After a bumpy, Covid-impacted beginning to the year, many brands are planning for a huge 2020 holiday season.
The ‘Turkey 5’ shopping event will commence on Thanksgiving (November 26), pick up steam the following day on Black Friday (November 27) and conclude at the end of Cyber Monday (November 30).
Looking for strategic advice about how to win big on Amazon during these massive dates on the retail calendar? Read on.
How Big Will Turkey 5 Be?
Bain & Company made some optimistic ecommerce predictions in their recent Holiday newsletter. According to Bain’s research;
- 47% of US shoppers say they will do all or most of their holiday shopping online
- 46% of US shoppers say this will be their first time doing holiday shopping through the ecommerce channel
- 37% of US shoppers say they will shift more of their holiday spending to online with delivery vs. last year
Amazon, specifically, is poised to cash in on the wave of optimism. According to The 2020 Episerver Holiday Ecommerce Report, 52% of US shoppers plan to start their online holiday shopping journey on Amazon, and 42% saying they intend to buy most holiday gifts from the retail giant.
If Prime Day was anything to go by, brands can expect a strong end to Q4. In her most recent Forbes article, Bobsled CEO Kiri Masters shared that a sample of Bobsled clients saw an increase of 3.42X during the 48-hour Prime Day period versus a brand’s average 30-day sales. In other words, sales during the two event days were on average 340% higher compared to the previous 30 days.
“Prime Day did not change how I’m viewing the rest of Q4 in any significant way. Across the board, PD performance was strong, so my clients are more willing to double down on promos during peak periods such as Turkey 5.”
On the right: Client Project Manager Jordan Ripley
Gift Cards and ‘The Quarantined Consumer’
“Amazon.com gift cards were in the Top 6 items sold during Prime Day 2020,” Kiri Masters explains. “The Prime Day Tracker from Numerator indicated that Amazon dedicated 28% of their ad budget to gift cards, compared to only 1% last year.”
“Many shoppers will be looking to use these gift cards to snag a deal between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so this bodes well for brands selling on Amazon.”
Kiri also believes that ongoing Covid restrictions will boost Amazon volumes this holiday season.
On the left: Founder & CEO Kiri Masters
“There’s a reason why Amazon boosted their ad budget so dramatically for gift cards on Prime Day. Just a few days ago the UK went back into lockdown until early December.
Ordering gifts online with fast delivery is going to be the only available option for millions of shoppers the world over. Brands need to think about how they can capitalize on this shift from brick and mortar to ecommerce.”
Turkey 5 Amazon Account Management Fundamentals
Before you go down the rabbit hole of elaborate marketing and PPC advertising strategies, it’s critical to get the basics under control! Set up a solid foundation for success during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping frenzy by monitoring the following items.
- Inventory. Running out of stock during Turkey 5 is something you want to avoid at all costs. The traffic and conversion bump between Black Friday and Cyber Monday can set you up for a December bonanza, Ideally, you want enough inventory coverage for core SKUs until the end of the year.
- Customer Service. More traffic and sales means more customer service enquiries. Amazon’s fulfillment network will be pushed to breaking point until the rest of the year – even if all of your SKUs are Prime-eligible it doesn’t mean customers won’t run into challenges acquiring your products. Make sure you’re poised to solve any logistical problems that may arise.
- Conversion Optimization. Turkey 5 is an established retail event – customers know most brands are running deals and there will be a lot of comparison-shopping happening. Are you doing everything possible to convert every Amazon shopper browsing your products? Adding in some fresh A+ Content or a new image in the next couple of weeks could give you a vital edge.
- Buy Box. Your PPC ads will not run during Turkey 5 if another party is winning the Buy Box. You have a couple of weeks to regain control of your Amazon presence from a brand protection perspective before serious holiday shopping commences!
Check out How to Protect Your Brand on Amazon
From Unauthorized Sellers
Turkey 5 Marketing Tips
Brands need a clear Turkey 5 promotional strategy that will allow them to successfully cut through the noise and connect with shoppers. Find some tips below.
