eCommerce Holiday Prep 2022

August eCommerce Holiday Prep 2022: Winning strategies

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As eCommerce sales events are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the shopping calendar, you can no longer afford to ignore them. You need a strategy that helps your online business stand out from the crowd and profit from any event – ‘August’ is one such month with so many festivities and sales that can significantly impact your profits.

As the Sales season approach on every platform, “Freedom Sale on Amazon and “Independence Day Sale on Flipkart’. In spite of the fact that e-commerce brands must employ the right tactics to maximize sales during this event, your success doesn’t have to be limited exclusively to the weeks of the event. Additionally, you must consider ways to retain customers and encourage repeat business beyond the event.

Let’s take a look at consumer behavior during the event season:

  • The Amazon Freedom Festival is expected to generate 275 million sessions.
  • Six out of ten people are interested in learning more about new brands during festival season sales.
  • Nine out of 10 Indians plan to buy something during the festival season sales.
  • 23% of respondents admitted to being influenced by ads on social media platforms.

Source: Amazon, Mint

Sales event roadblocks brands face on Amazon and Flipkart:

While some roadblocks are predictable, like stock-outs based on sales history, whereas some are uncertain, like change in category noding, etc. Below is a mix of a few of both:

1. Sudden Change in category noding:

Amazon’s algorithm can sometimes change the category node for a product listed in a particular category, thus hampering your visibility, performance of your PPC campaigns, and sales.

The change in the category might not sound as worrisome, but it can really be messy if it happens on or around the event days, and that too for your best-selling SKUs.

Solution: Try changing the node by editing the SKU detail under the listing detail, or you can raise a support case to get it updated. In complex cases, you might need your POC’s help to expedite the process. To keep track of categories and subcategories for your SKUs, you can try a demo with our in-house tool Kinator and see how it can help save your bandwidth and generate reports for SKU categories on 1-click

2. 3P sellers leading to no buy-box or you paying for 3P sales:

You never know if you sell a greater number of units than anticipated during events; when there are a lot of SKUs involved, it’s challenging to keep track of stock-outs.

Also, there are high chances of 3P sellers on SKUs having high sales on the platform, and in case a stock-out occurs, your PPC ads might drive sales for those 3P sellers.

Solution: One way is to check for each SKU manually, or an intelligent way is to opt for a SaaS-based tool that helps you save time by checking the seller for your e-Com platforms. Kinator can help you know whether an SKU is being sold by an authorized seller or if the buy-box is with an authorized seller or not.

3. Hourly Visibility Check on “n” number of keywords

Competition on e-com marketplaces has grown over time, and there’s high competition for Top of the search ad placement during the events days.

While it is possible to do a manual check for ad visibility for your important keywords but can be a difficult, time-consuming task depending on the number of SKUs you’re selling, and that too multiple times a day can make it nearly impossible.

A tool in your arsenal would be a better investment in case your category is competitive enough and you have a high number of SKUs

Solution: Intelligent tools can help you do it within seconds. Multiple crawling on an event day will let you focus on more important aspects. With Kinator’s event-specific visibility check, get the most out of the events and be ahead of your competitors by not losing your Share-of-voice (SOV).

4. Early booking for display or banner ads:

You might be planning expand your marketing budgets to increase brand awareness and capture top-of-the-funnel customers.

The early you decide the more options you’ll get to opt for among different placements. With events coming closer the fewer and low-demand ad slots/banner placements and time slots are left to choose from. 

The bigger the event, the higher the chances of early bookings for these premium ad banners & slots.

Solution: Keep checking these ad slots via your platform POC 1-2 months before an event to choose the best options available. Try to put aside budgets for such events in advance and get all the knit-bits like creative approval, cohorts to be targeted, frequency of ads, and time slots for these ads beforehand in order to avoid last-minute delay.

Our experts can help you devise a proper marketing strategy for the event, be it creatives, ad copies, cohort selection, optimum frequency of display ads, placements & time slots, in collaboration with the Amazon team and the brand team.

