
For the past 2 months Facebook has been cracking down on ads. Many advertisers have seen ads disapproved that previously would have been approved, and also there’s been talk of accounts even being disabled.
What is happening? Facebook is getting stricter with their enforcement of ad policies.
What can you do? The best thing is to stop running ads that are generating a lot of negative feedback. What does that mean? When people see your ad, and they click on the upper right corner of it, and choose to hide the ad, that increases the negative feedback score of your ad. If you had ads running that have a lot of users hiding, it’s telling Facebook that your ad is a bad experience for Facebook’s users, and then Facebook will disable your ad or even worse disable your ad account just for serving ads with negative feedback.
You can actually check this in your ad account. Go to your Facebook ad in Ads Manager. And customize the columns that give you data so that it includes negative feedback. If you are running ads that have high negative feedback then turn them off. If you don’t want to turn them off then maybe just change the audience. One reason ads get negative feedback is because people are seeing them all the time and they get annoyed. If you have a frequency, of above 3 or 4, and you have high negative feedback, then you need to change your audience.
Just don’t keep ads running on autopilot that have high negative feedback scores. This literally threatens your entire account.
A report published by Amazon that shows you the top ASINs
I found a website published by Amazon that lets you download the top 10,000 ASINs in a category by sales velocity on Amazon. You can do this in the US, Canada, and Mexico marketplace.
I’ll link to it in the shownotes for you the check out – http://go.amazonsellerservices.com/l/229492/2017-08-23/g2j9b2
This could be a good resource for doing product research. Not really sure what else to make from this information, so check it out and let me know if you find something useful to do with it.
A document published by Amazon that tells you how to prep ads for the holidays
Amazon has a guide for preparing your advertising for this coming holiday season. It’s 10 tactics for driving sponsored products and headline search ads to your listings.
I’m not going to go through all 10 right now. Check out the link in the show notes to see this document – https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/AmazonMarketingServices/Holiday_Prep_2017_Sellers.pdf?ref=sspa_us_s_acq_sc_hdl_txt_q4prp17
I think the main takeaway is to be compliant so that your ads run, and also make sure everything is as optimized as it can be. Make your Amazon Store now so you have it. And make sure your ads are well optimized and running strong before the holiday rush starts.
Wall Street Segment
In this week’s Wall Street Segment, we’re going to keep it short. Toys R Us is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is the second largest US retail bankruptcy in history.
Now while it’s true Toys R Us is probably having a difficult time with Amazon, and with Walmart and Target also selling toys, a lot of this has to do with the debt Toys R Us is carrying.
They were purchased by a private equity company and the private equity company loaded them up with debt, and now Toys R Us has so much debt it can’t pay it off in this competitive landscape that it’s currently in.
So I don’t think this is entirely a death by Amazon case.
However, if you sell toys on Amazon or online in general then this is good news for you. With Toys R Us going away, the big toy brands are going to have less control over the toy market, and now there’s even more opportunity in toys for entrepreneurs.
If I were selling toys then I would go visit a Toys R Us as soon as possible and see what’s popular for inspiration on what products I could create to sell online. This creates a lot of upheaval in the toy market now so take advantage of it if you sell toys!
Amazon also just announced a lot of new hardware devices this week. The glaring thing about them is how cheap they are. Clearly Amazon doesn’t care about making money, and Wall Street and the investor community rewards them for this.
I recently heard that since 2008, Amazon has paid about 1.5 billion dollars in taxes, versus Walmart which has paid nearly 50 billion. So since 2008, Amazon has paid more than 48 billion dollars less in taxes than Walmart, and their stock has shot up and performed far better than Walmart. For some reason Amazon gets a free pass when it comes to Wall Street that they can just never post a profit and everything will be great. This has major repercussions for the economy and for other businesses. No business can compete with Amazon because of this reason. I think the solution here is that since Wall Street rewards Amazon for being a growth stock, other retailers should do the same. The problem is that Amazon’s mentality is one of a startup, and older retailers aren’t. So what’s going to happen? Amazon is going to continue to crush everyone.
They’re going to sell their hardware devices for cheap, and make money on the backend through Prime subscriptions, or through the many other products and services they now offer. I’m not really sure if older retailers really get this threat they currently face right now.
So that’s it for today. Thanks for listing.
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Until next time, keep selling and keep growing.