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How To Prepare for Q4 on Amazon

Last year, in the craze that was 2020, Q4 was just the icing on the Amazon cake—with Prime Day occurring in Q4 alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But this year, Prime Day occurred at its usual time, meaning Q4 will be just the traditional holiday shopping season.

So this year, as you prepare for this season, things will look different than last year. Our Marketplaces Team came together to give you their top recommendations to prepare for Q4!

Shipping

The cutoff shipping window for this year is status quo—a week before Christmas, as usual. As shoppers are used to buying their holiday gifts online, they’re becoming savvier with shipping windows and understanding when to buy.

Make sure you are able to handle the influx of shipments during this time, and also verify your products are at an Amazon fulfillment center, if applicable.

Also note that there is one more weekend between Thanksgiving & Christmas this year than there typically is, so the week leading up to Christmas could be bigger in brick and mortar stores versus online.

Prepare Now

Perhaps the greatest piece of advice our Marketplaces Team can give is to start preparing now — don’t wait until the holidays to start promoting your products. The advertising you invest in now will directly impact the return you see during peak Q4 times.

We recommend running programmatic advertising (DSP) during the weeks leading up to Black Friday. That’s the time when you’ll want to increase spend for awareness campaigns, including competitor and ASIN targeting.

For many of our clients, we’re already starting to ramp up budgets, making sure we nail down holiday items and the associated top-performing advertising terms. Because of how CPCs are currently trending and how competitive the space is, this is a crucial step in preparing for Q4.

If you’re not advertising to prepare for Q4, you’re already behind. You can bet that your competitors are already doing it. Weed out and refine your top converting terms, so that when the actual event comes, you’re in a better position to ramp up advertising. If you build that relevancy now, you’ll have that momentum on those products early on, so you will have more success and have better ACoS performance during Q4.

Solidify Budget

Like any form of advertising, you need to solidify your budget months before your high-traffic season. Start the budget conversation with your key stakeholders now, including your Amazon Advertising Agency, if you work with one.

Last year, many clients had to spread out their Q4 budget over the course of the entire quarter due to Prime Day happening in October, but this year, you can really hone in that budget for the Turkey Five and the days leading up to Christmas.

Figure out what are your big topline revenue drivers for budgeting and put budget behind those ASINs. Campaigns that stay fully funded throughout the day have a better chance of success than campaigns that run out of budget by noon.

Bid on Seasonal Items

If you sell highly seasonal items, like Christmas cookie cutters or tree ornaments, you need to start bidding on those holiday terms now. There’s so much competition for these terms, and digitally native brands are already bidding on them — so you need to ensure you maintain relevancy by bidding early.

Additionally, if you sell holiday kits, you’ll want to start bidding on those early as well. One of our brands that sells specialty teas has already set up its brand store for holiday teas in preparation for the holiday season.

Update Assets and Brand Store

You should be having conversations around creative assets, too. Make sure you have a plan for new holiday assets that can be utilized in Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display Ads as well as your Brand Store.

If you have video assets, incorporate those into Sponsored Brand Video Ads. Fewer brands have access to this ad type, so it’s a little less competitive. It will only get more competitive, so it’s important to capitalize on this ad type now to get lower cost-per-clicks (CPCs) and higher conversions. Additionally, Amazon is testing different ad placements on the search engine results page (SERP) for that ad type, instead of just having them at the bottom, which makes this type increasingly relevant to your advertising portfolio.

Update your brand store for the appropriate season — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. — and ensure your entire team has a plan to switch out assets once the holiday season is over.

Retarget After

Following high-traffic periods like the Christmas season, be sure to dedicate budget to abandonment retargeting campaigns. Your audience pool has drastically grown during this time, so you have a higher chance to serve retargeting ads, which helps increase conversion rates on listings. Even though you didn’t sell your product to the person who viewed it, they were clearly interested in it at one point, so retargeting allows you to stay top of mind if they’re still interested.

Look Ahead

Lastly, our team encourages you to keep your sights on January and the “New Year, New You” theme that will arise. People will be looking for products to simplify or better their life, so don’t take your foot off the metaphorical gas for products that are relevant in this category.

Additionally, many people will have Amazon gift cards that are burning a hole in their pocket — and your retargeting ads could be used to convert those buyers after the holiday season.

Let the expert team at Blue Wheel help you prepare for Q4. Reach out to the team today.

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