5. Lesser margins as of increased competition:

While the importance of exceptional sales during online events has been gaining attention, every day, new sellers are entering the marketplace with different strategies and marketing budgets leading to more and more competition.

By competition, we mean in organic as well as ad sales leading to rise in CPC for the existing players and way higher bids for the new entrants.

When your product is a differentiator, it will grab the user’s attention and convert the sales as well. The CPC on event days is high however if your selling history is good, chances are you’ll gain more order volume on the sale days to compensate for the higher CPC.

Solution: Don’t hesitate to opt for a Limited deal, deal of the day, discounts, and coupons. Although margins will reduce as per the offerings however the additional visibility you get from offering these discounts will boost your organic and ad sales.

6. Delay in delivery time

While you might not notice, your competitor might grab some of your sales due to a shorter delivery time. eCommerce is all about convenience and user experience, and a shortfall in handling any of these can lead to your conversion rate drop.

A delayed delivery time can increase your cancellation rate by many folds, and you might have to settle for the virtual sales figure, which might have been the highest, but it didn’t.

Solution: Try to opt for the shipping model with the shortest time delivery and provide a free-of-cost delivery to your customers.

7. Product Refund and Exchange Policy:

As per TrueShip’s report, over 60% of customers review a Returns Policy before making a purchase decision.

Consumers are hesitant to buy from sellers who are stringent regarding their return/exchange and refund policies.  Also, there is an increase in New-to-brand customers during event days, and a lack of flexibility around these policies might not convert those new customers.

Offering flexibility across your refund and exchange policy might help to decrease the cart abandonment rate and increase trust for your brand/seller.

Solutions: Returns policies are like a balancing act, it can be higher during event days, and a poor return policy can impact sales. Be mindful of your policy.

8. Meeting Customer Expectations

We tend to focus on more strategies, budgets, shipment models, discounts, content, etc., keeping the consumer expectations on side-lines.

As marketing has evolved over time, brands too have evolved and become more conscious of consumer pampering. As we prepare for events, we must try to give more weightage to the consumer experience and set ourselves apart from other brands.

Solution: Be on the lookout for new or upcoming trends and how other start-ups or brands are making distinctions. Try to learn from the emerging players; taking inspiration is wrong as long as it betters the customer experience. Try to look at the reviews gathered on your product after the event (review can take 10-20 days to reflect) and decipher if there was a common issue or sentiment among the buyers that could be resolved in future orders.

Additional tips by our experts for Amazon’s Freedom Sale and Flipkart’s Independence Day Sale:

  • On Flipkart, you can test out custom creatives and ad copy while running PCA ads. According to our sources, many brands that don’t opt out for the same custom creatives report a higher CTR than the basic platform-provided creatives.
  • While creating ad campaigns on Flipkart, make sure to keep keywords and category campaigns separate. Keyword-specific campaigns tend to focus only on the targeted keywords rather than focusing on other relevant keywords under the category
  • For Amazon, In case you have similar products with different pack sizes, you can create different campaigns for these different sizes pack with the same kws in order to analyze which kws have a high conversion for which pack size.
  • Ensure that you are using match types smartly. Also, keep a check on your visibility multiple times throughout the day, bids can be too low to generate any spends if not checked for visibility throughout the day.
  • In case you’re planning to increase top of the funnel spends via SD campaigns, do utilize SD matched target report, this report can help you identify the ASINs where your ad appeared. Try to negate ASINs which are irrelevant in category or audience targeting campaigns

Time to Take the Next Step

When it comes to pre-preparation, if you’re proactive, you’ll be well on your way to greater conversion rates, visibility, and discoverability. And remember, data is your best friend. Stay informed about the performance of you and your competitors. Our eCommerce experts can assist you at every stage of the eCommerce process, from out-of-stock data custom alerts, content planning, allocating budgets, and running advertising campaigns.

We hope that the above-mentioned strategies help you during the event times. For more assistance, contact us at info@paxcom.net

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