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Late Breaking Amazon Tips for Black Friday & Cyber Monday - Recording

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Now is the perfect time for Amazon Sellers and Vendors to review catalogs, map out operational efficiencies, and make sure products are retail ready. Avoid the pitfalls that can hurt your bottom line.

Employ these last-minute tactics for a strong finish on Amazon in the doozy of a year that has been 2020.

Here’s what we’re talking about:

🛒 Existing or upcoming challenges our merchants have been facing
⚙️The tools available to help
💡What merchants aren’t thinking about that they should be
💲Q4 advertising budget planning
📣 Selecting which products to promote
🎁 How to determine which products are the most “giftable”
🗓️ Setting SMART goals for Black Friday & Cyber Monday
🎯 Developing a deals/coupons strategy

Watch the replay right here or read the transcript below:

Amazon BFCM tips

 

Transcript

Persephanie Arellano:

Good morning, west coast and good afternoon to you, east coasters. Thanks for taking the time to join us today. My name's Persephanie, I'm the global marketer for here at Tinuiti, reporting to you live from San Diego, California and I'll be your host for today's virtual event. Today Tinuiti and our partners from Skubana will be covering late breaking Amazon tips that you can apply for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So we're just going to go over a few event logistics, introduce Tinuiti, and then we'll go over some questions that you should be considering throughout this presentation, and then dive into the content. So on the next slide, we're just gonna review the logistics. The platform we're using is GoToWebinar, please submit any questions that you have in the chat box to the right. I'll be sure to add this to the queue of questions for our speakers at the end. There's also a couple of resources available in the handout section. Feel free to check these out when you get a chance. And then lastly, this webinar is being recorded. So keep an eye out in your inbox and feel free to reference and share with your colleagues. I'll be sending it out by tomorrow morning. And of course, if you're having any trouble accessing these features, please just let me know. And I'll troubleshoot the issue in the backend. On the next slide, I'm going to go ahead and introduce Tinuiti for anybody that's just hearing about us for the first time. So Tinuiti is a performance and data-driven marketing leader, and here at Tinuiti, we focus on every aspect of the customer journey across the triopoly of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and beyond. And today we deliver the best in class, data analytics, creative execution, and of course, exceptional strategists. And then on the next slide, I'm just gonna go ahead and let everybody know that Tinuiti just launched its weekly podcast a couple of weeks ago, it's called Off Mute. Feel free to check this out. This podcast is featuring business leaders and digital marketing visionaries. So here our CEO, Zach Morrison and EVP and head of media Obele Brown-West hosts the diverse guest list of thoughtful leaders for unscripted conversations. So definitely check that out when you get a chance, and then let me introduce our three speakers and then I'll go ahead and kick it over to them. So here we have Brenda, Sarah, and Chad. Welcome, everybody was super excited to have each of you. So a little bit about Brenda first. She is an experienced and motivated digital... Oh sorry, experience and motivated in digital advertising. And of course brings expertise and account managing here at Tinuiti. So due to previous hands-on experience, Brenda has a keen eye for opportunity within an account and a strong passion for driving data-driven strategies to deliver high performing results. Brenda transitioned into leadership though, where she is now a senior manager and assists our account managers in growing and scaling our clients' businesses on Amazon. And of course the fun fact about Brenda is that she's currently about six months pregnant with her first child, a baby boy, super excited for you, Brenda.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Thank you.

- Of course. Sarah is an experience advertiser expert with knowledge both on Amazon search and display advertising. Starting as an account manager as well, Sarah has moved into a leadership role as a team strategist. She's extremely passionate about supporting her team to ensure clients receive exceptional digital marketing results. She believes in taking a data-driven approach and looking at the larger picture for business growth. And a fun fact about Sarah is she is a mom of a two-year-old daughter and her name is Ellie.

Sarah Simensky:

Excited to be here, nice to meet everyone.

Persephanie Arellano:

And then last but not least, we have Chad Rubin, he is the co-founder and CEO of Skubana, a multi-channel e-commerce software that enables brands and marketplace sellers to unlock growth by unifying their back office operations. Chad co-foundered Skubana... Co-foundered Skubana in 2015 to address the fragmented operations ecosystem that can reduce profitability for many consumers and e-commerce brands. So using his personal experience as a CEO of ThinkCrucial as well, a direct to consumer home appliance parts and accessories company, Rubin informed Sultana's direction to ensure its customer needs remain core to the platform, welcome Chad.

