Founder and CEO of Molzi.
Black Friday is fast approaching, with Cyber Monday and the Christmas sales rush hot on its tail. Q4 is ordinarily the busiest period for online sellers, but with the timing of Prime Day, this year will be the busiest ever.
In fact, this year’s “golden quarter” is set to have more impact than ever before. Covid-19 has already accelerated the rise of e-commerce significantly: the closure of brick-and-mortar stores and safety fears about returning to the high street incited many consumers to trade window shopping for online browsing and caused brands to focus sharply on their online offering.
Last year, 60% of U.K. consumers said they preferred to do their Christmas shopping in-store. But with our second national lockdown in full swing, reducing the time for consumers to Christmas shop in-store and perhaps even completely eliminating the in-store shopping option if the lockdown is extended, more shoppers than anticipated will be flocking online to make purchases in preparation for the holidays during an already historically busy period for online retailers.
As an additional side effect of the national and regional lockdowns this year, some consumers have been able to reduce their outgoings and see Q4 as an opportunity to spend those savings by cashing in on the deals. Although eMarketer stats suggest that the U.K.’s Christmas retail sales will drop 10.2% from last year, research my firm commissioned predicts that e-commerce sales will rise, continuing digital habits forged throughout the year. Amazon shoppers in particular are anticipated to spend £400 each in the run-up to Christmas. Three-quarters of Amazon shoppers intend to make purchases on Black Friday, 69% on Cyber Monday and 84% during the month of December. On average, shoppers plan to make 39% of this year’s Christmas-related purchases on Amazon.
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This may seem daunting to retailers, but it comes with a huge benefit: With increased traffic, brands will have a vast pool of data at their fingertips.
Data is an extremely valuable tool for any product retailer looking to optimize their listings. Without data, brands can only see a pixelated picture of their consumer demographics and sales analytics. But bringing these into clarity through data allows brands to make well-informed decisions about their Amazon strategy throughout the “golden quarter” — and, most importantly, into 2021.
While it is possible to purchase expensive software to analyze data automatically, data review isn’t ground-breaking, and it certainly isn’t just for brands with big budgets. You can access your data via Amazon’s Seller Central or Vendor Central and analyze it yourself using basic skills.
But with so much information available, what should you focus on to effect positive changes in your operational efficiency and sales?
Dayparting is a process that can and should be used by anyone advertising their products on Amazon. It’s useful for all companies, from the rookie sellers starting a business in their own bedroom all the way up the chain to huge brands investing millions in their e-commerce offerings.
Product owners can review the data Amazon provides to spot days in the week or even times in the day when more consumers are shopping for their listings. From this information, brands can drive maximum value from their ad budget by investing at times when their target audience is making purchasing decisions in order to achieve higher conversion rates and ultimately better sales.
Consumer demographic data is invaluable across many aspects of the Amazon strategy. Brands can see the split of their consumers in terms of gender, age and even household income. With this knowledge, you can tweak your content, imagery, advertising targeting and pricing strategy to target their main pool of customers or branch into different demographics.
All brands will track their weekly sales as a vital point of reference, but comparing raw sales data to sales ranking within product subcategories can be eye-opening. Products may be selling well and increasing in sales each week, but if your category rank is decreasing, you could be doing more to capture consumer attention within that category.
Success in one or more markets often leads brands to consider expansion into other countries to take advantage of Amazon’s global influence. Deciding which market to enter is often a difficult decision, but the available data can help to simplify the dilemma considerably. Brands can analyze country of delivery statistics to discover which countries have the biggest organic demand for their products outside of their current reach. Interestingly, the results often buck wider trends, which brands may traditionally have been reliant upon to make market expansion decisions.
Q4 is not the “golden quarter” just for its sales. It’s just as valuable for its data. There has never been a better time for product owners to realize the wealth of information before them and start to integrate data analysis into their Amazon strategies. Armed with a deeper understanding of their business, brands can head into Black Friday, the consecutive sales events and ultimately 2021 more confident in their Amazon strategies, ready to react to shifts in consumer trends and primed for long-term, sustainable success.