As Q4 approaches, retailers are preparing for the most lucrative holidays of the year. With sales escalating, brands must anticipate and manage considerable demand. Effective Q4 planning occurs on both DTC and marketplace channels, aligning internal teams to strategize and consolidate initiatives. Preparations are comprehensive and include managing catalogs, merchandising, inventory, advertising, and marketing.
How can you maximize these areas to drive sales and revenue during Q4?
On this year’s July Prime Day, consumers searching for discounts and perks at accelerated rates were detected, with this trend expected to continue throughout the Q4 holidays. Meeting these demands requires refining product content to generate conversions. Since Amazon has prolonged the content approval process, updating content before the start of Q4 is crucial. This may include researching the latest keywords, modifying images and videos for new product launches, and highlighting promotional pages.
As Amazon becomes more profit-driven, brands have evolved strategies to optimize their catalogs and merchandise. As you develop content, consider promoting overstocked items on Vendor Central and DTC. This creates additional inventory space for next year’s new products, prompting Amazon to restock items. New product launches in previous years have focused on secondary items to initiate awareness. As retailers prioritize conversions, these launch tactics have shifted to promoting best-selling products for new customers, then advertising and selling auxiliary merchandise through DSP retargeting. Another profitable launch approach involves creating custom holiday bundles in advance to boost average order value. These offers should be supported with banner ads at the front of your Amazon page.
After finalizing your budget and forecasting promotional offers, restocking your inventory to support these strategies is vital. To avoid shortages and inbound restrictions, ship 20% more than your estimated inventory in advance. Incremental sales often arise from promotional initiatives like Buy with Prime and TikTok Shop, disrupting your warehouse operations, so acquiring temporary staff ensures you can anticipate demands and stay on top of shipping cut-off dates.
Brand loyalties are shifting, and with 82% of consumers switching retailers for preferred value, businesses must employ branded and conquest campaigns to protect market share and outperform the competition. This increased spending results in tight budgets for Q4 advertising.
So what techniques can you leverage to enhance advertising value on Amazon and DTC?
DTC platforms offer numerous advertising tools that brands leverage simultaneously at the start of Q4, leading to platform glitches and campaign collapses. Rather than waiting until the fall holidays to launch campaigns, run ads beforehand while developing your Q4 objectives. If launching a last-minute campaign, ensure that you monitor and recover the ads immediately. With longer shipping times, DTC sales decline by the second week of December, so driving purchases immediately following Black Friday guarantees a profitable Q4.
Brands are adjusting their Amazon advertising bids and budgets to compete with aggressive CPC campaigns. Once the holiday season arrives, analyzing campaign performance becomes increasingly challenging. Additionally, Amazon’s algorithms support frequently launched campaigns, so conduct testing before the holiday season to run campaigns successfully without interruptions.
Lifecycle Marketing Tips for Q4
According to Nicole Reich, Blue Wheel’s Chief Growth Officer, “73% of consumers expect brands to understand their unique needs and expectations.” Lifecycle marketing — including email and SMS campaigns — plays a critical role in customer personalization, encouraging repeat purchases and loyalty. These marketing efforts should drive 30% of your DTC revenue, so segment your audiences to target consumers through email suggestions, build personalized workflows, and establish exclusive deals for VIPs or engaged subscribers.
Repurposing Creative Campaigns for the Holidays
Nicole also notes that “41% of consumers find ads displaying relevant products or discounts most influential in their purchasing decisions,” so retailers must produce engaging, creative video content on TikTok and Instagram. For efficiency and relevancy, record one comprehensive video emphasizing product functions for use across DTC and Amazon. This video can be segregated into short-form clips for various promotions and discounts. You can also test multiple versions of the same campaign, revising and improving your strategy as you see fit.
With these tactics, you can create an extensive checklist to prepare your operations for a profitable Q4 holiday season.