Q4, a time to eat, drink, and be scary, merry, and thankful but most of all, ’tis the season to be selling. And with online shopping gaining more and more popularity, sellers’ Q4 marketing has never been quite so important.
The holiday period is upon us, and with the majority of annual online sales occurring within the fourth quarter, that means one thing – Profit. And plenty of it. In 2020 global e-commerce totaled over $4.2 trillion. In the USA alone, e-commerce grew by an astounding 40%, and Amazon’s global net profit exploded, increasing by over 80%. Success was not limited to local markets as cross-border e-commerce sales went up by more than 20% worldwide.
So, how can you claim your piece of this juicy profit pie?
While traffic during this period may be higher and potential customer’s wallets more flexible, it is not enough to expect the sales simply to come to you. Consumers are bombarded with tens of thousands of adverts and promotions daily. It is vital that you stand out amongst the noise, and the key to achieving this is getting your local or global marketing efforts spot-on.
Since We have already shared our best hints on how to practically prepare your business for Q4, here are our top Amazon Q4 marketing tips from global experts to get you selling and prepare yourself for a lucrative Q4.
Manage Holiday Promotions
For many sellers, running holiday sales and promotions is key and often very effective for maximizing their profit. Not only can a great deal attract new customers, but it also incentivizes return business. However, before you get these particular cash cows mooing, you need to ensure their T’s and C’s are airtight.
Rushed sales that are implemented without the right tools and considerations can spell disaster for your profit. For example, forgetting to limit that 40% off discount to a single-use or accidentally extending a free shipping special to international buyers can end up costing you far more than the new business may bring in. Combing over your fine print and utilizing the right tools and services can save you from a holiday meltdown.
Some tools exist to help avoid these disasters. A solid shipping integration, for example, can help manage your shipping parameters and exclude specific locations from free shipping or adjust shipping costs by weight. Use data-driven promotional structures to help you create super-targeted and easy to control promotions that limit the risk of promo code abuse.
Timing is also key to the success of a holiday promotion. Most buyers do 48% of their shopping between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, with 40% starting on November 1st. It is usually advised to plan your special offers to fall during this time or, more specifically, on or near important holiday dates to make sure you aren’t milking your promotions too soon.
Another good idea is to offer specials on non-giftable or dead stock before Thanksgiving or even the start of Q4. Doing so will increase your cash flow to help you maintain stock limits throughout this busy time.
Optimize Your Listing
In a world where content is king, it is surprising how many people neglect this aspect of their online listings. Amazon listing optimization is vital to your FBA success. Simply optimizing your bullet points, descriptions, and images can considerably impact your visibility and attractiveness to clients. Ensuring at least the top 20% of your listing is both Amazon compliant and enticing can boost your sales and your all-important IPI sore.
Optimizing your listing is particularly important in Q4, especially for those with seasonal or giftable products which see the most significant increases in sales during this time. Before you start, it is a good idea to do a full content audit. Be critical and pick out what is working and what isn’t. As much as you might love an image or be committed to a keyword, you should push yourself to look for an alternative if it isn’t working.
During Q4, seasonality is your best friend. Something as simple as adding a snowflake to the image of the photo frame you have for sale or putting a pumpkin in the background of your Halloween-friendly product can have a massive impact on the perceived relevance of your product to the audience.
More important, though, is your use of seasonal keywords. Have a look at search volumes from previous years and let that guide your choice. Including one strong keyword in the title can have an enormous impact on the visibility of your product to holiday shoppers.
Finally, if your product is giftable, make that clear to the buyers by including images that show off the packaging of your product in a way that makes it look particularly present-worthy.
Keep It Simple
Amazon sellers constantly walk a tightrope between success and a suspended account.
There are hundreds of reasons why Amazon suspends accounts, some even as minor as using all caps. Rather err on the side of caution when optimizing your listing, especially if you have received warnings in the past.
Appealing a suspended account can take months to get noticed, and with the pressure of Q4 being felt by all, it could take much longer. Significant changes to your listings can potentially have the opposite to the desired effect and result in your product being less visible to your intended audience.
Therefore, while it remains crucial to optimize your listings, all the experts agree you need to maintain a balance and that these changes should be minor, focusing on one aspect rather than a total re-market.
Get Your Product Noticed
PPC and other advertising costs skyrocket during this time. To get your goods noticed, you sometimes need to get a little creative.
Social media is a fantastic way to get your name out, and during this time of the year, knowing the right blogger or influencer in your niche and getting your product listed on their seasonal Gift Guide can push your business miles ahead of the pack.
Sometimes influencers require payment to list your goods. If this is the case, be selective about whom you choose. Unless they have celebrity status and can guarantee an ROI spending $500 on a couple of Instagram posts or a blog may not be worth the number of units you would need to sell to cover that cost.
Luckily, many influencers are willing to consider your goods free of charge. Influencers can benefit from the incentive structure set up by Amazon, which allows people to earn kickbacks on sales of the items they recommend. Connecting with influencers involved in this program is particularly useful for sellers with more expensive items as a higher product cost means a more lucrative kickback for the influencer.
Offering a free sample for them to try out or use in a giveaway is usually an excellent way to make a connection. If they like your product, you can build a relationship from there. Have confidence in your product and be open to your options. If you are starting out, seek influencers via google or social platforms and build relationships with them. With the right partner, you could see the benefits well past Q4.
This is possibly the most valuable piece of advice we came across. Amazon is notorious for dropping bombs on its sellers just before significant events giving them very little time to prepare. Often, this leaves sellers feeling panicked.
Top seller Anne Ferris offers some advice on a common area of panic. Knowing your market is key to the success of any business, including Amazon sales. Remember, the Q4 rush is usually related to gift-giving practices. If your product is something that people generally buy for themselves instead, you may find your sales decreasing over December.
For the first time, Q4 sellers, this can be terrifying! But again, don’t panic. Keep maintaining what has been working for you and instead focus your efforts on pushing products right after Christmas encouraging shoppers to use their gift cards. Most sellers in this category find that their sales increase during January and February rather than Q4.
Remember, there are tools and solutions for every problem when it comes to Amazon. For example, Zee has helped many sellers get out of sticky import situations, including stuck international and undeliverable stock shipments. So, before you panic, have a look at the hundreds of useful Amazon tools at your disposal.
Although this quarter can be enormous in terms of profit, it can also be overwhelming. However, with the right marketing strategy and top-class listings in place, you may be able to have your Christmas pudding and eat it!