How to Approach Seasonality and Manage your Business on Amazon

Apr 27, 2022 3:00 PM4:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Are you prepared for your top-selling seasons on Amazon? What can you do to optimize your advertising during these peak times — without running out of inventory?

When it comes to forecasting for seasonality, it can be difficult to balance your advertising budget with your inventory setup. You want to make the most out of the increased traffic, but generating too many sales without enough products in stock could be detrimental to your organic and paid search relevancy on Amazon. The solution? Plan your Amazon strategy from an annual perspective. This way, you can prepare for peak seasons and events such as Prime Day months in advance. 

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Bhupinder Singh and Jackie Andreetta of Orca Pacific to discuss how to effectively forecast for seasonality on Amazon. Together, they talk about building an advertising budget for your top-selling seasons, why you should always prepare your Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) shipments in advance, and strategies for balancing your advertising with your inventory so you don’t run out of stock.   

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Bhupinder Singh’s tips for seasonality demand planning and forecasting on Amazon
  • Best practices for preparing your FBA shipments during your top-selling seasons
  • Jackie Andreetta explains how to factor seasonality into your paid advertising campaigns
  • The KPIs you should be monitoring throughout top-selling periods
  • Bhupinder’s advice on discounting products versus spending more on advertising for Prime Day 
  • What to keep in mind when creating a budget for seasonality
  • Is it better to drive peak season traffic to product pages or brand pages?
  • The value of looking at your Amazon strategy from an annual perspective 
  • Jackie shares her recommended tools for driving traffic to Amazon — without paid media
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Event Partners

Media.Monks

Headquartered in Seattle, WA, Media.Monks is an agency primarily focused on Amazon. They are one of very few Amazon Preferred Partners, which gives them direct access to Amazon API data. Their seasoned team has in-depth knowledge on all things related to Amazon including sales, logistics, SEO optimization, content creation, advertising & more.

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Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jackie Andreetta

Associate Director, Performance eCommerce Advertising at Media.Monks

Jackie Andreetta is the Associate Director of Performance eCommerce Advertising at Media.Monks. She is a dedicated marketer with expertise in Amazon Advertising Sponsored Ads and Demand-Side Platforms (DSP). Previously, Jackie was Account Executive at Channel Bakers, a retail media, eCommerce, advertising, and creative powerhouse agency.

Bhupinder Singh

Bhupinder Singh

Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific

Bhupinder Singh is the Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific, a Media.Monks company. He has over 20 years of experience in the wireless and technology industry and is skilled in B2B SaaS sales, cloud and private network security, project management, and more. Before joining Orca Pacific, Bhupinder was an Account Executive at Amazon and the Business Development Manager at Ideoclick, Inc., a full-service Amazon agency.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jackie Andreetta

Associate Director, Performance eCommerce Advertising at Media.Monks

Jackie Andreetta is the Associate Director of Performance eCommerce Advertising at Media.Monks. She is a dedicated marketer with expertise in Amazon Advertising Sponsored Ads and Demand-Side Platforms (DSP). Previously, Jackie was Account Executive at Channel Bakers, a retail media, eCommerce, advertising, and creative powerhouse agency.

Bhupinder Singh

Bhupinder Singh

Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific

Bhupinder Singh is the Associate Director of Sales at Orca Pacific, a Media.Monks company. He has over 20 years of experience in the wireless and technology industry and is skilled in B2B SaaS sales, cloud and private network security, project management, and more. Before joining Orca Pacific, Bhupinder was an Account Executive at Amazon and the Business Development Manager at Ideoclick, Inc., a full-service Amazon agency.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect


BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.


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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18  

Happy Wednesday, everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the co founder and managing director here at BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands to do exactly that we network and share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is that shaping digital, I spent a lot of my time just talking with brands. And when the same topics come up over and over again, we that's where we get the topics for our events like this. Like I said, I talked to 25 to 35 brands a week, if anybody ever wants to have a conversation around what's going on across the digital landscape, you need recommendations on strategy or service providers, anything from Amazon to international direct consumer to drop shipping, don't hesitate to reach out, you can always just email me Aaron@BWGconnect.com. You can hit me up on LinkedIn. However, what's whatever is easiest for you more than happy to set aside some time to connect a couple housekeeping items as we get started here today. The first is we're starting this at three to four minutes after the hour, and we're going to wrap up with probably four to five minutes to go on the hour as well, we're gonna give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late. The other thing is we want this to be as educational and informational as possible. So at any point in time, if you have questions, please drop them into the chat. Drop them into the q&a section. Or you can always email me Aaron@BWGconnect.com. And we'll get those questions answered. As far as the email goes, that includes an hour after the call tomorrow, next week, more than happy to get those questions answered, we usually can do it under 24 hours. So shoot it over to us, we're here to be a resource to you. With that want to kick off this conversation. You know, a lot of people try to constantly manage the pivots and changes of Amazon and one of those is seasonality, right and how to approach it. And so we've got some longtime friends, partners, supporters have a tonne of brands in the network over at Orca Pacific, just helping a lot of different people out we've leaned on them heavily from a digital education standpoint. And they've just been great friends and partners across the board. So you know, in this space that come up over and over again. Bhupinder, I'll kick it over to you if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and Orca Pacific and then we get you to Jackie and then we can kind of jump into the conversation. So I'm good.

