2021-10-12

Step By Step Amazon Seller Central FBA Q4 Holiday Preparation Guide

Deck The Halls Because It’s Holiday Season!

 

It’s that time of year again. As the season changes, people are getting into the holiday spirit. The last quarter of the year is indeed jampacked with too many holidays from Halloween to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and New Year et al. For an Amazon business, this means a lot more work. After all, this is the time your business can soar; if you can manage to cater to all these potential customers who will be online spending their money on gifts. 

 

So, how can you prepare yourself for this surge in gift-hunters as an Amazon seller? Read on for our tips in getting your business ready for the holiday season! 

 

      1.  Inventory Forecasting and Placing Orders

 

Careful planning for your inventory are vital at this time of the year. Having too much inventory will result in you paying more for storage fees, and not having enough runs the risk of high opportunity costs. There are a couple of ways in which you can plan out this year’s inventory. Firstly, you can use insights from last year’s sales. Whether your sales have increased or decreased over the years should tell you how much more or less to order.

 

Secondly, you can take a look at your competitor’s sales history. It allows you to get insights into potential demand for new products or the rate at which other products get sold. We recommend ordering your inventory by mid-September. If you still haven’t, now is an excellent time to prepare yourself for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and the rest of the holidays. 

 

        2. Optimizing Your Listings 

 

Now that your listings are up, make sure that you take the steps required to increase traffic to your page. All your listings should be optimized for search and conversions, specifically with holiday-related terms. To prepare your listings, you can first start by updating your images. Holiday-themed images or backgrounds behind your product can be helpful. Conduct a new keyword search to ensure that you haven’t missed any important search terms.

 

The Brand Analytics Tool (Brand Registry) is a valuable tool for checking what keywords your product or a competitors’ product ranked for during a specific period during last year’s shopping season. Accordingly, you can use high-performing keywords on your listings this year. Some ideas for holiday-related keywords and backend search terms include- last-minute gift, Christmas, Hanukkah, gifts for Mother/Father/Boyfriend/Girlfriend etc. Ensure that all relevant information is uploaded so potential customers don’t leave due to a lack of proper information. Your deadline for this step should ideally be the last week of September as the holidays will begin soon after. 

 

     3. Adjusting PPC Campaigns and Overall Budgets

 

Considering the increase in traffic that Amazon will experience over the next few months, it would be wise for you to adjust your PPC campaigns and keyword bids so that your ads keep running always. Increased customer traffic results in PPC ads become more competitive. It will require you to increase your keyword bids instead. In the bidding strategy in Seller Central’s Campaign Manager, you can choose ‘Dynamic Bids-Up and Down,’ which allows Amazon to automatically adjust your keywords so that your ads can convert into a sale. If not, it will lower your bid. An increase in clicks means you will go through your daily budget faster, so if your ads are running profitably, you should increase your daily budget to compensate for the extra clicks your ads receive.

 

If you notice that you’re going through that daily budget before the day is over, increase that incrementally until finding a good number to keep your ads running. It would be best to understand your break-even ACoS and RoAS to know how your campaigns are performing during this particular season. It is excellent to test different ad strategies such as sponsored brand ads, sponsored display ads, and sponsored brands video ads, etc. For Halloween, start making adjustments to your campaigns now. The other holiday deadlines can wait till late October or early November. 

 

     4. Holiday Deals and Coupons

 

Through Seller Central, you can create deals and coupons. It is an engaging method through which one can assure a boost in sales on Amazon. Discounts can help lure in customers during Prime Day or Black Friday sales. Clippable coupons will also be visible on your listing by encouraging customers to buy so that they receive a discount. Keep this essential factor in consideration that such deals must get created at least a few weeks before any big shopping event. 

 

    5. Anticipating Delays 

 

It is easy for Amazon fulfilment centres to get backed up during the holiday seasons. Send your products to inventory on time so that you don’t face issues of delayed shipments to Amazon. Keep ample times for supplier lead times, carrier lead times, or both. We also recommend creating a Fulfilled by Merchant offer on your listing so that you can still fulfil all your orders despite any delay your inventory may face. It would work well for you if you have the space to ship from your warehouse or workspace. Else, you can use a third-party fulfilment centre. Shipping your products through FBM is a great way to beat competitors who may have run out of stock. 

 

     6. Preparing for Holiday Returns

 

Unfortunately, one thing Amazon sellers need to prepare themselves for is potential product returns. December may be the best month in sales, but January is often when most returns are made. Amazon offers buyers an Extended Holiday Return Policy, giving them time until 31st January 2022 to return products ordered between 1st October and 31st December 2021. 

 

Jingle Bells, Your Product Sells!

 

Having a proactive approach and preparing for the holiday season well in advance will certainly help and support you have better sales and a more successful holiday sales period. The data available to you on your Seller Account can help you predict the accurate sales volume for this shopping season. 

By Adam E. Wilkens