It’s official, Q4 is upon us. And despite the recent news about Amazon’s epic miss on Q4 profits and revenue, this final quarter of the year can still be a big one for your brand.
But the stakes are high.
The busy holiday season is an exciting and crucial time for every ecommerce entrepreneur — but if you’re an Amazon seller, you know you need to nail it. From avoiding stockouts to navigating Amazon’s everchanging stock limits, there’s a lot to stay on top of this Q4.
But don’t worry — we’ve got your back.
We’ll explore the steps you need to get your store Q4 ready. Plus share everything we know about the secret sauce to hitting it big as an Amazon seller in Q4.
The scoop on Amazon Q4
- Why it pays to plan ahead
- 5 crucial steps to prepare your store for the Amazon Q4 rush
- The blueprint for a top Amazon Q4 result
Gearing up for a busy end of year rush? Find out how SellersFunding can get you ahead.
Why it pays to plan ahead for Q4
Wondering whether you really need to invest time and money to prepare for the end of year rush? Maybe you’ve seen ecommerce entrepreneurs successfully chance their way through Q4, or perhaps you’re thinking your cash could be better spent elsewhere?
Let’s set things straight.
Preparing for the end of year rush pays off big time. Here are some key reasons why you should start ticking off your to-do list now:
- Stay ahead of Amazon’s constant changes: If there’s one thing that’s inevitable on Amazon, it’s change. Doing the hard work now will ensure you have a plan B ready in case Amazon makes any last-minute switches.
- Capitalise on increased traffic: No matter how much a hit Amazon is prepared to take this year vs. last, there are still plenty of people shopping on Amazon this Q4. If you get your store ready to serve more customers, your bottom line will likely be looking pretty healthy at the year’s end.
- Avoid inventory availability and storage drama: Space for goods can get tight when the Amazon Q4 rush hits. Work out any kinks in your inventory management before the rush and you’re guaranteed to have a smoother ride with more profits left over.
- More opportunity for (safer) product experiments: Another benefit of the increased footfall is the chance to test out new items. These tests can give you more cash to work with, help find new customer groups to target, and establish additional review streams.
Need some extra cash to handle the Q4 rush? Get capital from SellersFunding.
5 crucial steps to prepare your store for the Amazon Q4 rush
There’s no two ways about it: Amazon rush prep is crucial. You’re going to need a solid game plan to crush this last quarter of the year.
There are a few key steps to ensure you dominate on Amazon. Let’s break it down.
- Forecast demand and stock up on existing products
To accommodate the increase in demand, it’s important to understand how much stock you’ll need for each product.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to figure out your stock needs:
- Use a forecasting tool like Flieber to predict your stock needs and research sales.
- Then use Amazon research tools like Helium 10 or Jungle Scout to understand the sales volume your competitors receive for products similar to yours.
- Clarify supplier and vendor requirements to ensure on-time delivery for customers so you remain profitable. For example, you should enquire on things like:
- Minimum order quantities
- Minimum shipments in cubic metres
- Final date for sourcing materials
- Deadline for booking Q4 product slots
- Customs tariffs, duties and taxes
- Fulfilment fees and storage charges
- Sort out your fulfilment and warehousing
With all the extra inventory and supplies headed your way, you’ll need to find a reliable place to store it.
While you can send some inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centres, it’s also a good idea to house stock in a 3PL or in centrally located warehouses, so you always have quick access to stock.
Here are a few pointers to ensure you get the best warehousing options available:
- To increase the odds of getting larger space allocations in Amazon warehouses and avoid costly restrictions, clean up existing stock and improve your IPI score before Q4 hits. Here’s how to get started:
- Speak with Amazon about increasing your inventory limits.
- Remove dead or slow-moving stock.
- Cancel dormant listings.
- Ask your 3PL and warehouse about increasing your capacity to find out if they can temporarily accommodate the additional volume. If not, consider putting goods in storage and fulfilling some orders in-house.
