Q4 is a crucial time for e-commerce businesses. Many businesses see major growth during this time of year, thanks to holiday shoppers. Often the revenue in Q4 is what drives the success of the business throughout the year. In fact, 20 percent of small to mid-sized businesses reported they rely on income around the holiday season to survive.
Because of the importance of the fourth quarter of the business year, it’s crucial to prepare. Optimizing for Amazon FBA is one of the ways to get ready for the holidays. If you’re not already using Amazon FBA, it’s time to start.
This service allows you to send your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, where they’ll be packed and shipped to your customers. Amazon’s fulfillment center network is one of the most substantial in the world. With Amazon FBA, shoppers can find your products on the Amazon catalog. This service allows you to take advantage of the billions of customers searching Amazon’s site.
There are a few essential things to remember when optimizing your business for Amazon FBA. Keep in mind these five things when preparing for Q4, and you’re sure to see a successful end to the year:
- Pay Attention to Holiday Season Shipping Cut-Offs
Shipping cut-offs are never more important than during Q4. If you occasionally miss your estimated delivery times by a day or two, you might disappoint a few customers, but many won’t even notice.
During the holiday season, however, a late delivery could lead to losing a customer forever. Customers are only interested in your product if it arrives before the holiday. You’re likely to have a number of very angry shoppers if your orders arrive late.
Communicate closely with the fulfillment center you work with to ensure you’re aware of every shipping cut-off time. Make sure you have accurate shipping time estimates listed for your customers to use. It’s a good idea to give yourself one extra day in your estimates to account for backorders and delays due to weather since early winter storms can cause delays at this time of year.
As long as you keep your customers informed about shipping cut-off times, you should be able to keep customers happy. Don’t assume that as long as an item arrives before Christmas, you’ll be okay, though.
Sometimes people see their family members and friends early, and they need the item on a specific day. If you’re unreliable in your shipping estimates, even if you deliver before Christmas, you could still lose a customer forever.
- Ramp Up Your Email Marketing
Q4 is a perfect time to prioritize your email marketing campaigns. Often, businesses have email subscribers that have never been able to be converted throughout the year.
These customers are aware of your brand, though, and they’ve likely seen your emails pop up in their inbox. This means they may have some interest in your products, and the holiday season is the perfect time to convert them into customers.
In preparation for Q4 shoppers, you should take a look at your subject lines. It’s time to rewrite any subject lines that aren’t leading to high open rates. Emails with high open rates, but low click-through-rates, should be redesigned to drive more clicks. You should also look at your customer demographics and create a segmentation strategy to engage different customers in different ways.
- Don’t Forget Mobile Optimization of Your Site
In 2019, holiday shoppers spent over $50 million on mobile device transactions. To maximize revenue during the final quarter of the year, it’s important to have a user-friendly mobile site.
Some options for improving the user experience of your mobile website include making registration optional, minimizing clicks, and implementing a single page checkout process.
Everything you can do to make the checkout process quicker makes it more likely you’ll convert shoppers on their mobile phones. You don’t want to lose potential customers because it was too complicated to purchase using a phone.
- Increase Inventory
The last thing you want is to miss out on the potential to increase customers and revenue because you don’t have the inventory to keep up with the demand. In preparation for an increase in customer spending during the holidays, increase your inventory and avoid backorders. Customers are less likely to wait for a product to be restocked during the holiday season because they’ll miss the holiday window.
If this is your first holiday season, consider hiring an inventory manager to help you estimate how much you’ll need to increase your inventory. Overspending on inventory can be harmful, so you want to be careful. If you’ve experienced previous holiday seasons, you can use old numbers to estimate your needs this year.
- Allocate Budget for Ad Spending
Millions of customers are looking for the perfect product to buy during the holiday season. Now is the perfect time to allocate a large portion of your budget for ad spending to reach these potential customers. Use Facebook and Instagram’s ad platform to reach social media users.
You should also take advantage of Amazon’s pay-per-click advertising platform. This platform can drive so much potential revenue for an e-commerce business that you may want to consider hiring an expert in Amazon advertising.
It’s an important time of year to make the most of your ad budget. Don’t be afraid to spend some money in order to drive large amounts of revenue in the fourth quarter. If you do this, you’ll see business growth and success throughout the upcoming year.