by Jessica Dahlquist, Director of Operations | Coaching, Full-Service, Special Events
Are you one of those last-minute shoppers who binge buys on Christmas Eve? Or do you have you had your shopping list all checked off since late August? The holiday season and end of Q4 are MAJOR opportunities for sellers to up their game and achieve their highest sales of the year (unless you sell boogie boards, then December is probably not your top month!). Increased sales don’t happen on accident, you need to properly plan in order to see maximum returns in Q4.
When should you start planning for the holidays?
Since you may need to apply for some of the promotions you’ll want to run, we recommend planning for the holidays and its coordinating promotions at least a month in advance. This ensures you won’t miss the window to apply for certain deals.
Once you know what promotions you want to run, you should immediately start applying for them. Opportunities disappear the closer you get the holidays. If you know you want to do a Black Friday deal or a coupon, look for the application window NOW so you can ensure you don’t miss out.
Beginning prep this early will also ensure you have enough time to order the inventory you’ll need to get you through the holidays. Don’t miss out on sales because you’ve run out of stock in Q4! Avoid this hazardous mistake by forecasting early and planning ahead.
What promotions are most effective?
The answer is that it varies for everyone. To start, look at which promotions have worked best for you in the past. Have lightning deals been successful? Does it work to offer a discount on multiple quantity purchases? Have coupons been effective?
TurnKey Pro Tip: We see coupons that offer a dollar amount discount convert better than the percentage off ones because customers don’t like doing the math!
If you take the time to run promotions and ads for the holidays, make sure you get the word out about your deals. In addition to reaching out to existing customers, now is the time to attract new customers into the fold. Running external ads work very well in order to share your deals. People tend to trust Amazon more than purchasing on individual random websites, so it’s worth pushing people over to your Amazon listing versus just advertising to your website.
So, take some time to prepare for the holidays and maximize your Q4 sales. If you want even more strategies, our Client Manager Jenna is over on our Playbook for Amazon podcast chatting with Jeff on Episode 18 all about what she’s doing to help clients prep for the end of Q4!
by Jessica Dahlquist, Director of Operations | Special Events
Who doesn’t love a good conference or networking event? You get the chance to break away from the office, network with like-minded, motivated colleagues, and hopefully learn new tools to level up your business. But on the other side of the coin, you might also feel stressed to break away from your daily responsibilities, overwhelmed by the crowds of people, and leave feeling like you have more to do and no more time to do it. Does this feel familiar? TurnKey attends a lot of conferences and we have three tips for making the most of attending conferences.
Set an intention.
If you go into a conference hoping to get “something” out of it, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed and aimless in your pursuit of the actionable wisdom you were hoping for. Instead, decide ahead of time exactly what you want to get out of the conference. For example:
- Learn more about effective email marketing and make a plan to adjust your emails accordingly,
- Reflect on your “Why” and revisit your mission statement,
- Find a new vendor for my products.
While you’re sure to get more out of the conference than just the one intention you set, by deciding ahead of time what your focus will be, you can make more informed decisions about which talks to attend or which mixers to visit.
Meet one person.
In Episode 3 of the Playbook for Amazon Podcast, Jeff interviews his friend Kevin Liang, who is a MASTER networker. While he shares a lot about his networking tips in the episode, one great takeaway was his recommendation to focus on meeting just one person at an event and to make that interaction count. Whether you have a specific individual in mind or just a type of person you want to connect with, you don’t need to worry about talking to EVERYONE in the room. If you can leave the event having had a meaningful interaction with just ONE person you were successful.
Debrief and go over your notes with someone within a week of attending.
At TurnKey this is our favorite thing to do post-conference! How many notebooks do you have from conferences filled with jumbled notes that you never even go back and read? There is GOLD in those notebooks, but they will NEVER benefit your business if you don’t take action on those takeaways. Our favorite thing to do after attending an event is to immediately go back through the notes and organize them in a more systematic way. If you have a flight home, that is the perfect time to do that. Then, within a week of the event, schedule a time with a team member or colleague, and share your takeaways with them. Verbalizing what you have learned helps those nuggets of wisdom truths sink in so much deeper and makes it more likely that you will act on the information.
So, if you have a conference or networking event coming up, use these three tips to get so much more out of the experience. We promise it’ll make these events more enjoyable and it will make their takeaways so much more impactful!
by Amanda Springfield, Client Manager | Special Events
A Quick Note From TurnKey:
In this article we briefly mention Amazon Giveaways. While the rest of the article is still up to date and valid, as of October 10, 2019, Amazon Giveaways is no longer a feature hosted by Amazon. We loved this strategy so much and are sad to see it go. That being said, the principles that made the giveaway effective still apply:
- Leverage social media, email lists, etc. in order to send people over to a landing page to collect even more customer email addresses.