- Tackle your carrier list to make sure you have backup shippers to fulfill orders quickly. Get goods to customers fast during Q4 and you’ll stand a good chance of being on their shopping list for next year too.
- Get funding to cushion your Q4 journey
To succeed in the Amazon Q4 rush, you’ll need enough cash on hand to place large inventory orders, maintain operations, and place reorders even if you’re still waiting for your next payout.
Even if you don’t need the cash right now, get funding in place so you can hit the ground running when it’s showtime.
When it comes to ecommerce, some of the best options for funding are:
- Credit limit (aka working capital): Gives you access to a set pool of money you can withdraw from as much or as little as you’d like. With credit limits, you only pay interest on the amount you use.
- Daily advances: Advances offer up to a 90% cash release from recent Amazon sales. There are no set repayments as advances depend on your month’s revenue and will be collected from your card takings. (Psst! SellersFunding Daily Advance customers see an average 75% increase in growth).
3. Excite shoppers with new products
If you’ve been on the fence about bringing in new products, now is the time to put your reservations aside and work with market trends to pull in more shoppers.
Consumers will be looking for holiday-related items, so look at your existing portfolio and work out where the gaps are to include gifts, decorations, cookware and entertainment items.
You could also try new variations of existing products to entice consumers who have previously passed up your product. Your reviews and your competitors’ reviews are a goldmine for finding areas to improve your products.
However you choose to hook new buyers, make sure to outdo the competition so your product becomes the only feasible choice. Here are some ways to create standout offerings:
- Create limited-time bundles.
- Gift a free ebook with products (e.g, recipe book with a cooking set).
- Build cost savings and convenience products.
- Launch a subscription box. 🎁
- Make sure your marketing is on point
Congrats! You’ve got some amazing products on offer — now it’s time to drop a showstopping marketing campaign to match.
The floor is yours so get creative to grab your target customers’ attention. Check off these important tasks to make your marketing campaigns more successful:
- Launch your Amazon Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign before the Amazon Q4 rush: Starting ad campaigns early gives them time to optimise. In return, your products will gain more visibility and opportunities to inch up the rankings. 📈
- Start with sponsored product ads: Sponsored ads can help get your products in front of target customers and build a reputation on Amazon. Then you can progress on to search bar ads to raise awareness of your brand, or use external marketing channels like Facebook ads, influencer marketing, and Google shopping to drive even more conversions.
- Know your budget: Amazon’s PPC costs can soar during Q4, so keep an eye on your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) to make sure your campaigns bring in profits on every dollar spent. If you don’t have the time or skills for PPC, don’t sweat it. Consider hiring an Amazon PPC expert to get results without navigating the huge learning curve.
- Look to your reviews for customer insights: To gather reviews, use Amazon’s ‘Request a review’ tool on the Order details page. Here you can ask customers from the past 30 days to leave their opinions on your product. We’ll be honest. It’s a manual and time-consuming task, but it’s guaranteed to help you stay within Amazon’s terms of service and build up initial reviews for new items.
- Sync reviews across territories: If you sell the same product in multiple territories or are about to launch an existing product in a new location, speak with Amazon about getting your reviews synced. These reviews will provide the social proof needed to boost your store’s credibility and, ultimately, sales.
- Use promotions and lightning deals: Clever promos can help attract attention to your store — just remember to run your numbers first to work out how much you can afford to discount while maintaining a healthy profit margin.
The blueprint for a top Amazon Q4 result
The Amazon Q4 rush is a critical period on the ecommerce calendar that can catapult your brand into its next growth stage.
Prep for the final quarter can take up a lot of time and energy — but do it right and your investment is guaranteed to pay off.
Get talking with suppliers to ensure you’re on the same page, build great offers, learn from past mistakes, and promote like your business depends on it (because it does).
By the time Q4 is over, you’ll have bragworthy sales and raving customers to grow with into the new year.
Looking for a way to outdo your competition this Q4? Discover how SellersFunding can help.