Ultimate Guide: Q4 Success on Amazon

Success on Amazon in Q4 is primarily built in the first three quarters of the year. 


You’re building the 3 R’s: Rank, Reviews, and Relevance.

Building up your 3 R’s allows your brand to be in the best possible position to capitalize on the increased traffic when it arrives on Amazon. 

So, what should you do during Q4 to maximize your success? 

The Pilothouse Amazon team broke it down into four buckets:

  • Promotion strategy
  • Main sales days strategy
  • Advertising and creative strategy
  • Inventory strategy

Today we’re covering bucket number one. 

Let’s dive in: 👇

1️⃣ Promotion strategy

Promotions on Amazon are significantly more limited than what’s possible on the typical ecommerce/DTC side of things. 

While it’s tempting to test tiered offers and bundles to boost average order value (AOV), a plain-ol’ discount will generally perform best on Amazon because it displays well to the customer and appeals to the search algorithm.  

You may have to meet minimum discount requirements to be eligible for specific placements for Prime Day or BFCM. Although these requirements vary a bit depending on the brand, typically, these are a minimum of 20% off. 💸

So, what promotions should you use to crush big Q4 days?

The Pilothouse Amazon team recommends these three main types of promotions to maximize your output on big shopping days. 🛒

🤝 Deals

  • What are they? Paid placements available for select high-volume products.
  • Benefits: The best option for high-traffic days to maximize visibility and sales.
  • Considerations: Pay attention to the scheduled dates and times, especially for lightning deals. If the timing doesn’t align with the main sale day, it might be better to cancel the deal.

🔐 Prime exclusive discounts

  • What are they? Discounts available only to Amazon Prime members.
  • Benefits: Products will receive a special sales badge on promotion day if the discount meets the minimum requirement. This badge helps avoid being filtered out in search results during high-traffic days.
  • Considerations: Can be scheduled up to, or sometimes on, the event day(s).

🎟️ Coupons 

  • What are they? Specific event coupons scheduled for big shopping days.
  • Benefits: A possible option for brands planning on running a smaller discount as the minimum needed is typically lower than other discount types.
  • Considerations: Generally don’t generate the same lift as deals or Prime Exclusive Discounts.

Catch ya next time for the main sales day strategy. 👋 

2️⃣ Main sales day strategy

To optimize your performance on main sales days like Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM), consider the following strategies:

  • Increase bids a day before: Boost your bids a day prior based on the expected Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and Conversion Rate (CVR) increase. This prepares your campaigns for the surge in traffic and potential sales.
  • Use historical data: Refer to historical promo CVR data to make informed bidding choices. Past data can provide insights into potential CVR increases, helping to optimize bids.
  • Avoid budget caps: Ensure your campaigns are not budget-capped a day before the sale and monitor spend throughout the sale day. This prevents your campaigns from being halted due to budget limits, ensuring continuous visibility and potential sales.
  • Control spend via bids: Manage your spend through bids rather than budgets. Ensure your placement percentages and negative keywords are well-adjusted. This approach provides more control over your ad spend and campaign performance.
  • Monitor campaigns late in the day: Pay special attention to your campaigns later in the day. Many competitors hit their budget caps later in the evening, leading to increased performance opportunities for your campaigns. Ensuring your campaigns continue to spend throughout the whole day allows you to capture additional sales that others might miss.

We’re back with more Amazon tips to crush Q4 and ensure you’re not leaving any money on the table.

Today we’re diving into the advertising and creative strategy. 👀

3️⃣ Advertising strategy

To enhance your advertising strategy, consider the following:

  • Target seasonal or gifting keywords: Consider targeting seasonal or gifting keywords when relevant. Be careful, as these keywords are highly competitive. If your product isn’t as relevant, you may face high Cost Per Click (CPC) and wasted spend.

Pilothouse pro tip: Try using keywords that combine your main niche with the event, like “Running shoes for Christmas.”

  • Be ready to increase bids: Be prepared to increase your bids as competition intensifies to maintain your market share. Increasing bids helps in defending your market position against competitors.
  • Prepare for data delays: Be ready to make quick decisions with minimal data due to potential data delays on Amazon’s ad console on event days.
  • Use business reports: Utilize business reports in Seller Central to align total ad spend with total revenue. This ensures that your ad spend is proportional to your revenue, helping manage budget.

3️⃣ Creative strategy

For your Amazon creatives, consider these strategies:

  • Highlight your deal with a listing image: Use a listing image to highlight your deal, typically placed second in the carousel. Try inserting examples to provide a clearer understanding.

  • Incorporate gifting imagery: Consider using gifting imagery if relevant to your product. Utilizing this type of imagery can make your product more appealing as a gift option during the holiday season.

  • Consider overhauling images and content: Some brands may want to completely revamp their listing images, A+ content, and storefronts for November and December. A fresh and festive look can attract more customers during the holiday season.

  • Use creative sponsored brand image, video, and display: Especially if your product makes a good gift, bring in Christmas-related imagery for Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display ads around BFCM. Historically, this approach has performed well, enhancing your product's appeal and visibility during the holiday shopping season.

That’s all for today! Catch ya soon with part four of the series: Inventory strategy! 📦

4️⃣ Inventory strategy

Effective inventory management is crucial in Q4 due to increased sales velocity and longer receiving times at Amazon’s warehouses. 

Here are some tips to manage your inventory effectively:

📦 Regular shipments to Amazon

  • What to do: Stay on top of your inventory by sending regular shipments to Amazon to keep your stock levels healthy.
  • Why: Ensuring consistent stock levels helps meet the high demand during Q4.

🎃 Stock up before October 31st

  • What to do: Aim to have Amazon fully stocked to last until the end of the year before October 31st.
  • Why: This prevents stockouts during the peak shopping days of Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM).

😣 Prepare for possible stockouts

  • What to do: If stocking out is inevitable, set up Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) SKUs for your top products.
  • Why: During Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) stockouts, listings can be fulfilled via FBM, allowing ads to continue running and maintaining sales velocity.

💰 Maintain consistent pricing

  • What to do: Ensure pricing stays consistent if switching to FBM, as Prime Exclusive Discounts will no longer be available.
  • Why: Consistent pricing prevents customer dissatisfaction and maintains your brand image.

✅ Set up both FBA and FBM

  • What to do: Have both FBA and FBM set up for seamless switching as stock allows.
  • Why: This flexibility allows you to continue sales and fulfillment without interruption, ensuring customer satisfaction and consistent revenue flow.

The Pilothouse Amazon team used the above strategies to capitalize on Prime Day in July (which set sales records for several clients) and will use them to generate consistent success this Q4. Will you be joining them? 👀

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