Bhupinder Singh  2:34  

Yeah, sounds great. Appreciate the introduction. So everyone, my name is Bhupinder Singh. I am the Associate Director of Sales here at Orca Pacific. Prior to Orca Pacific, I do have some background working at Amazon for about five years, I was both on the three piece side, I was a seller account executive recruiting sellers to sell on Amazon for brands to sell on Amazon for the very first time helping them grow. They're pulling the right levers within Amazon to helping to grow their business. And then my last year at Amazon, I was a vendor account manager. So on the one P retail side where I manage the top three brands within the Home and Kitchen category instapot being one of them. Just to start off to kick off real quick, I'll be happy to just kind of give you a quick background or introduction about Orca Pacific. And then we'll just dive into the slides. So with Orca Pacific, we've been around. We've been in business for about 13 years, and our company is born and bred in Seattle, our offices located literally two blocks away from Amazon's campus. In fact, I drive past my old building to get to work now. So when from the building that I worked at at Amazon, so we specialise in anything related to selling on Amazon. So we can handle a number of different platforms, and eCommerce as well such as Walmart, Target, and Instacart. But our main focus our bread and butter has always been the Amazon ecosystem. The large majority of employees working here at Orca Pacific are former Amazonian employees, myself included. And we're very proud of to have a strong net relationship directly with Amazon. Currently, our portfolio so in terms of the clients that we work with our current portfolio consists of a little over 150 clients now for selling across all major categories. And we're managing over a billion dollars in sales on the platform itself. We work with brands who are new to Amazon, as well as who are well established, well established brands that have been selling on Amazon for years. So we work to grow their sales and incremental revenue, as well as to better understand and fix some of the main issues related to content optimization, advertising, and even inventory planning and demand. So we help with the overall strategy, consulting and executing our execution to maximise potential on the platform itself. can go to the next slide All right, so were there any questions that came up here? From from the slide?

Aaron Conant  5:25  

No, not yet. But just a reminder to people as a whole, you know, just drop the questions in, as they, you know, into the chat or the q&a, or you can always email them to me as we go, you know, a, essentially, you know, it's anything around, you know, best practices as a whole. When I think about forecasting, and I think about seasonality. It's complicated by the fact of, hey, if I'm in the fashion space, not only do I have seasonality, but I also I'm trying to think about what is Prime Day look like, what is q4 look like, what does back to school look like? What are all these different promotion days that Amazon sticks in there that complicate everything across the board? Right? Yeah. So so the best way to approach forecasting, right, I guess is

Bhupinder Singh  6:11  

for seasonality. Yeah. Yeah. That's a That's a good question that comes up a lot. And the best way is to be prepared in advance by stocking up on your inventory, well, before your seasonality begins. For example, if you're selling, let's say, mosquito repellents, or just camping gear, then it's better to start stocking up your inventory before the spring and summer seasons begin, you know, have have them in your warehouse ready to ship to Amazon's warehouses. If you're utilising FBA, in order to stay ahead of that seasonality increase in the demand that's about to come up. I would say

Aaron Conant  6:50  

another thing that like, so do you see companies, you know, just as a best practice than, like staging inventory ahead of time and just prepping it, like having to just set aside dedicated whether it has to be polybagged? Or have an ace and applied or you know, whatever it is?

Bhupinder Singh  7:05  

FBA labels? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. We see that happen a lot. And and that's something that we would encourage as well, just to stay ahead of the game, because the last thing you want to do is run out of any inventory, that's an FBA because, as we'll point out later in some of our sites, how it can start affecting your organic and even your paid search algorithms are on Amazon. Right. Awesome. Awesome.

Aaron Conant  7:32  

I mean, that's the main thing, right? I think people see is don't go out of stock. Right? That is, that's number one. They, in my mind, don't go out of stock. And so do you also see a lot of people having a backup, like being able to drop ship, as well?

Bhupinder Singh  7:50  

Yeah. So that's, that's also the question. So yes, we do have reduced the people doing drop ship. So in fact, anytime this is just me putting my Amazon one on one hat back on when I worked at Amazon, recruiting brands to sell on Amazon. I would always advise if you're utilising FBA, that's great, right, because you want to get the prime badge. But you should also have that same asin or that same SKU set up as FBM. So fulfilment by merchant. So that way, let's say if there is some case that you were delayed getting your FBA shipments into Amazon's warehouses and in a timely fashion, especially think about q4 and how chaotic it is at those times at the warehouses, then you can still rest assured that your inventory your product detail page is not out of stock. And as you know, the search algorithm is still working. The flywheel is still spinning on Amazon. So we definitely always have encouraged, have your FBA set up. And whether you're depending if you're doing drop shipping as well, in case FBA runs out of stock and before your next shipment out there, then we're utilising FBM. And your your listings are still being active on Amazon. That's a huge part. So another question

Aaron Conant  8:59  

comes in around FBA storage limits. And I know this has happened some on the vendor side as well. I should say how much they're ordering on it. You know, is there do you see? Let me go to the question. Exactly. Do you see Amazon increasing capacity year over year or will we continue to see the same inventory restrictions around q4?

