We know that the last thing the world needs is yet another rumination on the e-commerce implications of the stretch of days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, replete with statistics and predictions and insights into the deeper cultural meaning of the changing nature of consumer spending. So this isn’t that.
Instead, we’d like to (briefly!) offer up our suggestions on the five most important things you can do to win during the stretch of days known as Cyber Five. Spoiler alert: they all fall under the rubric of either optimizing customer experience or maximizing revenue.
The shopping experience you are providing your customers is, of course, the single most important part of winning on Amazon during the Cyber Five. Give your customers a great experience and they will buy now and return to you to buy more in the future. How do you do this? Make your products easy to find and make your products easy to buy.
You have already done a ton of work to make your products easy to find – you’ve had your Black Friday Deals, along with the rest of your promotional strategy, set up for weeks or months. You have well-thought-out and executed AMS campaigns humming along. But there are two things you can do to increase findability pretty much in real time:
Focus timely AMS spending on those products that have dropped off the first page of search results during this busy time. We all know that the great bulk of sales come from the first page of search results, so if you can quickly identify key products that have dropped in the search rankings, you can deploy some last-minute AMS spending to bring them right back up to the center of your customers’ attention. This is a calculated tradeoff for higher discoverability and traffic over Return on Ad Spend (ROAS.)
Next, here is a strategy you can pursue to increase findability of your products at the expense of your competitors: If you know which of your competitor’s products have gone out of stock, you can run AMS Sponsored Product Ads for the keyword terms that your competitor’s products are ranked highly on. You can take advantage of your knowledge of their shortfalls to make your items discoverable precisely where theirs are unavailable. And if the item in question is suitable for the Subscribe and Save service (anything from diapers to toner cartridges), this is even an opportunity for a competitive win with legs, one that can stretch for months or years into the future.
Let’s move on to making things easy to buy. Because someone can’t buy something that isn’t there, your Supply Chain teams have undoubtedly been working like crazy for months to make sure that everything you plan to sell is either at an Amazon Fulfillment Center or is timed to arrive when needed. We’ll give some insights in a future blog about some of the technologies that are available to them to make that task easier (including being able to predict out-of-stocks and prevent them before they even happen, or to automatically detect and respond to Andon Cord pulls). Here are two things you can do to make buying easy:
A technique to increase both shopper discoverability and ease of buying comes from setting up some of your slower-moving SKUs to draft off some of the faster-moving ones by, for example, building baskets of related goods centered around a fast-moving SKU. An extra advantage of pursuing a strategy like this is that by choosing higher-margin SKUs to do the drafting, you can improve the overall margin on the transaction and reduce the risk that a fast-moving but low-margin SKU will CRaP out and be suppressed in search results. By suggesting related products to customers already on your PDP, you make it easier for your customers to both find and buy them.
Next, a strategy that relies on identifying and responding to competitor promos. The idea is simple: flag competitor promos, then identify those products of yours that can go up against the promoted competitor product. Run your own promos to make it easier for customers to try and buy your products, rather than your competitors’.
Back up at the top of this post, we mentioned that optimizing customer experience and maximizing revenue were the focus of our Top Five Things. Let’s briefly consider revenue. Your Amazon revenue is ultimately driven by a very simple equation: the volume of traffic going to your Product Detail Pages times the conversion rate on that traffic. Boost one or the other (or ideally both) across your online product catalog and your revenue will increase. And here’s an interesting thing: by making your products easy to find and easy to buy, you are taking the very steps you need to in order to maximize traffic and conversion.
The formula for generating revenue on Amazon, traffic times conversion, is a simple one. Right now, during the Cyber Five days that run from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, you can look forward to a big exogenous boost in traffic (and as we will see soon in another blog post, you can pursue a number of strategies to boost that traffic even after the holidays are over).
Converting all of that traffic is not conceptually difficult, but can be very hard in practice because of its sheer volume and pace, not to mention the presence of complicating factors like competitors. In a future blog, we’ll outline a few key strategies that our customers have used to boost their Amazon revenue by over 10% within the first quarter of their adoption.
Good to see you are paying attention. Our fifth suggestion is based on the observation that, while it is theoretically possible that a large enough team could take all of the steps needed maximize traffic and conversion using existing tools and manual effort, it is far simpler to empower the team you have with a growth automation platform that can implement these strategies at machine speed. Doing just that is what we here at Boomerang are all about; spend some time looking around the site, or reach out to us to find out more.
However you are approaching the holiday selling season, best wishes from all of us at Boomerang Commerce for a Happy Thanksgiving and a profitable Cyber Five!