Q4—the Holiday Season—includes Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the New Year. For Amazon sellers, this gift-buying bonanza brings out more than just “joy and cheer.” It brings out clever, big-budget, aggressive marketing tactics from the competition. It exacerbates the constraints of an already stressed supply chain. It brings out consumers who will be anticipating shipping constraints and inventory shortages, and who will start shopping earlier in the season than usual. Add this year’s inflation to the mix and buyers will also be more intentionally seeking out promotions and discounts. But within all this chaos lies the opportunity to make tremendous profits. Sellers who properly prepare for Amazon Q4 can have their holiday cake, and eat it too. Keep reading to learn the Top Six Q4 Amazon Tips for winning the 2022 holidays.
For many people, holiday activities include putting up decorations, planning gatherings with friends and family, and budgeting for greater-than-normal spending. Amazon Q4 sellers need to do some redecorating, planning and budgeting of their own if they want to win Amazon Q4.
Top Six Tips for winning Amazon Q4 2022:
1. Know your Amazon Q4 inventory
It’s no secret that Q4 is big for eCommerce—and for commerce in general. But Q4 for Amazon seems to know no bounds. Amazon Q4 net sales in 2021 were $137.4 billion, up 9% over Q4 2020, which was up over Q4 2019, which was up over Q4 2018, which, well, you get the picture.
As mentioned earlier, the Q4 buying surge challenges the supply chain and shipping logistics, even for the experts like Amazon. Having more inventory awareness could help you avoid some pitfalls.
Storage charges in Amazon warehouses jump from $0.69 per month per cubic foot during Q1-Q3 to $2.40 per cubic foot per month during Q4 2022. For FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) accounts to keep these costs in check, you must find the right balance:
- Don’t overstock, since you will end up paying long-term storage fees for excess inventory
- Don’t run out of inventory either, since that may lower your Inventory Performance Index (IPI), which will hurt your rankings and long-term Amazon success
Review sales history, particularly Q4 2021, to see which SKUs performed best during this period last year. This should help you forecast for Amazon Q4 2022 and anticipate which items to stock up on in preparation. Warehouse management system (WMS) software will help provide visibility into your inventory and coordinate resources, and there are more than a few WMS options available that are designed with eCommerce in mind.
2. Prepare more shipping options
With surging orders and bottlenecks in the global supply chain, it is understandable that the Amazon delivery fleet tends to get delayed during Q4. FBA sellers can minimize the risk (and pain) of a long delay by breaking up large shipments into smaller shipments. This reduces the likelihood of ALL your SKUs getting stranded, misrouted or otherwise stuck in limbo if something goes wrong.
Additionally, if it makes sense for your business and your Amazon seller account, give your customers multiple shipping offerings for the same SKU. When customers with less urgent needs for products have no other option than two-day shipping, it takes valuable space on a 2-day shipping truck away from other customers unnecessarily.
You may also want to evaluate whether it makes business sense to utilize a 3rd-party eCommerce fulfillment service such as Deliverr to help with Q4 shipping surges. Services like this offer numerous pros and cons which need to be carefully considered.
3. Add some holiday cheer to your advertising & promotions
Don’t simply fall back on your Q1-Q3 advertising and promotion strategy for Q4. Here are some Q4 Amazon tips to spice up your campaigns for the holidays:
Whether you use PPC (pay per click) advertising or Amazon Posts (which is still in beta), be sure to add holiday-themed copy and design to your ads. On a sponsored banner ad, for example, this might be as simple as adding mistletoe, snowflakes, candy canes or some other easily identified holiday image to the banner design.
Sponsored display ads, which have the added capability of targeting customer shopping behaviors, can be especially powerful for Amazon Q4 as customers are more likely than usual to be shopping for multiple people and multiple products. By giving them add-on options (think “Often bought together:” or “Complete the ___ package with ____.”), these ads can accelerate your earnings this quarter.
Many shoppers will be looking for deals, so make terms like “Black Friday Special” or “End of Year Giveaway” clearly visible in your ads. Some shoppers don’t just look for holiday sales, they expect to be won over by sellers this time of year. This means getting creative with holiday promotions, including:
- Holiday-themed contests
- Limited-time (by December 31st) promotions
- Free holiday shipping (if not already included)
- Complimentary holiday-themed upgrades and cross-sells
- Promotions that tie-in with charitable donations, fundraising, etc.