Bhupinder Singh  9:21  

If so, in the last couple of years, I've seen similar restrictions, especially around q4. I know Amazon is constantly expanding and they're also always expanding their warehouses. q4 is the toughest time with with with FBA. I've seen like a dozen my last year that Amazon was up like three four years ago, we FBA shut down and this is pre COVID, by the way, so FBA shut down, like within it was like we were in the middle of October, and they were like Alright, we're done. We're full max, maximum capabilities or maximum warehouse space, and so we're done expect accepting new inventory. So q4 is always challenging, and I don't see any increases, anything that's changed in the last two to three years, so to speak. Yeah.

Aaron Conant  10:07  

you know, as a vendor central side, it's a delicate dance between inventory costs length of time it takes Amazon to get shipments in, you know? And there's so little time between primary results. Any thoughts around that as a whole? Because I mean, that's, it's to say they're like, aren't you gonna send it via FBA, based on how much they allow you to have? And the flip side is in the vendor side, right? How much are they ordering? And do you accept the, you know, the bulk buy discounts, which are incredibly painful on the margin side, just make sure that you've got inventory in there. Right. And that's part of Yeah, so I

Bhupinder Singh  10:48  

would vendor on the vendor side is kind of a double edged sword. So yes, Amazon's gonna buy in bulk. And you could either reject that order, or you can fulfil that order and send it over to Amazon. But obviously, with Amazon, the way they invoice, especially on the vendor side, every time they invoice you they want it for a lower cost, whether it's bulk buy or not, they just want the same products at a lower price. And eventually, but again, it's like kind of a double edged sword, you win if you do or you lose, if you don't ship products to our show, fulfil that specific invoice itself. So it's kind of a, again, double edged sword there. So then, are you just working

Aaron Conant  11:26  

like real time with brands? Yes, I have a forecasting tool that kind of helps out, understand how much you shouldn't be putting in. And then obviously, the rack of lever is one of these. You know, I call them a digital age three PL now your traditional three PL with the one can backup dropship. You know, it's a not only Amazon, but you know all the other marketplaces as well.

Bhupinder Singh  11:47  

Yeah. So we're always looking at inventory forecasting and demand planning well in advance. So that's kind of where we come into play, like Orca Pacific helps out with, you know, we, with your account manager that's assigned to your account, we are making sure based on the actual data, like sales data, sales trends, sales rankings, helping you prepare for, you know, get your shipments ready to be shipped into the warehouse in time before they're running, running out of stock. Awesome.

Aaron Conant  12:17  

Any recommendations to this a question around, you know, balance? The estimated clarification around balance as a whole, you know, if you want to drop it in there. But anyways, oh, there's if you have questions as well keep dropping in the chat the q&a or emailing them to me. You know, the other thing that comes up routinely is around, you know, paid media in this space as a whole and what that should look like. Yeah. And then the flip side is the other question that comes in, like, how are you? How are you controlling out of stock? Right? Keeping it? Well?

Bhupinder Singh  12:51  

Yeah. So what in terms of when it comes to paid media, I'm, we're going to have some other slides in the next few slides that Jackie is going to help cover. I did want to kind of call out just two other things within this slide before we kind of dive into the paid media aspect. Another question that we get a lot is, you know, How soon should you get your inventory ready to be shipped in into FBA. And in my opinion, my advice has always been sooner, the better, I would recommend giving yourself at least two to four weeks of a head start. Meaning if your seasonality and your top selling seasons, begins in April, for example, then you'll want to want you'll want to start creating your shipments to be shipped to Amazon by mid to end of March at the latest. And the reason behind that is sometimes Amazon can be late checking your inventory, even after it's been received at the warehouse. And those products won't be updated in your inventory, until they're actually scanned by a warehouse employee at Amazon. So please keep that in mind. So once the products are picked up from your warehouse, it can take almost a week at times to get it to get to even Amazon's warehouses. And even if the products are received at a certain warehouse, sometimes Amazon may need to move it internally to a different warehouse due to space availability, which will then also cause a temporary delay in the products being scanned and going live on Amazon. So it's always best to take all these variables into consideration when shipping your products to the to Amazon's warehouses via FBA. And then last,

Aaron Conant  14:25  

really, so by a date standpoint, if we're just gonna say your season begins March one, right, he's saying create a shipment on February one, exactly two

Bhupinder Singh  14:35  

to four, give yourself two to four weeks. Typically, it's one week for the products to be shipped from less than from your warehouse to Amazon's warehouse. But it's always just to be safe because again, sometimes Amazon due to storage will shuffle the inventory around in the background from there's well within their warehouses, unbeknownst to us. So you're just thinking, hey, the shipments been already sent over a week ago or two weeks ago. Why hasn't it been scanned Why isn't alive because sometimes they'll internally shift inventory around due to capacity issues within some certain warehouses. So my advice to the four weeks just to be safe.

Aaron Conant  15:10  

Awesome, great. And then you got you said you had one more on here before that one.

