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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Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears
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Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears

**Instrument Pricing Changes Tune Amid Record Inflation** Compared to 2022, consumers should expect to pay more for musical instruments, but the rate of inflation shows signs of slowing. **The backstory:** America’s most popular musical instruments saw a notable price increase in 2022 compared to 2021, but the rate of inflation eased in Q4 ’22. **Why it matters:** Slowing inflation within this product category could indicate economic pressures like increased demand, rising labor costs, and supply chain disruptions are easing across the consumer landscape. **What we’re seeing:** The average cost of musical instruments increased 7.5% from 2021 – 2022; however, when analyzing individual increases year over year, some instruments saw price increases as high as 21%. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Instruments — 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-02Lwk" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/02Lwk/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="379" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * Trombones experienced a 21.73% increase compared to 2021 * Trumpets +20.08% * Flutes +18.6% * Recorders +16.13% * Saxophones +13.63% * Clarinets +10.55% * Drums +5.41% * Ukuleles +5.17% **However:** Inflation among these same instruments was significantly less in Q4 ’22 compared to Q4 ’21. In some cases, prices decreased from Q4 ’21 – Q4 ‘22: <iframe title="Price Change for Instruments — Q4 2022 vs. Q4 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-6X6GZ" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6X6GZ/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="379" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * Trombones +11.23% * Flutes +10.41% * Saxophones +5.94% * Clarinets +5.59% * Trumpets +3.10% * Recorders +2.85% * Drums -2.59% * Ukuleles -8.46% **Moreover:** Certain instruments saw inflation reverse in 2022. On average, prices for melodicas, guitars, and violas saw their prices decrease by 4.41%, 3.19%, and 0.97%, respectively. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Instruments — 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-0Tefk" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/0Tefk/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="259" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **Diving Deeper:** Inflation was more significant when comparing Q4 ’21 to Q4 ’20 than when comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, indicating a slowing down of price increases for consumers. <iframe title="YOY Q4 Price Change for Instruments — 2020 – 2022" aria-label="Stacked Bars" id="datawrapper-chart-p6iqt" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/p6iqt/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="206" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * In Q4 ’21, average prices for all instruments were up 8.89% compared to Q4 ’20. * When comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, the average price for all instruments only increased by 2.65%. **The takeaway:** While consumers should expect to pay higher prices for instruments this year, overall inflation impact within this product category appears to be slowing down. With National Ukulele Day coming up on February 2, now is a great time for ecommerce brands to take advantage of slowing economic worries and reach new consumers. * Want Pattern’s data science team to power your brand with consumer insights like these? Contact us to [request more information](https://pattern.com/contact-us/) today.

Slowing Inflation? What Musical Instrument Pricing Tells Us
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Slowing Inflation? What Musical Instrument Pricing Tells Us

It’s safe to say consumers and brands alike are eager for a change to the pattern of rising inflation, steadily increasing in many ecommerce categories . Pattern’s internal team’s data scientists analysis of instrument pricing shows a glimmer of hope that inflation may be slowing, which would be great news for brands selling online.

At Pattern, we’re interested in and monitoring trends and news related to pricing since price is a key factor in a brand’s profitability (as explained in the Ecommerce Equation). When brands are able to optimize their price, conversions, and traffic, they can optimize their profitability. And profitability leads to better allocation of resources, better brand control, and gives leaders the ability to expand their presence to new markets worldwide.

YoY Instrument Pricing Increased at a Slower Pace

When analyzing the pricing changes of instruments from 2021 to 2022, our teams found that prices increased, but at a slower rate than from 2020 to 2021.

As shown below, the year over year Q4 changes show quite a lower rate of increase.

Inflation Improvements Raise Profitability

Because inflation impacts online shopping behaviors, lower inflation can lead to better overall profitability for brands. This idea, of course, is nuanced, but Pattern’s Ecommerce Equation can help illustrate the general principle.

When inflation rises, consumers change their spending habits. Shoppers spend more time researching products, forego premium, higher-priced brands, and buy more in bulk. Brands tend to see a loss of loyalty as they’re forced to raise prices.

Price is a key variable in the Ecommerce Equation: price x conversion x traffic = profitability. As inflation lowers, brands can expect better performance in all of these areas—more traffic as spending habits return to normal, higher conversion from returning customers, and price that better fits consumer demand. As inflation lowers and these variables stabilize, brands will see profitability increase.

Raise Your Profitability with Pattern

As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern is obsessed with gathering data that helps our brand partners succeed. We’ve created best-in-class technology, models, and analytics to understand changes on the horizon and inform our decisions. With an incredible team of data obsessed Pattern employees, we see what makes the difference in truly great ecommerce performance and apply those learnings for brand partners. 

Ready to improve your profitability? Contact us here.

Inflation hits LEGO, but lighter than you’d suspect
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Inflation hits LEGO, but lighter than you’d suspect

**Some sets get more expensive, while others become cheaper** In June 2022, LEGO announced it would be increasing the prices of their sets. Ever since, consumers anticipated their favorite plastic construction toy prices to increase [by as much as 25%](https://9to5toys.com/2022/06/02/lego-officially-confirms-price-increases-coming-to-most-sets-later-this-fall/). **Why it matters:** Consumers are feeling the sting of inflation in all areas of their lives, from groceries and gas to entertainment. With LEGO Day right around the corner (January 28th), fans may wonder whether it’s a good time to purchase a set. **What we’re seeing:** While inflation continues to ravage the economy, consumers are seeing a small reprieve when it comes to the pricing of LEGO sets. Despite the anticipated 25% price increase, average prices among the top LEGO sets only increased by 4.7% year over year when comparing Q4 2022 to Q4 2021. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for All LEGO Sets – 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-3gn9L" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/3gn9L/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="393" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * During this same period, annual prices for some of the most popular LEGO sets were up as much as 23%. <iframe title="U.S. Price Change for LEGO Sets – Q4 22 vs. Q4 21" aria-label="Split Bars" id="datawrapper-chart-vh7B2" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/vh7B2/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="708" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **Yes, but:** Prices of other popular sets were down by as much as -12% during this same period. Depending on the kit, consumers might actually find some popular LEGO sets have gotten less expensive since 2021: * LEGO Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid was down -6% in Q4 2022 vs. Q4 2021 * LEGO Creator Tuk Tuk was down -7% * LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon was down -10% * LEGO Ideas Tree House Business Kit was down -12% **However:** Even for the sets that experienced a price decrease, the decrease was less significant in Q4 2022 as set prices increased across the board following the June 2022 announcement. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Individual LEGO Sets – 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-KjSXz" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/KjSXz/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **The takeaway:** While prices didn’t increase as much as consumers anticipated, inflation still had an effect on the cost of LEGO sets. As ecommerce brands prepare for increased demand ahead of LEGO Day, they could increase customer interest in all sets by promoting the sets that have seen a price decrease. * Pattern’s data science team analyzes consumer demand on Amazon to understand how economic forces impact pricing and shopping behavior. If you’re interested in using insights like these to propel your ecommerce strategy forward, [contact our team today. ](https://pattern.com/contact-us/)