Lightning Strikes, Q4 Game On!
You know how it seems as if the retail holiday season starts earlier each year? Well, this year it’s not just the holiday season but the larger entity that is Q4. While Q4 may not chronologically begin until October 1, it’s unofficially kicked off in late August this year.
The 2018 holiday harbinger arrived early in the form of Amazon seller news, specifically the announcement that the Lightning Deals submission window for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is now open and will close at 11:59 pm on September 21, 2018. That’s right, Q4 is on and Amazon sellers have less than one month get their Lightning Deals in order and approved if they are to offer these super sales during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday event weeks.
With such little time between now and a minute before midnight on Friday, September 21, I’ve put together a quick guide to get you moving lightning-fast in an effort to get your deals included in the post-Thanksgiving golden sales window.
- Friday, September 21: Last day to submit Amazon Lightning Deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday event weeks.
- Thursday, November 22: Thanksgiving
- Friday, November 23: Black Friday
- Monday, November 26: Cyber Monday
Lightning Deals Eligibility Requirements
- For Amazon Lightning Deals in general: “You must be a Professional seller with at least 5 seller Feedback Ratings per month and an overall Feedback Rating of at least 3.5 stars.” Complete Lightning Deals eligibility requirements here.
- Lightning Deals for Events have additional requirements. Black Friday and Cyber Monday event weeks are massively important to Amazon so it is increasingly selective about participants and deals. You and your products included in your deals must also meet the following criteria as stated explicitly by Amazon:
- Discounts of 20% or more (the discount threshold is based off the lowest site price from the past 30 days, and the Deal price must also be the lowest price since January 1, 2018).
- Enough quantity to last the duration of the Lightning Deal, which will run for a maximum of 6 hours.
- Products with a star rating of 3.0 or higher.
- Products with high quality detail pages and images that match the style guide.
Make It Easy (or at Least Easier) on Yourself
Before you fret over those rules, make it easy on yourself and go to the Lightning Deals Dashboard within your Amazon Seller Central Account. Check under Recommendations. Products listed there are eligible to run as Lightning Deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If you have no products listed under Recommendations, then none of your products is eligible for Lightning Deals during this long weekend. While not ideal, you can still get in on the action by creating a promotion of another sort such as a coupon for a percentage off or offering free shipping or a “buy one, get one” deal. There’s more than just Lightning Deals at play here and available to help you kickstart your holiday sales.
Caveat Venditor: Sometimes Amazon promotions go off the rails and sellers end up taking huge losses because they neglected to set a limit or an expiration or some other restriction. Hey, it even happened to Amazon itself when an Audible promo went live unexpectedly (We’ll never forget you, #DotGate). The best way to ensure that you don’t take a bath on a promo is by 1) always checking your promo entries before taking them live, and 2) using our free tool, Seller Labs Max, which allows you to set limits and prevent poachers from buying you out at a huge discount.