Bhupinder Singh  15:13  

Yeah. So one of the thing was, you know, like, why is it important to like, setup FBA in advance to avoid low stock, and we kind of touched on this earlier, it's just, you know, the main goal here is to be in stock 100% of the time, when possible. So at the end of the day, it's all about getting that Amazon's flywheel start spinning and understanding, you know, what levers need to be pulled in order to take your sales to the next level. So staying in stock is a huge factor and ensuring that Amazon's search algorithm is not losing your product search relevancy. So especially if you're running any advertising campaigns, which I'm sure Jackie is going to touch on later during this session. It's important that when you are running advertising campaigns, you want to make sure you stay in stock at all times. The minute you go out of stock, your organic and your paid search relevancy drops. So in order to avoid running out of stock in the future, it's best to just make sure to set your ship FBA shipments well in well in advance to kind of avoid selling out before that next shipment is received. So I think this might be a good intern to switch over to the paid advertising side. So maybe we can go to the next slide. Perfect.

Jackie Andreetta  16:32  

Thanks, BP. And hi, everyone. My name is Jackie Andreetta. And I'm the Associate Director of advertising here at Orca Pacific. And just to give a little background on myself as well. I've been on Orca for about a year and a half now. And prior to that, I've been working in the Amazon space for the past six years on the advertising side across all things sponsored as an Amazon DSP, so excited to talk, seasonality and how to approach it best on Amazon from an advertising perspective. And so looking at this slide on analysing the effects of seasonality in your Amazon campaigns, and how to factor seasonality into your Amazon case, campaigns, February recommendation here just to get started off in this process is to leverage historical data and sales trends from your product categories to plan ahead of the category spikes, whether that's the seasonality of your products in general, or when we're looking towards these peak tentpole events like Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday. And so an important thing that VP touch on as well with inventory is just overall with advertising strategy, is that it's important to build your momentum and your relevancy throughout the year, not just during your season, peak seasonal times, so that you're able to be competitive within your category, when that peak season does hit, and you're not waiting to build up the relevancy when costs are inflated. And there's increased competition within this space that you have evergreen strategies put into place all throughout the year, that you're getting extra aggressive during that seasonal time period.

Aaron Conant  18:20  

It's super interesting, because you everybody used to think that hey, the the Evergreen ads were you know, just the way Amazon, you know, wanting to get more money out of you. But the reality is, if you're turning off advertising, you're turning off paid media, you're not showing up, right, you're naturally drifting down. That's just a reality, unless you're a huge national brand where people are going out and, you know, searching specifically on it. If you look at the top of any search result page, there's, you know, four to five paid paid ads there. So I agree that that year round strategy, there's two things to break down. And then we have a question they want to get here about how they got guides in one is. So this idea of ramping up paid media ahead of Prime Day, right to kind of build up on the momentum, do you do the same for the two for the launch of your seasonal item? Or are those you treat them completely differently?

Jackie Andreetta  19:18  

Somewhat similarly, and also different. So I'd say when you're approaching your peak seasonality, you're definitely going that's going to be a much longer time period. So when you're looking in terms of budgeting out and planning, how long you'll be aggressive during that time period, that's going to be a different situation than a really short tentpole event like Prime Day. But both both events in both situations, you're definitely going to want to lead into the into that event and ramp up your aggressiveness beforehand and monitor things like your CPCs going into that event and really honing in on that relevancy with your stride. Big, something that we really monitor is like a rank based approach strategy. So in terms of finding, what are the most important keywords for your brand? What's the biggest opportunity for your products? And for your category? Is your goal to move from page two to page one organically? And how can advertising help with that? And so it's selecting a handful of high priority keywords for you. And it doesn't have to be the highest volume drivers or the highest search volume keywords within the category, those could be very expensive, but more so what are those opportunity keywords for your brand, that you can really move up in your organic rating and have advertising help lift that to then create long term growth, then maintain that throughout your peak season, and that will take a long time to build up that strategy. So something to invest in before these peak events. So that you're you're riding the wave of the seasonality without just trying to climb from zero to 100? Within a short time span?

Aaron Conant  21:05  

Awesome. So bunch of questions to rock through here. The participation on holiday guides or other marketing landing pages drive any volume or just or is it just an investment in brand awareness.

Jackie Andreetta  21:23  

I say those pages, those programmes through Amazon are great awareness drivers, in terms of reporting and all the KPIs that you track towards from an advertising perspective, a lot of those you won't get exact metrics on so when you're focused on holiday guides or share voice packages with Amazon, it is going to be a brand awareness driver. And it shouldn't be overall as a brand, you will see a lift from all the increased visibility to your products and your product pages. But those shouldn't be looked at as volume drivers for sales and more so as a brand awareness play.

Aaron Conant  22:08  

Next question I want to jump into just because you're talking a little bit around brand awareness. What Kay you know, when we're talking about, you know, advertising, seasonality around, you know, these items that are very seasonal, and all around, you know, Prime Day, what kind of KPIs should people lay out? What kind of KPIs should they be monitoring?

