Holiday Ads Checklist

Here we go. We’re now just days away from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re a seller, you’re anxiously awaiting click-throughs and sales – and possibly wondering if it’s too late to make a change, tweak this or add that. Everyone thinks likes this and the answer: it’s never too late. So, as we prepare to kick off another holiday shopping season, let’s make sure everything is as it should be. To that end, a last-minute checklist of boxes to check and some simple strategies to make the registers ring.

One More Deadline for Consideration

In the rush to meet Cyber Monday deadlines, it’s easy to forget that’s just the opener of holiday sales. While November 6 was the cut off for FBA inventory to cover Black Friday and Cyber Monday demand, there’s still time, if you need it, to ship FBA inventory that will be guaranteed for Christmas delivery. Chances are you’ve thoroughly vetted your inventory in the warehouse, but it’s worthwhile pausing, looking at your volume sales data from last year, cross-referencing the promotional and ad strategy in place, and making a final call to ship more if needed.

Review Ad Focus

The holiday landscape can change quickly, daily sometimes. Your placement and spend strategy devised during the start of Q1 needs a quick check-up as we approach the start line. It should all be about performance metrics by volume, so the largest percentage of your spend needs to be against in-demand, high-importance ASIN’s. Also, employ dynamic bidding, placement modifiers, and ad scheduling to optimize these highest ROI sku’s. Ad scheduling can help focus your dollars on the times of day and night that your customers are shopping and buying. Double-check too that you’re not putting ad dollars against under-performing products and if so, move that spend into lower-velocity ASIN’s that might still deliver sales.

Keyword Tweaking

Traffic increases across all of Amazon during the holiday period. It already has. So don’t overstuff your product listings with unnecessary or heavy-handed holiday keywording to attract customers to every single product listing. It’s important to drive customers to the highest performing listings. It’s a good idea too to review all of your keywords at this time, check which performed best over holiday 2018 and Prime Day 2019 as appropriate. And as most searches combine several search terms, think about combinations and synonyms that make sense to your customers and offerings. Use Amazon’s Sponsored Products program too, which enables you to bid on specific, high-use keywords. Impressions are free and you only pay when a customer clicks through to your product details page.

Operational Excellence – Staying on Top

Everyone is busy but you should be visiting Seller Central daily to stay on top of orders and deliveries. Don’t rely on email notification for sales and shipping confirmations. Where you can ship orders immediately, which will allow time for any issues in transit, returns or other problems to be resolved speedily at this critical time of year. In fact, excellence in operations and customer service during the holidays creates customer appreciation and loyalty for the future. Handwritten thank you’s on packing slips, less than 24-hour inquiry response times and proactive problem solving can go a long way to building relationships and also real, authentic and positive reviews. Monitoring your Account Health dashboard can give you an accurate overview of performance and help ensure you are always meeting or exceeding mandatory Amazon seller guidelines.

Post-Holiday Deal Planning

If you’ve done all of this. If you’re happy with your strategies for ad visibility, keyword search, fulfillment, and operations, get a jump on post-holiday planning now. Consider extending high volume, high traffic promotions beyond Cyber Monday. Use Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales data too to re-target customers of certain purchases with similar product promotions. If a customer purchases a laptop, consider deals and promotions on accessories, a case, and other similar electronics. Smart decisions and extended promotions have the potential to delight customers still completing holiday shopping and build loyalty for the long term.

If you need more specific holiday advice our Channel Key team is happy to discuss custom strategies and support for your sales. In the meantime, Happy Holidays!

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