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By Rieva Lesonsky

Have you noticed the hordes of delivery trucks crowding city streets and racing down suburban roads? They’re delivering the record-breaking number of online orders consumers placed over Cyber Week (November 21 through November 27 this year).

  • More than half of all holiday shoppers (53%) made a purchase on Amazon over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend this year.
  • Over the Turkey 5 (the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday), customers ordered nearly 140 million items from small businesses on Amazon.
  • Amazon had the largest market share of online sales for Cyber Week, accounting for 27.2 % of Black Friday online sales, 30.1 % of Cyber Monday online sales and 28.4% of Cyber Week sales, Marketing Land
  • Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day worldwide in Amazon’s history, surpassing Prime Day 2017.
  • It was also the biggest day ever for small businesses and entrepreneurs selling on Amazon. Here’s what some of them had to say about their experiences this year:

“Our sales were up 70% this Black Friday over Black Friday 2016,” says Marcia Asuncion-Ricchiuti, owner of Kahili Creations, which makes handcrafted jewelry reflecting the Hawaiian lifestyle.

“Cyber Monday was our biggest day ever! We sold nearly 18,000 items and saw a 6.5x increase in Cyber Monday sales year over year,” says Jurgen Nebelung, vice president of Ecommerce at specialty tea company Tea Forte.

At USWAG, which sells licensed and custom college, country and team athletic socks, sales soared more than 125% compared to last Cyber Monday. Tomofun set a new sales record on Cyber Monday, with sales of its Furbo Dog Camera soaring by 360% year-over-year. “Furbo was [also] ranked the No. 1 Best Seller on Amazon in the pet camera category during this period,” says CEO Victor Chang.

“Cyber Monday was an amazing boost to [us] on Amazon,” says Theo Prodromitis, owner and founder of Spa Destinations, which sells environmentally friendly loofahs, sea sponges and natural beauty products. “We doubled our sales from last year and saw a 30% increase in average order size.”

“Cyber Monday 2017 was our biggest sales day for all Q4s we’ve been selling on Amazon, coming in at 2,100 units in sales, a 30% increase over Cyber Monday 2016,” says Kelly Fedio, founder of One Savvy Life, which sells innovative products for outdoor adventures.

Secrets to Cyber Week Success

One Savvy Life has been selling on Amazon since 2014, and has benefited greatly from Amazon’s marketing and merchandising initiatives. “There are many tools we leveraged to drive increased traffic and brand awareness [during Cyber Week], such as Fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon Giveaways, Amazon Sponsored Product Ads, Amazon Marketing Services, Amazon Stores, Video, Lightning Deals, Enhanced Brand Content, and Coupons, just to name a few,” Fedio says. Features such as Amazon Stores, Enhanced Brand Content and Video enable her to “optimize conversions by allowing us to tell our brand story and powerfully engage with customers in a meaningful and impactful way.”

“Black Friday/Cyber Monday is without question the most exciting time of the year,” Fedio says. “We love the challenge of trying to break new records in our business with each new holiday season.” One Savvy Life begins its Cyber Week strategizing early. “By planning months in advance and solidifying our position in search results for our main [keywords] and gift-related keywords, we took full advantage of every possible marketing and merchandising initiative to drive increased traffic and brand awareness to help us continuously get featured, noticed and discovered to maximize our exposure across all of Amazon,” Fedio explains.

This year, a record $6.59 billion was spent online on Cyber Monday, Adobe Analytics reports. Some $2 billion of those sales took place on mobile devices, many using the Amazon App. Cyber Monday’s Amazon App orders grew more than 50% worldwide compared last year. That’s why One Savvy Life made sure to optimize listings for mobile users. Being flexible and responsive helped One Savvy Life surmount some unexpected Cyber Week challenges. “Three thousand units of our most popular products were lost during transit, so we ran out of stock very quickly.  We had to pivot our promotional efforts [to] related products,” Fedio says. The team has learned from that experience: “[Next year], we will need to engage in more strategic planning when it comes to inventory and logistics, especially to ensure that we stay in stock on our bestselling products.

How to Win at Cyber Week

Small business owners hoping to set their own records next Cyber Week should follow Fedio’s advice:

  • Get help. “Do everything within your power to fully leverage all the marketing tools and services Amazon makes available to its third-party sellers.”
  • Plan ahead. “Plan as early as possible, both in terms of marketing and inventory.”
  • Be prepared. “Always err on the side of having more inventory than you think you’ll need, as traffic and sales on Amazon continue to increase year-over-year during the holiday season.”

With careful planning, attention to detail and help from the pros (like Amazon), your small business can make 2018’s the most profitable Cyber Week ever.