- Holiday-themed packaging
Be sure to extend your holiday-themed content to social media and any other platforms on which you advertise, too!
4. Don’t just Deck the Halls. Deck your product listings too
Just like with your Amazon Q4 advertising and promotions, you must make your product listings holiday-ready to avoid losing ground to competitors.
Seasonal keyword optimization
Refresh your copy with holiday-themed keywords like “gifts for Dad” or “Black Friday deal” to improve their search rankings. Tailor the message within your copy to the holidays as well, like,
“Perfect gift for the gamer on your holiday list!” Help visitors understand who will love your product and why they will love it.
Embrace the holiday look and feel
Brick-and-mortar storefronts attract shoppers with holidays decorations, so shouldn’t you do the same? While you may not be able to recreate the scent of pine needles and hot chocolate lofting out of a department store, you can certainly include some festive imagery on your Amazon storefront design—again: mistletoe, snowflakes, candy canes …you get the picture.
The A+ experience
Amazon A+ Content is an enhanced content platform that offers more immersive, multimedia exposure to your products than a standard product listing would. A+ Content is proven to increase sales and could be even more effective during holidays when people are buying gifts for others and may not be familiar with your brand or how certain products work. By better understanding your listings, they can better identify gifts for friends and family.
Whatever holiday flare you add to your product listings, make sure it is mobile-friendly too!
Rev-up the reviews
Product reviews are crucial to a listing’s visibility on Amazon. And they have a significant impact on a listing’s conversion rate. Research shows that 91% of online shoppers read reviews, and 84% of them are influenced by them when making buying decisions. If your listing is new or has little or no reviews going into Q4, consider a resource like Amazon Vine to give you a leg up.
5. Up your customer service game
Gift-giving season means a lot of lost orders, incorrect sizes, duplicate gifts and “what was he thinking?” presents. Quite a few people will have gifts sitting in their laps that they did not choose and do not know how to use. In short, it’s time for Amazon sellers to put on their best customer service hats. This is not only helpful for customers, but will also help your seller rating—and therefore your long-term Amazon business success.
The customer service capabilities of different Amazon sellers vary as widely as the seller organizations themselves. But there are some universal qualities that apply to anyone, from a customer service rep in a warehouse-sized call center to a sole proprietor responding to buyers on their personal phone:
Empathy and Sincerity: Demonstrate to the customer that you feel their pain. A simple “That must be frustrating” or “I would not want that situation either” can go a long way to helping the customer view you as an ally, not someone who just wants to quickly resolve a support issue.
Transparency: Being open and honest about what issue resolution options are available to a customer, even if they are not the options the customer wants to hear, will be best for both parties in the long term.
Following Through: This is pretty self-explanatory. Nothing brings out a customer’s inner Scrooge more than telling their story to a customer service agent, having nothing happen, and then having to start all over with a different agent the next day.
Remember, the holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, so don’t take it personally! Spread some holiday cheer instead.
6. Don’t reinvent the wheel!
Hopefully, you have done some snooping into your competition on Amazon. Ideally, finding the top-ranked vendors in your product category is a regular practice for you. The Amazon Best Sellers list is a good resource for market reconnaissance.
Do your research again for Q4, specifically. Find the top sellers in your space and see what they are doing to make the most of Amazon Q4. What have they done with the design and copy on their listings? What clever holiday promotions are they running? If these things are not easy for you to find, then they probably are not a top seller.
Keep an open mind about what others are doing to succeed with their Amazon business and whether you can incorporate some version of it into your own Be flexible and ask her help! There are more a lot of resources available to help you optimize your Amazon business for Q4 and beyond!
Looking for Guidance?
These Q4 Amazon tips may be a lot to digest, but don’t worry, the eCommerce experts at Lab 916 can help. Our team of certified Amazon experts will equip your business to have an Amazon Q4 that knocks your stockings off!
Lab 916 solutions include:
- A+ CONTENT DESIGN FOR AMAZON
- STOREFRONT DESIGN FOR AMAZON
- KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION FOR AMAZON
- THUMBNAIL IMAGE DESIGN FOR AMAZON
- TROUBLESHOOTING & CONSULTING FOR AMAZON
- AMAZON ACCOUNT AUDIT
- PPC MARKETING AND ADVERTISING