8 Amazon Q4 Predictions For Late 2021

Lindsay BakerQ4 is without question the most hectic quarter, and brands are on tenterhooks as they look to prepare for an unpredictable season. The time to plan for Q4 is now, and Bobsled’s experts have identified 8 predictions that will help you win big through to the end of the year. The accuracy of our forecasting has helped land us in Business Insider and the Inc. 5000 list as a leading Amazon firm, and our advertising advice has even been extolled by Amazon themselves.

According to Bobsled managers Ross Walker and Lindsay Baker, the most critical markers for Q4 success hover around fulfillment, shipping, and intelligent advertising strategy. From increased CPC success to major changes in FBA recommendations, there are several key takeaways for Amazon brands to stay apprised of.

1) Brands Need Alternative Fulfillment Methods
to Avoid Going OOS

Recent supply chain issues, across-the-board restocking limits, and slower receiving times from Amazon fulfillment centers have combined to create the perfect storm of shipping issues. Many Bobsled clients have started seeking alternative fulfillment options. Although FBA is generally the most ideal and foolproof fulfillment method, it’s clear that more and more sellers will be forced to fulfill themselves, potentially resulting in the loss of the Prime badge.


Takeaway for Brands

Careful planning will be necessary to ensure that top-selling products are sufficiently stocked for FBA, while slow-moving less pivotal products could be moved over to FBM. FBM fulfillment is not for everyone, however, making sure you have the capacity to handle high Q4 order volumes through a variety of fulfillment methods is imperative for protecting the overall health of your account.


Check out this recent Forbes post by Bobsled CEO Kiri Masters – Retail Brands Gear Up For Second ‘Shippageddon’

2) Parcel Shipments Will Increase Receiving Rates More Than LTL

Again, we are seeing a shift in behavior from brands when it comes to satisfying fulfillment options. As Q4 draws nearer, pallet shipments will take longer and longer to receive. If you have uncertainty about deciding between parcel and LTL shipments, consider the shift in needs as the next quarter arrives. Pallets always take longer to receive, especially in Q4 when fulfillment centers get overwhelmed by volume.


Takeaway for Brands

As brands are dealing with tighter and tighter shipping needs due to Q4 madness, think about sending small parcel shipments instead of LTL (Less Than Truckload). This will increase your chances of quicker receiving once your inventory reaches Amazon fulfillment centers.


2021 Predictions Q4

3) Consumers Will Shop Earlier In The Season

Mainstream media continues to report on the reality of supply chain issues in 2021 as a direct result of the pandemic and general economic instability. Even the White House is talking about the rapid shifts we are facing within our economy. This makes consumers feel anxious and the uncertainty is driving them to get their holiday shopping done earlier than usual.


Takeaway for Brands

Consider launching holiday offers early! Don’t wait until November or December to show consumers your late-season promotional deals.

4) Turkey 5 Promotions Are Necessary For Holiday Season Profits

Big brands know that the 5 days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday are some of the most significant days for sale across the entire year, but small and emerging brands need to be thinking about this too. The Bobsled team is anticipating that the Turkey 5 period will resemble Prime Day in terms of the spike in daily unit sales and revenue, and hence our clients will be running similar types of promos.


Takeaway for Brands

Compare your available promotions with last year’s holiday season – or with recent Prime Day successes – to see which deals and promos worked best. During Prime Day 2021, coupons and PEDs (Prime Exclusive Discounts) were the most popular and successful for Bobsled clients.


Above: Coupons and PEDs were the promos of choice for Bobsled clients
during Prime Day earlier this year


Check out Use Bobsled’s Prime Day Data To Prepare For Q4

5) CPCs Will Remain Higher Than Average

RossIt’s no secret to advertisers that CPCs climb quickly during the peak of the holiday shopping season. In 2021 there has already been an 11% CPC increase compared to last year, and we expect this figure to grow even more rapidly once Q4 begins.


Takeaway for Brands

This year, meaningful CPC increases are likely to start as early as October. Brands should use their year-over-year data to limit automated targeting in order to prevent excessive spending on irrelevant searches. But be aware: more ads with bigger budgets means higher CPCs across the board, so you need to be very intentional with how you allocate spend.

6) Sponsored Brand Custom Creative Will Be
More Important Than Ever

Sponsored Brand Custom Creative ads are still in their infancy but are quickly overtaking the market as a powerful type of advertising. This year, brands have allocated budget and creative resources to making awesome content that dominates search results. These ads are dynamic, interactive, and visually stunning, and they make for better clickthrough and conversion rates when done right.


Takeaway for Brands

Ads with the best conversion rates get preferential treatment! All brand-registered sellers have access to Sponsored Brand Custom Creative; consider commissioning creative assets or repurposing old ads to help diversify your paid content.

Talk with the Bobsled team today – Free Consult

7) A Dollar Saved Is A Dollar Earned

Amazon’s updated budget rules for campaigns are preparing sellers to increase their spending across the board. Many brands are preparing to spend more so that their campaigns do not run out of budget during the biggest shopping days of the year. Naturally, this lends itself to the fact that CPCs will remain pretty high throughout Q4, but costs will go up as well.


Takeaway for Brands

Bobsled’s recommendation is for brands to make a wide safety net and prepare to spend up to two times as much as they have in past holiday seasons.



Above: Brands need to be very familiar with how to control ad campaign settings
in order to achieve optimal results

8) Holiday Sales Will Slow Down 2 Weeks Before Christmas

Most shoppers finish the majority of their shopping the week before Christmas. Since consumers are starting their holiday shopping so early this year, there may be a shift in trend throughout the month of December. It is predicted that holiday season sales will slow down around December 13 and essentially die out between the 20th and the 25th. This pattern is one that we see every year, even during the peak of the pandemic in 2020.


Takeaway for Brands

It can be a good idea to plan for a complete shutdown of your holiday season ads during the shopping lull and put them back up again the day after Christmas. Some brands are also choosing to pause their ads on the 31st right before the new year.



Above: PPC trendline illustrating the December 2020 peak and drop-off for a Bobsled client

Stay Ahead of Q4 Predictions and Schedule a Free Consultation with Acadia Now!

Need help fine-tuning your inventory management strategy or deciding how to invest with PPC in Q4? Book a free consultation with our Amazon marketing experts and get your brand on top before the peak of this year’s holiday season.

Team Acadia