Jackie Andreetta  22:29  

Yeah, so I think, on the strategy, I was just touching on it before, one important thing to measure throughout Prime Day and throughout your seasonality is your progress of your organic rank over time. Beyond just the strict sales goals you'll have set in place for that time period. When you're investing in these types of strategies throughout your peak season, it's also important to look at metrics beyond just row ads that are going to be short term focused and more. So total rows in total, a cast that look at the impact of advertising on your total brands revenue outside of that 14 Day attribution window. And, as always, an important metric to keep track of is your share of voice or your impression share within the category, make sure you're staying relevant on those key terms. Awesome.

Aaron Conant  23:26  

Should you pause advertising when you are forecasted to go out of stock?

Jackie Andreetta  23:32  

Definitely I so kind of BP touched on this as well, inventory is key. And so it's much more important whether a situation of Prime Day or approaching your peak season. There's no point promoting a product advertising your products that you're naturally forecasted to go out of stock on wasting your money to push that into an out of stock position, losing the battle really affect your relevancy on your keywords in your organic ranking as well. And so to prevent out of stock situations, as much as possible, definitely dial back fully pause advertising on agents that are expected and anticipated to go out of stock as you approach these events and shift strategy, shift promotions to those agents that have sufficient inventory ahead of these ahead of these promotions. And so that means potentially not participating in Prime Day if it means that your strategy that your inventory can't support that through the rest of the year, it's more detrimental to your brand to have be out of stock for a period of time than see that short win of a bump in sales on Prime Day.

Aaron Conant  24:46  

Awesome. So another question what is typical ad spend relative to top line sales? And I want to divide this into two times, right? You know, the, your peak season or one of these you know, so seasonal events like a Prime Day, you know, versus, you know, an off peak season off promotional time frame, what is what does ad spend look like, as a percentage of top line sales, I think is what they're saying.

Jackie Andreetta  25:17  

is definitely varies depending on the maturity of the business as well, whether they're in a high growth stage and really looking to invest into the category, but they might not have a strong holding already, or if they're more in that maintenance phase, and not looking at and not needing to invest as heavily into the category. And so I'd say that it's definitely a range between those two, I'd say on the high end for brands that are really looking to make an impact that don't have strong brand recognition within their category, we see anywhere from a 10 to 20% investment at the high end. Whereas with mature products and brands, you can go closer to that five, that 5% investing back into your CIP back into your advertising. And that also should just with your seasonality, so this isn't going to be that as a percentage, your budget should be increasing during your seasonality and investing more during Prime Day and in your seasonal events to head towards those larger goals.

Aaron Conant  26:29  

Awesome. So kind of along those lines, but still, we're looking at peak season versus non or you know, you know, non promotional season, do you change the advertising allocation between sponsored products and DSP?

Jackie Andreetta  26:44  

I think that's, that's a good question on the the advertising mix between both sponsored products, for all brands is part of their evergreen strategy, where for some brands, DSP is more of a strategy that gets posed based on seasonality, as there's more levers in there to be a bit more prospecting and broader reaching. And so I would recommend strategies like DSP, really accounting for that post your your peak seasonality as well, to account for all the additional traffic that you are driving to the page to your pages, to retarget later on. And but I would say in general, between sponsored ads and DSP split, for a brand that's investing into both as part of their evergreen strategy. I think that there's a lesson obviously, visibility that you want to see on this platform when people are searching on these peak days with sponsored products. But there's just as important from a DSP perspective that you're serving both on and off Amazon and then with that retargeting piece as well. So I think it definitely varies, just based on what your existing strategy is. But it's both important to kind of to keep those things in mind as you're approaching the lead in the time of and the post post event. Yeah.

Aaron Conant  28:18  

Awesome. So a couple questions that come in on the product side. So this is fun. Like I love the super interactive stuff. I'm curious to hear about this. So Bhupinder go back to you. I'm curious to hear about the pros and cons of having an Amazon prep your inventory. So this is going back I think, right to a prep this stuff ahead of time, if you're shipping it in and get it ready to move the pros and cons of having Amazon prep your inventory polybag, bundling versus prepping ahead of time before it ships to Amazon with respect to cost or timing for q4. Is there risk in q4 that Amazon won't get the item prepped and available for sale? I'd love to hear kind of what you're advising people. Are you advising them to prep it on their own? Are you advising them to ship it in? And then gamble that Amazon will be able to prep it in time? Yeah,

Bhupinder Singh  29:04  

so it's, it's a hit or miss on that part as well. So typically, I would advise if you could afford it, prep it on your own. That's that would be my my best advice at the time. However, if the cost factor versus how much it costs you to ship it versus to have for to have Amazon to ship it is not a big difference there. Then it's also good to utilise Amazon's shipping. But again, q4 is just a different beasts when it comes to FBA. A lot of things go you know different directions and nothing works accordingly at times, especially when you're utilising or you're relying on Amazon to ship and pack your products. So it's kind of a hit or miss there. I mean, so I have so

Aaron Conant  29:47  

many people going with these like they like these little digital three PL just as backup. Yeah, right. Yeah, hand off to them Do they can hit any marketplace and one or two days across the US overflow you never go out of stock it automatically flips over to being fulfilled by merchant. You know, it's it's almost table stakes this time because what I'm hearing right is q4 is going to be no different this year is what I'm hearing. Right? Yeah. Awesome. So the next question that comes in is around discounts for Prime Day this year, I'm hearing that a lot of brands are doing fewer discounts and pouring more into paid media, does this align with your with what you're seeing?