Based on our Prime Day recap, Prime Exclusive Deals and Coupons appeared to be the most effective promo tools for Bobsled clients. Many will opt to use similar promo strategies again during the Turkey 5 shopping event. Customers have come to expect great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so if you want to win clicks from competitors, you need to tee up a really compelling offer that aligns with consumer expectations.
Check out Which Amazon Promotions Work Best?
Amazon released a very well timed feature to its storefronts: Store Versions. This allows you to create multiple versions of your Store and schedule them to run during specific periods of time.
This is an incredibly useful feature for brands that have specific holiday campaigns on the calendar. You could, for example, create a Black Friday-themed storefront that would run for that day only, highlighting the products you plan to promote during that period of time.
Store versions ensure brands will be ready to go live with the customized version of the storefront they have selected for that timeframe, without having to worry about the typical approval process which can be time consuming.
Virtual bundles allow brands using FBA to sell products together without having to ship pre-bundled inventory to Amazon. In the context of Turkey 5, virtual bundles facilitate an easy way for brands to create unique ‘gift packs’ (e.g. whole milk and chocolate milk) with minimal operational headaches.
The virtual bundles creation tool can be accessed under the ‘Brands’ section of your dashboard. Once a bundle has been created, you manage the offer in the ‘Manage Inventory’ section.
It’s important to note that unlike pre-bundled inventory, items within a virtual bundle may ship separately, meaning that customers won’t necessarily receive items at the same time.
Also, Amazon support told Bobsled Project Manager Jordan Ripley that product bundles are not guaranteed to be available for any given ASIN.
“It also just seems to lack visibility in Amazon’s search results, even on branded terms,” Jordan says. “The bundle only appears on the ‘main component’ ASIN, not the other component items in the bundle.”
During peak traffic periods, CPCs increase on Amazon, and it can be difficult for brands to acquire internal marketplace traffic profitably, especially if aggressive discounts have been set up too.
Sending your existing email or social media audience to Amazon may be a more cost-effective way to achieve success on Amazon between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Most brands are typically more inclined to send these traffic sources to deals on their own website, however, it may be worthwhile directing some traffic to Amazon too.
Turkey 5 PPC Advertising Tips
Bobsled Advertising Director Stefan Jordev believes that brands can use Prime Day as a PPC ‘anchor’ for the upcoming Turkey 5 shopping holiday period.
“Prime Day performed in accordance with expectations, and there were no major issues or glitches,” Stefan says. “Our anonymized client data shows great improvements for clicks and sales from advertising.”
Prime Day 2020 – Bobsled Client Aggregated Ad Spend
- PPC spend increased by 157.86% on October 13 (Prime Day 1) compared to October 12.
- PPC spend increased further on October 14 (Prime Day 2) by 11.23% compared to October 13 (Prime Day 1).
Prime Day 2020 – Bobsled Client Aggregated Ad Sales
- Sales from advertising grew by 200.6% on October 13 (Prime Day 1) compared to October 12.
- Sales from advertising grew by 3% on October 14 (Prime Day 2) compared to October 13 (Prime Day 1).
“Brands can take lessons learned from Prime Day and apply them to Turkey 5,” Stefan says. “In terms of preparing for the five-day Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping event, I would encourage brands to take their Prime Day ad spend and sales, multiply it by five, and factor this into their November advertising monthly budget and projections.”
On the right: Advertising Director Stefan Jordev
“Also, it is safe to expect an even higher volume during Turkey 5 as it applies to both Prime and non-Prime users, the abundance of Amazon gift cards in the market, and the closer proximity to Christmas.”
Stefan recently represented Bobsled on a holiday strategy webinar for Amazon-partnered agencies. His main takeaways were as follows:
- The holiday season is not only Black Friday to Cyber Monday. There is a lot of work required from a PPC perspective in between. By only focusing on high volume shopping holidays during Q4, brands are potentially leaving a lot of money on the table.
- Although Amazon is strongly pushing dynamic bidding, this is something to really evaluate before implementing, otherwise you risk over-spending unnecessarily.
- The days after Cyber Monday will be fantastic for retargeting. Learn more – Amazon DSP Retargeting – The First 30 Days
NEED HELP PREPARING FOR TURKEY 5?
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