Retail, Performance Marketing

Prime Day Preview: Your Ultimate Guide to Dominating the Holiday Season

MERGE serves up top strategies for success this holiday season to help brands drive traffic and sales across retail channels

BY: Kelsey Martinson | Marketplace Optimization Strategist

PUBLISHED: 10/2/2023

For retailers looking to jump-start the holiday shopping season, look no further than Amazon’s October Prime Day this October 10-11. The 48-hour “Prime Big Deal Days” event is considered by many in the industry as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, giving retailers an opportunity to start on a high note and carry momentum throughout peak season. And the numbers back it up.

With July Prime Day this year reaching a record $12.7 Billion in sales, it has set the stage for what can be expected from consumer spending in Q4. October’s Prime Day serves as the de facto start of many online sales that will continue through December. With that, we have compiled our top strategies for success this holiday season to help brands drive traffic and sales across retail channels.

Catalog Optimization

If you're familiar with Amazon, then you know that your listings can constantly change or break on any given day. Start your catalog auditing well in advance (1-2 months) of any peak promotional period to ensure your products are live, images are up to date, variations are correct, A+ Content is updated, and pricing is competitive. And of course, make sure your inventory levels can support the peak periods. 

If you have an extensive offering of products, prioritize your best sellers and any products you’ll be featuring in deals or promotions. Analyze last year’s keyword trends to update any bullet points and descriptions of backend search terms with relevant and high-converting keywords. We’ve also been seeing an uptick in brands creating Brand Stories on their PDPs that live above the A+ Content section. This is a great way to increase your SEO value, cross-merchandise other products, and drive traffic to your brand store during these peak traffic days.

Engage With Customers Through Strategic Brand Content

Amazon posts, the Email Engagement Tool, and the Amazon Brand Stores are all great tools to leverage for increased traffic and sales during the holiday season. Amazon posts are a way to take up free real estate on not only your own product detail page - but your competitors' as well. They live in your brand store and are treated like a social feed of sorts. 

When it comes to the brand store, make sure you are refreshing the store with your brand’s holiday creative. If you plan to drive external traffic to Amazon, we recommend driving to a custom brand store page. You can create “Deals” or “Gifts for Him”/”Gifts for Her” brand store pages to further increase views of your deals or get your brand in front of target customers.

Increase Budgets and Plan Early for Your PPC Campaigns
When it comes to your PPC campaigns, competition is fierce, so make sure you plan your campaigns and creative well in advance. Generally, we recommend increasing your budget 100-200% for Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, but the ideal percentage depends on the number of ASINs and how competitive you want to be. Monitor your campaigns closely the day of and make adjustments where needed. Prepare to pivot budgets where needed to maximize return on ad spend during these peak sales days, too. 

For a defensive strategy to protect market share, use product targeting to bid on your own ASINs. This will sponsor your products in the sponsored slots on your own detail pages. Effectively blocking competitors from advertising there.

When playing offense to gain market share, target complementary or substitute competitor products with Product Targeting campaigns. This draws shoppers away from their listings and over to your own products instead.

The Wrap

There’s no denying that this year’s October Prime Day event will serve as a pivotal moment in the retail calendar, offering a sneak peek into the trends and consumer spending patterns that will shape the forthcoming holiday season. However, to succeed in this competitive landscape, it’s necessary for brands to adopt a multifaceted approach. Catalog optimization, with a keen eye on product listings, imagery, and keywords, is a foundation for success. Engaging customers through strategic brand content, such as Amazon posts and brand stores, provides an edge in visibility and customer engagement. Meanwhile, savvy management of PPC campaigns, involving increased budgets, and careful planning, can be the key to seizing opportunities and outperforming competitors during this critical time. 

By implementing these strategies, brands can navigate the holiday season with confidence, driving traffic and transactions across retail channels to ensure a prosperous end to the year.

To unlock the full potential of your holiday season sales strategy and stay ahead in the competitive Amazon marketplace, connect with the experts at MERGE today!