It’s almost that time of the year again – the leaves are changing colors, the annual pumpkin spice craze has started again at your local Starbucks, and brick-and-mortar stores are putting up their best holiday decorations. It may come as no surprise, but the 2021 holiday season will look a bit different than past years, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Busy Time of Year
It is no secret that Q4 is Amazon’s busiest time of the year, and with the eCommerce giant breaking its own sales record every year during this brief three month window, you, as a seller on Amazon, definitely want to get in on the action. In 2020 alone, Amazon generated total net revenue of over 125 billion U.S. dollars just in Q4!
Your Q4 success depends on how well you know the data, understand the current trends, and how you decide to act on these factors. To be successful this holiday season, you need actionable strategies determined from the data you derived, and a few Q4 Amazon tips from seasoned experts.
For those seasoned sellers, 2021 is going to look different than the years before a global pandemic. More people are accustomed to shopping online and are aware that shopping early is necessary because of inventory issues. So don’t get too comfy doing the same thing as years past.
Here are a few Q4 Amazon tips and tricks to help you come up with a plan of action for the remainder of 2021. Read on to prepare your Amazon business for the holiday hustle and bustle that these next few months are sure to bring.
Q4 Amazon Tip #1
Make Your Listings Shine
Don’t get stuck on Amazon’s “naughty” list this year by presenting lackluster listings! We all know the saying, “content is king”, but this is especially true for the Amazon platform, and for the entire eCommerce industry in general.
Optimizing each listing in your catalog is important but maybe you ran out of time. If you haven’t gotten around to optimizing every single item you sell, start with your best-selling items first - prior to the holiday rush hitting. The sooner you do this the better, because as we all know, it can take more time than expected to fully update listings on Amazon. Additionally, you may end up needing to open cases with Amazon’s Seller Support to push certain updates through and that can also delay things.
Q4 Amazon Tip #2
Due to the global supply chain still being affected by COVID-19 and lengthy lead times have become more and more common, planning ahead has never been more important. Get in touch with your supplier as soon as possible to discuss your options for securing the inventory needed for the entire holiday season. Also take into consideration that longer lead times will affect freight and shipping deadlines.
If you don’t have the financial resources to stock your entire catalog, make sure that your known best-sellers and other high demand products are in-stock and available to shoppers. This is vital to your success this holiday season.
Tracking your metrics is extremely important. If you haven’t been tracking your month-over-month and year-over-year metrics, then start now. One of the best ways to come up with a good baseline for how much inventory to stock during these next few months is by learning from data from the past years. There is a fine line between the ideal amount of inventory and overstock, so we definitely recommend dedicating some time to researching exactly how much you should be sending in to Amazon or to your own warehouse.
Supply chain management is a perpetual challenge for eCommerce based businesses. However, if you learn to read the seasonal trends you can help set your business up for success without incurring outrageous storage fees for storing excess inventory at Amazon fulfillment centers. If you do end up with excess inventory, remember that typically it is wiser to sell at a discount or a loss than to pay for Amazon’s exorbitant long-term storage fees.
Q4 Amazon Tip #3Take Advantage of FBA and SFP Shipping
FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or even SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime) can help sellers immensely in Q4. By utilizing FBA or SFP shipping options listings will be awarded the coveted Prime badge and better compete for the Buy Box.
One Q4 Amazon tip is to use FBA or SFP until Christmas Eve. Typically FBM listings perform poorly during the holiday rush, which will result in a dip in traffic and lower sales. Even if you don’t win the Buy Box before the season starts, you will still have a chance at winning it once the lowest priced items have sold out.
Q4 Amazon Tip #4Start Running PPC Campaigns Early
Even if you come up with a solid, foolproof inventory strategy, it will all be absolutely ineffective if you don’t run the right ads. If you want to maximize your sales this Q4, then make sure that you have a solid advertising strategy ready and running at least a few months in advance.
It is best to run both automatic and manual campaigns in order to get the PPC optimization going, and doing this as early as October is highly recommended. Although automatic campaigns are not always the most efficient when it comes to ACoS, they are an easy way to discover high-converting keywords for your products, which have a huge impact on sales potential.
Once the data is collected from your campaigns, the next step is to optimize them. Locate the non-converting keywords and move them over to the ‘negative’ section to eliminate unnecessary cost and ad spend. Then take your list of high-converting keywords, which have a proven track record of generating sales, and move them over to your manual campaigns to optimize as well.
Q4 Amazon Tip #5Keep Calm and Carry On
When it comes to Amazon strategy, patience is the key! Some sellers get discouraged within the first few weeks or months of launching on Amazon, without realizing that becoming successful on Amazon is all about the marathon, and not the sprint.
Try your best to think long-term, and don’t let the ups and downs in sales get you down. For most sellers, these dips are usually minor and temporary. We understand that your business is your baby, and that everything tied to it is extremely personal, however, creating a little bit of distance from the rollercoaster of emotions tied to your business is healthy and important for your sanity.
While Q4 is generally a seller’s largest payday, this isn’t always the case. Even if you don’t see the boost in sales that you were expecting, you can still get a head start on the new year. Get together a comprehensive plan for 2022 and start the year off strong by maximizing your listing potential and optimizing every aspect of your Amazon business.
Planning ahead always pays off. At the end of the day, that is exactly why we are here! When you need that little bit of extra support to get a handle on your Amazon business, we are always just a call away, 800.238.1822, or click away. Schedule your free consultation today to learn more.