In e-commerce, we’ve been considering Amazon’s holiday season for several months now. Inventory planning, strategizing sales and discounts, staffing … the list goes on. While there is a lot you need to do well in advance, you can prepare for the 2021 holiday season with this simple checklist. Everything here is still possible, regardless of whether we have already started Q4.
- September 17, 2021: Last day to create 7-day deals, lightning deals and best deals for Cyber 5 (US and AUS).
- October 8, 2021: Last day to create 7-day deals, lightning deals and best deals for Cyber 5 (all remaining marketplaces).
- October 21, 2021: Last day for vendors to send inventory to Cyber 5 deals. The stock must be in transit.
- November 3, 2021: Deadline to have stock on Amazon for availability in Cyber 5.
- November 29, 2021: Deadline for submitting coupons.
- December 11, 2021: Deadline for stock arrival for Christmas sales.
For more dates and to check for variations on your active marketplaces, review the Amazon Holiday Guide.
It is also important to take note of the important holidays during this time as they can affect a lot, from shopping trends to availability of customer service.
- Wednesday, November 3: Culture Day in Japan
- Thursday, November 4: Diwali in Singapore and India
- Tuesday, November 23: Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan
- Thursday, November 25: Thanksgiving in the United States (Start of Cyber 5)
- Friday, November 26: Black Friday in the United States
- Monday, November 29: Cyber Monday in the United States
Now that your calendar is planned, let’s get into some tactics and strategies to get the most out of your business during the 2021 holiday season.
Cleaning up during the holidays
Consumers buy earlier and earlier for the holidays. The more they can diversify the purchases, the less it is a financial burden at once. Thus, you need to make sure that your account is optimized from top to bottom as fast as in Q4.
Regularly clearing accounts should be a part of your healthy habits, but now is the time to do so if you have neglected this step.
To get the most out of your holiday sale, you will want to focus on cleaning up a few parts of your account:
This should not come as a surprise to you. Inventories need to be optimized for the holidays. This does not mean that you have to optimize for keywords like “Christmas” or “Black Friday”. This means that you should adapt to the change in shopping behavior.
The holiday shopping season is when people are more likely to shop for others rather than themselves. They are looking for “gift ideas”. Pepper in seasonal or holiday related keywords for your bullets and description (but try not to win those keywords).
Pro tip: Look at your competitors’ listings. Find common threads in their one- and five-star reviews to target in your listings.
A + content
Spice up your A + content! We’ve seen brands take advantage of this space and talk about how the product makes a perfect gift idea or stocking stopper. However, do not lose the quality or your brand just to make the A + content look seasonal and festive.
Make sure your A + content is different from the images you used at the top of your listing. Reusing the same images will do you no good. This is an additional opportunity to showcase your product and use lifestyle images. Do not waste space with content you have already shared.
Like your A + content, get creative with your store! Just as a store with bricks and mortar can put up candles or glitter or a menorah, you can “decorate” your store to welcome customers!
Need help creating your A + content or Amazon Storefront?
Our Managed Services team can do it! There is still time to get seasonal content up and running before the holidays, but don’t wait any longer. Talk to one of our representatives today!
We get a little into strategic planning, but you also want to make sure that your ad campaigns are cleaned up and cleared out before the holiday season. Take the time to clear keywords that do not serve you.
If you create new campaigns that are specific to specific holidays or products, you can take advantage of Seller Labs PRO’s campaign groups. You can easily see how well your holiday campaigns are doing.
Now that your account is neat and tidy, it’s time to make sure your inventory is ready. We know there will be problems with the supply chain this quarter, so you need to be prepared early.
If you do not already do so, you may want to consider adding a merchant-filled option to your listing. Amazon increases the minimum IPI score, which can reduce your number of available storage spaces for submission. Do not let Amazon dictate how many products you can sell.
When heading out for the holidays, download a lower-performance stock with flash sales to make more room for your products that work best. You can also implement automatic pricing to slow down sales between rebuilds as things get settled at different fulfillment centers.
Need help managing your inventory? Start a free 30-day trial of Seller Labs PRO today to always be at the top of your product catalog.
If you did not know, then it is not really time to launch a new product. But if it’s part of your business strategy, make sure you get product reviews! Shoppers need the social proof (yes, even from strangers) to know whether to buy your product or not.
In addition, do not become complacent with old reviews. Amazon standardizes the sorting of product reviews to “Top Reviews”. However, it is becoming more common for customers to switch to “Recent Reviews”. If you do not have recent reviews, or a large portion of your recent reviews are negative, it does not look good to buyers. Continue with a constant stream of positive reviews with automatic notification from Seller Labs PRO.