- Use squeeze pages to share more information and connect with customers. Video is a fantastic medium to include on the landing page because it gives you the unique opportunity to talk to your customers and pitch to them as if you were in the same room.
- Offer a discount code to people who watch the video.
So don’t worry just because Amazon isn’t offering this feature anymore. You can still find ways to incorporate the aspects of this strategy in order to impress your customers and increase sales! If you need more support, we have lots of other strategies to help you grow your sales, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
As a seller on Amazon, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two days out of the year that you don’t want to miss out on. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2017, a record $5 BILLION was spent on Black Friday and on Cyber Monday another record-breaking $6.59 BILLION! People are on the hunt for the best deals. So what can you do to make sure your Amazon listing gets noticed and ensure you get a piece of the multi-billion dollar pie?
The first step in preparing for these big shopping days is to implement holiday keyword sponsored ads. Keyword sponsored ads trigger impulse buying and help drive holiday sales.
Start by creating a list of keywords for the holidays. Think about the words prospective customers might be searching for as they go to buy on Amazon. Some examples include: “Black Friday deals”, “Cyber Monday gifts for her”, and “best Christmas gifts”. Our go-to tool for creating keyword lists is MerchantWords. Once you have your list together, use the keywords you found and include them in your sponsored ads. Once you have the campaign you can pause and unpause it for years to come!
Images and Videos
The next step is to change your images to reflect the holiday spirit. This is the best place to get creative! Do this by superimposing a holiday bow on the main image, adding a picture of your product under the Christmas tree, including an image of a child opening your product as a gift, or embellishing your image with a holiday-related background.
If you are brand registered and really want to take your listing to the next level, consider adding a video that is tailored to the holidays. Think of the impact a video of someone who fits within your target demographic sitting next to their tree on Christmas morning excitedly opening a box that contains your product while their loved ones watch. A video makes connecting to your customers a no-brainer!
The idea of adding these images and videos is to paint a picture in the shopper’s mind of what it would look like to give your product as a gift. This makes the buying decision much easier on them!
Coupons and Promo Codes
Promo codes show up on your product details page at the bottom and should be geared towards the holidays and upcoming shopping days. To make the most out of your promo codes and optimize sales, try running a pre-sale promotion, a day of the sale price, and then an extended sale offering.
Some examples of promotions are:
PRE-BLACK FRIDAY SALE COUPON TAKES 35% OFF WHEN YOU BUY 4 OR MORE, OR 30% OFF 3, 25% OFF 2, OR 20% OFF 1 OF ANY [INSERT PRODUCT]
On the other hand, coupons get more visibility on Amazon because they show up on the details page at the top, in the search results, on the gold box deals page, and on a separate landing page just for coupons on Amazon. If you decide to use a coupon, when a customer is on your listing and they click the “clip it’ button, the discount is applied at checkout. However, keep in mind that there is a cost per clip.
To give your products an even better shot at optimizing sales on these big shopping days, run a promo code and coupon at the same time for more visibility. When creating them, don’t forget to make each one exclusive so they can’t be used together!
When it comes to selling around the holidays, cross-selling is a game-changer. It increases the profit margin on low-cost items, adds value to your items, helps get rid of slow-moving inventory, and gives you more keywords to rank for.
Cross-selling involves creating promotions that combine multiple products or including images of other complementary products all on the same page. Utilizing cross-selling in your product images or bundles takes your product to the next level and offers you more visibility. Please keep in mind that it is especially important to keep your bundles geared towards the holidays.
As customers are searching for that perfect gift for their friends and family, social media has begun to play a larger role in the gift selection process. Utilize your social media accounts to help you engage with customers and make them aware of the deals that you have coming up.
This is the time to have fun, be creative, and above all, get festive and spread some holiday cheer!
- Pinterest: Add a “Top 5 Hottest [Insert Your Niche] Gifts This Season” Rich Pin on Pinterest so customers can stay informed about your product and get alerts for price changes.
- Instagram: If you have 10K+ followers, utilize the swipe up feature to get customers directly to your listing. If not, utilize your Instagram stories to highlight your deals.
- Facebook: Run a contest where all customers who purchase your product and post about it are entered into a drawing for a larger holiday gift package.
- Twitter: A trivia contest might be just the thing to get your followers engaged and keep them aware of the deals you’re offering.
- YouTube: Utilizing Amazon Giveaway, you can create a buzz around your product, secure more views for your YouTube videos and increase sales all at the same time. Another option is going live on your channel. This gives you a chance to interact with your followers, showcase your products and answer questions about them.
We hope you found these holiday selling tips helpful. Let us know how they work for you and if you have any other strategies that are effective for your listings. Happy holidays!