Chad Rubin:

Thanks for havin' me.

Persephanie Arellano:

And then I'm going to go ahead and kick it over to our speakers.

Chad Rubin:

And real quick fun fact, I have a child too, 15 months. His name is Remy.

Sarah Simensky:

Woohoo.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Awesome.

Sarah Simensky:

It's okay to say.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Yeah, awesome. Well, thanks Persephanie. So jumping right in, we're gonna start off with some questions to consider. So when it comes to any successful strategy on Amazon, you definitely want to make sure that you have a foundation and identify the pillars within that foundation. When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, those pillars are very important questions that you should be asking yourself. First one is, are your products retail ready? Do you have enough inventory to support Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Do you have a set advertising budget for Q4? Is there opportunity to add additional budget? And then of course, what products do even you wanna advertise during this time? The fourth question is what are your goals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? And lastly, do you have deals and coupons scheduled and confirmed? So these are all high level questions that we definitely recommend you guys ask yourself and these are all points we'll be discussing and touching on throughout this presentation. So first things first, leveraging your data. So referencing historical Prime Day data can be useful to prep for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are three separate areas that you can utilize this data for, shopping behavior, average traffic and CPC increase, and promotions and deals. And so first we'll start with shopping behavior. We saw a significant bump in impressions leading up to Prime Day. Meaning many shoppers were browsing for deals this week prior and saving items to cart. So it's definitely good to understand how shoppers behave during the holidays, because it can also assist with expectations around performance. For example, the weeks leading up to Black Friday you may notice impressions and clicks start to increase, but those conversions don't yet follow, as again shoppers are still kind of in that browsing phase. Sarah, as I know, you're an Amazon Prime shopper. Do you feel like this aligns with the type of behavior you see for yourself during the holiday season?

Sarah Simensky:

I mean, absolutely, I'm definitely a big Amazon shopper. Leading up to Prime Day, I was definitely looking for things that I knew that I needed for my daughter's upcoming birthday. So I was just browsing, adding to cart, and then purchasing them on Prime Day when there was a coupon obviously added to it.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Awesome, yeah, I can definitely confirm this as well. Perfect. Thanks. And then the second point we have is average traffic and CPC increase. So competitiveness has increased year over year, average CPC increase, meaning an increase in ad spend doesn't necessarily correspond to the same percentage increase in sales, again due to increase in CPC. So when comparing performance to the previous year, it's really important to understand that the landscape this year is very different. Mainly because we have more competition entering into this space. And this increasing competition directly affects our ad spend as well as our ability to convert. So having this knowledge and understanding can help when preparing your advertising budget, as gaining those top placements will most likely cost more. And then last we have promotions and deals. So brands that started advertising their deals earlier seeing an initial lift in clicks and impressions, although not sales, saw a big spike in purchases when shoppers hit the checkout button on Monday, AKA Prime Day. By Tuesday, most shoppers had already made their purchases. This indicates to us that because we had coupons and deals running leading up to Prime Day, it enticed shoppers to view and click on our ads, increasing the awareness of our products. So by the time Prime Day came around, those same shoppers again, already familiar with us and our products, came back to purchase immediately. So having those promotions and deals available ahead of time actually helps to increase efficient conversions on Prime Day. Now we're gonna jump into retail readiness.

Sarah Simensky:

Thanks Brenda. So we are going to jump into the first and one of the most important topics, for sure. And that is content. So why is content important? So retail readiness really is spoken about so often because it helps increase that conversion rate. So it educates the consumer on your products, really helps your brand stand apart as well. So this is just a quick checklist that you guys are currently looking at. That's gonna help with updating your product detail pages. So the first thing that we see here is product titles. So in creating product titles, it's really important that you guys are maximizing that character limit that's available to you. Really including those prominent features. However, we don't want to pack it with too many keywords 'cause that could actually potentially hurt your rank. The title is the first thing that people see, so it's really important that you're paying attention to this. The next is bullet points and product description. So similar to that title and make sure you guys are utilizing all characters available to you in those bullet points. Product description, even if you do have that A-plus content living on your product detail page, this is actually still indexed in the algorithm. So it's important that you guys keep that product description as well. The next is images. Clear images as well as lifestyle images are really really important. Similar to the character limits, you want to make sure you're also utilizing all available image placements that you have on the product detail pages. Next up, reviews. My favorite topic. So to be considered retail ready, you really need to make sure that you guys have a minimum of 15 reviews and a star rating of 3.5 or better. Of course you need an inventory of your products. You wanna make sure that you're in the buy box. And then last we have enhanced content as well. So A-plus content, and enhanced brand content, essentially the same thing, live at the bottom of the product detail pages. So this is just going to add an additional layer of your brand story, really educate the consumer on your products.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