The deadline for submitting Cyber 5 promotional agreements may have passed, but there is still so much you can do. Coupons and promotions can still be created, almost all the way up to Thanksgiving Day.
Make sure your trading strategies extend beyond Amazon. You should use the power of your social networks or email lists to drive traffic and increase conversions on your listings. Additionally, coupons for a community that already knows you will help build loyalty and increase your number of returning buyers.
Amazon advertising is getting more expensive, so sellers need to be more strategic about how they allocate their budget. It’s fun to try the new placements, but it’s also very easy to throw money away when you do. Be strategic in how you invest and test with your advertising budget.
Within a reason you can try some festive sponsored brand ads. These ad campaigns may not be overtly festive and should end on the respective holiday, but it’s a fun way to try to get some more eyeballs on your brand during the peak period.
We always give advice to our customers: Do not try to advertise on words or expressions as a “Christmas gift”. It will be expensive and it is likely to give less than desirable results. Focus your campaigns on unique selling points for your products and how people can encounter them naturally. Use the ASINs in your keyword reports to discover new keywords or products for your targeting ads.
Advice from Amazon experts
As part of our goal of getting you prepared for the Amazon Holiday Season 2021, we asked the experts in our Managed Services team to share brand advice. Keep in mind that these experts work with brands every day, providing strategic advice and keeping a thumbs up on all Amazon updates. This is a goldmine of advice.
What advice would you give to Amazon sellers entering the 2021 holiday season?
- Check your listings to make sure they have all the important information they need and look good! – Ally L.
- Expect more competition in general, but especially in advertising. – Bret D.
- Have realistic expectations, and keep in mind that past Q4s are going to be different than this upcoming Q4. Several brick-and-mortar companies are open this holiday season and there are more sellers online compared to last holiday season, so expect to have even more competition in this area. – Sarah D.
- Get your items into FBA now, ASAP. Make sure you also have FBM backups for your top sellers in there. When advertising, place the FBA and FBM product in the same ad group so that when your FBA runs out, your ad will still run. – Alexi B.
- Avoid making changes to bullet points and titles in the 4th quarter. Get listings optimized to go into the fourth quarter so there is history and placement behind the keywords you index for. – Rachel H.
- Strengthen your Amazon business for the 2021 holiday season with advertising for your Amazon campaigns (coupons, quick deals, etc.) next to Amazon. Get users from your organic Facebook page to your Amazon listing, and use other organic / paid platforms to promote your holiday products or promotions. – Julia K.
- Do not wait until the season you are preparing for is already underway or approaching. Your bigger push should start a few weeks before so you can drive out of the traffic that has increased when the season begins. – Elizabeth
- Update your ads for the different holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. Although you do not offer discounts during the holidays, you can update and decorate your ads to remind people of the holidays this season and why they should buy your product. – I n.
- Identify your supply chain problems now and make a plan. Low stock? Have a plan to raise prices to buffer low sales with higher profits. More stock than you can get into Amazon? Have an alternative fulfillment plan. The seller with stock wins this season. – Jessica W.
- Make sure your inventory is ready for the holiday season. No matter what plans / strategy you have during the holiday season, you can not advertise (or sell) if you do not have inventory. – Aileen S.
- Make sure your inventory is prepared for increased traffic, especially on top sellers. With the increased traffic on Amazon, you need to make sure that your price point is competitive with the competition. Coupons and discounts can bring you one step ahead of your competitors. Price per. Clicks tend to increase at this time of year, so it’s also a good idea to check your campaign budgets to make sure you advertise all day. – Chase C.
- In addition to making sure you have enough inventory and optimized inventories, be sure to take advantage of your Storefront or A + content to get into the holiday spirit! – Olga Z.
- See historical year data with a pinch of salt, up and down. Things are tumultuous too late and all categories end up being affected in the end. If you are trademarked, you may need to spend more on defensive campaigns than usual. Almost all salespeople are advertising (and using the latest ad types), and all are trying to make up for lost sales by 2020-21. Aim for speed over efficiency if you can afford to see your ACoS rise. – Ryan W.
- Make sure your best-selling products are well-stocked, with replenishment backups in case of an FBA stock. – Karina K.
- Amazon sellers should use their social media channels to let their customers know what gift ideas they can offer, and they need to make sure their customers realize why their products would make wonderful gifts! – Elena S.
- Make sure your listings are optimized, updated and ready for retail well in advance! – Jen B.
- If an item is not sold outside the busiest time of the year, do not expect it to move faster in Q4. Sellers should focus on their top products and double the items that usually convert well the rest of the year. Q4 is not necessarily a time to clear out slowmovs or products that do not convert as often through advertising. Follow the data and push the campaigns leading to sales. Do not stress out by trying to move products that do not have a strong sales history! – Edward R.