Prime Day has come and gone. What a rush.

On my first Prime Day in 2015, jitters filled me while I watched the sales numbers roll in, and shock took hold as the impact of growth hit. By the end of the day, I was exhausted.

I knew my e-commerce company would gain a great deal of traction, but I had not yet been prepared for the fivefold volume and massive follow-through that came. I walked away with the realization it is not possible to pull off a sales season like this without any lessons to learn or areas to improve upon. 

Since then, my company has implemented changes to set ourselves up for success and can now walk into a major sales day feeling calm and prepared. 

Here are three things to focus on as you step into the next big sales season spike-- Black Friday. 

1. Prepare inventory based on your studied forecast.

The last thing you would ever want on a spike sales day is to run out of inventory. That is like closing out of your favorite video game on accident without saving first-- it can ruin you.  

Historically we hit five times our regular volume on big sale days and our conversion rates double. This a forecast that we have honed in on accurately defining and are prepared to manage. We looked at all the numbers, click through rates and big purchases to get a baseline for what to expect. You can use your email listing and current product ranking to calculate how much inventory will be needed and where to position it within your supply chain. 

Execute this forecast and build inventory at least six months prior to the sale day. We start to prepare for Prime Day in December. And we started to prepare for Black Friday this month (July).  

The earlier you prepare the more time you have to make negotiations with suppliers, get your hold on warehouse storage space, and be the first product that is shipped through your 3PL (third-party logistics) on the big day.

2. Hone in your marketing approach.

There is a great deal of hype around Prime Day for consumers, but don't confuse this for hype around your product. Just as you prepare your inventory, you need to prepare and execute your marketing plan. Have a best-case scenario in mind and a range of marketing initiatives in place.

Seek to find opportunities within Amazon, remember you are working with them, not simply on their platform. Provide specials specific to the big day that will get your product onto the top-selling list and front page promotions.

This is where you should get creative.  

Review promotions from previous years to see what worked for products and what didn't, look at what marketing opportunities had success on different platforms.

One great way to market during Prime Day or Black Friday is to create partnerships with other companies. If you build a relationship with a product or service that has a large audience within your niche, partner with them. Offer coupons or promotions for each other's products when consumers make a purchase to benefit both businesses and give a perk to your customer.

3. Use the momentum for long term gains.

With the influx in traffic to your product and site, take this as an opportunity to "wow" a potential customer, go above and beyond to turn them from a potential lead to a raving fan.  

Up-sell your array of products and offer something unique. You can create special deals for the big sale day by making bundles or offering small sample sizes of other products or add ons. With every sale, we include an insert with information and future promotions to encourage customers to come back to us soon.     

Realize that the inventory need and increase in business don't stop immediately after the day the deal ends. Your email and customer list just grew substantially, realize that more purchases will sprinkle in even after the sale ends and prepare your customer service support teams for any new customers questions or inquiries.

When you focus on the work to prepare for these major sales days you will be able to walk into them confident you have a smooth process for success established. No need to feel nervous about running out of inventory or worry you didn't get the word out enough about your awesome new product.  

Enjoy the season!

Published on: Jul 24, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.