I actually have a question about this Sarah, 'cause obviously I know content is important. I've seen sometimes during the holidays that sellers will put like holiday specific things on their images like a bow or something like that. Is that typically something you would recommend your clients to do?

Sarah Simensky:

Well funny, you should ask, if we wanna go to the next slide, we can see here that moving into Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's really important that you're using rich and relevant content. So you can also leverage your Prime Day data to see what worked and didn't work as far as ad copy. So make sure that you're including clean, persuasive creatives, ad copy and messaging is so important. This should be tailored to holiday specific items or specific to the discounts that you're running for those tent pole events. A perfect example is what you just said, Brenda, you can add like a little bow or something to your images as well. You can also create a landing page to your storefront, which we absolutely recommend that you guys do, include holiday specific products. And this is also a great opportunity for you to be able to upsell and cross sell products as well.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Awesome. Thanks Sarah. We're actually going to pass it off to Chad to talk us through some inventory planning.

Chad Rubin:

Awesome. So hi everyone, my name is Chad Rubin. We're going to be going through some last minute inventory tips for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. If we can move to the next slide. It's pretty straightforward. At Skubana, we are an inventory management system. We're actually an order management system as well. We power some of the best direct consumer brands that are selling both not just Amazon, but are actually selling cross as many channels as they possibly can. We are a firm believer in, you want to live where the customer is shopping and just capture those eyeballs. So everyone from Snowe to Death Wish Coffee, to Young and Reckless to Misen knives. These companies have a strategy where they embrace Amazon as a channel, but certainly have built their business across many different channels. What is Skubana? We're just an operations platform built for the backend. And the first nugget I would like to share is just building a scalable fulfillment foundation. So when COVID hit, a lot of brands that were just tethered to Amazon and they didn't have a business outside of Amazon were really hit just because FBA was halted in a really big way. You couldn't send more items to Amazon's fulfillment centers. And so it's super important, especially when a black swan event like that happens, that you've built some sort of foundation underneath it that can help you scale, God forbid, there is something that happens or even just a business that actually sells off of Amazon, not just as strick and stuck to Amazon FBA. So in order to build the foundation, if we go next, you need to actually have an operations platform in the backend. So you can actually see everything that's happening in the backend. And I think a big paradigm shift that's happening in the space, especially... Skubana does this, but I wanna maybe just shift people's perspective around sending stuff to Amazon, just based on velocity. So what you really want to do once you get very good at forecasting is you want to send stuff to Amazon that's going to have the highest impact on your bottom line and that's really driving your profit per SKU at FBA. Now the other thing that's really important is making sure you're stocking appropriate inventory at Amazon. Well, because Amazon's in the business of selling your stuff not storing your stuff. And so since Amazon announced the rolling fees associated with storing your stuff, it's really important to even have just in time model. And that's also built around driving the most profit per SKU. Skubana does that shift, but again, I would just encourage, if you don't have a system like Skubana, for you to actually get to the core truth of your profit versus velocity when you're sending to FBA. Next up here is, and we talked about this a little bit, just as having a visual dashboard of what's happening in your business, specifically not just velocity, but profitability. We're about to have an insane fourth quarter. It's supposed to be probably the most insane fourth quarter ever. I'm really curious what happens