What Q4 Amazon seller strategies will you be using this holiday season?
With COVID-19 still at the front of peoples’ minds, it’s likely eCommerce is going to continue to grow in Q4. With average order values at a 29% increase for new buyers during the holiday seasons of 2018, Q4 2020 has a lot to offer Amazon sellers.
The end of the year usually promises a high amount of sales for all sellers. It’s a great time to make money back if sales lagged earlier in the year. Of course, there are also many risks involved. The good news: It’s possible to insulate your business from most of these risks through a little bit of prep work.
In this guide, we share our top Amazon seller strategies for the 2020 holiday season and provide a month-by-month task list you can use. Be sure to download our handy checklist to stay on schedule this year.
4 Strong Q4 Amazon Seller Strategies
Q4 Amazon Seller Strategy 1:
Map out your month-by-month plan
First things first, you’ll want to schedule out key dates for inventory, fee increases, and when you plan to launch your marketing campaigns. Keep in mind that from October-December sellers face increased inventory storage fees and shipping may take longer than normal. These are items that you’ll want to factor into your overall plans, from how much inventory to take on to how much to budget for your advertising strategy.
Key dates you’ll want to keep in mind
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
You should have your Black Friday and Cyber Monday inventory stocked by the first week in November at the very latest (ideally by beginning or mid-October). Similarly, your Christmas inventory should be in by the first week in December or earlier.
Q4 Amazon Seller Strategy 2:
Have your listings and pricing strategies ready to go
Your product listings should be completely optimized before Q4 and you’ll want to adjust your pricing accordingly. This means crafting energetic and detailed product descriptions, adding new images or videos, and tweaking the product title throughout August and September.
You’ll also want to develop a solid pricing strategy. The last thing you want is a huge pile of leftover inventory in January.
Some common pricing strategies
- Price Above
Higher shipping costs, seller reputation, and profit margins may make pricing above your competitors an attractive option. For this to work, you may need high seller and product reviews, as well as a stellar product description.
- Price Match
Match your competitors’ prices for a good chance of sharing the Buy Box.
- Price Below
Selling your product for a lower price than your competitor can help you burn through inventory and help you build a better seller reputation so long as the products are quality items.
- Offer Discounts
Offering special promotions or coupons can help you deplete unwanted or slow-moving inventory.
You can also use tools like Amazon’s automated pricing to create rules that will automatically adjust your product price. For example, you may want to implement a rule that the pricing for your products will always be competitive for the Buy Box space.
Automated repricing tools can save you time, but make sure to review them regularly to ensure that your pricing isn’t going out of control.
Q4 Amazon Seller Strategy 3:
Decide on your advertising plan
Once you decide your pricing strategy you can supplement it with advertising. For advertising on Amazon, you’ll need to know
- Your budget
- Your optimized keywords
- Ideal bid ranges
- What bid-type you want to focus on
You’ll also want to decide how you will use off-Amazon advertising to drive traffic to your sales page. Individual landing pages that highlight discounts, extended product details, and additional resources can help you boost views. Furthermore, you can also bring in more social media tools like Facebook ads or Google PPC (pay-per-click).
Q4 Amazon Seller Strategy 4:
Prep your email list
Finally, one of the most critical strategies your Q4 strategy will be using your email list. Your loyal customer base can not only help you boost initial sales but may forward deals to friends and family.
You can also continue growing your email list through your off-Amazon product landing pages. Instead of posting a claim code directly on the page, you can ask users for their email address in exchange for the discount code and additional offers.
Your Q4 Amazon Seller Month-by-Month Checklist
This is your last month to prepare for Q4, and there are many things you need to start doing this month in order to stay on task. While Q4 typically includes November to January, you should be strategizing plans in September.
First things first, you’ll want to optimize your listings. This means using all of your bullet points, offering vivid descriptions with updated and seasonal keywords, and high-quality images. If possible, add videos and supplemental images that show the product being used.
And if you really want to go all out, start making landing pages for your products. This will provide you with more space to sell your product and customize your descriptions.
Watch for trends
What sells during Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Christmas changes from year to year. Begin prepping your product research and taking stock of current inventory now to stay ahead of the curve.
You’ll likely take in some new products, so it’s critical to also give yourself some time to design new product pages, landing pages, create possible deals or bundles, and generally test your product and ad copy.
Getting a head start will definitely give you an edge.
Do you already know what items might sell well? Make sure your staple items are well stocked to last until after Christmas.
Submit your lightning deals for the holiday slots
Lightning Deals can be a great marketing tool to boost sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you have to submit your deals before the last week in September. To be eligible for a lightning deal, you have to be a professional seller with at least a 3.5-star rating.
You’ll want to hit the ground running at the beginning of Q4 with ensuring your inventory is updated, your email list is in place, and you are ready to sell.
Decide if you want to be in FBA
You’ll need to decide whether or not you want to take advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) services. While it can be extremely convenient and save you time, remember that the rates for storage with FBA rise during Q4 and lead times will be longer than normal. In addition, Amazon is restricting their warehouse space for third-party sellers due to COVID-19. Amazon states that most sellers should have enough inventory space for three-months of sales.
Want to see if your new products will fly off the shelves in November and December? Start selling now. Remember that there are plenty of buyers who buy their holiday gifts in advance, and this is the perfect time to test your copy and ads.
Warm-up your email list
Likewise, let your email list know that you’re rounding up some premium products and will have some stellar deals. A recent study found that spending $1 on email advertising can generate up to $38. Not only that, but 59% of consumers admit that emails influence their buying decisions.
Creating an email campaign doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, it’s better that your email list gets an idea of who you are and why you started your business. This way your customers will see that they are supporting a real business owner, not just another anonymous Amazon vendor. You may even want to test your new products out on them at a discounted price and see if they will be a big hit come Q4.
Finish up Inventory
You’ll really want to have your Black Friday and Cyber Monday inventory in place by the first week in November.
Hit your Email list with coupons and discounts
Let your email list know about upcoming deals and create landing pages for your hit products to send people to your mailing list for steep discounts and coupons.
Cutoff for Inventory to be delivered by Christmas
Again, you’ll want to have your Christmas inventory secured by the first week of December, if not earlier.
Fine-tune your listings and landing pages
Based on your sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you may want to adjust your messaging to either be more optimized or promote Christmas-specific holiday deals.
You shouldn’t stop selling after December 31st. Instead, why not enter Q1 with a strong follow-through until mid-January. Many consumers will be looking to spend gift cards or store credit after returning items during the first half of the month.
Send out last-change emails
Give your email list one last chance to opt-in to your holiday deals, especially for remaining inventory you want to move out quickly.
You’ll also want to push for possible feedback and review to boost your Seller Reputation score.
Evaluate your results
Review your results from the last three months and consider what sold, what didn’t sell, and how you can move unwanted remaining inventory. Also, make a list of suppliers who provided faulty products, which products were returned, and why.
Make Progress in Q4
The final quarter of the year is a great time to turn a profit for third-party sellers on Amazon. But you’ll need a strategy. If you plan your pricing strategy ahead of time, optimize your listings, and take advantage of advertising opportunities on and off Amazon, you can take control of your sales process.