Your Guide to Pre-Holiday Advertising on Amazon

Tony Morales

November 8, 2021

In preparing for the holiday season it can be hard to know when to spend and when to save your advertising budget; when is it most competitive to spend, and when is the best opportunity for sales? To help you out, we’ve created the Holiday Advertising Series to walk you through each week of the holiday season and how to adjust your advertising strategy accordingly. From budgets to messaging, learn what to keep in mind this holiday season. To start off, we’ll hear from our Director of Advertising, Tony Morales:

To make sure we’re on the same page, I think it’s best to break down the holiday advertising season into four sections:

  1. The pre-holiday shopping phase (browsing phase)
  2. The shopping phase
  3. Cyber week
  4. The post-holiday drop-off

The pre-holiday shopping phase

The first phase begins at the start of the fourth quarter, right at the beginning of October, and lasts until about mid-November, think the 14th. This six-week period I refer to as the pre-holiday shopping phase. In this part of the holiday season, we typically see more browsers than buyers.

What happens during the pre-holiday shopping phase, from an advertising perspective, is high clicks and potentially increased traffic on your products, but not a lot of conversion. This can be discouraging since high visibility and low sales isn’t great for PPC budgets, but unfortunately we do see a huge increase in browsing this time of the year. A big reason for browsing without conversion is the anticipation of holiday deals; your audience is prepping for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and searching for what products they want to buy on holiday discounts. Think of the pre-holiday shopping phase as research for the shopping phase.

However, we may see some disruption in our browsing phase this year. With the rampant global supply chain issues that we keep hearing about in the news, I would expect more shoppers to begin their shopping earlier than usual for 2021. In a typical shopping season we could expect a standard period of browsing, but after the pandemic, and with the newly-found convenience of online shopping, we may see buying start sooner than expected. With this in mind, I have a few recommendations.

Advertising strategies for the pre-holiday shopping phase

Normally, I would say keep your PPC ads running business-as-usual. Don’t go crazy with bidding up or spending tons of money during this time, because your conversions will most likely not match your spend thanks to the browsing phase. I would recommend focusing the majority of your budget for this six-week pre-holiday shopping period on top-of-funnel search efforts. Focus on bringing awareness to your offering. Any type of programmatic display ad or video ad or continuous retargeting that you can do at this time is ideal. The goal for this is to plant seeds in shoppers’ minds that your product is a great option for the holiday.

If you have an influencer strategy, this is a good time to press hard on that. Unfortunately, with the recent IOS update giving users the option to opt out of retargeting, we have seen Facebook ad performance drop like a led balloon across all categories. Luckily, you can repurpose your social media spend towards influencers and Amazon DSP or some other equivalent programmatic advertising. An influencer strategy can also help build authority and consumer trust in your product as they figure out what to purchase for gifting.

In addition to focusing on top-of-funnel searches and building your awareness, you can look at opportunities to steal attention from your competitors. If you have a dominant competitor in the market, look at the metrics around keywords including their company name, product titles, or other branded searches to see if it makes sense to conquest those keywords. You don’t want to overspend during the pre-holiday shopping phase, but conquesting is an area that may make sense for your brand during the browsing period. Remember, this timeframe is about planting seeds for your target audience.

Other strategies for the pre-holiday shopping phase

This pre-shopping phase is also a good time to ensure your listings, image stack, bullet points, and pricing are ready for the holidays. As consumers begin their research they need to get helpful information as quickly as possible from your listing, if not they will continue researching until they find something they understand better. While you may not see conversion metrics going up, you should still focus on convincing shoppers your product is the one they want when they are ready to buy.

To recap, for this six-week pre-holiday shopping/browsing phase, do much more aggressive spending on top-of-funnel awareness strategies (DSP, Programmatic, Display ads, Influencer, email) to plant seeds, and continue with business as usual for your ad spend on the rest of your search advertising. If you think your business will be affected by supply chain issues, then you can ratchet up all of your efforts, however under normal circumstances that would be a mistake. I would also advise to work on getting ahead of holiday inventory needs for next year.

The shopping phase

The second phase for the holiday advertising season is the shopping phase. This will happen from mid-November through most of December (leading up to Christmas). During this phase it makes sense to increase budget toward bottom-of-funnel, conversion efforts and increase bids on PPC Campaigns. This will help shoppers who are looking for your product, or your category, find your offering during this competitive time. When intent to buy is high—like during the holiday shopping season—you want to do everything you can to show up at the top of the search.

The shopping phase is an important time to get serious. Starting with the week of November 15, each week going forward will be progressively bigger in terms of revenue generation, and this will last five consecutive weeks. The last week before Christmas will taper a little bit, but will still be a very strong week. It should land somewhere in the top six weeks for revenue for the year.

Cyber 5 weekend

Within the shopping phase of the fourth-quarter holiday season, there is a micro phase that spans about seven days: Cyber Weekend. Amazon has quoted that 41% of holiday shopping purchases will happen in the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, but I like to tack on an extra day to the beginning and the end of the 5-day shopping event.

I focus on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the Tuesday after cyber-Monday to ensure I take full advantage of the flood of shoppers.

With such a huge percentage of revenue coming in this holiday week it’s really important to be aggressive and get your promotion and advertising strategy right. We will outline more strategies for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday week in the next post of our Holiday Advertising series, coming next week.

Advertising into the new year

Historically Amazon does a little more than half of their total ad revenue in the fourth quarter, with the vast majority of that coming in the six-week period between mid-November and Christmas. We have seen total revenue for our business follow the same trajectory.

The last week of the year typically dips considerably as shoppers have wrapped up holiday festivities. However, for brands selling in categories such as beauty, supplements, health and fitness, fashion, and anything that would revolve around the “new year new you” concept, the last week of the year is a great time to begin advertising to shoppers, particularly those shoppers who received gift cards for the holidays or have disposable shopping funds thanks to returned holiday gifts.

Holiday advertising with Pattern

Interested in more expert strategy for advertising on marketplaces during the holidays? When you partner with Pattern you work with experienced advertisers who can tailor your advertising approach to your industry, category, and budget. Get in touch today.

Check out the rest our our Holiday Advertising Series:

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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 22, 2022

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

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. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

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:

Prioritize Your Success

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.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

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.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

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.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

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.

Sept 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)