After the hustle and bustle of Q4, almost every seller struggles with stagnating or slumping sales during the first few weeks of the year. No matter how bleak a month of January seems, you can beat the seasonal slowdown with these useful tips.
#1: Remember that’s it’s normal to see your sales slow down
Most sellers see a pick-up in sales after Thanksgiving and a sudden drop after Christmas. And that is completely okay. You can never and should never compare your Q4 2021 sales data with Q1 2022 sales data. In the period between Turkey 5 and New Year, buyers are in a shopping frenzy. They buy gifts for loved ones and tick products off their wish list, so, naturally, they might want a detox from online shopping for a few days. So if your products are not getting enough traction right after the holidays, remember that you’re not alone.
#2: Bring customers back to the door with another sale
Sellers face a sales slump not because customers are disinterested to buy because they go in a “full-price” mode. Shopper’s wallets are still thick with gift cards and cash they received on holidays. Ask your Amazon marketing consultants to run promotions and offer discounts on items that have been sitting on in the inventory for long or self-care products that help shoppers fulfill their New Year’s resolution.
#3: Be prepared to brave the wave of returns
After the season of gift-giving is the season of returns. Gift-getters inundate sellers with returns, refunds and exchange requests on unwanted, ill-fitted, or mistakenly ordered products.
To make things even merrier, Amazon has extended its return window. While you cannot control the number of returns, you can at least quickly process refunds/exchanges. Processing refunds in a timely manner helps you keep your order defect ratio under the 1% threshold.
Amazon recently launched the returns performance dashboard that allows sellers to monitor their returns performance and proactively resolves returns-related issues. To reduce future returns, make sure correct information is displayed on your detail page. Keep a close watch on items with a higher return rate.
Important: Amazon automatically takes out funds from your seller account once a customer initiates the return. If the customer does not return the item, ideally, you should get an automatic reimbursement within 45 days. Contact your refunds manager if you don’t get your money back after 45 days.
#4: Tap into shopper’s New Year’s resolutions
Shoppers are eating, drinking and spending their way through the holidays. As soon as it is the 1st of January, everyone is on their best behavior. Their mindset changes and out of the blue, they’re determined to work harder, exercise more and be a better person. This is a golden opportunity for sellers who have a product that can help with their “New Year, New Me” resolutions. You’ll definitely see a sales slump for products like liquors or expensive shoes, but if you offer and promote products that cater to their self-betterment instincts, you’re more likely to close more sales. Products like workout equipment, daily planners, habit trackers, juice cleanses, and organizers work well in the first quarter.
#5: Get rid of holiday inventory
If by any chance you have leftover holiday inventory that’s been sitting in the FBA warehouse costing you money, you can use it to win back customers. Run a promotion or discount offer to get rid of the slow-moving inventory and gain momentum in sales. Here are a few post-holiday discount ideas:
- Commence a winter clearance sale
- Offer bulk buy discounts
- Offer discount coupons to your existing customers
Don’t forget to notify your customers about the discount offer you are running via Amazon’s Manage Your Customer’s Engagement tool. You can also create a dedicated page in your storefront that highlights the ongoing discount offers and promotions on your products.
#6: Try to remedy negative reviews
Increase in sales also brings an increase in customer reviews – both positive and negative. Increase in the number of negative reviews can be one of the reasons for low conversion rate and reduced sales. If the review is about late shipment or damaged product, FBA sellers can appeal to Amazon to get the review removed. However, if the review is product-specific, you can Contact Customer feature from the Customer Reviews tool. The Contact Customer allows brand-registered sellers to respond to negative reviews using a template email. Amazon has two predefined templates for replacement or refund. If the customer replies to the email, their response will show in the seller central message section and sellers can then respond freely without any templates.
#7: Debrief on the successes and failures of last year
Q4 is the busiest time of the year for Amazon sellers. With orders and sales constantly streaming, it might be difficult for you to think about your business strategy. Now is the time to pore over your sales reports, product performance, PPC campaigns and account health from the last couple of months. Look back, analyze and think about what went well, what didn’t and what couldn’t have been better. Identify the pain points, smooth out the kinks and you’ll be ready to crush it in 2022!
#8: Plan for the year ahead
New Year is all about making resolutions for the rest of the year. Resolutions to eat more greens, work out more, spend less, etc. However, if you are an Amazon seller, January is a great time to make resolutions for your Amazon business. Create an FBA holiday calendar and highlight the critical shopping days, plan the marketing activities around those dates, analyze your listing details and see how they can be better optimized with the help of Amazon product listing optimization experts.
That’s all for today
Unless you are selling ugly Christmas sweaters or blow-up Santa, you can easily avoid post-holiday blues with these tips. The best you can do is not disappear after the holiday season ends. You can also hire Amazon consultants who can stay focused on maintaining your sales number every month.