Last year, Kaspien’s Q4 marketing efforts yielded a 24% MoM increase in sales from October to November, as well as a 17% MoM increase in sales from November to December!
But the work that went into delivering those results began much earlier. Even though it’s only August, now is the time to start finalizing your Amazon holiday strategy. The work behind Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions begins in earnest during September, and things only escalate from there.
This year, Black Friday falls on November 29th this year, with Cyber Monday following on December 2nd. In preparation for these major shopping events and the holiday season, we’ve prepared a month-by-month guide of what brands can do to maximize their Q4 sales.
Submit Holiday Lightning Deals
Note that Amazon tends to favor high volume SKUs for the best placement, so most brands will be better served by investing more in their Amazon search marketing rather than investing in Lightning Deals.
If you do have high volume SKUs, Lightning Deals can be a powerful marketing tool. Last year, the deadline for submitting Black Friday and Cyber Monday Lightning Deals was September 21st. To participate this year, you should be considering options in August and finalizing decisions by mid-September.
To be eligible for Cyber Week Lightning Deals, products must:
- Be Prime eligible
- Be listed as New
- Have a 3+ star–rating
- Have FBA or SFP fulfillment
- Include at least 60% of all variations if the ASIN is part of a variation listing
Verify Inventory Levels
With a practically guaranteed increase in traffic and sales during Q4, brands need to confirm they have enough inventory stocked. Running out of stock during holiday sales is an entirely avoidable headache, so long as you prepare.
Amazon has delayed receiving times at its distribution centers as the holiday season approaches because inbound inventory exponentially increases as sellers prepare for increased traffic. If you haven’t already, you should begin increasing your inventory shipments immediately.
Brands should also reach out to their manufacturers to ensure they can produce the necessary inventory, and work with sellers to verify they are well supplied. If you use Seller Fulfilled Prime or third-party fulfillment services, you may need to plan on hiring seasonal workers.
Plan Amazon Coupons & Giveaways
Along with Lightning Deals, brands should also start planning for coupons and giveaways. These promotions increase visibility by placing your products on Amazon’s coupons and giveaways pages, which are among the most visited pages on Amazon. During major shopping events, those popular pages see even more traffic as more shoppers seek out great deals.
Partner with Influencers on Holiday Gift Guides
Influencers are content creators who have amassed large followings on social media, blogs, YouTube, and other sites. During the holidays, many shoppers turn to social influencers for gift ideas. Brands can partner with influencers, placing their products in wide-reaching holiday gift guides.
Seek an influencer who’s already engaged with your target audience, guaranteeing that your product is seen by relevant shoppers. Influencers’ gift guides reach thousands of shoppers every year, making them incredibly powerful tools for brand awareness and driving sales.
Add Seasonal Search Terms
Officially, Amazon prohibits the use of holiday imagery and copy, including keywords such as “gift” or “Christmas.” However, brands can use those and similar search terms in their ad campaigns to target seasonal traffic. Adding holiday search terms to campaigns early allows brands to start building traction early, gaining a competitive advantage.
Promote Your Deals Through Social Media Ads
In the weeks leading up to and through Cyber Week, start promoting your deals, coupons, and giveaways with paid social ads. These targeted ads raise your brand to top-of-mind as consumers head into Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Interested shoppers will seek your products directly, bypassing much of the competition.
Intensify Sponsored Product Campaigns
Sponsored Product Ads and Sponsored Brand Ads remain some of the most effective tools for Amazon marketing. Which, of course, means that nearly every brand that advertises on Amazon uses them.
To make sure that your products continue to gain top placement, you’ll need to put some extra budget behind them during November and December. The increased expenditure can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a worthwhile investment:
Last year, Kaspien generated a 24% month-over-month increase in sales from October to November, as well as a 17% month-over-month increase in sales from November to December!
We were able to achieve those stellar results in part thanks to AdManager, our proprietary bid optimization software. It automates several key optimizations, ensuring sponsored ads are always running at top performance.
Utilize Amazon Livestream
During Cyber Week, run branded videos on Amazon livestream. These videos can be played on repeat for hours while a brand represent answers questions submitted in the chat.
Kaspien has been testing Amazon’s new livestream service throughout 2019, and we’ve seen increasingly positive results. During Prime Day, our livestreams garnered 36,000 views and more than 500 clicks to listings!
For a complimentary and relatively new service, Amazon livestream provides an incredible amount of brand exposure.
Maintain Heightened Marketing Efforts
Your marketing efforts should have built to a crescendo in November. Now in December, those efforts should largely be maintained. Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand ads will still need larger budgets to remain competitive, coupons and giveaways will continue to improve your visibility and capture traffic, and social media marketing and influencer campaigns will drive shoppers to Amazon for conversion.
Want Help Strategizing?
Reach out to your Kaspien account manager or drop us a line on our Contact page to collaborate with Kaspien on your holiday marketing strategy.