The five-day span between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday is always met with a rush of activity for both consumers and sellers. Whether or not you’ve been keeping a close eye on Amazon’s growth reports over the last few holiday seasons, it doesn’t take an extensive amount of research to find out that Turkey 5 is by far the busiest online shopping period of the year.
Shoppers are engaged in a buying frenzy, while brands must fight feelings of panic as inventory levels drop at an alarming rate. As long as you are prepared for the busiest sales period of the year, you can enjoy the benefits of this weekend without getting caught off guard by rushed marketing decisions.
There is exactly one month left between now and the highly-anticipated Turkey 5 of 2021, and brands of all sizes are starting to prepare for an increase in eCommerce action. Follow Bobsled’s expert selling advisors Caroline Adams & Damiano Ciarrocchi as we discuss the most essential items to prepare before the Black Friday weekend. Our marketing advice has landed us a spot on the Inc. 5000 list, and Amazon sellers have heard our voice from Business Insider and Amazon itself. There are only four weeks until showtime; the time to prepare starts now!
How Big Is Turkey 5?
Turkey 5 is not a well-known term in some online marketing industries, but it should be. Numerous studies over several years have proven without a shadow of a doubt that the five-day period that starts on Thanksgiving and ends after Cyber Monday is the busiest time period for consumer shopping of the year. And that applies to the whole globe.
The pandemic has no doubt contributed to an even bigger increase in online shopping, especially over the holiday season. In fact, Amazon announced that 2020 was the largest holiday shopping season in the history of the website. While this opens up opportunities for increased profits and a countless increase in brand recognition, it also changes consumer habits drastically. You need to know what changes are coming - because they’re coming fast.
Reports of production and logistical goods shortages will probably drive consumers to start shopping even earlier than the beginning of Turkey 5. While most stores have historically started offering massive sales and promotions at the start of this shopping period, CNN Business reports that Amazon will start to run Turkey 5 ads by the end of October.
How to Prepare for Turkey 5 - 8 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Here are some major ways you can prepare for Turkey 5 right now as an Amazon seller, no matter the size of your brand or your inventory.
1) Both Vendors and Sellers Must-Have Inventory Available and For Sale on Amazon Already
In order to meet Amazon’s Q4 demands, you must already have an ample amount of inventory and stock for your seller or vendor account. If you don’t have any products to sell by the time Q4 is in progress (and especially by the time your Turkey 5 promotions are published) you will lose a substantial amount of new sales opportunities.
Vendors and Sellers alike should try focusing on producing top sellers during this crucial period. For vendors, ship against your POs on time and try to stay as close to the 100% fill rate as possible during this weekend; it’s the only way to keep up with forecasted demands. While some high velocity sellers will be faced with limitations that Amazon has set on their storage capacity. Focus on sales history Q4 2020 and during Prime Day to gain insights into the products with the most propensity to sell, especially during the holiday and key selling event days.
💡 Pro Tip
Storage limitations may be your biggest hurdles to jump over during Turkey 5, so make sure to prep best-sellers ahead of time so you’ll have a product ready to ship as soon as storage frees up. This will save you time from having to replenish your inventory after demand skyrockets.
2) Generate Early Buzz Through Promotional Efforts
Now is the time to put your products and your brand front and center in this ultra-competitive environment. Most of the successful players on Amazon will ramp up their game during this key selling period, so an increased investment is necessary. There is nothing about the status quo that should be kept during an aggressive shopping period like Turkey 5.
It’s time to start bringing in coupons, deals, and promotions. During the holiday season, every seller and vendor will be in the middle of ramping up their advertising efforts. Therefore, offering things like coupons, deals, and promotions for select ASINs could be the competitive advantage for a successful Q4.
💡 Pro Tip
A ramped approach may be best when setting up for something as big as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Start with a smaller promotional offer during these next weeks leading up to Turkey 5. On each day of the 5-day period, increase your discounts higher and higher to draw more people in. Right as Turkey 5 ends, decrease your discounts and get those halo sales!
💡 Ride the Post-Event Sales Wave: Learn about halo sales with What Should Brands Do After Prime Day Ends?
