5 Spot-On Amazon Seller Tips for a Well-Timed Amazon Q4 Planning
Hi there! My name is Will Marcotte, and I’ve been with our Services team at Seller Labs for about four years now. Before and during that time, I’ve had the pleasure of personally working with over 100 online sellers and helped develop strategies for hundreds of Amazon businesses. And now, I’m bringing that knowledge and experience directly to you through blog posts, videos, webinars, Q&As, and more! Be on the lookout for topical hints and heads-up coming from me very soon. In the meantime, please take a look at these tips we have to share with you. Enjoy!
William Marcotte, Marketing Manager and Online Advertising Expert at Seller Labs
Q4: Too Late or Just In Time?
Well, it’s finally here, the fourth quarter of the year, and, like most Amazon businesses, you’re rushing to make sure all of your preparations are complete. But, even if you didn’t get everything done before the quarter started, don’t despair! You may still have some time for additional housekeeping to improve the Amazon experience for your customers.
We’ve put together a handy guide navigating the best practices that you still have time to do, along with the things that are too late to get done.
Let’s check it out!
1. Sending in General FBA Inventory
Just in Time!
If you want to send in additional inventory for existing product listings, go for it! Making sure that you have enough products in stock to meet the demand of your customers is always a good idea, especially in Q4.
And I’ll tell you why.
Insufficient inventory puts your sales and ranking at risk. This not only means you won’t sell any more products during that weekend, but that your listing could start losing overall traction and show lower in Amazon search results. So, if you don’t want an increasing number of orders coming in the heaviest shopping weekend of the year to suddenly fall flat, keep a sharp eye on your inventory levels.
Side note: Amazon’s suggested deadlines for your products to arrive at Fulfillment Centers are as follows; make sure you have sufficient inventory!
- Black Friday Week: November 2, 2022
- Christmas: December 1, 2022
Just a quick reminder: This is in the context of inventory that is Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) rather than inventory that is Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM). If you are fulfilling your own orders yourself through FBM, then this doesn’t apply to you, though you may wish to consider adding FBA inventory to your offerings in the future.
2. Adding New Products to Inventory
Yes, sending in existing products to replenish inventory is a wise idea, but launching brand new products is not! You can of course add products to your Amazon inventory at virtually any time, though launching now won’t give you enough time to generate organic traffic, cultivate customer reviews, or even justify a bold advertising strategy.
While there are likely some exceptions (surely you have the utmost faith in your product), it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get it to 100% before Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
If you’re interested in knowing when the best time to launch a new product would be, it’s usually better to launch in either Q1 or Q2, which gives you some traction before Summer Prime Day, and plenty of time to refine that before the next Q4. Be sure to use your time wisely by cultivating positive reviews, either through Buyer Seller Messaging or social media.
You could also take some time to use some of Amazon’s programs that can help get your product off the ground more quickly, such as Vine, FBA New Selection, or Referral Bonuses. And of course, don’t discount the simple act of beefing up your advertising strategy. Speaking of Advertising…
3. Updated Advertising Strategy
Just in Time!
I’m sure you’re aware by now that Seller Labs Services is going to recommend upping your game when it comes to Advertising (and we can help you do it), but it’s not just us. If you’ve got a product that you’ve already been working on for a few months, or maybe even a few weeks, it’s almost always the right time to advertise it effectively.
That will be especially true for Q4, when more people than ever will be on Amazon looking for gifts or deals to spend their money on. Keeping your advertising strategy fresh is key for maximizing your revenue during this busy season. Targeting the proper keywords will also help you minimize returns and prevent the headache of having to spend an excessive amount of time working on customer service.
Bear in mind, while Q4 will give you the highest footfall of any time of year on Amazon, that comes with a typically higher cost for advertising on the platform. Everyone else in the space will be doing the same, pushing harder (and hopefully smarter) with their advertising to get their products in front of as many eyes as possible.
Take note, there’s no shame in needing help with that advertising, and it just so happens that we can provide that help. If you’d like, you can get a free assessment of your current advertising strategy, and we’ll let you know what we think we can do for you.
Too Late… Sort of
So this one is interesting. It is certainly too late to run a deal specifically for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. However, you can still run a general deal for other dates in Q4, or drop the price of your product in anticipation of these shopping days. Be sure to check for Deals that Amazon feels you are a good fit for by going to the Deals dashboard in Amazon Seller Central. There you will see eligibility, dates, units, discount level, and more.
Does that mean that you don’t have anything else at your disposal to offer a more competitive price? Not at all, you can still use Coupons and Promotions. These are determined entirely by you as a seller. Not only that, you could achieve strike-through pricing in search by discounting by a percentage or dollar amount. Just make sure that you’re eligible to run these by having a good seller and item rating.
5. Amazon Listing Optimizations & Updates
Just in Time!
Not only are you just in time for Q4, it’s almost always the right time to freshen up your product listing and make sure that it’s as appealing as possible for shoppers. Keeping your listing up to date and optimized means that the final decision is more likely to be a purchase rather than navigating away from your product page.
Pro tip: While Amazon listing optimizations can help you appear higher in Amazon search results, improving your A+ Content can help you appear higher and more consistently in other search engines such as Google or Bing.
By the way, Amazon is running a new promotion for sellers who have registered as a Brand Owner with Amazon Brand Registry and giving them access to Premium A+ content at no cost for an extended promotional period. Jessica Wright, Senior Brand Strategist on the Seller Labs Services team, sheds more light on the recent Premium A+ Content updates:
It’s often best to get another person to take a look at your listing and recommend changes. If you have someone else working with you, ask them to look at your recent listing updates to double check that they make sense and remain within Amazon’s Terms of Service (ToS).
If you don’t have another person available, or would like more expert advice, feel free to have a conversation with our team. We’ve worked on hundreds of listings for Amazon online businesses in various niches, and we can take this task off your plate. We not only make relevant changes to your product descriptions and bullet points, but we will research and analyze your product’s broader category to see if there are other gaps we can help fill.
Want a Top-Notch Product Listing?
And, before I forget, there will be a second Amazon Prime Day event in Fall 2022! This Prime Day event will take place on October 11-12, 2022, with “Early Access” events already happening. You will likely see similar bumps to traffic that you’ll see on Black Friday and other holiday shopping dates, though they won’t be as pronounced. Given how close we already are to the Fall Prime Day event, there’s just not enough time to generate as much buzz with shoppers.
The aforementioned points on whether you’re too late or just in time still apply, by and large. In fact, this should only further reinforce the need to send in more inventory, update your listings, and revitalize your advertising strategy. One more time, just in case you forgot: our Seller Labs Services team can help directly with your listings and advertising, and could provide advice on inventory management.
With all of this information at your disposal, you’re ready to face the upcoming quarter with grace, and see the other side of it with more cash in your pocket, as well as with a plan for the first quarter of the following year. If it’s too late for one item on your list, make sure you get it ready for future shopping seasons. If you’re just in time, push hard to get things done as soon as possible! The increased traffic is on its way as we speak, and these tips will help you turn your browsers into customers.
Will is a Marketing Manager with Seller Labs Services. He not only has multiple years' experience in the space, but prides himself on his ability to adapt to changes and help impart the impact of those changes to others.