2018-11-07

Amazon Q4 Holiday Strategy for Promotional Deals and Advertising

Q4 Holiday is the most anticipated season for Amazon.com, which is November 1st through December 31st. This is the time for every brand to shine on site. Traffic is high and people are looking to buy gifts for loved ones and themselves! But what makes this time period so great for manufacturers and resellers? For this, we need to look to the ghost of Amazon’s Holiday Past (that was a little holiday joke).

There are a number of notable takeaways from last year’s Q4:

  • More than one billion items were ordered from small businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide.
  • Prime members shopped more than 100,000 Lightning Deals on Amazon.com with Prime Early Access.
  • Customers shopped hundreds of Deals of the Day on Amazon.com throughout the holiday season.
  • Customers worldwide shopping on the Amazon App increased nearly 70% last holiday season.
  • Amazon’s peak day of customer fulfillment in 2017 was December 19, 2017.

This tells us mobile customers increased, customers continue shopping until the last moment, and they are looking for deals. Take all of this information and weaponized it for your Q4 sales strategy. Two tools will be most valuable during 2018 buying season; Deals and AMS.

Deals require a 30 day prior window for slotting, so if you have not submit any deals yet, do it now! Your time is running out. If you submit deals today, you could not begin your activity date for a month from now, this puts you into early December. Try to pepper in some Best Deals, Lighting Deals, or Price Discounts.

The other tool you want to use is Amazon Advertising to scoop up relevance on valuable keywords specific to your products. Now is a good time to start sponsored product ads and sponsored brand ads (formally headline search ads) to influence search results below the search bar and within the search results. The CPC prices have not elevated yet, so now is a good time to begin gaining relevance before the average CPC balloons after 11/15.

If your goals are to drive sales this holiday season, focus on keywords that are driving sales and clicks. It is wise to set Targets by your ACOS, or advertising cost of sale. This is similar to your ROI for each keyword, and ad. If you are looking to create brand awareness then you need to increase your footprint of keywords and ads. Make sure you are bidding competitively with the market.

Amazon recommends you setup multiple campaigns to run at the same time. It is a good idea to use all three ad types (sponsored product ads, sponsored brand ads, and product display ads) to have an offensive and defensive strategy in place. PDA ads are not the most cost effective but they can help deter advertisers on your page, and also be used to grab business away from your competitors by advertising on their page.

If you are going to make changes to your AMS (amazon marketing services) or Amazon Advertising, only change one variable at a time. It is best to make changes in two week increments so that you can monitor the success or failure of these changes. Track your budgets daily, things can change very rapidly during times of elevated traffic. You may find your ads are being exhausted early on the day, if it is not a high search volume term with a high ACOS then you will need to consider modifying your budget so that you can stretch your ad footprint to last longer in the day. If your ads are running out very early in the day, the customers who shop on their lunch break or when they get home will not see your ads and you could lose potential sales.

Remember, Q4 Holiday is a great time to gain relevance, sales, and reviews. Pay close attentions to all of your metrics. Amazon recommends increasing daily budgets by 3-6x during holiday periods, and keyword bids by 2-4x in this same time period.

Good luck and happy selling!

By Adam Wilkens