I have recently started talking with my clients about what 2019 is going to look like; marketing budgets, Prime Day, new product launches, planned events, etc. Waiting longer means less “runway” to make corrections before next year takes off. For the most part, when Q4 starts it is “go time” and any extra minutes you have will be spent making sure your Cyber Monday and Black Friday plans are running smoothly; You won’t have time left to plan for January.
Why You Should Care About Prime Day 2019
It was recently announced that Amazon has taken nearly 50% of the online retail market (source: emarketer.com), and they are by far the largest online presence in the e-commerce market. Although they do not publish exact figures related to Prime Day sales it is estimated they moved approximately 100 million products during 2018’s Prime Day with estimates of sales from those 36 hours ranging from $3.4bn to $4bn+. If that is the case it means that they could have earned as much as 2% of their annual revenue from Prime Day.
Prime Day is a huge opportunity and 2019 will likely be no different. However, Amazon does NOT operate at the speed of the internet. From a consumer perspective, Amazon can appear to be agile, quick to respond, and sophisticated; and in most ways it is. However, from a Vendor or Seller perspective, Amazon is a confusing maze of bureaucratic nightmares that can make it seemingly impossible to get done what you want, or need to get done.
Therein lies the primary reason to start planning now for an event that will take place almost a year from now. If you don’t plan ahead not only will you be left behind all the others that did, but you risk falling at the mercy of Amazon and their, sometimes very painful, processes. This can be especially scary for companies who rely on Amazon for a large percentage of their revenue year after year.
Putting it All Together
If you do not have a plan in place for Q4 2018, you came to the right place. That is, as one of my favorite sayings goes, “the closest alligator to the boat”. Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the “holiday rush” can be make or break for many companies and these big ticket sales days (and the days leading up to them) should not be ignored.
Key things to think about in relation to Q4 may be:
- How will our marketing focus change in Q4?
- Are we going to make any specific bumps in budgets for specific time periods?
- How are we focusing on new Amazon specific programs (Alexa, Augmented Reality (AR) detail pages, Fresh, etc)?
- Are there core products we want to focus on during this time period/are there new products launching we want to bring attention to?
- What off-Amazon marketing are we doing, and how are we incorporating this activity into what we’re doing on Amazon?
- How do we improve our Amazon customer experience?
If you’re not thinking about all six items on the above list, at the very least, you should be focused on #6 and what it means for your brand. You should also pay special attention to this during high-volume sales periods throughout the year. How can you “surprise and delight” the consumer each and every time they view your products on Amazon or elsewhere? In the end Amazon is a customer-centric company and as a Vendor or Seller on Amazon you should try and truly internalize this fact. To be brutally honest, Amazon doesn’t care as much about its Vendors and Sellers as it does about its customers. The more you understand this, the better off you will be down the road.
For your 2019 plan many, if not all, of the same metrics of 1-6 above hold true. The biggest difference is the timeline that you are focused on (3 months vs 12 months) and your budgets. That may seem overly simplistic, but there is no rocket science here. Think about what you want to accomplish. Have a frank discussion with yourself (and/or your team) about whether it is truly possible, and lay out an easy to follow plan that is (and I cannot stress this part enough) easy to adjust and modify as circumstances change.
What You Can Do
You may be asking yourself at this point, “but how can I plan for Prime Day now? It is a year away!” You wouldn’t be wrong, but this is a trap that is very easy to fall into. Of course there are aspects of Prime Day 2019 you won’t be able to plan for, but not letting perfect be the enemy of good should be the mantra here. Get plans in place, adjust them, scrap them and start over, tweak, move, switch, and generally be willing to end up with a completely different plan in May of next year than you have now.
Being quick (as much as possible) and agile with your plans will help you succeed. If you continually search for the perfect method and try and put the most precise and detailed plan in place you will struggle less than the company who does nothing, but likely struggle MUCH more than the company who is willing to throw their plan out the door and start over.
Success on Amazon is about planning. That doesn’t mean blindly driving forward without direction, but being strategic and focused. Keeping this in mind when looking at your Amazon account will pay great dividends. Ignoring it, or even worse, ignoring planning on Amazon all together may leave you scratching your head wondering what happened to your sales. Plan now so that you can cash in later.
Do you know what your 2019 is going to look like?
Part of being a Senior Brand Manager with Zanoma is working with my clients in order to help them achieve their goals. This can range broadly from just getting a product launched on Amazon to making small tweaks to their AMS campaigns in order to eek out just a little bit more ACOS. It is also very much about strategy and how that fits into their goals and plans. If you are interested in learning more about what we do and how we help our clients succeed please contact me directly here or through the “Let’s Talk” link on our website. Our website (www.Zanoma.com) is also a great place to learn more about us. Also, if there is something you would like to see written about on this blog please let us know!