As I walk around, it saddens me to see some of my favourite food stores have permanently closed as they have not been able to weather being shut during the past few months.
One of the few bright spots in this climate is e-commerce, which has accelerated tremendously.
For example, in developed markets, online retail sales as a percentage of total retail sales has been growing at about 1-2% annually. In the last quarter (March to June), this has accelerated by about 3 years worth of growth in 3 months!
One of my own e-commerce sites has seen sales grow steadily every single month from February to June 2020. With June sales 250% more than February sales.
With no sign of a return to normalcy in the near future and several countries now experiencing a 2nd wave of Covid-19 lockdowns, e-commerce will continue to grow as it becomes a necessity, and online shopping becomes a way of life.
We are also approaching the 4th quarter with numerous key shopping dates such as:
- Amazon Prime Day
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
Amazon Prime Day 2020
More info is in the box below.
You don’t have to do anything to participate. By simply having products available on Amazon, you can take advantage of the increased customer traffic. If you would like to run a promotion on your products, we recommend setting up a Prime Exclusive Discount!
Prime Exclusive Discount | Deadline: September 25, 2020
What criteria is needed to be considered?
• Nationally Prime Shipping Eligible FBA Item
• Rating of 3.5 stars or above or no reviews
• 20% off current price
• Beats ASIN level Lowest Price in Past 30 Days by 5%
• At least 4-star seller rating when seller rating is available
We will continue to share details, dates, and more ways to prepare for the big day. We look forward to making this Prime Day a success!
Beside Prime Exclusive Discounts, you may also want to leverage on COUPONS. Offer discounts on a single product or a set of products and enjoy automatic merchandising for your coupon through Amazon. Customers can discover coupons through Coupons home page, search results, product detail pages, the offer Listings page and in their carts. This vastly increases your product visibility and helps your products stay competitive, therefore improving your conversation rate. Deadline: 28 August 28, 2020.
You may find all Prime Day 2020 Promotion Submission Information here: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gc/sell-online/na-merchandising"
Here's an article on how to create Amazon coupons.
Another clue is that Amazon has asked sellers to have all stock for Prime Day delivered by Aug 24th.
Amazon Global Selling has also sent out an invitation to register for a series of webinars (from Jul 20th to Aug 24th) for sellers to prepare for Prime Day 2020. This message was sent out by an Amazon business development manager, "Hello all, as most of you are aware, prime day is coming! The global selling team has prepared a series of educational webinars to teach new sellers how to prepare and maximise your sales during prime day. Please register for the webinars here: http://bit.ly/agsprimeday2020."
Preparing Inventory for Prime Day and Q4
- Inventory Planning
- Listing Optimization
- Advertising Campaigns
- Deals, Discounts, and Coupons
1. Inventory Planning
With the new maximum quantity limits imposed on FBA, things are a bit trickier compared to previous years.
For new listings, there is a 200 quantity limit. While for older listings, Amazon has calculates what they allow you to ship in for each product listing. You can check you maximum shipment quantity limits by going to Inventory > Inventory Planning > Restock Inventory, and clicking on the number of units for each SKU.
If you are shipping in less than or equal to the shipment quantity limit, then you have no worries. But what if you plan to ship higher quantities due to supplier MOQs and/or to have economies of scale, especially for international shipping? Then you might want to consider using a 3rd party logistics (3PL) service to store your inventory in bulk, and then "drip-feed" Amazon by forwarding small quantities to FBA.
These are some 3PLs shared by Amazon. Please note that I have not contacted or worked with them, so I will not be able to recommend which ones are better. Please contact directly to find out more.
- WorldCraft Logistics (https://worldcraftlogistics.com/warehousequote/) For more information, please contact Jimmy Tran, General Manager at WorldCraft Logistics (email@example.com)
- Fulfillment.com. For more information, please contact Verushka Perez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 3ecommerce Inc (https://3commerceinc.com/). For more information, please contact Sam Yauner (email@example.com)
- Ezi Returns (https://www.ezireturns.com/fba-services). For more information, please contact Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am testing out one 3PL company now, but that is more for FBM rather than for drip-feeding to FBA. I might also be testing out a 3PL for storage and drip-feeding to Amazon for FBA. To be updated of these findings , follow my Facebook page and join my Facebook group as I always share new info there (Note: for your Facebook group Join Request to be approved, you must answer all the questions).
2. Listing Optimization
This is important for 2 main reasons.
Firstly, Impressions. The Amazon search algorithm reads your listing's copywriting to find and index keywords. These indexed keywords are then used by the Amazon search engine to match to search queries whenever a customers types in the Amazon search bar to find a product. Therefore it is the key first step and foundation for all online sales.
On Amazon, the important fields for keyword search ranking are:
- Title (aka Product Name)
- "Backend" Keywords > Search Terms
- Product Description
- Bullet Points (aka Key Product Features)
Make sure you do your research and edit if needed to optimize for converting keyword phrases. I do this by:
- Analyzing advertising search terms reports to look for customer search terms that convert well and have low ACOS.
- Running Helium 10 Cerebro on my own listings (one by one) to identify keywords that I am ranking moderately well for, such as outside the top 10 but within the top 100. I then prioritize those according to search volume. Something I especially look out for is any keyword terms with high search volume (>1000)and are just outside of a page 1 position. If any of the keyword terms are not in my listing copywriting, I then add them once or twice in 1 or 2 of the 4 fields above as appropriate. If they are in my copywriting, but not in the title, AND meet the critera of high search volume and being just outside of page 1 (or outside the top 10 of page 1), then I might also add the keyword to the title so it carries more ranking weight.
The second reason for listing optimization is to convert better.
It is important to rank for as many good, relevant keywords as possible. It is also important that once a potential buyer sees your listing, they want to click on it and after looking at the content (reading the text and looking at the images and videos), they are convinced to buy.
The quality of your content will affect your click and conversion rate. Even a small improvement such as a better image with useful information that convinces 5% more people to buy makes difference, as it has a compounding effect on keyword ranks and therefore can increase impressions, and therefore clicks, and therefore conversions. You can learn more about this on my page about Increasing Amazon Sales - Traffic, Click-throughs and Conversions.
Part of improving conversion is to get Amazon Brand Registered so you can create A+ Content for your listings. I have seen some of my listings almost double in sales after adding A+ Content! Of course not everything will double. Some listings see a marginal 5%-10% increase immediately after adding A+ Content. And of course you want to do good A+ Content, because bad A+ Content (such as numerous listings by sellers from China with horrendous, unreadable English) can be worse than no content!
3. Advertising Campaigns
Amazon's PPC Advertising functions are pretty complex, so it isn't practical to explain it in a post like this. I typically go through setting up and analyzing Amazon Ad Campaigns in one or two 1-to-1 sessions as part of my training course.
For this post, my advice is to familiarise yourself with how Amazon's Advertising Console works as it can play a huge role in growing your sales profitably and help you rank better organically if effectively used.
You miss out on a tremendous opportunities if you are not utilizing Amazon Advertising.
You also will waste a ton of money if you run Ads but don't know what you are doing.
4. Deal, Discounts, and Coupons
You'll want to run some kind of promotion during the Prime Day period, which has become a 1 week sale rather than a day.
You can also run perpetual coupon promotions and occasional deals to bump up your potential sales.
You can look at this page where I've explained why and how to setup Amazon coupons.
I would also register for the Amazon webinars share at the top of the page.