with shipping providers. I'm curious what happens with FBA, but making sure that you're prioritizing the SKUs that you send into Amazon, because they're also delayed in what they're receiving in right now, making sure that you're prioritizing the SKUs that are gonna make you the most money. Cool. Let's move on. And so, this is really interesting and it's not just profit from a per SKU level, but understanding your profit when you're advertising as well. So Amazon takes their FBA fees, they take the referral fees, and they layer it on their ad network to it. And so understanding your strategy of when you are advertising for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, are you trying to maximize your profits or are you just trying to maximize your sales and get traction for a specific SKU so that you'd maybe get reviews or maybe you want to enhance the flywheel that's on Amazon specifically, but understanding your profit strategy versus your sales strategy is really important. And it shouldn't have to be a waxing strategy across every SKU that you have internally at the company. You could have a profit strategy for a few SKUs. And you can segment those SKUs through campaigns and then have a different strategy around what you want to maybe have a breakeven A cost around. Moving on. And another small tip here is specifically for those that aren't just leveraging FBA, is to understand how your customers are buying from you and where those unit sales are driven from on a percentage basis across each state. So this is not the electoral college map that you're seeing right now. This is actually a fulfillment footprint of where items are being bought from my business. And we essentially created a west coast warehouse so that we could have a two day footprint across the United States without having to pay two day shipping. And keeping that inventory super close by 'cause it minimizes the lead time and minimizes the shipping time. But most importantly, it minimizes the shipping expense I need to pay on those items when I'm shipping those. I have this prepared, especially if FBA is a cluster... and it's just the jungle. We're essentially prepared when we need to flip on the switch for merchant fulfilled versus being fulfilled by Amazon. Rock and roll. And that is not the electoral map again, that's just a really cool enhancement. All right, so the next one is the Black Friday, Cyber Monday nugget here essentially is about increasing your average order value. And I think this is an important one, if you go to the next slide here. Before Skubana, BS, I actually ran a company called ThinkCrucial. We manufacture home appliance parts and we sell direct to consumer. And I've been selling on Amazon for a decade, actually over a decade now, and what we've implemented to enhance our strategy to enhance our margin specifically... And you can hear me talking about margins all the time, 'cause I believe that revenue is just a vanity metric and you really want to maximize and optimize for your profit per SKU. And so one of the things that we're trying to illustrate here in this is that essentially the idea of either creating a bundle which is two diff different items together, so let's just say I'm selling this calculator and this mouse together, that would be a bundle. We don't pre-make them in China, but I create them as a bundle and I sell them on the channel as a bundle and then having my platform which is Skubana, break it down to the core components. And the other idea is essentially a two-pack, four-pack, or eight-pack. So if I'm selling it, if I want to increase my average order value for this, I create a two-pack, four-pack, eight-pack. Why is that important? Because you reach economies of scale, as you actually are increasing your bundle size. It also takes a thinking out of the equation for the customer, because now they don't need to understand A, I not gonna buy this or buy this, or maybe buy frequently bought together. You're essentially planting the seed that they can buy the this bought together all at the same time and get a discount, maximize that value, which by the way, also maximizes your cost of acquisition on that specific customer as well. So just a little small tip is I really recommend everyone doing bundling and kitting, even if they are virtual bundles or kits. A huge recommendation important to get that set up right in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday.

