How Amazon Sellers Should Prepare For The Holidays

When reflecting on the days surrounding and on Prime Day, we saw that ACoS and cost-per-click increased
Written By Laura Meyer
Published on November 19, 2019   |5 minute read

The Holidays are fast approaching. How is Envision Horizons preparing our clients for the busiest time of the year? Let us together learn how Amazon sellers should prepare for the holidays. Having a strong advertising strategy is one of the most lucrative things you can have going into the retail Super Bowl. To follow are tactics we are implementing, our 360 strategy breakdown, and the key to winning big this HoliDAZE!

Getting Organized

#1 is being as organized as possible. Create a holiday checklist. See ours, below:

Brand 

  • Identify Sales Goals 
  • Identify Advertising Budget and ACOS Goals
  • Confirm Seller Central or Vendor Account has strong Account Health Metrics 
  • 60-90 worth of Inventory 
  • PPC Portfolios Created by Product 
  • Customer Service Policy In place 
  • Amazon DSP if applicable 
  • Brand Storefront(s) Created 

Product 

  • Title(s) are within Amazon’s character requirements and are keyword optimized 
  • Bullet points are keyword optimized 
  • Backend keywords are optimized 
  • A+ content
  • 5 Images and 1 Video 
  • At least 2 of the images are impactful and tell the product story 
  • Coupons/Deals are in place for Black Friday or Cyber Monday 

Know the Numbers

It is very easy to spend. Be careful when opening up your budgets for the holidays and keep track of where your money is going. You could spend your entire budget in one day without the return you are looking for. 

When reflecting on the days surrounding and on Prime Day, we saw that ACoS and cost-per-click increased. After Amazon’s Q2 earnings report was announced, it is our hypothesis that because Amazon did not hit their ad revenue goals they did what it could to boost revenue on existing inventory.

They started reaching out to brands offering complimentary optimization and campaign advice. The optimizations were misleading in that all it was, was uploading auto-target campaigns to a brand’s campaign manager. Amazon was doing this to drive up the number of brands using Amazon’s pay-per-click advertising. As a result, brands began bidding up and opening up their budgets going into this “retail holiday” that Amazon created to boost Q3 earnings.

Prepare for Delayed Reporting

Amazon’s sale reporting during the holidays on Seller Central can be extremely delayed or turn off completely. This means you don’t have a benchmark on how you are doing for the day. How does this pertain to your advertising strategy? If you don’t know what the total sales number is but you know what your spend is there is no way to determine your total ACoS (ad spend compared to total sales).

We have our own dashboard that updates in real-time but for brands that don’t have access to real-time updates, we recommend downloading the Amazon Fulfilled Shipments report. At the very least, you can view sales, pending orders, orders that haven’t shipped yet, etc. This allows you to have a benchmark to compare against your ad spend. You can then decide to tone it up or down. Please also keep in mind that ad spend data is typically up to three hours delayed.

Implementing Promotions

We are pro-coupon! If you can get a deal of the day or one of the premium lightning deal placements take advantage, but make sure it’s profitable. Sometimes, it’s not. We love coupons, especially with advertising because it helps with click-through and catches the customer’s eye.

Dayparting

Dayparting is profitable when done correctly. With Amazon pay-per-click experts, there is controversy around it because if you’re paying per click, it shows the intent so you should always have the net opened wide. We like to daypart depending on clients goals. If we see a lot more sales are happening during a certain time period, it makes more sense to bid up during those times and invest more during those higher converting days or hours. We’ve been testing it and think it’s worthwhile but there will be some naysayers out there. If you have strict efficiency goals then definitely do it.

Diversify Ad Spend

Amazon PPC has been extremely effective the past few years. When PPC started to take off in 2015 you could buy keywords for $0.10 cents and now those same words are $5+ per click. We have brands whose own branded keywords are $8+ suggested bids – that’s very expensive. 

What we are doing going into the holiday is diversifying the ad spend by putting more ad dollars into Amazon DSP than in previous years. Amazon DSP is a platform that has recently taken off due to improved targeting segments. We’re seeing it be very effective. When you compare a cost per click vs. the cost of a detailed pageview, oftentimes DSP traffic is cheaper. The conversions aren’t always the same because if you are doing upper funnel targeting the conversion rates will naturally be lower. We are seeing phenomenal results with Amazon’s retargeting capabilities on DSP. We love that you can now conquest those that viewed your competitors’ product detailed page as well as customer’s queries. Going into the holidays we are putting more ad dollars into Amazon DSP and making sure the PPC strategy compliments that of the Amazon DSP.

Dial it Back Post-Holiday

You want to open it up and gain that traffic, but don’t forget to dial it back post-holiday! We recommend casting your net wide from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday! It’s a sale weekend. But once it’s all said and done, return back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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