Amazon Advertising Strategies to Maximize Holiday Season Profits

Christmas selling on Amazon is on track to look different in 2021 than in any previous year. According to DataHawk's eCommerce and sales trends and predictions report, in-person sales dropped dramatically and Amazon experienced a record surge in profits, Amazon FBA Christmas sellers can expect to see a mix of online and in-person shopping this year. 

Even better for Amazon sellers, the National Retail Federation survey reported that Americans alone plan to spend, on average, $997 on Christmas shopping this year, including gifts and decor. That represents a massive opportunity for Amazon sellers. 

Amazon PPC Strategies for Christmas selling on Amazon

1. Why Do You Need to Create An Amazon Seller Pricing Strategy? 

The first strategy you can use to optimize Christmas selling on Amazon is to employ good pricing practices. Consumers rely on holiday sales to make the most of their gift shopping budget. Offering a good deal this time of year is expected and can entice customers to make a purchase when they otherwise may not have.

Without planning out an intelligent pricing strategy in advance of the Black Friday shopping season, sellers risk having to set prices so low that they make almost no profit. Conversely, products can become buried in the search results if pricing is set too high. 

Here are two strategies for integrating holiday shopping promotions into your pricing game plan without hurting overall profitability. 

Strategy 1: Implement Pricing Alerts 

The Amazon algorithm almost always privileges the lowest-cost item for sale. When most sellers are deciding what to sell on Amazon for Christmas, they tend to gravitate towards products that can be priced lower than the competition while still making a profit. 

We recommend setting up pricing alerts that notify you of changes in your competitors’ pricing. This allows you to respond more quickly to the dynamic holiday selling environment and ensure your products remain competitive. 

Holiday selling is a good time to review your Amazon pricing floors and ceilings to make sure that you are generating the best profit during this high-volume time. It isn’t usually necessary to undercut your competitor by $10 - often only a few cents can keep you competitive in Amazon’s algorithm. When compared well-written product descriptions, attractive images, and optimized listings, customers may accept very small price differences as reasons to click “buy now.” 

Strategy 2: Use Pricing to Handle Supply Chain Shortages 

Despite high customer demand for eCommerce, 2021’s Q3 sales have been hurt by the ongoing supply chain crisis. In typical years, Amazon sellers only had to worry about ordering enough inventory to meet their holiday demand. In 2021, they are more likely to struggle with fulfilling orders. 

One Amazon seller Christmas strategy is to use pricing to manage inventory. Some sales analysts recommend specifically targeting which products a seller discounts this year. 

Blanket sales - like “everything in our store 50% off for Cyber Monday - may not be realistic this year because sellers can’t necessarily fulfill all the orders that kind of a sale would generate. 

A better approach would be to discount only those items that can be fulfilled. This still attracts traffic to an eCommerce seller but avoids artificially increasing demand for regularly-priced items that may be suffering from supply chain issues. 

2. Make the Most of Amazon Brand Registry 

How to use Amazon brand registry

The holiday selling season on Amazon is highly competitive. If you meet the eligibility requirements, enrolling in Amazon’s Brand Registry program can be a great way to get a leg up on the competition. 

Strategy 3: Use Brand Registry Marketing Tools

Amazon’s Brand Registry offers protection against copycat sellers, but it also comes with a useful suite of marketing tools. Products listed on the Brand Registry can appear at the top of search results, even above sponsored products, in the “sponsored brands” box. 

This helps you compete with similar products by placing your offers on the first page of search results. In the crowded holiday season, this can make the difference between making sales or not. 

Strategy 4: Use Brand Registry to Customize Your Product Listings 

The Brand Registry can make Christmas selling on Amazon simpler. Because it allows the seller more freedom when customizing a listing (as opposed to wholesalers), you can create holiday-specific listings that incorporate themed keywords.

Keyword strategy is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to boost your listings over your competitors’. By temporarily altering your product titles and descriptions to include seasonal search terms, you can capture additional traffic.

Consider incorporating popular search terms like:

  • Gifts for Mom
  • Toys for Kids
  • Cyber Monday Deals
  • Christmas Decorations 

Obviously, these phrases need to be compatible with the products you are offering. But including them is a small change that can significantly boost your sales this Christmas as they quickly cue customers that what you are selling is a match for what they want. 

3. Analyze Your Amazon PPC Strategy 

Analyze Your Amazon PPC Strategy 

Amazon PPC hacks are a surefire way to drive additional traffic to your holiday product listings - and cause your head to start spinning in the process. 

Using the sponsored products feature on Amazon can generate a tremendous ROI when used correctly, but it’s important to track it closely (using a tool like DataHawk’s Amazon PPC Software) to ensure that you are featuring the right products at the right time. 

Here are two Amazon PPC hacks that make it easier to leverage PPC during the Amazon holiday rush. 

Strategy 5: Optimize for High-Volume Keywords 

Optimize for High-Volume Keywords 

Optimizing your Amazon PPC strategy for the  2021 holiday season can be as simple as choosing the right search phrases. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas should be focused on making sales rather than generating brand awareness or nurturing leads. 

To do this, analyze your keyword performance to determine which search terms are demonstrating a healthy ROI for your ad spend. Eliminate underperforming keywords. This is also a good time to conduct another round of competitor research to see if they are selling items that you have not focused your ad spend on, illuminating new opportunities for you. 

