With the holidays just around the corner, you can never be too prepared when it comes to Amazon and your holiday sales efforts.
There are many items to remember as you make your way through Q4, but ensuring your brand strategy is on target and your Amazon storefront is ready for shoppers will make or break your Q4 results.
Just as the jolly man says, always check your list twice.
Starting your efforts with brand protection is imperative, because without this important foundation, other ecommerce efforts can fall flat.
- Confirm policy standards: Determine who can sell your products and where they are selling your products.
- Send promotional start & end window reminders: If you have promotional language in your policy, send all your approved sellers a promotional start & end reminder to best monitor pricing and MAP policy.
- Monitor bad actors: The holiday season is a great time to observe what happens with approved & potential sellers to determine value of partnership.
- Track lost buy box for use cases: If you are looking into brand protection resources, tracking lost buy box is a good opportunity to make your case for additional resources.
We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king”, but this rings especially true during the holiday season.
- Walk the store: In the B&M space, you would typically go through your store to ensure proper merchandising. Your Amazon Store should be the same – just virtually.
- Push feed files daily: When you have a lot of sellers on the platform, there is often a lot of content contributions, so to ensure accuracy, push feed files daily to help with those changes.
- Scheduling & testing “Exclusive Holiday” Store pages and posts: With stores and posts being a big push this holiday season, take advantage of the shoppable images, but time them accordingly to hit during the holiday season and update immediately after the holiday push.
Operations & Customer Service
If you are a 3P seller, follow the following tips to stay on top of your business this holiday.
- Monitor suppressed inventory: This ensures all products are listed as active and are live from the front end to be purchased by customers.
- Ensure orders are uploading correctly: If you have a seller account and are shipping products from your warehouse to the customer (FBM), ensure your orders are posting into your ERP system. It sounds like a no-brainer but given the increase in demand and shift to FBM this year, it's worth the doublecheck to compare total orders in Seller Central and match that to your orders in your WMS and ERP. Missing orders will impact your performance metrics and lead to unhappy customers.
- Ensure inventory is synchronizing and tracking is posting correctly: Similarly, to the above note, you’ll also want to ensure that all inventory available in your warehouse and ERP is available on the platform.
- Monitor performance metrics: Worst case scenario, if late shipments, cancelations, or order defects become a problem, those problem orders will hit your performance metrics. If you anticipate this happening, draft a Plan of Action today, so that if the metrics slip, you can be ready to submit that Plan of Action to the Amazon performance team.
- STOP all black hat tactics: With Amazon’s recent update on Rebate, Coupon, and Marketing Policy, if you are going against any of Amazon’s policies you run the risk of getting shut down.
Warehouse & Logistics
With the anticipation around supply chain issues, shoppers are aware of the potential concerns. Stay on top of warehouse and logistics, be transparent with delays and avoid late or cancelled orders with these suggestions:
- Consider throttling account volume: Amazon recently released an order handling capacity setting that allows you to throttle orders in your seller account. You can read more about this new setting in our recent blog post, Order Handling Capacity Updates.
- Consider delaying handling time/shipping windows: If you know you will have pick and pack delays, set expectations with customers now by extending your shipping and handling times. You can do through shipping templates in Seller Central.
Advertising & Promotions
Holiday shoppers are all about finding the best deals. Reviewing your advertising strategy and getting those product deals in front of your customers at the right time is crucial.
- Monitor coupons and other deals daily: Monitor your coupons, deals of the day, or lightning deals to ensure they are still live. If you have issues or if these go down, you need to open a ticket or talk to a category manager to resolve the issue.
- Monitor budgets and bids, and adjust for T5: Increase your bids so you are still relevant and serving, but set a reminder to decrease the bid to avoid going over budget.
- Use dayparting to reduce bids: When pushing back handling times, your conversion will be impacted. At that point, consider reducing bids on products that will be delayed.
- Monitor OOS items and competitors and target: Repurpose your budget for in-stock items.
- Create auto campaigns by product via bulk upload tool: If you don’t have many campaigns set up just yet, use the bulk upload tool to save time.
- Repurpose OOS risk ad budgets for upper funnel efforts: when you know a product is at risk of becoming out of stock, adjust your ad budgets for your upper funnel efforts.
Retail Bloom has personnel and systems in place to help your brand with all of these pointers mentioned above. Schedule a consultation with our team if you’re interested in learning more about how Retail Bloom can assist you during the holidays and beyond.
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About The Author
Lauren Palmisano is the Content Marketing Strategist at Retail Bloom. She began her career in the event industry where she found her passion for content creation and marketing strategy. Be sure to follow her on LinkedIn.
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