Thinking about the most profitable period for all retailers, it’s always been Q4. Since the most important holidays happen in this quarter and it’s time of giving, people tend to buy things for their loved ones. Good strategy is essential for seizing the opportunity and maximizing your profits.
Why is this year’s Q4 different?
Q4 in 2020 is different on so many levels. This year’s Q4 will be different since COVID-19 events hit the world hard. The pandemic transformed Amazon from a popular place to shop different products into a main service for stay-at-home orders. This year, it simply won’t be enough to just plan your PPC budgets and rely on last years’ data. It takes a lot of consideration of all the objective factors and a lot of predictions. Biggest changes this year are more common inventory issues and Prime Day delay.
Whole economies and countries are struggling throughout this crisis and a lot of manufacturers had to shut down their business. Direct consequence for many Amazon sellers is inventory issues and inability to get their products on time. If you didn’t have any problems with your stock level, and especially if the demand for your products didn’t fade away at some point, you may consider yourself a very lucky one. Even though the world got used to this situation in a way, many sellers still have problems with product availability, especially those who sell products like household items which are really popular this year.
Amazon Prime Day usually happens in July and it’s a huge opportunity for all the sellers. This year it’s reportedly delayed for October because of COVID-19. So what can we expect? The past years have shown that Q4 euphoria usually begins in November and lasts until January for most sellers. However, since Prime Day is allegedly scheduled to happen in October 2020, we can expect this euphoria to start earlier than usual if Prime Day happens at all. If it happens as planned, delaying this event for October can be considered as good news for sellers because they have time to prepare for this profitable period and make sure that enough items are in their or Amazon warehouse.
What are the biggest Q4 events?
Besides the fact that we might be having Prime Day as well, main Q4 events are Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas.
Halloween is an event that gives sellers an opportunity to offer their seasonal products and increase profits. This is not an equally important event for all sellers, but it’s rather focused on certain product categories such as: costumes, face paints, lightnings, decoration etc.
Black Friday takes place every year on 27th of November, a day after Thanksgiving. This day is a dream come true for most people since they can shop lots of different products with enormous discounts. It is essential to be well prepared in terms of inventory and budgets and to be on top positions for the most important keywords.
Cyber Monday comes right after the Black Friday. It’s another chance to gain more sales and make sure you don’t miss it! These events are a great opportunity to grab the attention of new customers and sell as much as possible so be sure to have your inventory covered.
Christmas is definitely the biggest seller event of the year. Except your products are totally unrelated to Christmas, you should take all the planning very seriously.
How to prepare for this dynamic Q4 period?
Planning and strategizing are always very complex activities. There are a lot of factors to be considered, and a lot of details to be taken care of. However, working hard during this period will most certainly pay off, but working smart definitely will. In order to work smart, you definitely need a clear plan and set of actions.
Segmenting your work on PPC is essential. There are 3 phases to be decomposed into tiniest details and actions:
It’s essential to gather all the relevant data you can get and use it as a guidance for the upcoming phases. It’s equally important to know your strengths and weaknesses in order to get the most of every opportunity and overcome threats.
Needles to say, all the preparations won't be worth much without proper execution. A list of segments and parts of your overall PPC account that should be checked can be quite long. Once you know them all and put them into Q4 mode, everything should go by plan.
The last phase is at least equally important as the previous two. It can either give you new growth opportunities, save your profits earned during Q4 events, or drain everything you worked for. This is actually a very complex and commonly neglected phase where you need to decide which set of actions is the right one for you at the current point.
Key takeaway from here is that you need to be aware of all objective and subjective factors the whole economy and your business in particular rely on. Importance of Q4 on Amazon is very clear for every seller and its effects on PPC are perfectly clear for any experienced specialist. The best you can do is to make sure you are well prepared, that your Execution is fully covered and going by plan and that you don’t forget about the Finalize phase. With all the phases successfully completed, the only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy for a bit. But remember, it’s never too early to start analyzing and preparing to be even better next year.
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About the author
Ana Bačanin Kostadinović is an Amazon PPC expert with over 4 years of advertising experience. She started her career in an ecommerce company where she specialized in Google Ads. Now, she works as a Chief Marketing Officer at Sellers Alley where she is involved in DSP (Demand Side Platform) and advertising for 7 to 9 figure sellers.