Q4 Amazon Planning Strategy
Why Is Q4 Season Important?
Our goal at Channel Key is to set up our client’s Amazon business’ to be optimally positioned to achieve their goals. A large part of that success can be controlled with strong proactive Q4 holiday season planning.
With Prime Day having already past, customers and sellers on Amazon are looking forward to one thing – Q4 Holiday/Black Friday/Cyber Monday! Amazon brought in $35.13 billion in revenue during Q4 of 2017 and they had a record-breaking season for Prime Orders. This year Amazon will not be holding back and anticipates breaking last year’s records. With more people shopping and an influx of competition each Q4 season, this time of year can make or break businesses entire year on Amazon!
How to Prepare?
The detailed process and system to prepare for the Q4 Season will vary depending on whether you are selling on Amazon as a 3P Seller Central Fulfillment by Amazon, Fulfillment by Merchant, or 1P Vendor Central. For this reason, we’re going to keep our discussion at a high-level.
Use historical (Prime Day, previous Q4, trailing 3-months sales) and current data (sales & inventory, Item Detail Page updates, competitive landscape, and advertising) to position your full selection on Amazon in the most customer-centric manner. By applying your learnings from Prime Day you will amplify the successes you’ve had while minimizing the failures and misses.
Sales & Inventory
- This data clearly shows what customers have preferred in the past.
- Where did you see sales spikes and dips? What were the characteristics of those items?
- Did you have any surprisingly well-performing items? Did you have any underperforming items?
- Of the items listed above, were there any out-of-stock situations? Conversely, were there any situations where you were left with excessive inventory after a sales cycle?
- Getting proper FBA inventory quantities sent in advance is critical to making sure you’re not missing the key late November selling days. We recommend shipping in larger quantities in late October/Early November.
Item Detail Page & Content Updates
- Item Detail Pages on Amazon can be equated to your shelf space, while Amazon Brand Stores can be equated to your storefront. Understanding both what information as well as how that information should be communicated to your customer is of the utmost importance. This remains true most of all on your item detail pages and storefronts.
- What updates have you made in the past that you saw a positive effect from and Vice Versa?
- Product returns and negative feedback can be very strong indicators of where content must be improved to more accurately represent what the customer will be receiving.
- Implementing the correct content changes in advance of Q4 will be imperative in driving success.
Understanding the competitive landscape (# of similar products, pricing strategies, promotional strategies, and advertising strategies) will allow you to focus your efforts on the items with the highest chance of success.
Maybe you provide customers with a product or value that is currently being underserved? Building more into this space will allow you to gain a larger share of a pie with fewer sellers.
Through benchmarking your pricing strategy with other sellers who are targeting the same customer you gain the ability to create a pricing strategy that provides the customer the most value while staying ahead of your competitors.
Your promotional strategy is dependent upon the goal you want to reach during Q4 and can vary by product. Utilize a promotion such as Buy 3 Units and Get 10% off to incentivize customers to buy more than one or offer cross-selling promotions to drive existing traffic to a new product. In addition, promotions have little to no cost besides the discount provided to consumers.
Focusing on all the factors listed previously will naturally allow your listings to rise in search and browse, leading to increased customer demand. Now that you have guaranteed a strong foundation to be able to successfully and accurately fulfill customer demand, it’s time to focus on traffic driving! This is where the cherry-on-top happens – Amazon Advertising.
Amazon Advertising recently underwent a re-brand where they consolidated multiple services, tools, and teams into a single ‘Amazon Advertising’ group. While this aims to simplify the Amazon Advertising process, this area remains a complicated, competitive, and growing space. For the sake of simplicity, today we’ll briefly talk about the multiple Amazon advertising tools out there.
Sponsored ads—such as Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands (formerly known as Headline Search Ads)—allow you to reach Amazon customers as they research and discover products. Ads appear on search results pages and relevant product pages, directing customers to your product detail page or Store.
Use relevant audiences, customizable creatives, and actionable insights to deliver your message to the right customers—on Amazon sites, apps, devices, and third-party sites. You can either manage campaigns yourself through the Amazon DSP console or work with our team of experts.
Video ads empower you to tell stories and make emotional connections with customers throughout their decision journeys. We help you reach your ideal audience in brand-safe environments and measure the results of your video campaigns.
Stores allow you to create your own website, with its own branded URL, on Amazon. You can use it to showcase your brand story and product portfolio in a curated customer destination.
Amazon DSP (formerly Amazon Advertising Platform, or AAP) is a demand-side platform that allows you to programmatically reach your audiences both on Amazon sites and apps as well as through our publishing partners and third-party exchanges.
You may now be asking yourself…This is a great deal to consider – how can we possibly execute on all of this successfully?! Visit Channel Key or reach out to chat with one of our specialists who can help you finish mapping your road to a successful Q4 Season at [email protected]!