Sarah Simensky:

I love the bundle idea, Chad, totally agree with you.

Chad Rubin:

So here's a great example, Sarah, is essentially another small little tip here, outside of bundling and kits, so you could essentially say okay, here's jeans, here's a shirt, bundle them together and increase your AOV, so we don't have to think about it. But another thing you can do is you can actually create artificial scarcity. And being able to show different quantity numbers to the channel, and you can only do this for FBM. You can't do this for FBA, because obviously Amazon controls your FBA stock, but if you are doing virtual kits or bundles, which increases your assortment, which means maybe you don't want to send that to FBA right away until there's velocity that's going through it, you essentially could show smaller quantities to the channel to increase the demand. And that's a really good strategy that we've employed for a very long time. And also it goes back to lowering your acquisition costs, getting that conversion, showing higher conversions to Amazon, which is definitely a part of their algorithm and then going and throwing stock in for FBA when you're ready. So this is just an example of us, how we can show different numbers, different channels, creating that scarcity without risking, maybe being suspended on Amazon or anything else of that sort. You can increase the demand without the associated risks 'cause we'll constantly continue to show if you're showing two to the channel we'll keep showing two until you have two left in stock. So it will just keep driving that artificial demand to the channel for you. And here's just a really good example of bundling and kitting. And we've been able to do this in a very big way at my own business. We manufacture these commoditized vacuum filters and coffee filters, they're super low value, but we've been able to actually increase our average order value by about 70% through kitting and bundling. And so here's just an example in the furniture world of how you can take a very basic or core practices, it looks like an Amazon Basics product in that photo. I promise you, it's not. They haven't moved into this specific furniture item yet. But if you look to the right it's beautified, it's optimized and this actually it goes into what Sarah and Brenda were talking about around your product detail page of creating robust images that are built to convert. And so now not only does this image on the right convert better, but it will increase your AOV and make more profit dollars because your shipping costs don't go up in a linear fashion the way that the price has gone up in this way. So all those dollars drive to the bottom line. And the last nugget here on my side is essentially you wanting to be everywhere you possibly can. So I don't believe that we're living in a world where it's binary. There's a lot of talk on forums or anywhere else on Facebook, or even when we used to get together in the human flesh, pre COVID, was, are you on Amazon? Are you on Amazon or are you not on Amazon? I don't believe it's on or, I think it's and right. I think it's important to be on Amazon as a brand, no matter what brand you have. But I also think it's really important to be on say Shopify. So I think it's an and statement and it's a positive sum game, not a zero sum game, by embracing every channel you possibly can. And so we go to the next slide here. We're really changing the conversation from being a traditional direct to consumer brand, to being direct to everywhere. You want to be everywhere you possibly can wherever that customer lives, wherever they spend time. So if you're a mother and you're shopping for your child or whatever, well, maybe you want to be on Pinterest or maybe you want to be on Zola, or maybe you want to be on Amazon and Shopify and Google shopping feeds. You want to be everywhere you possibly can. So you can capture wallet share of your target demographic that you're focused on. That's really the point here. And then lastly, I think a lot of people don't talk about this in this space enough which is focusing on the lifetime value of your customer. So we're all talking about getting your page ready for the one-time buy, but how do you absolute actually maximize the experience? Your fulfillment experience, the unboxing experience, so that you could actually dip into their wallet a second time. So they've already opened up the wallet once to you, how do you get them to open up a second, a third, or a fourth time? And by doing that, that also lowers your cost of acquisition that you already pay to get the product sale going. And now you can proactively dip back into their pockets multiple times and it becomes compounding interest back into the business. And so this is just a quick slide of like a few of the channels that I'm on. How's Skubana is this layer in the middle that is maximizing the opportunity for myself. And then what we do where we're connecting into the 3PL, we're connecting into the FBA fulfillment center to the warehouse management software of your 3PL to make everything work and automated, and this just goes back into a piece I always like to talk about, which is automation, where you want to make sure that you can use technology to take care of the low value tasks so that you can work on high impact, high value activities with you and your team. Moving to next slide here flowing quickly. Cool.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Perfect. Thanks Chad. I know that's gonna be very helpful for everyone listening is I get a lot of those questions already, so that's definitely helpful. So go ahead and transitioning into the advertising funnel. So when it comes to preparing and executing a successful holiday advertising strategy it's really important that we advertise with that full funnel approach. Meaning we're thinking at every stage of the shopping experience and we're aligning our strategy with them as well. So before diving into the specifics around advertising it's always good to understand how we should be allocating our budget strategically across the various ad types. So in this example, here, we have 60% of the budget going towards sponsored products, 30% going towards sponsored brands, and 10% going towards sponsored display. Here at Tinuiti, we do have an internal tool, MobiusX, and it's extremely helpful when it comes to giving us access to the accounts historical data and actually provides recommendations on how we can adjust the budget based on that performance. So it actually helps us to make more educated decisions related to budget, which of course ensures the ability to maximize on conversions.

Sarah Simensky:

