Somehow, we all know that singing Christmas songs between January 1st and Black Friday feels wrong. Due to Christmas seasonality, Christmas songs sung out of the Christmas season (no matter how hard you sing and invite others to sing) do not bring the same joy they do in the “most wonderful time of the year.”
There is a right time and place (Amazon) to invite people to purchase your seasonal items. You know what to do when search demand is high and sales are peaking, but what do you do in the off season to promote your products? How do you promote skis in the summer and ice cream in the winter? Read 8 off-season Amazon ad strategies below.
Starting with the obvious, budget seems to be an end-all constraint of off-season product promotion. Take a step back, if your annual Amazon ad budget is just enough to keep your ads live during the peak season, stick with that. You need to be strong against competitors when search volume is high. Ad spend is a only part of the strategy, and it turns out, turning ads off is in. However, I wouldn’t recommend you stop reading for other strategies.
That said, one perk of off-season advertising is that consumers typically turn to Amazon to find products that are not in stores. During the off season, if budget allows, be sure to narrow your targeted search terms, set competitive bids, and focus ad spend on the bottom of funnel keywords—especially branded search terms. The off season can also be a good time to target competitor branded terms and get ahead of the game.
It is tempting to hibernate on the off season but there are so many things you can do to foster your off-season ad strategy. While competitors may be hibernating, stay alert and use the off season to refresh your Amazon ads.
This is a great time to review seasonal search terms reports, filter for high spend, low return keywords, and clean them out of your account. Implementing negative keywords will ensure that your account is efficient, locked and loaded to make the most of the next peak season.
The off season is a great time to make new, fresh content for the next season. This includes ad copy for sponsored brand ads, DSP ads, and videos for those ad types, as well. Sponsored brand video ads are heavily unused, and yet video is one of the most effective forms of marketing! You can even film and schedule Amazon Lives to educate people on your product. Proactivity will enable you to have your videos uploaded and ready to go when the lead up season begins. Not to mention that this organic support could improve best-seller rank (BSR).
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of advertising. Seasonal products can be memorable at the wrong time of year if done well, natively, with taste. Increasing brand awareness increases branded search terms and can decrease advertising costs. Seasonal products are not a matter of if the season comes, but when the season comes. Do what you can via organic and social channels so that people will seek out your product when the season comes.
Keep a close eye on your top ten target keywords, branded and non-branded. Search them on Amazon regularly. Are competitors there? Who are they, and what do they sell? How is your product better? Use this info to strategize, and then strategize some more. Remember, you don’t need the placement, you need the sale.
There is a reason stores put out Fall products the day after the Fourth of July: because people will remember this and buy, buy, buy when the time comes. Stores also incentivize preseason buyers with discounts to buy now while stock is plentiful—implementing that strategy could be beneficial. Just be sure to keep Amazon’s deal rules in mind (Don’t run a deal within 60 days of when you plan to run a Lightning Deal—if you do, you’ll have to ensure your second deal offers a steeper discount than the first.)
The specifications around promotions is just one of the many reasons you need brand control through the holidays.
Amazon is a smart ad platform. Everytime a new advertising campaign is created, the campaign requires historical data to run efficiently—especially in the automatic campaigns. It is wise to budget for the lead-up season to build campaign credibility with Amazon. By doing this, you can gain and own placements before your competitors get there. It’s a lot harder for a Celtics fan to win in musical chairs if Lakers fans are already sitting in them.
An off-season ad strategy is not a one-size fits all solution. You may choose to leverage one or all of the above mentioned tactics to build your off season strategy.
Speaking of your off-season Amazon strategy, if you’d rather delegate the ad strategy to experts and gain back a little bit of your time and resources, we’ve got the partnership for you. Pattern is an Ecommerce Accelerator with an emphasis on data-backed decisions and profitable growth. We’d love to start the conversation and see if our businesses are a good fit for each other.
