September 1st, 2023
Prepare for Amazon Holiday PPC Success
For many Amazon sellers, gearing up for the holiday season has already begun. The hustle and bustle of this lucrative time is unlike any other, with 86% of Americans flocking to the world’s leading ecommerce platform for gifts, stocking stuffers, and party supplies. To maximize the potential that lies ahead, preparations are in order.
To take advantage of the increase in shopper spending and boost end-of-year profits, it is essential for sellers to closely monitor two critical areas: PPC advertising and inventory. PPC advertising drives customer traffic and engagement while maintaining adequate inventory ensures that you can hold up your end of the bargain.
If you haven’t begun strategizing for Q4 success, there’s no time like the present! With the right strategy, your brand can get the boost it needs to start the new year off on the right foot.
2023 Inventory Cut-Off Dates for FBA
Making sure you have FBA inventory in stock early will ensure that you are set up for holiday success. Inbound wait times may vary, so give yourself extra time to prevent delays. The deadlines for sending inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers are:
Black Friday/Cyber Monday Inventory Deadline for 2023:
Christmas Amazon Inventory Deadline for 2023:
PPC Recommendations and Guidelines
Whether you are new to Amazon’s PPC advertising or a seasoned seller with a history of successful advertising campaigns, there are a few things to consider as we approach the holiday season and the new year. For best results, review Amazon’s Holiday To-Do’s and utilize our holiday PPC prep tips to make the most of this festive and fruitful time of year.
Do Your Research
Conduct Data Analysis
Conducting data analysis is critical to maximizing profits during the holiday season. Reviewing historical data allows you to see past trends and patterns that can help you anticipate future events and successes. By taking the time to review this information, you can gain insight into where you have succeeded and fallen short, helping you make informed decisions that will set you up for success in the future.
To review your sales data in your Seller Central account, go to:
Reports > Business Reports > Sales Dashboard and select your date range.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to PPC, we most often recommend starting with an automatic keyword strategy. While a manual approach forces sellers to handpick each and every keyword they want their PPC ads to target, an automated approach allows Amazon to spot new trends and identify new keywords for you.
When starting out with PPC, it is best to begin with broad match keywords. This strategy will broaden your reach by allowing your ad to appear not only when your exact keyword is searched, but also when your keyword appears in any order, including close variations and when the keyword is part of a longer customer search term.
From here, you can use the Search Term Report from your broad match keywords to pinpoint and target more specific customer searches and long-tail keywords.
You can also use ASINs found in these Search Term Reports to identify additional keyword opportunities by researching competitor listings or targeting those products with a Sponsored Products PPC campaign.
When planning your Q4 advertising strategy, it's important to think beyond the general goals of driving sales and look into the specifics. Start by choosing what products you want to promote and how you plan to get them to your customers. Will you be using a fulfillment method such as FBA or FBM?
After deciding what and how to sell, the next step is to plan your marketing strategy. Consider pricing, choose where to focus your advertising budget, and prep inventory. Once you've taken these steps, you'll be well on your way to success with Q4 advertising.
Set Up Effective PPC Campaigns
Determine Your Budget
Determining your PPC budget can be a daunting prospect. Consider raising your ad budget during these times of high sales volume. If you don't increase your budget, you may exhaust your ad funds in the morning or early afternoon and not receive any ad placements later in the day.
Many sellers use Amazon’s ACoS, or Advertising Cost of Sale, a metric used to compare ad costs to profit margins. Using this metric, sellers usually take one of three approaches to PPC:
- Keep ad costs at or below the profit margin made by directly attributed sales.
- Keep advertising costs at or below the profit margin made on all sales on the account.
- Advertising costs exceed the profit margin made on all sales on the account.
Set Up a Bidding Strategy
Amazon's auction-based bidding system provides sellers with the opportunity to bid on targeted keywords or products. This feature allows sellers to set their bids up to 900% higher, securing top positions in search results.
To optimize Q4 Amazon advertising efforts, experts recommend employing the "Dynamic Bids - Up and Down" setting in the campaign manager. This strategy offers flexibility in bidding, enabling more aggressive ad placements that could lead to increased sales.
Create a Product Targeting Strategy
On Amazon, Product Targeting allows you to target your Q4 advertising efforts toward a specific category, brand, price, rating, or set of ASINs. This feature provides an effective way to refine your tactics and expand your reach beyond traditional keyword-based strategies.
Identify Your Target Audience
As the holiday season approaches, now is the time to ensure your Q4 Amazon advertising strategy is streamlined and primed to reach high-intent buyers. To maximize your Amazon Q4 sales, focus on setting up campaigns that target shoppers in the market for specific products and capitalize on the organic search trends in your niche.
Utilize Amazon Retargeting
Amazon's remarketing campaigns can reach customers who are already familiar with your brand and increase their chances of returning for additional purchases. By creating a well-defined strategy and leveraging the tools that Amazon provides, you can maximize the ROI of your Q4 advertising campaigns and tap into a lucrative audience of high-intent buyers.
