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Seller Guide: 7 Ways to Sleigh Your Amazon Sales This Holiday Season

Oct 15, 2021 3:29:48 PM

Amazon Seller Guide for Holidays 2021

As online shoppers are getting ready to fill up their carts with holiday gifts, it’s essential for brands to start preparing for the wave of 2021 holiday traffic. Many major retailers and marketplaces have already begun pushing Black Friday-esque promotions in early October, both hoping to spread out consumer spending and get ahead of anticipated shipping delays.

Thankfully, it’s not too late for Amazon sellers to get their holiday sales and marketing strategies set for the season (but we would recommend prepping as soon as possible). 

Here are the top tactics sellers should execute to drive sales throughout the 2021 holiday season:


1. Leverage learnings from last year’s Q4 data and 2021 Prime Day performance

Every holiday season is different from the last, but reviewing your brand’s previous Q4 performance on Amazon is a great starting point. Did any products stand out as unexpected favorites for holiday gifts? Which Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals brought the most traffic to your listings? Previous holiday data can provide critical insight as you map out your inventory planning and optimization strategies for the next few months.

Prime Day data is another useful tool to guide your brand’s holiday tactics as you head into Q4. Take a look at which of your products and campaigns performed best (and worst) during the influx of Prime Day traffic, and apply those learnings to your holiday sales plan. Since Prime Day took place in June this year, look back on customer feedback you’ve received over the past several months. Identify any areas for improvement in your product listings, and make those changes to enhance performance, drive sales, and mitigate returns for the holidays.


2. Prepare for supply chain issues and FBA stock limits

Amazon sellers were first hit with FBA inventory restrictions back in May—and we expect those to continue throughout the rest of the year (you can read more about our predictions here via Modern Retail). So, what can FBA sellers do during the holidays if they can’t rely on their usual Amazon warehouse storage? 

With the inventory you do have on hand, we recommend these tactics:

  • Remove aged inventory from Amazon warehouses to free up space for newer items.
  • Only run Amazon ads and discounts on products that have sufficient inventory.
  • If you’re at risk of stocking out this season, keep a close eye on your inventory levels and consider pulling back on advertising altogether.
  • Create Amazon Posts and utilize brand marketing tactics (photography, messaging, A+ Content, video) to increase customer engagement and conversion on the items you do have in stock.

Shoppers are also aware of the ongoing supply chain crisis, and many plan to kick off their holiday shopping early to account for crowded stores and shipping delays. Our recommendation to get ahead of these delays: start running discounts on items earlier in the season—and be as transparent as possible with your customers if you expect issues or delays.


3. Test your ads, A+ Content, and product listing optimization ahead of time

We all remember Santa making his list and checking it twice… and when it comes to seasonal listing and ad optimization, we recommend a similar approach. Use the next several weeks before Black Friday to test the messaging, keywords, and graphics on your listings. Amazon’s Manage Your Experiments feature is a great tool to run A/B tests on your product photography, titles, and A+ Content so you can increase conversion—for example, our brand partners have seen a 2x increase in conversion on Amazon by updating these brand marketing elements. Monitor results of these tests so you can keep top performers live throughout the holiday season.Amazon Seller Guide for Holidays 2021: Amazon Promotions: Amazon Product Listing Optimization

For Amazon ads specifically:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of video in your ads—we recommend testing and running Sponsored Brands Video ads (lifestyle video and/or animated video) right now, as we’ve seen higher click-through and conversion rates with these ad formats.
  • Decide on a daily budget and do your keyword research ahead of time. Leverage tools like Helium 10 to find out what customers are searching for and then target your ads using carefully selected keywords so you can make the most of your advertising dollars.
  • Since the cost of running ads increases during the holiday season, you’ll want to raise your ad spend so your campaigns remain in budget and competitive throughout the day (we recommend increasing your budget 3x what it normally is for Black Friday and Cyber Monday).


4. Run holiday-specific promotions to boost product sales

This is where Prime Day learnings come into play once again. During Prime Day 2021, our team found that products with a Prime Exclusive Discount saw a 5x increase in sales compared to products that weren’t discounted. And items that didn't discount actually experienced a lower conversion rate than normal on Prime Day. 

So, how can these results help your Q4 sales? Definitely consider running holiday-specific promotions to drive sales for your top products. Here’s a closer look at the deal types that Amazon offers during the holiday shopping season to take advantage of:

Amazon Seller Guide for Holidays 2021: Amazon Promotions


5. Use off-platform traffic to drive customers to your Amazon listings

Off-platform promotion—like influencer marketing, social media, Sponsored Display—can be just as important as driving traffic to your listings as on-platform advertising. And Amazon is supporting the off-platform traffic movement: brand owners can sign up for the Brand Referral Bonus program to collect bonuses on qualifying sales. On average, brands can receive a 10% bonus on purchases driven by off-platform traffic. Brand Registered sellers can also take advantage of Amazon Attribution analytics to track off-platform conversions from channels like search, social, video, and display.

Amazon Seller Guide for Holidays 2021: Amazon Advertising

*Ad mockups courtesy of Amazon

Throughout the season (and year-round, really), proactively direct customers to your Amazon store from your brand’s website and social channels, as well as engage social influencers and organizations who have a community of followers that fall right in line with your target audience.


6. Create a holiday-specific Storefront and feature giftable products

Brick and mortar stores create seasonal displays during the holidays—take the same approach with your brand’s Amazon Store. Take the time to create holiday-specific content and seize the opportunity to reposition products as holiday gifts or even gift bundles. 

After implementing a cohesive Amazon Store that reflected a meaningful brand story and lifestyle photography, SupplyKick partner South Bend Woodworks saw a 30% sales per visitor increase. South Bend Woodworks’ Storefront strategy extended to creating a holiday-specific Storefront, like the one below:

Amazon Seller Guide for Holidays 2021: Amazon Storefront


7. Consider a product launch during the holidays

Whether or not you’re selling giftable items, a significant spike in shoppers browsing Amazon in Q4 may be the perfect time for you to premiere a new product on the marketplace. Follow these tips to secure success with your holiday product launch on Amazon:

  • If you have time, run a “soft launch” early in Q4. Before major shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can start identifying some of the best keywords to target.
  • Target a small batch of generic keywords rather than trying to outperform specific competitor terms.
  • Drive traffic and conversion on your new product listing using off-platform promotion and advertising strategies, and be sure to feature the new product on your Storefront.
  • Grow reviews for new products via Amazon’s Vine program. Keep in mind that Amazon now charges $200 for each product—but this fee is worth it in our book, especially since Amazon has found the program to boost a brand’s sales, on average, by 20%.


Sleigh your Amazon sales year-round

As the holidays approach this year, follow these tactics to set your brand up for success on Amazon. Need help implementing a solid strategy for Q4 and beyond? We’re here to help.

At SupplyKick, we’ve been working with partners to drive Amazon sales in all seasons since 2013. In Wholesale and Agency partnerships, we’ll manage everything from listing optimization to inventory forecasting, so you can focus on other aspects of your business. Connect with our team to start a conversation about your Amazon strategy and subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know on the latest marketplace news and trends.

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