Q4 is finally here, so it’s important to maintain profitability this holiday season. When looking at trends from Q4 2021, both advertising spend and cost-per-click (CPC) data reached record highs while widespread inventory constraints persisted. However, as supply chain issues eased up a bit in time for the holidays, daily ad spend and CPCs increased to record levels. Last year, eCommerce sales rose 11% during the holiday season in the US, which was up 61.4% compared to 2019 eCommerce performance. And even with issues such as inventory challenges and skyrocketing inflation, Amazon ad spend grew 7% year-over-year.
So, what does all this mean for Q4 2022? With fewer inventory constraints, inflation costs leveling off, and Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale (“Prime Day 2.0”) taking place on October 11th and 12th, there are several opportunities for brands to capitalize on to increase sales and optimize placements to decrease costs. This article offers some best practices for gearing up your brand for Q4 events and some critical tricks for Pacvue users to leverage for optimizing their strategy to boost sales and remain profitable.
Leveraging Pacvue Tools for Q4
Check Retail Readiness
The retail readiness of your advertised ASINs is foundational to success year-round but is even more critical during Q4. To maximize sales from the increased Q4 traffic, advertisers want to make sure their product detail pages (PDPs) are built to convert. Insert your advertised ASINs into the Brand Audit tool and identify what areas of your ASINs PDP page need to be improved in preparation for Q4. This audit can be run portfolio-wide against a target Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) or Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS).
Expand on ASIN Targeting Campaigns
During the lead-up to key sales events, such as Cyber Five, there will be increased traffic to PDPs. Take advantage of increased traffic to PDP by targeting the detail pages of relevant ASINs, as well as your competitors. Monthly Units and Revenue can be a proxy metric for ASIN traffic. Use the units or revenue filters to show that they are likelier to have higher traffic volume.
Leveraging Category Intelligence Search Query Data
Identify Keyword Seasonality Trends: Use the Category Intelligence tool to identify search volume trends over the past year for a handful of your highest search volume terms. Use the ‘My Queries’ filter to see the keywords that you are currently bidding on. Then use search volume trends to help with Q4 bidding and budgeting strategies. Use last year’s search volume trends to identify peak weeks to increase bids and budget.
Identify Keywords to Bid More Aggressively On: In Q4, CPCs generally rise significantly across the board. Knowing which keyword to bid more aggressively on is a huge Q4 advantage. Use the ‘Top of Page Value’ and ‘Non-Hero Queries’ filters in the Category Intelligence Search Term. These filters would allow you to find queries where most of the traffic comes from being at the top of the page and where you don’t have a top-of-page presence. Bidding more aggressively on these terms would provide more potential reach than queries that displayed other characteristics such as Hero Queries (where you’re already in the Top 3) or Browsing (where the top 3 is less than 30% of click share).
Top of Page Value = Top 3 ASINs of a search term that account for greater than 60% of Click Share.
Non-Hero Queries = Queries that do not have your ASINs in the Top 3.
Optimizing Ads for Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale
Leverage Dayparting: This can help you control your advertising spend while maximizing your budget throughout the event.
Target new-to-brand customers: By retargeting the same pool of consumers and potential consumers, you encourage brand loyalty, improve the chance of gaining subscription purchases, and build recall value.
Automate with rules: Continuous monitoring of all bids is confusing. Utilize automation rules to help you adjust efficiently and reach your specific goals.
Don’t forget the lead-in: With the onslaught of purchase-heavy seasons in Q4, a lead-in strategy can help you establish a brand image and work within your margins to profit from the motivated buying patterns on Amazon.
Launch DSP ads: DSP has established itself as an absolute necessity for advertising campaigns, and it is key to reaching customers at the right time.
Assess costs versus returns: Pinpoint areas where your ad dollars are being wasted to shuffle it and prioritize the channels where you could get more bang for your buck.
Grow your market share: Your share of voice relative to that of your competitors is a vital metric to always keep an eye on and try to grow.
Temporary Bid Increases During Cyber Five
Use the Dayparting Scheduler: Schedule temporary bid increases during Cyber 5 and have Pacvue automatically revert bids to the original pre-Cyber Five bids.
Set the Dayparting scheduler: Consider setting the Dayparting scheduler from 11/24/2022 to 11/29/2022. November 24th-28th should be bid increase days during “Cyber Five.” November 29th will be the reset day when bids will be reverted to the original value and shut off. In the hourly dayparting settings, set bid increases to occur from Thursday-Monday.
Q4 Budget Adjustments
The Budget Calendar Template in the Budget Manager allows brands to allocate specific budget allocations to specific days. It may make sense to do an even budget distribution during “normal” months. However, during Q4, which contains important sales events like Cyber 5, brands may want to strategically allocate a custom budget to key periods. We recommend setting up a custom calendar template for Q4, which distributes more budget to Cyber 5 and less funding during the post-Christmas wind-down.
More Planning Tips for Success in Q4
Optimize every element: Consider optimizing your keyword strategy, audience strategy, and budget planning to stay on top of the game and regularly update them based on your performance.
Proofread your brand’s digital store: Review all your product pages in advance to help ensure that overlooked errors in the graphics, titles, and text do not cause you to lose out on sales.
Assess your ASINs: In auto and top manual campaigns, ensure that promotional ASINs are featured to promote maximum visibility before and during sales events.
Experiment and analyze: Make the most of each opportunity to experiment with your bidding schedules, discounts, messaging, and keywords. Your advertising and audience response will help you redirect prep to maximize sales during peak season.
Ramp up retargeting campaigns: Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP ads are trial-and-error-based campaigns. Brands can leverage their retargeting campaigns to encourage potential customers to buy their brand even after the sale has ended.
Interested in learning more about what happened during Amazon Prime Day 2022 and some top tips to leverage in your strategy during Q4? Check out this webinar recording to learn more fascinating statistics, trends, and predictions. Request a demo today to learn more about the Pacvue Platform and how our team of experts can help scale your brand on Amazon and across dozens of retailers.