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Walmart.com has announced important changes regarding the “Was Price” and promotions on the digital marketplace. These updates make it more important than ever to optimize your price through implementing proper strategies, controlling your distribution channels, and being intentional about your pricing strategy.
And, as with all digital marketplaces, succeeding on Walmart.com requires performing well in all areas of The Ecommerce Equation. Which means as you optimize your listings’ pricing, as well as traffic, conversions, and availability, your revenue increases.
Pattern has the resources ecommerce brands need to optimize on marketplaces for each factor in the ecommerce equation. We have the technology and strategists to help you improve your traffic, the brand dedication and passion to help you achieve greater conversions, connections to econtrol specialists who help brands regain marketplace control, and the data you need to be able to make smart forecasting decisions for better product availability.
Below, we’ll cover how Walmart.com’s recent platform changes impact ecommerce brands’ ability to drive traffic and conversions for their products and how to strategize around them to work best in your brand’s favor. But first, let’s go over the changes themselves.
Walmart.com’s newest changes reflect their mission to be the leader in low, everyday pricing. Therefore, Walmart’s customers come to the platform and expect low prices no matter what. Overall, these updates give consumers more visibility into the value they’re experiencing and hold brands more accountable in the pricing information they display.
Due to Walmart’s updates, in order for your products to qualify for a strikethrough and show “Reduced Price” or “Clearance” flags on Walmart.com, your product’s promotion must be at least 10% off the “Was Price.” (Note: “Reduced Price” is the most common type of badging. Your teams can request this badge when filling out promotion upload files.)
To specifically qualify for “Clearance,” the product needs to be discontinued and no longer replenished after selling through the remaining inventory.
Although “Rollback” is sometimes seen on site, it is a form of 1P-only badging.
Walmart now prohibits promotions lasting longer than 365 days.
Walmart’s “Was Price” was previously loosely defined and manually inputted on Walmart.com as an MSRP. Now, stricter rules are in place with regulations in the broader market to encourage enforcement and protect consumers.
The “Was Price” is now defined by these terms on Walmart:
Either the 90-day median price paid by customers for the item on Walmart.com (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance);
Or the median price offered by Walmart or Marketplace sellers for the item on Walmart.com for at least 28 out of the last 90 days (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance).
To protect your “Was Price” from price erosion, be intentional when planning promotions. To be most effective in your promotion, you’ll want to be able to give your customers a large enough discount to qualify for the slash-through and reduced price badging.
Without the right pricing strategy in place, your products are in danger of falling into deeper and deeper discounting as you chase the ability to achieve slash-throughs and proper badging. Without the slash-throughs and badging, you’ll lose the ability to easily communicate the increased value of your product and the traffic and conversions you’re trying to earn by running the promotion in the first place.
It’s important to keep your products’ prices as steady as possible to protect your promotion periods. As you prevent high-low price fluctuations, you’ll be able to use slash-through prices and promotional badges like “Reduced Price” and “Clearance” to your advantage in driving better traffic and conversions for your listings.
Without the ability to display badging, a promotion falls flat even if the price has been dropped. With steady pricing over time, you’ll be able to keep a stable “Was Price” and ultimately enjoy more rewarding promotional periods long-term.
It’s important to remember that the “Was Price” policy also applies to 1P and other 3P sellers representing your products on Walmart.com. Unfortunately, your other strategies will be ineffective if other sellers are breaking your MAP policy or playing the high-low price game. So, it’s more important than ever for brands to be conscious of their distribution channels and keep rogue and unauthorized sellers in check.
By allowing Pattern to be the authorized seller of your brand’s products and working with Vorys eControl law firm to eliminate rogue sellers, you can be confident in creating and executing a powerful selling strategy on Walmart.com and other digital marketplaces. As a 3P seller partner, Pattern is truly invested in our partners’ success, we’ll help you to create and execute a strategy that truly prioritizes the long-term performance of your products on digital marketplaces.
Contact us today to learn more about the changes on Walmart.com and how you can optimize your performance.
If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.