Bhupinder Singh  30:32  

So in terms of paid media,

Aaron Conant  30:34  

yeah, basically, it's this to like, a lot of brands are like, I, I'm not going to discount my product anymore. I'm not going to be running massive coupons, I'm not going to be discounting, you know, all these huge deals for Prime Day. But I will put money into, you know, brand awareness, you know, sponsored product, you know, advertising and so there's a shift of dollars that I mean, I I hear it, too. I mean, I talked to a week, and I'd love to hear your

Bhupinder Singh  31:02  

thoughts. Yeah, I've heard similar as well. And in fact, if I was the brand selling on Amazon, I would probably do the same, I would invest more in advertising versus thinking about discounting my products for Prime Day. Because in terms of advertising, it's the busiest time of the year for Amazon, besides just the q4, or the turkey five. So March will take advantage of that traffic. But yeah, I have seen a lot of brands that I've worked with, in the past refrained from wanting to give like, hefty discounts just for Prime Day. And I don't know, I'm just speaking from a consumers perspective here. Even in the last two, three years, there haven't really been much, especially with since COVID. It hasn't really been like I haven't seen things that I really want a lot of the products that I've seen, that were like heavily discounted, were usually what Amazon was selling like vendor products weren't like reseller products. Right.

Aaron Conant  31:57  

In that in every Amazon device, right?

Bhupinder Singh  32:00  

The fire stick Yeah. 50% off Alexa, so 50% on fire sticks. And so if you if you want an Amazon device, that's the time to shop. Awesome.

Aaron Conant  32:11  

Oh, here's a I mean, this is directly related, I think to q4, what's your stance on participating in the toy book, I would say or other items or other marketing items like it, you know, it seems like a lot of major brands are pricing smaller people out other metrics that are worth doing. I should say that isn't worth jumping in and other metrics worth looking at that can gauge Hey, it was worth it or not. So I've got four kids, and I don't use a toy book. I mean, yeah. Not sure. I'm not sure. But that's the reality.

Bhupinder Singh  32:46  

Right? Yeah, I'm not too sure about the toy book. But I think similar to a question that was asked earlier about brand awareness, I mean, that should you be utilising q4 for using like the holiday pages, right, too. Project extra sales? Or is it more for brand awareness? I think it's gonna fall in that same. Same aspect again, with the toy book. It's more about brand awareness versus anything else. Awesome.

Aaron Conant  33:15  

And others, you have questions? You have? Yeah, any comments whatsoever? Drop into the chat drop in the q&a or keep emailing them to me, and then we can kind of keep going. I mean, this is a perfect slide. Right. Like, budget. That's the next thing. Right? Amazon, not for everybody a lot of people's margin deluded, right. So what should people you know, be keeping in mind when they're thinking about the budget, you know, for for seasonality as a whole?

Jackie Andreetta  33:48  

Yeah, so I can dive into this one. In terms of setting up a budget, what are some things to keep in mind? Obviously, when it comes to specific events, as well as just seasonality, you're going to want to set up especially with events like Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, specific budgets, just for those time periods. So for that two day period for that five day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, all of that you're gonna want to set up specific budgets and sales goals tied to that. So how do you set these budgets, kind of what we talked about earlier, either add based on your sales goals, your revenue, your cogs, goals, whatever your goals are for that period, and investing a higher percentage of your revenue of your cogs during that period compared to what your evergreen evergreen strategy is. So looking at it from the top line view, kind of what we discussed earlier, and investing back into invest investing back into your business through advertising, by setting those goals based on the historic category trends and your historic brands data as well. But it's really important to budget for these events, specifically. And then when you think of specific days, like Prime Day, Black Friday and kind of when we think of budgets as well, from an advertising side, from daily budgets, and how do you prevent hitting daily budgets, another portion as well that I wanted to touch on is day parting and kind of making sure that gets enabled on your campaigns, where you're focused on driving that high volume of traffic, then it's really important to be visible during the peak shopping hours on those days that you don't want to be, you have these set budgets that you've allocated for the day, and then they run out at 9am. Eastern Time, and essentially, no one on the Pacific side, seeing those ads yet for the day. So enabling day parting is we're going to be really important on those days, that's not syncing. It's always important as part of your evergreen strategy, but trying to max out and extend your budget. Instruct your budget as much as you can on an important day like that.

Aaron Conant  36:07  

So do you want to give a quick rundown on day parting for everybody? And then I've got another question that comes in around content.

Jackie Andreetta  36:15  

Yeah, so day parting, just to utilising tools. It's not something currently active within the Amazon ad console right now. So leveraging third party tools, you can set your ads to be active within certain hours of the day. So this is active within the Amazon DSP console already, but not within sponsored ads. And so it's something especially when we look at sponsored ads, that that with daily budgets, making sure your ads are set to be paused from the hours of the midnight to 7am, midnight to 8am hours, whatever those that information that's provided within your audience insights that you can get through Amazon as well, making sure that your ads are unpaused and active throughout those peak shopping hours, so that your budget doesn't get wasted in that early in early morning. Time Period.

