The busy Q4 Amazon holiday buying season is right around the corner.

NOW is the time to set your brand up for success and to maximize your sales potential over the holidays. The impact of Covid-19 forced many shoppers online but just how much has Amazon grown in 2020?

Amazon 2020 Q2 sales were up 49% compared to 2019 Q2, and even surpassed 2019 Q4 sales.
Amazon 2020 Q2 sales were up 49% compared to 2019 Q2, and even surpassed 2019 Q4 sales.

If you want to maximize on the increased opportunity for your brand this year, here are 5 elements to ensure your brand is “primed” and ready to go.

1. Amazon Prime Day Month Takeover

Utilize Amazon Prime Day/Month to Better Position and Set Q4 Expectations
Following suit with the general vibe of 2020, Amazon’s holiday discount period will be totally different this year. Here are the known dates published from Tamebay, a respected publication for marketplace sellers

2020 Amazon Deal Dates

  • Oct or Nov (unconfirmed): Amazon Prime Day
  • Oct 26 – Nov 19: “Early” Black Friday Deals
  • Nov 27: Black Friday
  • Nov 30: Cyber Monday

Think of Prime Day/Early Black Friday as not only a time to move a ton of product but also a great way to better position your brand and launch into the busy holiday season with even more product reviews, higher organic keyword rankings, and a stronger seller profile.

2. Inventory Lead Times

Plan Ahead with Inventory to Ensure You Remain In-Stock
Amazon is notorious with getting inundated with excessive amounts of inventory over the holidays. The worse thing to do is to run OOS (out of stock) over the holidays for a top-selling product. With sales predicted to be very strong over Q4, plan ahead with your manufacturing and logistics to best ensure you will stay in stock.

The risk of running OOS far outweighs the risk of having excessive Amazon FBA inventory on hand after the holidays.

Know that Amazon can take up to 2-3 weeks to receive your product at peak times in late Nov and the first half of Dec so plan ahead.

The official guidance we’ve received from one of ours contacts at Amazon is:

  • Inventory for Black Friday and Cyber Monday should arrive at Amazon fulfillment centers by November 6, 2020
  • Inventory for Christmas shopping should arrive at Amazon fulfillment centers by December 1, 2020
  • Inventory for 2021 should be sent to Amazon fulfillment centers no earlier than December 17, 2020

3. Importance of Real Brands

Continue to Invest in Building Your Brand
With a flood of overseas sellers, increased competition with Walmart+ launching Sep 15, and fake product reviews on the rise, Amazon doubled down on its preference for real brands last week when it updated Seller Profile pages with the actual business name and addresses (verified during account sign up).

You can find a seller’s name and address by clicking on the seller name on a product page beside “Sold by”. (see image)

Freddie SextonPresumably, sellers doing black/gray hat tactics will find it harder to compete (or hide) now being their information is out in the open. The more you invest in building and cementing a foothold for your brand, the more your Amazon sales will benefit over Q4 and beyond.

Freddie Sexton, CSO @ Toucan Advisors

4. Forecasting Q4 Sales

Look at YoY Comparison and 2020 Sales Trends 
With such a strong Q2 under our belts for 2020 and strong Amazon Prime member growth, Q4 holiday sales will be a strong season for many Amazon sellers.

Just how strong will it be?

One place to start for Amazon forecasting is to look at how your 2020 is trending relative to your 2019 Amazon sales. If you are up for instance 2x like this seller is, it’s a safe bet that you could sell easily 2x (or much more) during the holidays this year compared to 2019. Also, consider your YTD ad spend and ACoS. If you plan on investing as much or more in sponsored ads compared to 2019, expect even stronger numbers.

5. Q4 Holiday Advertising

Prepare for and Test Holiday Ad Campaigns
Consider designing holiday-centric ad copy in Sponsored Brands, Product Display Ads, and newly launched Video Ads.

Tweak and test before the busy shopping season starts. Your peak spending period is not the time to run split tests on ads and keywords, it’s time to cash in on all your efforts.

Consider adding in the following keywords as modifiers to your existing or new “2020 Q4 Holiday” campaign:

  • presents
  • gift ideas
  • stocking stuffers
  • christmas gifts
  • cute gifts
  • gift for friends
  • secret santa
  • white elephant
  • gift baskets (if applicable)
  • gifts under [insert amount]

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