Yes, I love that tool. Thanks Brenda. So as Brenda mentioned earlier, you should be focusing on that full funnel approach to strategizing, especially during peak events. And that also includes DSP advertising what stands for demand side platform. So this encompasses display advertising on and off Amazon. So the options available to you include unique Amazon segments, including retargeting, in market segments, as well as lifestyle segments. So having this better together approach which includes CSP as well as Amazon search advertising really allows you to see a holistic Amazon performance across platforms with one comprehensive view. In addition to that you do get access to category level insights. And lastly, the consumers purchase decision is not linear. So having this approach really encompasses both DSP and advertising allows you to hit the consumer at all points in their purchase decision. So this next slide is going to break down demand capture versus demand generation through options available with DSP as well as Amazon search. So the first is demand capture. This is done by using sponsored products in relation to retargeting. So you can retarget shoppers who have visited your product detail page, not purchased, in order to really keep them engaged with your product. This is also gonna keep them from going and buying from your competitors, which obviously you don't want. Lastly, you can negatively target past purchasers which is going to best utilize your ad dollars. So demand generation, this is best created through DSP lifestyle and awareness tactics, which is higher up in the funnel, similar to sponsored brands on the search side. So by running upper funnel segments, what you're doing is you're fueling those bottom funnel tactics with the new to brand consumers, which are obviously extremely important to continue to grow as a business. You can also target audiences that are specifically in market for your type of product. And lastly, if you utilize this during Prime Day, so if you're utilizing both Amazon DSP upper funnel tactics, as well as search, what you have now is that large pool of people that you can retarget in those upcoming events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Perfect. Great. So diving into advertising on the search side. There are two different types to consider or different types of campaigns to consider. Manual and automatic. At Tinuiti, we recommend that you utilize both types. When advertising with manual campaigns, you have the ability to target specific keywords as well as ASINs and categories. And due to this ability to have that extreme granularity with where ads appear, we recommend the majority of your budget and your advertising budget is allocated to those manual campaigns. Now, although the majority of that budget is going towards your manual campaigns, it's still important to invest in auto campaigns because we use these as a discovery tool, meaning they gather insight on how shoppers are not only searching for, but also converting on your products. We then take that information from the auto campaigns and we transfer it into your manual campaigns and really use that to push and scale sales. It's also important to understand that a timeframe like the holidays, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, isn't the best time to be launching new campaigns or exploratory campaigns. Not only will this end up being expensive for the seller, with all of the crazy increases in CPCs, the data will also be most likely skewed due to the influx of traffic during that time. And lastly, referencing that increased traffic I just mentioned a second ago, this could also be a time for when we see an increase in wasted spend. So if you're, for some reason, only running auto campaigns, these campaigns offer less granularity and control, which then can yield that higher wasted spend and a higher ACOS.

Sarah Simensky:

Thanks, Brenda. In addition to sponsored products you should also focus on sponsored brands, one of my favorite topics. So looking at sponsored brands, these are that ad types that appear as a banner ad at the top of the search engine results page. So sponsored brands are very very important during tent pole events as well as throughout the holiday season, because this is where you're gonna be able to tailor that ad copy towards the products that you're running discounts on. You could also drive traffic directly to your storefront where you're able to have a custom landing page that includes all products that you're running a discount on and/or really focus on that building opportunity with upsells and cross-sells. You should really take advantage as well of the new video feature which allows brands to use video to drive back to the product detail page. So this really just is such a great way to tell your brand story, give additional information on the product that you're selling as well. Brenda, would you say your experience working with clients are really seeing positive results from the video?

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Yeah definitely. From what we've heard from clients, one of the biggest takeaways is that the click-through rate is really high on these ad types. So of course we keep referencing the influx of traffic during this time, but because we know there's so many eyes on the site and it already naturally has a high click-through rate, that video is definitely gonna be something you wanna implement into your strategy.

Chad Rubin:

Quick question on the video. Does your company, Tinuiti, make the videos for brands and merchants?

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Yeah, we have a creative team in house that can, a lot of times clients think that it has to be this crazy robust video, but we've actually been able to make some really good videos from like still images or just stock images. We just get creative with that. But that is an opportunity we have at Tinuiti for sure.

Sarah Simensky:

Great question. Thanks Chad. So last thing about sponsored brands. It's important to use your Prime Day data, once again, I know we keep talking about it a lot here, but if you utilize that data from another large event like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, it's going to be you're able to see which branded and non-branded keywords that you converted on best. Make sure you include these in the campaigns that you're gonna be running on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well. Okay, so getting into the details. So here's an example of a bidding strategy in Q4 just based on historical data. So in the beginning of November you'll see here, this is really what we consider more of the awareness and consideration phase of Q4. So jumping into mid November, this is where you can start to boost those bids, boost impressions to really start to increase that sales velocity on those focus products for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Obviously on Black Friday, the weekend after, and then on Cyber Monday we see conversion rates increase drastically just due to the increased traffic surrounding the events. So these are the dates you're going to wanna focus on with really aggressive bid increases, as well as that budget allocation. It's super important that you're not running out of budget throughout these days.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Yeah, definitely. Perfect, and then looking at our own Cyber Monday and before Christmas Eve, we've actually found that conversion rates peak early to mid December coming specifically from those sponsored brand campaigns that Sarah was touching on earlier. So additionally, we also see declines in traffic and sales, which then causes ACOS to increase. So what we recommend doing is shifting a portion of that budget towards sponsored brand campaigns, as conversion rates can be better for certain categories. And another thing to consider is that this could also be a good time to reset your performance goals back to normal or pre-holiday. And then looking at the tail end of this timeline here, so post-Christmas, we recommend that you continue remarketing efforts into new year in order to capture demand and maintain that top of mind awareness. This is also a really important time for sellers within the supplements and health and wellness space. As shoppers will be transitioning into that new year, new me mentality.

