The Ultimate Last-Minute Holiday Checklist for Amazon Sellers

Cassandra Shaffer

November 18, 2019

With the holidays quickly approaching and sales on Amazon are on the rise, you want to make sure your Amazon store is prepared for those last-minute gift shoppers. Although you’ve already built your brand’s strategy for holiday Amazon sales, we put together a holiday eCommerce checklist for you—just in case you forgot anything.

Whether it’s preparing your store in general, choosing promotions, driving traffic to your store, or on-site advertising, we’ve got you covered. So here’s your list, and be sure to check it twice.

Pattern's ecommerce experts created this last-minute holiday checklist for any and all ecommerce sellers on Amazon and other marketplaces.

Preparation

Chance favors the prepared, and your Amazon store will have increased conversions during the bustling holiday season if the items below are in order.

Reviews and responses

Shopping online is more social than ever, and is crucial to a successful Amazon listing. Think about the last time you bought something on Amazon. Did you look at the amount of reviews and the star rating? Reviews can make or break the success of your listing, so make sure you are constantly on top of responding to reviews and have a strategy in place.

Furthermore, make sure your brand has responded to the positive and negative reviews on your listings. This shows shoppers that your brand stands behind its products, and that your store is responsive and trustworthy.

SEO optimization

The quality of your listings’ SEO will determine how easy it is for shoppers to find your product. You can see our full blog post on how to optimize your brand’s SEO on Amazon here, but for now, here are a few quick tips:

Tip #1: Use as many relevant terms as possible for your listing if to boost your visibility, sales and overall rank in search results. You have 250 characters at your disposal for each listing, so use as many relevant keywords for your product as possible.

Tip #2: Your product listing title is the most important part of your listing. Amazon best practices suggest you include the following in the title: - Brand - Product line - Material or key feature - Product type - Color - Size - Packaging/Quantity

Tip #3: Put the most important keywords in your title first. Product titles usually have between 115-144 characters, depending on the category. However, Amazon listing titles on mobile only have 55-63. In order to hook those mobile shoppers, you’ll want to be strategic about what information you include in the first 55-63 characters.

Stock up for increased demand

Although selling out might sound nice at first, it means your business is missing out on more opportunities to make sales. Make sure your store has enough inventory to satisfy the higher holiday demand. Two great ways to do this are to understand how Amazon promotions work, and if you sell using Fulfillment by Amazon, check your inventory to make sure it’s reserved for Black Friday sales and other holiday promotions.

Advertising restructuring

It’s smart to regularly measure the effectiveness of your brand’s advertising strategy. Competitive, Automatic, Branded, and Non-Branded ads are all good strategies. These types of campaigns are easily measured and changes can be made effectively.

Promotions

From the beginning of November through January, shoppers visit Amazon expecting to find good deals and promotions. Nobody does deals quite as well as Amazon, and there are many options to consider and choose from on the platform.

Lightning Deals

Nothing sells better than creating urgency and offering a discount. Amazon’s Lightning Deals do just this. A Lightning Deal is a time-bound, promotional offer where a product is featured for a limited number of hours (usually 4 to 12 hours), on the Amazon Deals page. If you want to learn how to become eligible for Lightning Deals as a seller, check out this article.

Seller Powered Coupons

One of the more popular features for Amazon sellers is the SPC (Seller Powered Coupons). These virtual coupons give shoppers a dollar amount or percentage discount on the regular price of a product. In return, sellers get boosted visibility and exposure for that product—and more sales.

Promo Codes

The savvy shopper is always on the lookout for promotions, and promo codes through Amazon can be a powerful tool—if used wisely. Promo codes can be incorporated in giveaways, external traffic programs, and on detail pages.

There are many ways to encourage shoppers to save money and buy during the holiday season, and Amazon provides sellers with plenty of options to choose from.

Amazon programs

There are a plethora of ways to advertise your products on Amazon using tools that are built into Amazon Advertising and other features. If you want to snag as much holiday retail action as possible, it would be worth going over your strategy for the following tools.

Amazon Advertising

Formerly AMS (Amazon Marketing Services), AMG (Amazon Media Group), and AAP (Amazon Advertising Platform), Amazon Advertising offers sellers helpful tools to stand out against the competition and boost traffic to product detail pages and brand pages.

This collection of tools helps you advertise products in several places, including headline search ads, product display ads, sponsored products ads, and off-platform advertising (desktop display ads, mobile banner ads, and mobile interstitial ads). It’s important to curate a strategy for promoting your brand’s products during the holidays.

Posts

Amazon now has a social media-esque platform of their very own all about product discovery. Although Posts is still gaining traction, this newcomer is great news for retailers, offering a new way to promote your products via content you can repurpose from social media.

One reason Amazon is so successful is because they’ve made it easy for sellers to advertise on their platform. With all of the options they offer, it won’t be hard to pick a few that will work for your brand’s strategy during the holiday season.

External traffic

When shoppers aren’t directly browsing on Amazon’s site, how are they going to learn about your products? That is where your brand’s external traffic strategy should come into play, and it would be wise to nail down your plan if you want to make the most of holiday retail.

There are many creative ways to drive traffic to your products on Amazon, and here are a few to consider using in your holiday marketing strategy.

Social Advertising

People are spending more time on social media than ever before. When thinking about your brand’s marketing strategy, go to where the people are—and that is on social. This holiday season, consider sponsoring some advertising on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

Influencer Advertising

Few things are more powerful than a solid third-party testimonial, and that is where influencer advertising comes into play. Combining an influencer’s voice with a special promotion is one option for the holidays, but with influencer marketing, there are endless opportunities for collaboration and promotions.

YouTube Advertising

When it comes to influencing purchase behavior, YouTube is an excellent option for reaching your key customers. Not only does YouTube have enormous reach, it also has advanced targeting options and their platform makes it easy to track ad metrics.

Website Support

Amazon is such a trusted place to make purchases that shoppers are increasingly choosing to purchase through Amazon than brand websites. One way to keep a customer interested when they are browsing your website is to give them opportunities to also view your products on Amazon. Redirecting people to Amazon from your website will ensure your brand doesn’t lose a sale if a shopper is more interested in purchasing on Amazon.

There are many things to consider and refine before the holiday retail season is upon us, and we know it might seem a little daunting. If you want the help of Pattern's Amazon and eCommerce experts to tighten up your last-minute holiday eCommerce checklist, you’re in luck. You can learn more about how to win during the holiday season on Amazon (and more) by filling out the form below.

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Sept 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)
Sept 26, 2022

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.

1. Go Early

In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.

From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.

2. Get Ready for Privacy Changes

 According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.

From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.

It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.

3. Ensure Consumers Can Discover your Brand

A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.

Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.

The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)

4. Get Moving with Performance Max

Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.

Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.

5. Flight Budgets Accordingly

Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.

Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.

Sept 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Marketplace Consultant Must-Haves

Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces. 

Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.

So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.

Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.

An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.

Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services. 

2. Proven Results

It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.

4. Network of Resources

The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces. 

With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.

Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.