FBA Holiday Readiness Checklist: 9 Key Areas to Focus On

Amazon Expert

Hi I’m Steven, Founder of My Amazon Guy, a 500+ person Amazon Seller Central agency out of Atlanta, GA. We Growth Hack eCommerce and Marketplaces through PPC, SEO, Design, and Catalog Management.

What is FBA Holiday Readiness? It refers to the preparation steps that Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers take to ensure they are ready for the increased sales activity during the holiday season. 

This involves various activities to optimize inventory levels, enhance product listings, plan promotional activities, and ensure customer service readiness.

With a few more weeks before the holidays, here’s a guide from our Amazon FBA agency that you can follow to be prepared for the holiday selling season and achieve merry sales!

FBA Holiday Readiness: To-Do List From Amazon

Before we go into details, let’s have a look first at the weekly event planner straight from Amazon:

FBA Holiday Readiness Weekly Planner

FBA Holiday Readiness: Inventory Management

Forecasting demand accurately for the holiday season

Forecasting demand accurately for the holiday season on Amazon involves several steps. You can use the Amazon Retail Analytics tool in your Vendor Central Dashboard to generate a Forecast and Inventory Planning Report, which can help predict future demand based on historical data. 

In Seller Central, you can find the Amazon demand forecast tool, which is one of the free-to-use tools that the e-commerce platform provides. It is essentially a practical feature that can help sellers manage their inventory.

The Amazon Demand Forecast Tool offers sellers a projection of future demand for up to 40 weeks. This tool utilizes a probabilistic forecast model tailored to each product. 

It factors in past orders, seasonal patterns, ongoing promotions, and other data to generate these estimates.

The Amazon demand forecast tool utilizes a probabilistic forecast model to calculate restock recommendations based on projected demand and associated uncertainties. The tool provides two prediction levels:

Mean Level (Green Line): This indicates the expected weekly customer demand quantity.

Optimistic Level (Dotted Line): This line represents the demand level at or below which the item is expected to be 90% of the time.

The tool defaults to displaying the mean prediction level, and it also includes two additional lines:

Gray Line: Represents the ordered units of your product over a span of up to 52 weeks if the product is sold via FBA.

Yellow Line: Compares the unit count between the current year and the previous year, visible if you’ve been using FBA for at least two years.

Find out more about this tool by reading this blog post.

Ensuring timely restocking to prevent stockouts

Ensuring timely restocking to prevent stockouts on Amazon requires careful planning and regular inventory checks. FBA restock reporting is one of the crucial services we offer our clients here at our Amazon FBA agency. We’re sharing here some steps you can follow:

Step 1: Regular Inventory Checks – Keep a regular check on your inventory levels. This will help you to identify when stock levels are low and when to reorder.

Step 2: Use Amazon’s Forecasting – Use the Forecast and Inventory Planning tool in Amazon’s Retail Analytics. This will give you an estimate of future sales and help you plan your inventory accordingly.

Step 3: Set Reorder Points – Set a specific level of stock at which you will reorder. This level should consider your lead time and the rate at which the item sells.

Step 4: Understand Lead Times – Know the lead times for your products. This is the time it takes from placing an order with your supplier to the product being available for sale.

Step 5: Buffer Stock – Keep a buffer stock to cover unexpected spikes in sales or delays from suppliers. The size of this buffer will depend on the predictability of your sales and the reliability of your suppliers.

Step 6: Regular Review – Regularly review your stock management practices and adjust as necessary. This should consider changes in demand, lead times, and supplier reliability.

Understanding and adhering to Amazon's FBA holiday inventory deadlines

Following inventory deadlines is crucial to ensure your products are available and ready to be shipped to customers during the peak holiday season. Here are the steps to do so:

Step 1: Check Amazon’s Holiday Selling Guidelines: Amazon usually publishes its holiday selling guidelines, including FBA inventory deadlines, in the Seller Central news section. Make sure to check these guidelines regularly.

Step 2: Understand the Deadlines: The FBA holiday inventory deadlines are the dates by which you should send your inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers to ensure they are available for sale during the holiday season. These dates can vary each year and can be different for different product categories.

Step 3: Plan Ahead: Based on the deadlines, plan your inventory accordingly. Make sure to consider the time it takes for your inventory to reach Amazon’s fulfillment centers and be processed.

Step 4: Monitor Inventory Levels: Keep a close eye on your inventory levels during the holiday season. If you see that a product is selling faster than expected, you may need to send more inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

Step 5: Respond to Changes: If there are any changes in the deadlines or in Amazon’s guidelines, make sure to adjust your plans accordingly.

FBA Holiday Readiness: Listing Optimization

Enhancing product images and descriptions for clarity and appeal

Enhancing Product Images:

Step 1: Use High-Quality Images: Make sure your images are high-resolution and clear. They should showcase your product from multiple angles and in detail.

Step 2: Follow Amazon’s Guidelines: Amazon has specific guidelines for product images. For example, the main image must be on a white background, and the product should take up at least 85% of the image.

Step 3: Show the Product in Use: Where possible, include images that show the product in use or that highlight its features.

Step 4: Use Infographics: Infographics can help to highlight key features and benefits of your product. They can also provide size references or show how to use the product.

Step 5: Follow the main image hack we diligently implement here at our Amazon FBA agency to improve your CTR.