Sarah Simensky:

That's definitely me every year.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

So, why run a promotion? We've gone ahead and broken down a few key factors in why it would be wise to consider running promotions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So starting off on the left here, marketing placement for promotions. So the benefit of running promotions is that Amazon can actually feature your products and deals in their featured emails that are sent out to Amazon customers, which is good for us because that's a way of increasing the awareness of your products and your brand. A second point is sell overstock products. Again, we keep talking about this, but there's going to be an increase in traffic. So due to that, this is actually a really great and useful time when you're trying to liquidate your inventory and sell overstocked products. See the halo effect. So if you're offering a discounted price on your products this increases the likelihood of a shopper to click on your ad, learn more about the product, learn more about the brand, which increases the exposure. It can reach more shoppers than if they didn't have a promotion on it in the first place and they wouldn't have seen that product initially.

Sarah Simensky:

And then another factor here is to help get more product orders. So Amazon often places orders on featured products just to prepare for that promotion, increased traffic of course. Help increase product conversion is probably, in my opinion, the most important one. So having a promotion on your product really incentivizes people to buy it. So it's a great way just to compel the consumer to purchase your product over a, let's say, competitors that might not also be running a discount. And then win the buy box. So setting up a price discount can help you win the buy box over a reseller, if this is typically an issue for your Amazon business. So we are going to jump quickly into coupons and discounts. So this is just a few different options of promotions that you can run on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The first one being coupons. Coupons are one of my absolute favorite things to recommend to clients because they are visible on the search engine results page. It really captures customer's attention as they're searching for a product. So when a customer decides to purchase this and you are running a coupon, all they have to do is click on the clip button and the discount is automatically applied to their purchase. For a coupon, you do have the choice to offer a percent off or a dollar off, it's up to you. The next is Prime Exclusive deals. Prime Exclusive discounts are offered for Prime eligible product sold through FBA. So it's really important to note that these are only available to the Prime members. So these products will show strike through pricing, plus a savings message in the buy box.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Perfect. And then price discounts. So as mentioned throughout this presentation, offering a discounted price enhances your ability to increase sales velocity, but it can also improve that product ranking long-term. And the last one on here is best deals. The best deals are featured on the deals page on Amazon's website, and sellers are asked to offer a minimum of 20% off. Keep in mind, this deal is invite only and Amazon does choose who they'd like to partner with. And now that we're wrapping up. So we've asked ourselves all the questions to prepare us for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So we have five key takeaways here that we can implement moving forward. So number one, review product detail pages to confirm retail readiness. Number two, create a promotion and coupon strategy for products being advertised.

Sarah Simensky:

And number three, of course, amazing information from Chad is to build that scalable fulfillment and then use inventory to increase that average order value. And number four, make sure you're confirming budgets and goals specifically for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, have that prepared before. And last create an advertising strategy based on historical data and those focused products for tent pole events.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Awesome, so it looks like we have an... And I'm going to let Chad actually speak to this.

Chad Rubin:

Yeah, so we just, when COVID was happening, we knew that an in-person events were gonna sort of fade a bit. And so we want to still aggregate smart people in a room that we can learn from, but also our customers and also non-customers can learn from each other as well. So we started a Slack group, it's called run D2C Slack, just paying homage to some some old school hiphop people that we used to listen to. And we have some great brands in the group. You can see the link down below, in the bit.ly link right there. If you click that, it'll bring you a page to just apply for the group. And I think just most learning in general happens when you get great people in a room and they can share best practices and experiences here, is typically someone who has already either is currently experiencing what you've gone through or has experienced it. And so we want to aggregate these people in a room and share best practices and please feel free to sign up.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Awesome. Thank you.