Aaron Conant  37:11  

Awesome. Next question that comes in is around content. Are you actively telling your clients to update content based on seasonality or Prime

Bhupinder Singh  37:21  

Day? That's a good question. So with Amazon content is king. So it's definitely important to have your content updated. So I would highly recommend Yes, updating your content according to Prime Day q4, or seasonality as well. You should also always be updating content or enhancing your content. So that way, you are staying more most relevant in terms of the search algorithm on Amazon.

Aaron Conant  37:50  

When it comes to paid media, are you during these these peak seasons or Prime Day? Are you seeing brands drive more to the actual product detail pages are more to the brand pages,

Jackie Andreetta  38:06  

I'd say that it's on the strategy when you're looking at a promotional event like time dates. And if the product is on a promotion, it's going to be obviously very much more important to drive those sales directly to the PDP, the least amount of touches as possible to make that conversion for the customer. I in that realm, though, to make sure your brand store make sure all of the all of your store is updated as well with seasonal messaging, making sure you're the tabs featuring your promotional products or feature at the front of your store that doesn't get lost in the navigation to making sure that gets updated and you're driving traffic to all of your catalogue of deals. If you're running. If you have a broader catalogue, and you're running multiple deals, ensuring that traffic gets driven there. Within advertising on sponsored ads, and as well on DSP now, all of the ads, when you're running specific Prime Day deals, they have the badging enabled, so you'll want to make sure you're updating your advertising campaigns, obviously, to include these products are going to feature feature these badges, we definitely see much higher engagement and click through rates as well as ultimately conversion. When utilising when utilising those products that have those Prime Day deal that badging, the Black Friday deal badging, all of that that gets automatically updated in campaigns, if you already are promoting that as part of your evergreen strategy. And it's now that will be on sale. Those badges automatically get updated in your campaigns.

Aaron Conant  39:48  

Awesome. What about you know how you approach seasonality based on your product category? Any thoughts there are there differences as a whole

Jackie Andreetta  40:00  

Yeah, every category is going to vary whether your seasonality falls within an event like Prime Day or Black Friday or within the offseason and in between those events. So I feel like it's a really important there's to look at kind of category trends and third party data there to look at what the categories doing and plan ahead for that, and how you can kind of forecast this.

Aaron Conant  40:30  

Yeah, I mean, because that's what I think a lot of people are looking at is, you know, what is the overall strategy looked like? And, you know, are you helping actively helping brands out with what that looks like, if they come to you and say, Hey, I'm an apparel, I'm in swimwear, and you know, I need, you know, overall advice on, you know, media planning, because I think as we look back over, you go back, just, you know, a couple years, there's like this pool of money for Amazon, and everybody thought it was nice that people were playing on Amazon. But now, like, there's that allocation and there needs to be a plan for that budget. There needs to be KPIs, there needs to be follow through there needs to be the content generated for it. And people are seriously putting together that full blown year long Amazon plan with the peaks the valleys content needed and sharing it with the team. From a project plan standpoint, are you guys are you guys seeing that as more routine now, like, almost as routine as everybody has to have some kind of paid media tool, some kind of tech on the back end to help them do it? It seems like having that full blown year long media plan is, is basically table stakes now.

Jackie Andreetta  41:39  

Exactly, yeah. And add our conversific across to advertising teams, or account management teams or business manager teams. We're all coordinating together for our clients for brands to create that strategy from an annual perspective and really honing in on those seasonal events, as well as just the category seasonality to make that full fledge print plan for promotion standpoint, advertising, inventory, and forecasting. All of that together, is all coordinated on on our end. And like you said, it's very different from category to category. So there's going to be best practices that fall with me within each of those. There's not a one size fits all with Amazon at all. So definitely have to be really specific on that brand category. And what are the best practices for that? Yeah.

Aaron Conant  42:35  

Awesome. Are there other things just remind if you have questions, keep emailing them in dropping the q&a or the chat are there other other like routine questions maybe that didn't get asked today that you deal with all the time, that that you think we should cover?

Jackie Andreetta  42:53  

There's a few other things that I wanted to touch on a lot of this. We've touched on already throughout this throughout this call. But a few other things I wanted to mention were some additional free programmes to take advantage of outside of paid media that Amazon offers. So three of those that I want to mention are Amazon posts. So making sure you're posting regularly, I recommend a few times to wait a week through all all brands. And this will grow your follower base on Amazon Amazon brand followers relatively new concepts, but you're able to drive free, free impressions back to your product detail pages back to your store. And we often see the spikes in Region impressions during your categories peak season. So it's really important to build up your host of post content, so that you could then use a programme that's also free called a manager and customer engagement tool, which lets you email market towards those brand followers. And then you can take advantage of seasonal templates they have as well as promoting or including ASINs within those emails that are going to be on promotion during the week that you're sending out that email campaign. And all of this is free traffic that you could drive back to Amazon users utilising some of their own tools. So last thing I want to touch on is Amazon attribution. And so this is a programme where you can create custom links to track your off Amazon sources that are driving traffic to Amazon for you. So your Amazon product detail pages your Amazon store any Amazon landing page, you can create these attribution links, then you can leverage it and speed includes future planning to see which sources of traffic are resulting in the highest consideration and conversion for your brand. So this can track clicks detailed pay Interviews, sales and Amazon. So whether it's social that's driving back to Amazon, email marketing campaigns or placements, within online articles, all of those that driving traffic back to Amazon, we could utilise these tags to kind of measure out the success of them to then use in future planning.

