The holiday season is here, and there will surely be record-breaking sales numbers. Just look at 2019: Black Friday alone saw $7.4 billion in sales, an all-time high. Given the current situation worldwide, those numbers can only go up this year and shatter more records.
These sky-high projections present a fantastic opportunity to earn an incredible amount of revenue and possibly secure several long-term customers.
To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of 25 holiday e-commerce tips to help you maximize conversions as we approach the end of 2020. Follow these holiday sales tips to maximize your revenues.
1. Get the Buy Box
The buy box will be absolutely critical to success this holiday season. Many shoppers will just buy whichever item has the buy box without considering who the seller is, so not having it means tons of lost sales.
Here are some quick tips on maximizing your eligibility:
- Improve your seller feedback
- Speed up shipping times
- Set reasonable prices
- Improve Your Amazon account health
- Keep your items in stock
2. Look at Last Year’s Holiday Season Performance
If you’ve been in business for at least a year, check out how you did in last year’s holiday season. Look at which items sold best, and analyze what kinds of keywords and ad strategies you used. This information, tied with last holiday season’s performance, will inform you on what worked well last year and what fell short.
Use last year’s numbers to make projections for this year; and, once 2020’s holiday season is over, see how your sales numbers compare to your projections. If you made more than anticipated, one of your strategies worked better than you thought it would. If you made less, take the data you have and reassess your sales strategies for a better result next year.
Whether your online business sees record breaking sales figures this year or not, be sure to record as much data as possible to gain as many insights as you can for better performance in 2021.
3. Audit and Optimize All Your Listings
Now’s the time to run through all your listings and make sure they’re in peak condition for the holidays. Take some new pictures if necessary, and revamp your product copy. Before you rewrite copy, be sure to do some keyword research and try to fit relevant and highly searched keywords you find into your listings.
Consumer trends change fairly often, and as they change, you want to make sure your product offerings include all the terms your current and prospective customers have been searching for in your niche.
If you’re looking for a last minute solution for optimizing your listings, Seller’s Choice is there to help! Our team of industry experts have all the tools necessary to get your listings in front of the right customers this holiday season.
4. Include Holiday-Themed Keywords
In addition to your normal optimization, try to include holiday-themed keywords in listings where appropriate. For example, you could incorporate “brother in law Christmas present” or “mom holiday gift” to snag people searching specifically for presents.
Pro Tip: Use tools like Helium10 for industry hacks like Reverse ASIN lookup, keyword processors, and other types of keyword research tools!
5. Try Bundles
Track sales for each of your items and find the slowest sellers. Then, see if you can find ways to bundle these slow sellers with your better-performing products so you can cut shipping costs and keep your stock moving. Bundling is a sure way to raise your AOV (average order value) as well! Make sure you follow all of Amazon’s bundling rules.
Another way to bundle products on Amazon is to utilize the new Amazon Virtual Bundle Tool. This new and exciting feature made available for Amazon FBA Sellers lets brand owners create bundles made up of two to five complementary ASINs which are purchased together from a single detail page. The virtual bundle tool allows you to form a unique ASIN consisting of multiple products, saving brand owners the extra step of sending prepackaged, separate inventory of bundled products or relying on the “frequently bought together” box.
6. Offer Lightning Deals
Many customers are hyper-focused on buying at the lowest prices during the holidays. Lightning Deals create a sense of urgency by offering your product at a low price for a limited amount of time. Few holiday shoppers will be able to resist purchasing your Lightning Deal item when the low price is only temporary.
7. Optimize Product Titles for Mobile
M-commerce is on the rise: 69% of all online retail came from smartphones on Black Friday 2019. That means you should be optimizing every part of your listing for mobile, but perhaps the most important is the title.
If a customer can’t see your full title on their mobile screen, they’re less likely to click. They’re less likely to click because a shortened title relates to a limited understanding of your product as a whole. Do your best to keep product titles under 80 characters without removing keywords.
8. Run PPC Campaigns As Soon As Possible
PPC campaigns put you at the top of searches for certain keywords; which means more purchases. It also means better SEO, which leads to better sales in the long term.
Don’t wait to start your PPC campaigns, run them as early as possible. That way, you can A/B test different copy and fine-tune things. As the holiday shopping season progresses, you could see excellent PPC results.
If you’d rather hand off your paid traffic campaigns to a professional and enjoy the holidays yourself, Seller’s Choice are experts in PPC campaigns on Amazon.
9. Run a Different PPC Campaign For Each Major Holiday and Shopping Day
Keep in mind the big Amazon shopping days, and consider running separate PPC campaigns for each of them. Here are the most important:
- Prime Day
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- 12 Days of Deals
Additionally, run separate campaigns for each major holiday if you can.
10. Closely Monitor Inventory Levels
The last thing you want to do this holiday season is run out of inventory. That will leave a lot of angry customers and lost sales. To prevent this, order as much inventory as you possibly can afford (as early as possible), then closely monitor inventory levels every day. Err on the side of caution, especially for your top sellers.
FBM (fulfillment by merchant) can prove to be an advantage here, as you have more control over your inventory. If you start to see you’re running low, you can order more. FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) doesn’t provide as much control over your inventory, so you may be out of luck if a product is in high demand and you need more of it.
11. Don’t Launch Too Many New Products...
Launching several new products at once can drain cash flows and tie up cash in inventory that’s not selling if you don’t pick good products.
Stay focused on your best sellers. Keeping a narrower list of SKUs ensures more sales and helps you maintain a longer product lead time for each SKU.
