Naturally, just like all your other holiday sales, Amazon has become increasingly important for retailers in e-commerce.
For instance, Cyber Week – the week prior to Thanksgiving – will account for a major portion of your Q4 sales as Black Friday and Cyber Monday follow in importance.
So, due diligence in Amazon strategies is imperative. Maximize your sales while also positioning your business for success in the future.
Coordinate with strategic partners
Don’t wait to prepare for your inventory and sales needs. Well in advance, communicate with your manufacturers and retailers in planning your inventory.
Analyze your sales from the previous year. Then, forecast the best you can. If you have retailers, ask them about their purchasing plans. Ask your manufacturers if they can supply what you’ll need.
Try to anticipate your competitors and their prices.
Plan to look for late-breaking opportunities in sales.
Review fulfillment requirements
Make sure you know and comply with Amazon’s packaging requirements and shipping guidelines. And prepare for shipping with enough materials and have enough staffing to fulfill your orders.
Minimum advertising price (MAP) policy
Talk with your legal team about your MAP policy. Protect your company’s image and sustain pricing among retailers for compliance with state and federal regulators.
Communicate your MAP policy with your retailers. Work with them for productive relationships.
Take steps to compete effectively. Know your best price points and maintain flexibility along with your limitations.
Prevent arbitrage – people who buy discounted products and resell them on the Internet. Know and limit your sellers. Allow buybacks if they’re struggling to sell your products.
Avert legal risk
This is the time of year when your brand and profits can suffer. You potentially face a higher rate of copyright, counterfeit products and swindles and trademark infringements.
To reinforce your policies, communicate with your distributors and retailers. Scrutinize who is selling your products and the prices they charge.
Deal only with retailers you trust. Don’t allow unauthorized selling. Typically, such scammers never ship the products.
Check for bad customer reviews, questionable seller names and alleged so-called just-launched offers. That’s a benefit of Amazon’s Brand Registry program.
Plus, Transparency by Amazon means a transparency code is inserted on product packaging to enable scanning for authenticity.
Be seasonally specific
Your messaging and images will be more effective if you convey a holiday emotion. To connect with shoppers and for their repeat business, emotions will play an important role en route to success.
Use a great branding slogan but avoid year-round generics. That means verbiage in value propositions and images must be holiday-themed. Reinforce ideas for seasonal uses by using suggestive phrases.
Partner with Centers of Influence in your social media for organic interest in your products.
Do your research
Know which of your products are most-likely to sell. Usually, this involves The Pareto Principle. In other words, the 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of your sales will derive from just 20 percent of your products.
Check your search-engine optimization to see that it’s ready for Q4 sales. Update your keywords to take advantage of seasonal opportunities for sales growth.
If you utilize pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-click (CPC) advertising, update your search terms and bidding. Note: Bear in mind, you might have to do it on a daily basis.
Take special precautions to monitor questions about your products and customer reviews.
Capitalize on Amazon’s “Deal of the Day”
To take advantage of the Deal of the Day, know that your pricing must be your lowest of the year.
Plan your biggest discounted price but to stay profitable and plan to schedule your promotion several times.
Capitalize on history’s lessons
Amazon shoppers anticipate the lowest prices of the year. But be clear on differentiation. Shoppers subconsciously ask themselves the WIIFM question – “What’s in it for me?”
Take great care to make certain you have ample inventory on your earmarked products. If you don’t, of course, you’ll risk losing sales and allowing a black mark on your company’s image.
Remember shoppers love coupon deals.
Again, in advance of your holiday selling, don’t forget your Centers of Influence and social media to promote Amazon sales.
Harness the potential of mobile
This means optimizing for mobile customers.
With less screen space for mobile users, be doubly sure to insert salient features/benefit statements and keywords first.
Note: A+ detail pages are not decreased in size on mobile devices and appear on the screens before your product description.
Test … test … test
A data-driven approach is key. Start early to prepare for sales, so test early. But continue to monitor your data during the sales events.
With A/B testing you’ll be able to discover your top-selling products and deemphasize to poorest-selling items. Analyze, also, your verbiage and other factors including your coupon offers and search-term reports.
From the Coach’s Corner, additional relevant information:
Checklist to Create Cyber Monday Sales Success — In order to celebrate your Cyber Monday sales, you must first create a happy buying environment. That means reviewing your store and Web site to attract prospects and to create happy customers.
10 Tips to Optimize Your Web Site for Higher Sales — If you haven’t optimized your Web site for sales, you might want to reconsider. There are more and more indications that online shopping will continue to grow.
Marketing Strategies to Maximize Your Holiday Sales — The holidays are an emotional time of year. Consumers spend a disproportionate amount of money during the holidays, so it behooves your business to take advantage of your seasonal revenue opportunities.
Trending: How Merchants Increase Profits in Q4 Holiday Sales — As consumers continue to start earlier and earlier to shop for their holiday giving, merchants are honing their marketing strategies. Their tools include advertising, brand protection, strategic pricing, staging events, and using traditional media and digital.
Best Sales Pipeline Tips: Content Marketing, Follow-up and Marketing Automation — Here’s how you can maximize your sales pipeline with effective content marketing, prioritizing follow-up and marketing automation.
“Amazon has done something for all of retail, which is resetting the customer expectations about how quickly and easily you can get things.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.