Aaron Conant  45:20  

Awesome in just a quick note says, will you please send a list of these tools to access and so yeah, more than happy to send out an email afterwards connect people with the team at Orca Pacific and they can just respond with their their shortlist of tools, I think that might be the easiest way to do it. You know, Bhupinder from your side, regular things that pop up, you know, questions that you're you're helping brands out with, you know, things, newest developments, you know, is it Amazon live, whatever it might be?

Bhupinder Singh  45:50  

Yeah, nothing that sticks out at this point. I mean, the main thing is just the biggest hurdle has always been trying to stay in stock. And especially now with the whole short supply issues, things like that. But being prepared in advance, getting your shipments into FBA in advance is going to be key, whether it's during seasonality, or whether it's during Prime Day or whether it's during q4.

Aaron Conant  46:16  

Awesome. Anybody if you have last minute questions, Jackie, anything else on your side?

Jackie Andreetta  46:24  

Nope. I mute myself. No last minute things on my side, you just yeah, just overall, the takeaway from how to approach he's not really like Bhupinder said is, is inventory and really planning ahead. So planning is going to be really the the key to all of this and maintaining a strategy throughout the year so that you don't run into situations where you didn't plan correctly, that you're now losing relevancy by having to pause ads, or dropping organic rankings. So utilising all of kind of these best practices and recommendations to create a really solid plan to approach your seasonal time period, so that you could really see an overall list from advertising and all of the efforts that you're putting forth on Amazon.

Bhupinder Singh  47:16  

Yeah. Awesome. And

Aaron Conant  47:17  

just a couple questions here that jumped in. What if a company has multiple brands and licences? What does a successful brand store look like? Is there a template?

Bhupinder Singh  47:26  

Yeah, that would be a good question. I can follow up on that. It's been a while since I've managed to brand store on Amazon. But I have seen like, even with some of our clients, where they do have multiple brands, and licences, where they have, you know, their brand stores set up to to highlight those. But I'd be happy to kind of piggyback off in a parking lot that question and get back to you guys with additional info.

Aaron Conant  47:49  

Yeah, awesome. Yeah. And we'll just make sure we connect you. The other one is, I heard a while back that attribution was very buggy. Has that. Has that been sorted out?

Jackie Andreetta  47:58  

Attribution? Yeah. Yeah, I can take that I'm using it currently, for a few of my clients. It's more I especially on resellers, smaller sellers, sellers, I've found it to be really helpful. But I'd say that it's not going to, it has a limited amount of metrics that you're able to track, you're able to track the click through to detailed pageviews and your purchases. So from there, you're not able to obviously track an exact row. And some of these aren't like email marketing, or whatever the avenue is, it's not going to have a direct send or cost allocation to tie towards the sales. But I have found that it's definitely improved since it was introduced a few years ago. So it's definitely something worthwhile to take advantage of. And it's free to incorporate if you're already driving off Amazon traffic to Amazon. This is a good way to try to measure the success of those those avenues, man.

Aaron Conant  49:00  

Awesome, love it. And I don't have any other questions rolling in right now. But I do want to say a quick thank you Jackie, Bhupinder, thank you for your time today. Thanks for being such great friends, partners, supporters to the network and so many brands in it. If anybody is looking for any help whatsoever. Reach out to the team, it's worth putting 30 minutes on the calendar, they're crushing it everything from content to strategy to just overall maximising your potential on the platform. I think they also have capabilities internationally as well if you're looking to go there. And the other thing is, you know, more than happy to make those connections if you're looking for any kind of help anywhere in the digital space. That's where I spend a lot of my time it's where I get topics for calls, but I'm also helping a lot with partner selection. Obviously Amazon space the team at Orca Pacific, but if you're looking for help with drop shipping, like the trusted ones that are actually working, you know, fines or chargebacks or platforms selection, SEO replatforming, headless Metaverse, any of that don't have Does it take to put time on my calendar? Aaron@BWGconnect.com. We'll just set up some time. The other thing is we did launch a podcast in the past week here. So the first couple episodes are out. And then the founder, Orca Pacific, I think is going to be our third or fourth interview, we should pop up in the next week or so. So we were checking out for sure. That's John. So but the first episode is there in the chat if anybody wants to click on it and take a listen. With that, I think we're gonna wrap it up. Thanks again. Orca Pacific team. You guys are awesome media amongst company now, right? Performance Monks. But with that, we're gonna wrap it up. Hope everybody has a fantastic friends Wednesday, everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Thanks Bhupinder. Thanks, Jackie. Already.

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