The holidays are a unique beast in the world of e-commerce. There are more customers out there shopping but there is also increased competition from retailers.
How do you capture the scattered attention of the Christmas shopper and bring them to your Amazon listing amidst a sea of holiday sellers?
We’re going to give you the five most effective ways to optimizing your Amazon listing for Christmas so you can see major Q4 success that rolls over into the new year.
1. Update your images.
Images are the main point of conversion on your Amazon listings.
Most Amazon sellers have average-quality photos. They’re enough to get by with Amazon’s requirements and show the product to the customer, but they don’t actually do any heavy lifting when it comes to the selling. A professional-grade image that demonstrates the benefits of your product is perfectly poised to drive your conversions.
This is the perfect time to update your product images to make sure they’re actually doing their job to sell. You want your images to be experiential, so the customers feel like they are holding your product in their hand. This is the closest you can get to offering an in-store experience online.
Use a variety of photos that show your product from different angles and show off the different aspects of your product. You’ll also want to show lifestyle photos of the image in use. It’s recommended to have at least one picture with a real person using or wearing your product, especially if you’re selling clothing (so customers can see what the fit looks like).
You also want to keep the products bright with a white background. Consider hiring a professional photographer. The return will be worth it!
You might want to consider creating a product video as well. These are a strong way to show the benefits and quality of your product, and they bump up your conversion rates significantly.
2. Check your stock.
Amazon cares about how much inventory you have on hand, especially during the holiday season. If you report low stock, they’ll assume you can’t handle the holiday demand. They don’t want their customers to get frustrated by not having items available to them, especially if they click “order” and are later told there are none left.
You need to make sure your Amazon inventory units are updated and strong. Hopefully, you ordered enough stock at the beginning of the season to get you through it. If not, pull your listings down and don’t sell stock you don’t have.
You might want to consider using a strong inventory management system so your inventory is automatically counted and accounted for in Amazon and your other sales platforms. We recommend Skubana for inventory management.
If you’re selling through your units quickly, (a good problem to have!) then you might have more trouble winning the Buy Box. Still, don’t lie about the units you have on hand. If Amazon discovers you’re lying about your inventory, they can suspend or remove your listing altogether.
3. Reach out to your Black Friday shoppers.
You’ve likely already started making some holiday sales, especially during Black Friday weekend (particularly if you hosted a Black Friday sale). You can leverage these holiday sales to optimize your listing and encourage even more purchasers.
Send an email drip campaign (through Amazon’s Messenger service) requesting that your customers review the products they purchased. People tend to be more open to leaving reviews in the winter, likely because they’re inside and on their computers more. They’re also more likely to leave reviews for products they’ve purchased as gifts because they want to share their excitement about the gift (even before they give it to the recipient).
So now is the perfect time to start asking for reviews. What are the benefits of collecting holiday reviews?
An email asking for a review will remind your customers about your business, which can encourage them to make more purchases for others on their holiday list.
A review request shows that you care about their thoughts. You’re asking for their honest feedback so you can improve, which deepens the relationship between customer and brand.
It increases the number of reviews on your listing. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely you’ll win the Buy Box. Plus, customers trust social proof, so a lot of positive reviews can reassure them of your product so they’ll feel comfortable making the purchase.
Get the ins and outs of generating positive reviews here.
Not all of your holiday customers will love you, though. So you’ll also want to offset the negativity with grace and quality customer service. Learn how to handle negative feedback here.
4. Run a lightning deal.
A lot of customers procrastinate their holiday shopping. They are still price-conscious and don’t want to be “punished” for buying late in the game. Take advantage of this and be the company that offers a discount to the procrastinator shopper. Running a lightning deal discount in December is an unexpected way to gain attention and help your business stand out in a sea of competitors.
Lightning deals work well because they offer a limited number of products on sale. This means you won’t need to sell through all of your stock at a discounted rate, but you’ll get a boost of attention and sales that can help improve your seller rank and reviews to finish out the holiday season.
Throughout the holiday season, Amazon’s homepage is chock full of different discount and deal lists—especially for Prime members. Get in on the action and you can get prime real estate (pun intended) on Amazon’s homepage.
Launch a successful lightning deal starting here.
5. Adjust your keywords.
Do not include keywords in your title or descriptions that mention your discounts/deals or the holiday season. Keep your primary keywords and descriptions about the product itself. Amazon can actually punish you if you use “temporary” keywords about sales, discounts, and guarantees. They also discourage the use of holiday words unless it’s directly related to your product.
However, you can use some holiday keywords in the backend. For example, you might want to use “gifts under $50” or “mom gifts” as a keyword to attract purchasers browsing for gifts.
Aside from the holiday keywords, though, you’ll want to take a look at your primary keywords in general. Q4 is when the greatest trend shifts happen. What might have been trending in August could be completely on the downswing now. You’ll want to reevaluate which keywords and phrases are seeing the highest volume (with the lowest competition). The process of keyword research doesn’t have to be long, but you’ll want to be thorough to ensure your primary and secondary keywords are consistently bringing in a relevant audience.
You don’t need to change your keywords drastically. They should still be relevant to your product and benefits. But even a small alteration to match the current trends can make a difference.
For example, you sell a cashmere sweater in a number of colors. In August and September, “red sweater” might have been trending for the fall season, but in December “cashmere sweater” might be trending more than the color descriptor. It’s still applicable to your product, but you might need to shift the emphasis of your keyword.
See our ultimate guide to choosing and optimizing e-commerce keywords to ensure you’re always targeting the right phrases to attract your audience.
A successful Christmas is critical to your business’s success. With over a third of business done in the last quarter alone, your e-commerce store needs to capitalize on the holiday season. You’ll end the year strong and you’ll start 2019 in an advantageous position.
If you’re swamped this holiday season, let us handle the Amazon listing optimization for you. We will quickly and effectively get your business on the path towards serious sales this Christmas.
Contact us now to start optimizing and marketing for the season before it’s too late!