Perspehanie Arellano:

Thanks Chad. And then I'm just going to go ahead and launch a quick poll for Tinuiti's offers. So if you did find this information insightful on how to perfect your Q4 campaigns using historical data especially your Prime Day data, go ahead and just let us know. If you'd like to continue the conversation with any of our in-house experts and then we'll dive into our Q and A. If you have any other questions, definitely still go ahead and write those in. So first question is for you, Chad. Chad, you mentioned that the virtual bundling that Amazon has can only be done through FBA covers since FBA dictates your inventory supplies. How do you drive demand to buy lower inventories? So I think this person maybe just missed that part. Didn't connect the dots. Do you mind unpacking that again just a little bit more?

Chad Rubin:

Yeah, I'm happy to. So in FBA, Amazon understands your stock. So you can't actually show scarcity by limiting. There's no way you can push false numbers to a channel. So in an FBM world... So for me, like I'm a big fan of trying to explode SKU count. The way to do that is by creating these virtual kits or bundles. You have to have the ability to do FBM, fulfilled by merchants. If you don't have that ability, you could do multi-channel fulfillment, meaning using Amazon's 3PL to ship to that off channel customer, or even to an Amazon customer, you can actually do that. And that would be a great way to test and limit the amount of capital that you spend by setting up a whole different 3PL. I'm hoping this helps if you have questions, you can obviously feel free to email me at Chad@skubana.com.

Perspehanie Arellano:

Thanks a bunch, Chad. Okay, couple more questions here. How much should I increase my bids prior to Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Yeah, so what we recommend is at least minimum 50%. Again, referencing of course, any historical data either from the previous year or even just Prime Day would be the best route as well. So you can get an understanding of how well your products perform versus just kinda taking a general approach.

Sarah Kimensky:

Yeah. And I can add onto that as well. As I noted earlier in the presentation, it's important that you are gaining that sales velocity on those focused products that you are running discounts on for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, coming up to the event. So it's okay to start gradually increasing your bids and just building up that presence, impressions, and sales velocity, but absolutely on the days you wanna boost those bids up 50%, 100%, really make sure that you're being aggressive.

Persephanie Arellano:

Thank you Sarah and Brenda. Next question we have here is, what is the number one inventory metric that every Amazon seller should be checking daily?

Chad Rubin:

I would say at least right now, especially in this environment, and it's really important to understand how this environment is changing.... And one way to do that is to understand your velocity per SKU, per class and track that on a 30, 60, 90 day basis so that you don't have a stack out, or maybe you see more people are buying it and you need to actually then purchase more with a purchase order and place a purchase order. I would do a velocity per SKU as one specific methodology to track inventory in this environment.

Persephanie Arellano:

Thank you Chad. I think we have time for just these last two questions. How do reviews work for virtual bundles on Amazon? Can a customer review for both individual products?

Sarah Kimensky:

So that is a good question. It's my understanding that for reviews, it has to be for that specific ACIN, so it would be for the bundle.

Persephanie Arellano:

Thank you Sarah. And then the last question we have here is when is a good day to have my inventory in for Black Friday, Cyber Monday? Do you know if Amazon has announced a date?

Chad Rubin:

The only feedback I can share with you on that would be right now, FBA distribution centers are bottle necked and you need to actually have your inventory technically in transit or there. I'm seeing about three to four week delays and I don't know Sarah, Brenda, what you guys are seeing on your side, but there's significant delays. And so the earlier you can get your inventory situated the better.

Sarah Kimensky:

Yeah, I agree. I've heard at least three week delays.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Yeah. I feel like if you're asking yourself when should I be sending in inventory? You should probably be sending it in at that point.

Persephanie Arellano:

Awesome. Well, thank you, Chad, Sarah and Brenda. We've actually come to the end of our time here and that wraps it up. So I did just want to go ahead and review Tinuiti's upcoming webinar calendar for the rest of the year. So on the next slide you'll see here, we're actually gonna be unpacking our triopoly report next week. So feel free to check out each and every one of these at tinuiti.com/content. And then right after that, we're gonna be having a creative focused webinar, and that wraps it up. So just wanted to give a huge thank you for our attendees for taking the time to join us. And of course our partners and our speakers. We really appreciate it. Well, thank you everybody have a great rest of your day.

Chad Rubin:

Take care.

Brenda Insixiengmay:

Bye.

Persephanie Arellano:

Thank you.

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