3) Optimize Your Listings for the Season Ahead
Not every preparation tactic on this list is going to be the most effective for your specific brand, but it is important to employ as many strategies as possible leading up to the big week. Preparation is a crucial part of this key selling period.
You can kick start organic search marketing efforts through Product Display Page optimization. It’s also a good time to perform keywords research and seed copy with timely (and seasonal) catchphrases, both on the front and back ends of your product.
This is a good time for an image update too. Make sure your products appeal to the average lifestyle, so consumers can more easily imagine themselves with your product. Create a cross-selling opportunity by adding a table to A+ content of different products in your catalog.
💡 Pro Tip
Remember: copy content can take a few weeks to index through Amazon’s system, so time your listing updates well!
4) Be Clear On Your Goals for Turkey 5
Everyone is aware that Black Friday is an event that gives sellers the opportunity to make an astronomical amount of profit. But that doesn’t mean increased earnings are a guarantee; you still need to have a set strategy while working hard to prepare your products for Turkey 5. But before that, you need to know what you want your brand to achieve.
Are you trying to achieve awareness, consideration, or purchasing? You can focus on just one of these three essential components of the funnel in your advertising strategy, but best practices indicate that you should divide your focus between them all.
💡 Pro Tip
Create a funnel mix that works best for you. For example, you can dedicate 70% to purchasing, 20% to consideration, and 10% to awareness. There are unique campaign types to focus on for each of these three aspects:
- Sponsored Products category targeting
- Sponsored Display category targeting (viewable impressions)
- Sponsored Products non-branded keyword targeting
- Sponsored Brands non-branded keyword targeting
- Sponsored Display product and interest targeting
- Sponsored Products branded targeting (to protect your own brand)
- Sponsored Brand branded targeting
5) Invest in A/B Testing and Push Top Campaigns
With just one month left to go before the start of Black Friday, this is the perfect time to use A/B testing on your PPC campaigns and creatives. A/B testing is a tried-and-true method for getting more campaigns out on your Amazon platforms before Black Friday.
Remember, customers will browse your shop before the big day to have a longer consideration period before purchasing. This will give you a glimpse of which campaigns you should be pushing when that day comes.
💡 Pro Tip
Depending on your strategy, test the campaigns that perform well on certain KPIs. For an Awareness strategy, this means focusing on high impressions, while a Consideration strategy will prioritize good CTR on non-branded campaigns. Lastly, a Purchasing campaign will want to look for both high CTR and high conversion rates.
💡 Amazon PPC Audit: Discover the powerful benefits of A/B testing with Spending Smarter (Not Just More) with PPC.
6) Invest in A/B Testing and Push Top Campaigns
Sponsored Brands campaigns always show up at the top of any search result, and they will always appear first. By gaining a click, customers are taken to the product’s store or list page, showing them only your brand’s ASINs. This is a great opportunity to gain more sales and brand awareness simultaneously.
💡 Pro Tip
Sponsored Brand campaigns are also beneficial as you have larger images, three ASINs which are all shown, your logo, and a custom headline. You are specifically marketing to consumers who will have a shorter consideration time on products, so having these Sponsored Brand placements will give customers more time to have the full shopping experience.
End Q4 With A Successful Turkey 5 Season!
It is more than possible to enjoy the abundance of success that could be yours during Turkey 5, but you need to start planning for it right now. Otherwise, your entire Q4 could turn out to be a financial disaster. Keep a checklist of things you have planned or need to plan for a successful Turkey 5. Here are a few of the key action items we’ve covered today to check off your list:
☑ Inventory. Keep an eye on inventory, making sure your items are fully stocked and ready to go.
☑ Product Promotion Strategy. Find out which of your products you want to promote; your catalog should be listed by highest to lowest promotion priority.
☑ Optimize Listings. Ensure all listings are optimized as much as possible. Shoppers specifically look for deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so make sure your listings are A+ quality by that point.
☑ Advertising Strategy. Write your PPC plan and leverage the variety of ad types Amazon offers to meet your brand’s goals.
☑ Test. Create your campaigns and test their effectiveness, aligning both your goals and KPIs for each goal.
Tagged: Amazon Account Management