Top 6 Amazon Holiday Tips
AirTank works with clients every day to provide strategy and execution in their e-commerce and third-party marketplace efforts — amplifying their sales on all channels and optimizing their digital marketing advertising.
As the holidays are quickly approaching and businesses of all sizes are busy with last-minute preparations, Amazon has become an increasingly important sales channel to create a solid holiday strategy for your business. According to eMarketer, Amazon accounted for about 55% of all Black Friday sales. Their revenue, which jumped more than 2X in Q4 2020, is expected to grow by another 27% this year according to Forbes. To help sellers prepare for the holiday season ahead, AirTank decided to compile some important strategies from our experts to review.
Amazon's Fourth-Quarter Net Income Including Seasonal Sales From 2009 to 2020
(In Million USD)
1. Proactive Inventory Management
Managing your inventory proactively is one of the most successful strategies at any time of the year. Key products should be well-stocked if you are using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). If you are using Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM), make sure your inventory is up to date and well-stocked for any high traffic or sales periods. Handling times (lead time-to-ship) should be set to something you can achieve and not just what customers want to see. Unfeasible handling times can lead to poor Negative Customer Experience (NCX) ratings and ultimately a deactivated product listing. Check out the key FBA holiday selling dates from Amazon:
2. Excellent Customer Service
By providing exceptional customer service during the holiday season, you can make a lasting impression on customers. On MFN accounts, buyer messages need to be responded to within 24 hours. As always, be courteous and quick to respond.
Thank you notes or package inserts can be used as a seasonal touch. They are also great for communicating product information and collecting reviews. Be sure to abide by Amazon’s guidelines when using these tactics. Amazon does not allow you to divert sales away from their platform or provide incentives for positive reviews. See below:
“Attempts to divert transactions or buyers: Any attempt to circumvent the established Amazon sales process or to divert Amazon users to another website or sales process is prohibited. Specifically, any advertisements, marketing messages (special offers), or “calls to action” that lead, prompt, or encourage Amazon users to leave the Amazon website are prohibited. This may include the use of email or the inclusion of hyperlinks, URLs, or web addresses within any seller generated confirmation email messages or any product/listing description fields.”
”Misuse of ratings, feedback, or reviews: Any attempt to manipulate ratings, feedback, or reviews is prohibited.”
3. Sales & Free Shipping
Customers expect sales during Black Friday and Christmas time. Amazon offers a variety of methods in which you can incentivize customers to purchase your products.
- Coupons - these are easy and quick to set up. You can offer them a dollar amount off or a percentage off, control the effective dates, and even target certain types of customers if you wish.
- Lightning Deals or 7 Day Deals - The main advantage of Lightning Deals or 7 Day Deals is the additional exposure you may receive. They are showcased more prominently on the Amazon Deals page. Deals can be picked up for specific events but it is dependent on Amazon and the placement you receive. This is especially true during high-trafficked events (Black Friday, 12 Days of Days, Electronic Gift Guide, etc.). Lightning Deals and 7 Day Deals do have slightly higher fees and you need to submit these well in advance of the events. For example, a Black Friday/Cyber Monday Lightning Deals may be available to schedule in late August or early September.
Shipping expectations should be clearly stated to customers. Free Shipping and PRIME 2-Day shipping are great ways to increase conversion, but they should be realistic. You should monitor your On-Time Shipment Rates and On-Time Delivery Metrics if you are FBM. You should also proactively relay any communication around shipping delays due to increased seasonal volume. Review your shipping templates going into Q4 and adjust accordingly. If need be, you can set daily order limits if you can only reliably fill a certain amount of orders per day.
4. Monitor your KPIs & Feedback
Deal with negative feedback
It is the seller’s responsibility to resolve any negative customer experiences with their customers. Most Amazon sellers will receive negative feedback at some point. Use the Account Health section to monitor this and make sure your dashboard is showing open buyer messages. You can respond to or request a review of feedback using the Feedback Manager. Ultimately, you should try to resolve any issues directly with the customer before taking this route.
Returns & Refunds
Customers will often reach out to you to return their product if it is not satisfactory. Make sure you have a return policy in place and you are following Amazon’s selling policies. For FBA, returns and refunds are often handled by Amazon. For FBM, the seller is primarily responsible for managing these.
5. Celebrate the Holidays with your Branded Content
A fun way to show customers that your content is fresh and engaging is to spruce it up with a little holiday flare. If you are Brand Registered, you can add A+ Content and create Storefronts and collections for your products.
- A+ Content - this is what customers will see on the product listing. It is rich content and imagery that you can update with the seasons and provide updates to customers.
- Storefront - your storefront is a great way to showcase your brand holistically. You can set the tone for your brand's personality.
Knowing your holiday sales goals can better influence your advertising strategy and help align your key metrics like Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) and Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS). If your key goal is to drive Return on Investment (ROI), then you will want to focus on a higher RoAS and lower ACoS. If your goal is to drive additional brand awareness, then this will likely come with a slightly higher ACoS and lower RoAS. For underperforming campaigns, you can use negative keywords and adjust bids or match types. Another holiday strategy may be to incorporate any Q4 related search terms such as “Gifts for Kids”. Try focusing your efforts on holiday-related items in your assortment.
When you know your ultimate objective you can more effectively control the variables to help you get there.
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