Q4 is just round the corner, are you ready? At the end of each year, the retail giant reaches new eCommerce milestones and it breaks its own record and just like every year, this year too, it is shaping up to be the most significant event for Amazon sellers. Consisting of big holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas, Q4 is a huge sales opportunity no sellers should ever miss.
Important Dates For Amazon Q4:
Why Does It Matter So Much?
On an average, Amazon sees about 30% more sales volume during Q4 and as the tide rises, the boats rise as well – the web traffic increase, so does your sales. This can be a chance to see your sales double, triple, or even quadruple. That is why it is important to take Q4 very seriously, it’s a can’t-miss opportunity for every seller. Look at the image below to see the data of last year’s quarter four:
And I am very confident that these numbers will increase in 2019. Yes, it can be stressful and hair pulling but at the same time it is money making too. If you plan ahead in advance, everything can be managed. In this blog post, I have put together ten actionable tips that will help you make the most of the money-rich time:
Tip #1: Plan Your Inventory Well (Do We Even Need To Tell You That?)
This is a no brainer. Whether you are an FBA seller or FBM, you want to avoid the dreaded out of stock label during Q4. You need to have sufficient stock to support the anticipated sales lift. But you also don’t want too much inventory sitting in your fulfillment centers because FBA storage fees increase drastically during Q4.
Pro Tip: The best way to estimate the amount of inventory you will need is by looking at last year’s sales number. With those trends and data points, you can easily predict what your sales will look like this year. Start planning now and have your supplies ready before it’s too late.
Tip #2: Don’t Panic If You Sell Less In October
For most of us, quarter four starts from October and ends in December, but in reality, November to January is when you get busy. So prepare yourself for a busy November, super busy December and don’t panic if you don’t get expected sales in October. January can give you an unexpected sales jump because it is the time when shoppers use the Christmas gift cards so ensure you have plenty of stock left for the New Year also.
Pro Tip: If you are not getting the buy box in October because your competitor is selling at rock-bottom prices, then don’t worry because they will sell out till October end. This gives you the opportunity to price competitively and still get the buy box.
Tip #3: Revamp Your Product Detail Page
Go through each of your product’s detail pages with a fine-tooth comb. Your listing should have all the bells and whistles it needs to convert a viewer into a shopper. Your on-page content should be on point, images should be enticing and you should have enhanced content on your detail page. The last thing you want is a negative review on your product just before the Q4 starts. If you can, try to reduce negative reviews on your listing by offering customers a refund or by resolving their issues.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to optimize for mobile. About 70% of the customers on amazon.com shop on mobile so, your listing team should consider how your content, enhanced content and images will look on mobile.
Tip #4: Spend More To Earn More
During the holidays, shoppers are in a frenzied buying mode and they will click like crazy. So it goes without saying that the average CPC is going to be a lot higher than the usual. Since competition for ad space is going to increase, bids will pretty much go out of the window, but that’s okay because you will have to spend more to earn more. You need to optimize your campaigns and make them ready for the massive influx of traffic that will head your way.
Pro Tip: Create different campaigns specifically for holidays and keep the campaigns for the newly launched products up and running atleast 2-3 weeks before the holidays.
Tip #5: Prepare For Longer Lead Time
It is Amazon’s MOST busiest time of the year, so obviously fulfillment centers will be at their maximum capacity. Shipments will take longer time than usual and any issues may take more time to resolve. At present, it takes two weeks to send inventory and Amazon to receive it, but in Q4, this process will be as long as four weeks. So sellers should take this into consideration and plan longer lead times.
Pro Tip: Start preparing for your shipments as early as possible because it’s never too early to start preparing for Q4. Many sellers make these preparations six months prior because it’s a matter of enormous sales for as long as three months.
Tip #6: Capitalize On Increased Sales
The number of buyers visiting your product detail page will double in Q4, so it’s the best time to build a strong and long-lasting relationship with them. Communicate with them properly and ensure that you are there with them even after the purchase. Ask them to leave a review and motivate them to refer your product and brand to their friends and family members.
Pro Tip: Use an automated review tool to ask buyers for review and if you don’t want to use a tool, you can add personalized insert cards in your packaging which can ask for reviews from buyers. This is a completely white hat trick.
Tip #7: Use FBA
The reason we insist on using FBA over FBM is because it’s a great way to manage orders. You will be completely free from the hassle of delivery, returns and refunds. Plus by using FBA, your products will be prime eligible for free. During holidays, shoppers are looking for fast and certain delivery because if they are buying presents, they want them to arrive on time. Prime eligibility and super-fast 2-day shipping will give your products an edge over the competitors. FBA will also give you an upper hand in winning the buy box, which is extremely essential during Q4.
Pro Tip: Even if you use FBA, keep a close watch on your orders because in this huge circle of returns and refunds, there are many reimbursement opportunities and possibilities of seller frauds, so keep your eyes open.
Tip #8: Expect The Unexpected
There is no sure-shot formula for Q4; everyone has a different success story and problems to deal with. Having a good idea of the previous year’s data and current landscape will help you make informed decisions, but you still need to be very flexible.
Pro tip: Expect the unexpected and keep a close watch on your listing, sales and inventory. Stay proactive and try to remedy any problem before it arises. Also, you need to be quick in changing gear or shifting direction anytime because it’s not the time to wait and review, but it’s time to take action. If you won’t, your competitors will surely will.
Tip #9: Keep A Watch On Your Competitors
If you want to become the best seller on Amazon, you will have to beat the competition because Amazon is a crowded marketplace and if you are not better than the competition you will be thrown out even before you can say quarter four. Pay attention and start to get familiar with your competing brands. You want to know the layout of the stores, what they write in their copy, what keywords they are targeting and everything that is bringing them on the top.
Pro Tip: The period from August to October is the best time to start monitoring the competitors. By the end of October, you will be too busy managing, so it’s better to start “earlier” this season (now is the best time). This will also give you the opportunity to remedy any problem with your listing or inventory.
Tip #10: Don’t Forget To Enjoy Yourself
Q4 can be overwhelming but don’t forget to take a little time out to enjoy yourself. Not just for Amazon, Thanksgiving and Christmas are a great time for friends and family as well. Million-dollar and successful sellers on Amazon seldom try to manage everything on their own. They have a team of Amazon experts from reputed organizations like eStore Factory. Always remember, sales growth also means team growth. So, let us handle your Amazon account while you spend quality time with your loved ones.