Online shopping titan Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) reports Cyber Monday 2017 is now officially it’s biggest shopping day ever, surpassing the company’s midsummer Prime Day event.
And small businesses benefited too selling an estimated 140 million items worldwide over the five day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, now sometimes referred to as the Turkey 5.
“Amazon customers shopped at record levels during the Turkey 5, ordering hundreds of millions of products from toys to fashion to electronics and Amazon devices,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer division.
Many of those items were from small businesses, Wilke added in an official release from Amazon, saying the company expected this to be only the beginning of a profitable season.
Small Business Lessons from Cyber Monday
For small businesses there are some important takeaway’s from the retail giant’s success. Here are some important small business learnings you should consider for the rest of the holiday season — and for future holiday shopping seasons as well.
Fast and Free Delivery DOES Make a Difference
Above all, Amazon touts it’s “free and convenient” delivery service as a huge component of its success. The company offers free shipping on eligible orders of $25 and more and says many small businesses selling via Amazon do as well. The company also offers local pickup through Amazon Lockers available in more than 50 cities in the U.S.
But Amazon’s delivery is also fast. The company offers free two day delivery with its Amazon Prime membership and free one day delivery or same day delivery for orders over $35 in about 5,000 cities and towns. There’s also a Prime Now service offering same day delivery for thousands of items in more than 50 cities.
Amazon even recently extended it’s Prime Now service to a select number of merchants on it’s Handmade Amazon site for the holidays, a way for handmade merchants to offer same day delivery.
Are there ways you could work to speed up delivery of your products to customers or offer other perks like free delivery to make buying from you a no-brainer? Amazon Fulfillment is certainly one option to consider.
Deals and Discounts are Always Welcome
Deals and discounts remain key to Amazon’s high sales. For example, Amazon offers its special Prime members 30-minute early access on its Lightening Deals — discounts offered on thousands of items on the site.
The online retailer also offers its own Amazon Prime credit card entitling card holders to even more deals during the Holiday season. For instance, Prime members got deep discounts on turkeys from Whole Foods Markets this year.
Are there deals and discounts you can offer return customers or special discounts during the holiday season? Could you create your own VP customer program to deliver bigger discounts to a loyal set of customers on a regular basis?
Promoting Your Own Brand Can Set You Apart
On Cyber Monday, the online retail giant’s own Echo Dot proved the best selling item in its inventory.
And Whole Foods Market, now also an Amazon brand, shattered previous records for Thanksgiving turkey sales.
True lower prices imposed when Amazon took over the food retailer and additional discounts for Prime Members, as mentioned earlier, may have contributed to the record sales. But out of millions of products available through Amazon, these products clearly stood out partially because of the retailers decision to promote it’s own branded products heavily.
You may offer a wide variety of retail items for sale. But are there products unique to your brand that you could give a special promotional push during the holiday season?
The Trend Toward Home, Health and Personal Brands Is One To Watch
While many kinds of products from toys to electronics contributed to Amazon’s massive success during the Turkey 5, a trend toward home, health and personal products is certainly one for all small business owners to watch.
“Cyber Monday was our biggest holiday sales day ever, with thousands of unit sales, and a 30 percent increase in sales over Cyber Monday 2016,” said Kelly Fedio, the founder of California-based One Savvy Life. The company sells 24 and 32 ounce bottles which allow you to infuse the flavors of fresh fruit into drinking water.
San Francisco-based Ancestry said it sold 700 percent more of the company’s DNA testing kits in one day on Cyber Monday than during the entire holiday period of 2017. And tea retailer Tea Forte claimed to have seen a 500 percent boost in Cyber Monday sales since last year.
Are there retail products in your inventory fitting into the home, health and personal categories you could give an extra promotional push during the rest of the season — and into the new year?