Create Holiday-Specific Content
With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to engage shoppers with compelling content that drives sales. Investing in Q4 Amazon advertising is a great way to bring traffic to your product pages, but the content on those pages is what will make a lasting impression and result in a sale. Make sure to clearly explain the features and benefits of your product and emphasize its value.
Optimize Product Pages
Listing optimization is a highly effective way to improve your organic ranking, search relevancy, click-through rate (CTR), and conversion rate (CR). Optimized product pages boost brand credibility, performance, and customer loyalty. Keep the most important information at the beginning of your listing title, as some ad placements cut off titles.
A fully optimized listing includes:
- Concise and informative titles, bullet points, and descriptions
- High-quality product images, graphics, and/or videos
- A collection of customer product reviews
- Well-crafted responses to customer questions
- Strategic A+ Content
Engage Holiday Shoppers
To drive Q4 sales, engage shoppers with festive content. Tweaking your copy and images can be a highly effective way to get gift-givers and recipients excited about your products.
- Incorporate Seasonal Themes
This holiday season, give shoppers something to get excited about by featuring seasonal content that highlights how your product can make a great gift or help create memorable gatherings. Use festive imagery and invite shoppers to explore the various ways they can use your product to make this season even more special.
- Reinforce Your Value
Create content that reinforces your unique selling proposition (USP). Clearly outlining your product’s distinct features and benefits is a great way to differentiate your brand from your competitors. Show shoppers what your product does and how it can enhance their lives through descriptive copy, informative graphics, and lifestyle images.
- Add a Powerful Call to Action
Encourage shoppers to act by incorporating a powerful Call to Action (CTA) in your ads. This will not only boost the performance, but it can also enhance the customer experience by clearly outlining the next steps. For best results, keep your CTA simple and straightforward.
Create a Holiday Landing Page
Amazon sellers can create a unique version of their Brand Store for the holiday season to target shoppers looking for seasonal items. This version allows them to customize the start and end date for the store, making sure that their products are on full display at the peak of the holiday season.
When the holiday season is over, the Brand Store will be reset to its original version, allowing the seller to adjust their products and offerings for the new year. This gives sellers a great opportunity to take advantage of the increased traffic of holiday shoppers, while also maintaining control of their product line and store design.
To optimize your Q4 advertising efforts, consider conducting A/B tests on your content to gain valuable insights into customer behavior. Experiment with various components of your product listing, including the title, description, and bullet points, to determine which resonates best with your target audience.
Split-testing can also give you insight into the effectiveness of different pricing strategies. With this method, you can assess what elements of your product listing have the most influence on customer engagement and make adjustments accordingly.
Run Seasonal Campaigns
To attract Q4 traffic to your listings, consider creating Black Friday Advertising and Cyber Monday Advertising campaigns that focus on keywords related to your product. Examples include Christmas Gift, Holiday Gift Ideas, and Gifts for Mom. Since these campaigns are short-lived, carefully choose which keywords to prioritize and which ones to discard or reduce bids on. As traffic picks up, conduct frequent check-ins to optimize performance.
Unfortunately, the 'set it and forget it' strategy simply doesn't work on Amazon. Carefully monitor and adjust your bids based on keyword performance. By investing more money in successful keywords and reducing spending on those that are not performing as well, you can optimize your efforts and maximize profits.
Please note, Amazon’s suggested bids are not always accurate, so try to keep an eye on your own keyword metrics. Assess each keyword’s conversion rate compared to the overall conversion rate for the item. Successful keywords will have a higher conversion rate compared to the overall metric. Also, consider the keywords CPC and ACoS to see if your approach is profitable.
Craft a Comprehensive Promotional Strategy
In addition to PPC ads, Amazon offers several other marketing tools to help you stand out from your competition and increase holiday sales.
1. Lightning Deals
The deadline for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Lightning Deals has passed (remember to plan early for next year). With Lightning Deals, simply submitting a deal does not ensure it will be displayed. Deals with the lowest price, highest quantity, and sufficient inventory are given priority in terms of time and position on the Amazon Deals page.
Promotions are an excellent way to provide multi-unit or tiered discounts on your products. They can also be used in conjunction with external advertising or promotional campaigns by offering discount codes.
Coupons can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your page since they stand out in search results. It is worth noting, however, that there may be extra costs for sellers for each coupon clipped and redeemed.
4. Brand Stores and Brand Stories
Elevate the shopper’s experience and showcase more of your products in one space. Adding additional content to your product page allows you to communicate your brand's story, showcase your product line in more detail, and cultivate customer loyalty.
Drive Seasonal Sales
There are many ways to promote your Amazon products during the holiday season. With Black Friday Advertising, Cyber Monday Advertising, and all your Q4 strategies, get creative and keep a close eye on your performance. Consider options beyond paid advertising and offer more appealing variations of your products using gift boxes, baskets, and bundles. No matter what approach you take, make sure you step up your game to successfully seize your share of shoppers' holiday spending.
Looking to ramp up holiday sales? Time is ticking. With the support of our Amazon Account Management Team, you can lighten your workload and meet your holiday goals. From PPC management to listing optimization and social media marketing, we are equipped with all the tools you need to succeed. Contact us today to learn more.