Next, allocate more of your budget towards high-intent keywords. More customers are interested in making an immediate purchase, rather than idly browsing, during the holidays. This makes it crucial to focus on long-tail keywords that indicate a strong intent to purchase soon, such as:

  • On sale
  • Deals 
  • Best
  • Coupon
  • Discount code
  • Best “product name” under “price” 

This strategy can help you target the customers who are most likely to purchase. 

Optimize your advertising strategy for high-volume keywords

Strategy 6: Use Dynamic Bidding 

Another strategy to maximize your ad spend involves using Amazon’s dynamic bid feature. This setting automatically adjusts your ad spend on any given ad depending upon its likelihood of generating a sale at that moment. 

This feature generally kicks in when your ASIN has a chance of achieving a top-of-page result for a particular search query. It also maximizes your budget because it avoids spending ad dollars on placements that are unlikely to lead to immediate sales. 

This can be a particularly good tool in the hyper-competitive environment of holiday Amazon sales. With so many sellers running sales, there is a lot of struggle for the ideal ad placement and sellers can quickly watch their PPC budget evaporate. Dynamic bidding keeps the focus on highly-motivated customers and prioritizes getting as many sales as possible. 

Dynamic bidding tends not to be as useful for brand-new sellers or those launching new products, which often lack the data necessary to make informed PPC judgments. For an established seller, however, dynamic bidding can be a vital tool in their Amazon PPC hacks arsenal. 

4. Coordinate with Your Post-Holiday Strategy 

Post holiday advertising strategy

2020’s holiday shopping season broke records for Amazon and further proved its dominance in the eCommerce Christmas shopping space. 

Given this wild success and the general profitability of the Black Friday through Christmas weeks, it’s understandable that many sellers focus on holiday sales as their make-or-break Amazon strategy. 

To maximize your store’s profitability, remember that there are post-Christmas opportunities that can be leveraged to help you move extra inventory - even after the trees come down. 

Strategy 7: Plan for Amazon Holiday Returns 

The last few years have seen a boost in the number of returns accompanying the surge in Amazon shopping. Given how easy it is to return unwanted gifts to Amazon discreetly, recipients may spend the weeks following Christmas dropping off the returns of the sweater that didn’t fit or the coffee mug they didn’t like. 

The benefit of Amazon’s marketplace is that these returns are processed as Amazon credit that can be used on any seller’s products. Customers can then use this credit to purchase what they really wanted but didn’t receive. 

To take advantage of this opportunity, make sure that your ad retargeting campaigns are up and running the days and weeks after Christmas Day. Shoppers likely did some browsing on products they were considering for themselves even as they completed their gift buying for others. Ad retargeting can put those products back in the front of their mind just when they have some Amazon credit to spend and the mad rush of gift shopping is over. 

Strategy 8: Target Historical Searches 

Some searches trend predictably high during certain times of the year and dip almost into non-existence during other seasons. 

This Google Trends graph for the search term “Christmas Trees” is a classic example. We can see the search traffic peak between November 29 and December 5, and flatline during the spring and summer. We can also see that Christmas tree searches are beginning sooner this year - in early October. 

Evaluate historical search trends and target accordingly

Historical search data can be used to inform your after-Christmas selling on Amazon as well. 

Consider running historical search data for products in your inventory or even new ASINs. Compare this information with your own seller reports to see what has sold well in the past for your store. 

January is well-known for increased weight-loss-related product sales, and sales volume in general. You may discover that you can clear out unsold inventory by offering strategic deals and coupons in the after Christmas season. Remember to edit your product listings and titles away from Christmas-specific keywords at this time. 

Items like humidifiers, oil diffusers, candles, and board games are all projected to be good winter sellers as people settle in for the cold season. 

Strategy 9: Market to Shoppers with Gift Cards 

Promote products with gift cards and sales

When Amazon debuted its holiday extended return policy, there was some concern expressed by FBA sellers who worried that it would spark more returns than normal. While the returns may be stretched out a little bit longer than normal, this policy can actually give customers additional peace of mind when purchasing.  

Instead of focusing on the possibility of returns (of course, every seller will always process some returns each year), keep in mind that many people will receive Amazon gift cards as Christmas gifts this year. Around 50% of shoppers reported that they planned to give gift cards or vouchers as gifts in both 2020 and 2021. 

As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon is an attractive option for hassle-free gifting. Just like with the shoppers looking to spend their returns credit, a good post-holiday strategy is ad retargeting. This maximizes the value of your ad spend by focusing it on the customers who considered your products, but didn’t purchase.

Of course, some of these shoppers will have been browsing for others, not themselves. If you pair retargeting with some strategic coupons and lightning deals, you can incentive purchase for those who saw a relative enjoy their new gift and might want to purchase one for themselves. 

5. Maximize your Holiday Profits 

Amazon advertising strategies for christmas sales

Experts predict that holiday sales could grow by as much as 14% for the 2021 season. With shoppers starting earlier than ever before and increasingly comfortable with an online shopping environment, competition is fierce. 

A profitable Amazon seller Christmas in 2021 will rely upon a careful blend of inventory management, thoughtful allocation of PPC funds, and smart pricing strategies. 

By making sure the most motivated customers see your products, and that they are priced competitively with similar ASINs, savvy FBA sellers stand to make a huge profit on the ever-increasing holiday spending trends and massive growth of eCommerce. 

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