12. ...But You Should Test One or Two
With tip #11 in mind, you may be able to test one or two new products if it won’t drastically affect your cash flows. You may find a winner that you can add for next year and make many more profits. At worst, you’ll lose a little bit of money learning that a certain product doesn’t work.
13. Promptly Answer Every Customer Inquiry
Once you start moving more volume, you’ll likely see a surge in customer inquiries. Don’t let these fall by the wayside, even if time is tight. Respond to each one as promptly as possible to close more sales. You can land some long-term customers with fast, friendly service here.
14. Stay On Top of Account Health
Getting a suspension before or during the holiday season can be destructive to your revenue for obvious reasons. It can take months for your account to be reinstated, so avoid this by keeping your account health high. That means tracking the following:
- Order defect rate (ODR)
- Policy compliance
- Shipping performance
- Voice of the customer
15. Respond to Reviews
Hopefully, you add a ton of positive reviews to your listings this year. However, don’t forget to address any negative reviews. Look closely at any negative feedback you receive, then respond to the user with a genuine apology and desire to make things right.
You might earn yourself a happy customer and even brand advocate by doing this. Plus, you’ll have helpful information for improving your products in the future.
16. Snag the After Christmas Holiday Sales
Many sellers run out of stock after holidays, thinking that there isn’t much opportunity left once Christmas passes.
However, there is still some demand for after Christmas holiday sales. Keep some stock, so you can target these buyers and squeeze some more profits out of the holiday season.
17. Cut Prices on Your Slow Sellers
We mentioned bundling slow sellers with better products earlier, but slashing prices can be a surprisingly effective strategy. Since holiday shoppers are price-conscious, they may see your low-priced item and buy it, even if it isn't the perfect gift.
By doing so, you’re freeing up cash that was tied up in inventory, boosting cash flows. You can then take this newfound cash and purchase more of your top inventory—the kind that you can charge more for—and subsequently make more profits.
18. Enhance Brand Awareness
If you sell private label products, consider launching sponsored brand ad campaigns to raise brand awareness. Bid aggressively on your competitor’s names as keywords so that you pop up when your target customers search for your competition. Don’t forget to bid on your name, though, so you can retain your customers.
19. Monitor Competitor Pricing
Everyone wants to outcompete each other during the holidays, and they will adjust their prices often in order to edge out the competition. Keep an eye on competitor pricing. No need to rely on it entirely because you want to try and sell on the value of your product, but pricing is an important consideration.
20. Check and Make Sure All Your Store Info and Policies Are Filled Out
Ensure all of your store info and policies are completed if you haven’t done so already so your customers understand everything. If anything’s missing, they may be less likely to buy from you.
21. Offer Expedited Shipping
Your customers want their products to get there as fast as possible, whether or not they are doing their shopping last minute. For these customers, it pays to offer expedited shipping options. They’ll be more likely to buy from you and be much more thankful when their gift arrives on time.
22. Be Prime Eligible
Being Prime eligible brings your business a host of benefits. For one, you can offer your customers 1- and 2-day shipping times. This naturally attracts more customers with Prime subscriptions.
Your search visibility also increases. Many Prime users search and filter for Prime products and sellers, so more customers are likely to discover your listings.
Prime eligibility also can help you win the Buy Box. As mentioned earlier, many customers will buy whatever item is in the Buy Box without considering who the seller is. That means more sales for you.
The combination of increased search visibility, faster shipping times, and holding the Buy Box has the potential for massive sales numbers.
You can become Prime eligible through either FBM (fulfillment by merchant) or FBA (fulfillment by Amazon), but the processes differ.
FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant)
FBM sellers can sell on Prime by joining the Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) program. However, you must join a waiting list.
Once you’re placed into the program, you have to complete the SFP trial period. To do so, you must meet the following requirements.
- Ship over 99% of your orders on time
- Have an order cancellation rate under 0.5%
- Offer your customers premium shipping options
- Use Amazon’s Buy Shipping Services for at least 99% of your orders
- Deliver orders with Amazon-approved carriers
- Agree to and follow Amazon’s returns and refunds policies
- Allow Amazon to handle customer service inquiries
- Show you can fulfill orders with “zero-day” handling time
You complete the trial period successfully once you fulfill 50 Prime orders hitting all the above metrics. You have 90 days to do so, or you fail.
FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
FBA sellers’ products are automatically considered for Prime.
23. Prepare For the January Product Return Season
Returns come in heavy in January, so plan ahead by creating a process for them. Think about what you’ll do with items that come back outside their original packaging. If you think you’ll get a lot of returns, consider hiring an employee to handle them.
24. Use A+ Content
A+ Content allows you to customize your listing pages to look more visually appealing. You could make your listings holiday-themed to add some charm to your brand. To create A+ Content, you have to enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry.
Seller’s Choice is experienced in creating effective, visually appealing A+ content. The holidays are coming up quickly, but we can create A+ content even faster.
25. Target Millennials
Millennials are moving up in the world, making more money, and starting families. Plus, they’re savvy about shopping online. That means they’re spending more on gifts. In fact, Millennials spent an average of $509.50 on Black Friday 2019 purchases.
Reorienting your products (or adding new ones to your inventory) towards millennials could pay off big this holiday season.
There’s a Lot to Do This Holiday Season
Following the advice above will help you outsell your competition and earn hefty revenues in the coming months. Of course, there’s a lot to do. It can be tough to implement all these tips at once.
Seller’s Choice can help. We will evaluate your business and find ways you can increase your sales and mitigate risks over the holiday shopping season. Contact us today if you want the Amazon selling experts to help you kill it this Q4.