Here are some videos you can watch to know more about this method:

Enhancing Product Descriptions:

Step 1: Use Bullet Points: Bullet points make the description easier to read and allow you to highlight key features.

Step 2: Highlight Benefits: Don’t just list features, explain how they benefit the customer. 

Step 3: Use Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords in your description to improve search visibility. But remember, don’t stuff keywords, use them naturally.

Step 4: Be Clear and Concise: Keep your descriptions clear and concise. Avoid jargon and complex language.

Step 5: Proofread: Make sure to proofread your descriptions for any spelling or grammar mistakes.

Using relevant keywords for improved product visibility

Here are some steps to do it effectively:

Step 1: Keyword Research: The main keyword research tool our Amazon FBA agency uses is Helium 10, but there are other tools like Amazon’s auto-suggest feature, and Google Keyword Planner that you can use to find relevant keywords for your product. Look for keywords that are relevant to your product and have a high search volume.

Step 2: Use Keywords in Title: Incorporate the most important keywords in your product title. The title should still be readable and make sense to customers.

Step 3: Use Keywords in Bullet Points and Description: Include keywords in your product’s bullet points and description. This not only helps with visibility but also provides customers with important information about your product.

Step 4: Use Keywords in Backend Search Terms: Amazon allows you to enter backend search terms. These are keywords that are not visible to customers but are indexed by Amazon’s search algorithm. Use this space to include relevant keywords that you weren’t able to fit in your title, bullet points, or description.

Step 5: Don’t Keyword Stuff: Avoid filling your listing with keywords in a way that doesn’t make sense or provides no value to the customer. Amazon’s algorithms can penalize listings that are keyword-stuffed.

Step 6: Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on your product’s performance and adjust your keywords as necessary. Amazon’s A9 algorithm changes regularly, so it’s important to stay updated and adjust your strategies accordingly.

FBA Holiday Readiness: Promotions and Advertising

Increasing advertising budget to reach more customers

Increasing your advertising budget during the holiday season can be a strategic move to reach more customers and boost sales. Here’s how you can do it effectively:

Step 1: Set a Budget: Determine how much you are willing to spend on advertising during the holiday season. Consider your overall sales goals and the return on ad spend (ROAS) you aim to achieve.

Step 2: Identify High-Performing Products: Allocate more of your budget to products that have historically performed well during the holiday season. These are likely to bring you the highest return.

Step 3: Use Amazon Advertising: Consider using Amazon’s advertising services, such as Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Display Ads. These can help increase the visibility of your products.

Step 4: Adjust Bids: During the holiday season, competition for keywords can increase, driving up the cost per click. Monitor your campaigns closely and adjust your bids accordingly to remain competitive.

Step 5: Target Relevant Keywords: Make sure to target holiday-specific keywords in your ad campaigns. This can help you reach customers who are specifically looking for holiday deals.

Step 6: Monitor Performance: Regularly check the performance of your ad campaigns. This can help you identify which strategies are working and where adjustments need to be made.

FBA Holiday Readiness: Pricing Strategy

Considering dynamic pricing strategies to optimize sales

Dynamic pricing strategies can be a great way to optimize sales, especially in a competitive marketplace like Amazon. Here are some steps you can follow to set up a dynamic pricing strategy:

Steps to Implement Dynamic Pricing Strategy on Amazon:

  1. Understand Your Margins: Before you start, you need to understand your product costs and the minimum price you can afford to sell your products at while still making a profit. 
  2. Evaluate Your Competitors: Use the “View Pricing Dashboard” in Seller Central to see the percentage of listings within 10% of the Buy Box price and a list of products priced more than 10% higher than the suggested lower price.
  3. Set Your Pricing Rules: Decide how you want to match or beat the competition. For example, you might decide to always match the lowest price, or you might decide to stay within a certain percentage of the lowest price.
  4. Use Pricing Management Tools: Consider using automated pricing tools that allow you to set rules and automatically adjust your prices based on those rules.
  5. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review your pricing strategy and make adjustments as needed. The competitive landscape can change quickly, and you should be prepared to react.

Balancing competitive pricing with profitability

Balancing competitive pricing with profitability is a key aspect of running a successful Amazon business. Here are some tips to help you in this process:

Tips for Balancing Competitive Pricing with Profitability:

  1. Understand Your Costs: It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your product costs, including manufacturing, shipping, Amazon fees, and any other expenses. This will help you determine your minimum acceptable price.
  2. Know Your Market: Use the “View Pricing Dashboard” in Seller Central to understand the competitive landscape. Look at the percentage of listings within 10% of the Buy Box price and a list of products priced more than 10% higher than the suggested lower price.
  3. Set Strategic Prices: Don’t just match the lowest price. Consider your product’s value, your brand reputation, and your target market. It may be more profitable to maintain a higher price point if your product offers superior quality or unique features.
  4. Use Dynamic Pricing: Implement dynamic pricing strategies that allow your prices to fluctuate based on market demand and competition. This can help maximize profitability while remaining competitive.
  5. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review your pricing strategy and adjust as needed. The market can change quickly, and staying responsive to these changes can help maintain profitability.
  6. Focus on Value: Besides price, focus on creating value for your customers. High-quality products, excellent customer service, and positive reviews can justify a higher price point.

Here are some videos to watch to know more about pricing: