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….your fourth quarter sales on Amazon plus future growth. That's what we're going to be talking about today depending on when you're listening to this episode but right now the day that this airs is September 13th 2017. So depending on when you're listening to this. Now, if you're listening to his September 13th 2018, it's probably all still going to apply and even it isn't even leading into the fourth quarter these are some best practices. Now what I want to do is ask you some questions and then we're going to address those questions because a lot of times asking yourself these questions will allow you to prepare for what's about to happen or what is happening in your business.
That's usually how I can get started with solutions is asking questions. That's another little side tip that I've give you guys in the past which is ask yourself a question, you'll have to answer that question and that question will be usually a step moving towards solving it or actually making progress or something that I call a growth step in your business. Not just, “I wonder if that will work.” You actually have to do it and put something in place.
That's what we're going to be talking about. I actually had seven tips for you guys again. I know the last episode I did seven tips and now I have got seven more. I wish I could have came up with ten and I could have made it different but these are seven tips to really crush it this fourth quarter. We're going to through all those here in a minute. Now before I do, I again just want to say thank you so much for taking time out of your day for spending with me, whether you're on the run, in the plane or in the train. That kind of rhymed. I know a lot of you guys listen to the podcasts when you guys are traveling or maybe on your walk or whatever.
[00:02:01] Scott: I just want to say again thank you so much for taking me a long with you. Now, if you guys are brand new, I want to welcome you as well. I also want to give you a resource because some of the things I'm going to be talking about here or even in the past episodes could be a little overwhelming. I get a lot of people that say, “Scott, where do I start? Where do I start with the podcast?” And it's funny you should ask that because I'm actually going to be doing a probably a four or a five part series coming up soon where I'm going to outline everything. It's really pretty much the same thing that I go over in our workshop. I'm just going to break it down in podcast episodes. If you want to actually see the condensed version of how to pick a product, source it and launch it and all that fun stuff head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop.
That will give you that resource. You can register for an upcoming workshop and I will break everything down for you in 90 minutes. That is the workshop, you'll walk away with actionable items that you can do right now. I'm big about taking action. You guys know that are long time listeners, if you guys are brand new well you're going to learn very, very soon that that is exactly what I live by. I want you guys to always walk away with something that you can actually implement.
So, what do you say? Let's go ahead and dive in. The first question I need to ask you and you need to ask yourself is leading into fourth quarter, where are you right now in the process? What I mean by that is are you just launching, are you already launched, are your sales kind of slow because you're maybe during the summer months, your sales aren't where they will be, have you been through a full fourth quarter before? There's all of these things that you have to ask yourself but where are you in the process right now? You need to understand where you are because you are going to be doing things a little bit differently depending on where you are in the process. That's question number one.
[00:03:59] Scott: Now the second part is, and I get this question a lot, should I launch new products right now leading into the fourth quarter? The answer is if you can get it in before fourth quarter, then yes. Absolutely because we're going to have a lot more traffic. If you guys are brand new to this Amazon world or even ecommerce in general, fourth quarter is going to be the biggest selling period. It doesn't matter if you have a brick and mortar store, in a mall, a kiosk that you run out, there's more traffic, people are buying for gifts, people are just buying in general. In the summer, it typically means that you're going to have lower sales unless you're selling beach products or barbecue stuff.
In fourth quarter, it's game on. There is a lot of sales happening and Amazon has a lot of sales and it just seems like every year it even gets bigger. We're not even talking just Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We're not even talking about those, we're just talking about just fourth quarter in general. So if you have a new product and if it can launch probably before, I would say October 31st then I would say yes, like why not? Even if it doesn't launch until maybe mid-November then you can still do it. It's just going to be… There's going to be more traffic, means more competition, more people are going to be spending on pay-per-click.
It will be a little bit harder maybe. Now if you've built an email list like we've talked about in the past… Again guys, if you're brand new I'm sorry to overwhelm you when I bring up this stuff and I don't mean to but it's just kind of that conversation that we have here on this podcast because we're talking always about like how to get ready for the big day. In this case if you have an email list that's what you need to do. It's really like let your list know about it, start spiking sales all of that stuff. Building a list is a huge, you guys know I'm a big fan of that. I have a great resource for you guys.
[00:06:00] Scott: Again, I'll throw this all in the show notes to this episode but it's theamazingseller.com/buildlist or you can just go to the show notes which I probably should have given you in the beginning, theamazingseller.com/411 and that will give you all the transcripts and all the links and all that stuff but anyway. Should you launch new products? Again, if you can launch it by October 31st or even a little bit after then yes. Do not though, let me just add a little caveat here, do not rush to get your product in and compromise quality, compromise the listing.
Don't rush it to get it there just to get it there. There's going to be another fourth quarter, there's going to be sales in January, in February, in March, people think like if I can't launch in fourth quarter I might as well not launch until the following fourth quarter and that's false. No. You still want to get going. Get your product in there. Even if you do a small run like you still want to go through that process but do not rush the process. Do not rush the process.
So the next question is should you go all in on current products? The answer is YES. You should go all in on your current products but you need to understand what are those current products? If you have ten SKUs right now and there's three of them that are driving most of the sales then you probably want to take your capital and invest in those products. Those are the ones that you probably want to spend more time on optimizing or pay-per-click or any of that stuff. So, yes you should go all in on current products that are doing well.
The next question, do you have history from last year? I touched on this earlier, if you have history then you can kind of know what to plan for depending on when you launched last year whether how many sales you were getting or if you did have an email list and now this year you do and last year you didn't, like all of those things come into play.
[00:08:01] Scott: Now, if you didn't have history from last year, your competitors probably did have history from last year. So I would go to camelcamelcamel.com or keepea.com and I would look at history of some of my competitors. That's what I would do. This way here I can get a good idea. I can look at the BSR from last year during fourth quarter. BSR in fourth quarter is different than BSR in the summer months or even in the second quarter. It's going to be different. We want to have an idea of what kind of volume you can be talking about. Now if you're riding a trend, that hasn't been around since last or that was here for last year, then you're not going to have that data. You're going to be kind of guessing in a sense.
Like might have to go off of what you do now. If you're doing ten sales a day right now, I would almost bet that you're going to probably at least double but maybe triple or even quadruple that number. Again, depending. There's a lot of factors that come in there. How much more competition has come in, have you built a launch list, how's your pay-per-click going, are you starting to really hone in on that. Some of those things can really come into play but history is a big one. Look at the history from last year, either on your own or on your competitors and then also look at your sales that you've been having right now and see how that's going.
Then you are going to want to project that you're going to need more inventory because of that. Now, I also put a little not here to look at other sellers but also look at the trends on Google for insights. So if you're selling a garlic press search for garlic press on Google Trends and that will then give you an idea of the trend for that keyword and a lot of times that will go back five/six/seven years. You can see the trends. You can see the spikes and you can see the dips and all that stuff. Google Trends is a great resource for looking at your market as a whole or just even the product for that keyword.
[00:10:03] Scott: If people are searching for a garlic press then it's going to be done on Google as well, then you can get an idea of how that is, if people buy garlic presses in the fourth quarter more so that if they buy them in the second or third quarter. You'll generally see there'll be a lift in sales in fourth quarter.
Then the last little question here is what's your plan? Ask yourself, what's my plan? Then map it all out. So by going through these other questions that I gave you, like where are you in the process, should you launch new products, should you go all in on current products and if your answer is, “Yes I should go in on my current products,” because you have current products, then it's very simple. What's your plan? How much inventory are you going to need? What are your past sales? What's your competitors' past sales and then create that plan, map it out as best as you can and then execute on that plan. That plan can be I need to optimize better, I need to dial in my pay-per-click more.
I also get the question a lot of people say, “Should I wait to run pay-per-click until fourth quarter?” My answer is, “No, start doing it now because you want to start mining for that data,” but we also want to get Amazon knowing that we are the ones that are selling this product. We don't want to all of a sudden just day one start maybe advertising. We want to do it now so we are starting to get that history with Amazon as well. So, what's your plan? Map it out. I would take a piece of paper and write that down. A lot of people love using spread sheets and everything online and I'm a fan of them but I'm a fan of good old fashioned pad and paper. Like I love it, I got one right here in front of me right now.
I've got multiple notes going on, not just with this podcast but just with things that I'm doing on a daily basis or even on a monthly basis. So what's your plan, map it out, I would do it on paper. All right, now we are going to get to some actual tips for going through or prepping for this fourth quarter and really to crush it.
[00:12:02] Scott: To go out there and just give it everything you have and really take advantage of this traffic if you have a product that is ready to be launched or that is already launched.
So, tip number one, new products. If you're going to launch a new product, make sure that you do it before October 31st and I would say, yes if you still want to launch after the fact you can but the problem with that is a lot of other people are already going to be selling, they are going to be selling hard and you can still do it and start to get some of that data and start to get some sales and start to get in there, get some reviews and stuff but it will be a little harder to get some momentum but it doesn't mean that it's impossible. Now, let me add another little side tip here. If you do decide to launch after October 31st and you want to ramp up sales very quickly, then you're going to need to have a list to do that to. A launch list that is, of people that you can reach out to and go, “Hey, I've got a discount on this product, here it is.”
I a lot of times will just not send an email out there and do that. We always send like a three email sequence. We also do some, what we call, a nurturing campaign where we warm them up through our contests and stuff like that. I'm not going to go into all of that stuff. I've already outlined all of that stuff myself and Chris Shaffer on our free workshop, theamazingseller.com/buildlist gives you everything there, everything that you need and you still have time to prepare for that and get that going. You can also reach out to an influencer in your space, could be Instagram, could be YouTube, could be Facebook, go out there and reach out to these people already have a list built, already have a relationship with these people and then give them a special offer or even maybe run a contest with those people.
There's so much that you can do but if you have new products, this is that tip for people that have new products launch it before October 31st. Get it in there by October 31st ready to receive sales.
[00:14:03] Scott: Number two, current products people. If you have current products like I said earlier, look at best sellers that you have, your best sellers, look at you inventory and make sure you have inventory in by October 31st. Now, does that mean you can't ship it in a little bit later? You can, I would definitely have it in there before fourth quarter but things are going to slow down. The reason why I say they have it in by October 31st is because this way here if your inventory is there it is sitting there ready to take sales, you're good to go.
If you send something in on November 6th it may take until Black Friday or after before to get received. You got to remember, Amazon is receiving thousands of products every single day and having to check them in and get those products scanned so this way here they are ready to be part of your inventory. Depending if you're sending in a small order of maybe 500 units or if you're sending in a massive order of 3,000 to 5,000 units, that could slow down the process because you have less to check in. Or if you have a container, if you have a container that's being directly shipped to Amazon, I can almost guarantee you, it's going to take them longer to check all that in than if you were to send in 500 units.
Another little side tip, if that is you and let's say that you have a container going in, I would have 500 units separately being sent as a separate order so this way here, that order will probably get checked in sooner than the bigger one that you're having shipped in with a container. Just another little side tip there for you. That's what I would do because again once we get closer to Black Friday and stuff, oh my gosh, like people they are scrambling to get inventory in there.
Now, let's move on to number three. If you currently have products selling look at your pay-per-click data and optimize your listings.
[00:16:03] Scott: This is the time to do that. Now if you have stuff that's really working, you don't want to play with too, too much stuff. But if you look at your pay-per-click data and what I mean by this is if you look at your impressions, your clicks and your sales more importantly your clicks to sales those are the ones that you want to make sure that you are optimized fully for. There may only be four or five that are like winners. Take those, make sure number one if they can go in your title within the character limitations or the characters that you're able to add and depending on your category could be 100, could be 250, it just depends.
But that main one that's driving a lot of the sales, make sure that that's in there so this way here you know that you're going to have a better chance to rank because that title is weighted the most. The from there, the bullets, make sure that those are all the tweaked and I would say, focus on your first two to three bullets and the reason is a lot of people don't scroll and in some categories it only shows the first two or three and then you have to read more to see the others. So this way here, people that are just scanning, they are going to see those. Definitely make sure they are leading with benefits and then features.
But then also wrapped around your search terms or your keywords. Your pay-per-click data is huge. Now, the other place to add these if you've already used up all of your space on those other areas is the backend search fields. We've done past podcasts on this talking about the new update where they went from 1,000 characters per line to now where it's 250 combined so it's back to the way it used to be. Now, you can have basically 250 total characters. If you want to do 50 per line for the five you can. We think you can just go out there and just throw those 250 characters in the first line and call it a day.
[00:18:02] Scott: But your main, main keyword is probably going to be in your title anyway and then your backend is really just going to be some of those miscellaneous keywords, we refer to these as long tail keywords or search terms where it could be like stainless steel garlic press or black handle stainless steel garlic press. That's all one string but it's all one long tail keyword. That is number three. Look at your pay-per-click data that you already currently have. Optimize your listings and then also really dial it up and that's number four.
Dial up and dial in your pay-per-click to gain traction before fourth quarter. Again, you don't want to maybe Black Friday say, “I'm going to start running pay-per-click now.” Everyone else that's smart they go out there and they are doing it. Even if you just do it consistently with a small budget but you continuously really going out there and getting sales driven through pay-per-click. I believe and this is my opinion, that Amazon sees that. That you're constantly spending, you're constantly getting conversions, through your pay-per-click and then when you start to ramp up that budget because now all of sudden the traffic starts to increase, you're going to be taken care of in a sense.
So number four is dial up and dial in your pay-per-click to gain traction before fourth quarter. Definitely focus on pay-per-click. I think it's going to be a huge advantage for any of us to take advantage of right now and as we lead into fourth quarter.
Number five and I've said this a whole bunch of times, during this podcast and leading up to this podcast build an email list to ramp up sales and rank before fourth quarter. What does this mean? Well, if right now you're listening to this, you still have time. You can build an email list of 1,000 people probably in the next two weeks to maybe three weeks. Then from there you would send out some emails to these people.
[00:20:04] Scott: Again, I can't spend all the time that we spend on past podcasts or even just our workshop but the gist is go out there, build the email list in your market of people that are raising their hands, that are interested in products that you sell or in that market and then from there build a little bit of a relationship with those people and then offer a discount for some of your products. Period. End of story. And it works. I would do that leading up to fourth quarter not just doing it during fourth quarter because this is also going to help you rank. What we want to do is we want to push sales.
We want to push sales and what this is going to do since we are optimized it's going to start to rank us. What happens when we organically show up now when the traffic comes? We get more sales organically. See, those sales that we are using from our email list are driving rank. If we can rank then we are going to start to get eye balls from organic searches. Email list helps us spike sales. We're doing that even though we might not be making as much money per sale we're doing it to get ourselves to rank, to get ourselves visibility. Really, it's a way for us to get advertising in a sense for free because people that are searching and they find our listing, that's an organic rank or an organic search.
Then we want to be there. So we are going to take this time to build that email list to start getting sales, start driving sales to start ranking organically. Period. The other thing you can do, let's say it's Black Friday and you know that the traffic is crazy that day, right. Well, you may send a little blast for Black Friday. Everyone is running a Black Friday Sales so why not run one too? Then this way here you get a huge spike in sales and then it's going to help you rank and now after that that's usually the kick off to fourth quarter anyway as far as like where the sales get crazy is after Black Friday. This is where you'd really ramp that up. That's number five. I can't stress that enough.
[00:22:00] Scott: Again, I'll give you guys the links in the show notes but I'll just throw it out there right now, theamazingseller.com/buildlist. The show notes will be theamazingseller.com/411. I'll link everything up there for you guys. So this way here you have all this stuff at your fingertips because I want you guys to understand that we can take advantage of the fourth quarter if we are prepared and if we have a plan like I said in the earlier part of this podcast. What's your plan? Map it out. What do you need to do? Everyone is going to be a little bit different so you need to just create your plan and then execute on that plan.
All right, so moving on, number six, communicate with the email list. Now, I talked about building that relationship with those people that sign up that raise their hand and I get this question too. They are like, “Scott, why don't I just go and use like a deal site? Why don't I just go there and offer my discount and get sales?” You can do that if you want to. Here's why I don't like that method as much as I like the email list building method or strategy or tactic or whatever you want to call it. Everyone calls it something to try make it sound sexy. So basically, here's my idea and here's what we do. We build and email list in our market. A deal site is exactly that.
People that are shopping for a deal. Now someone argue and they go, “Yeah but Scott if you're doing a contest or a giveaway, aren't you kind of finding free seekers?” Kind of but in my market. There are people that are maybe looking for discounts but they are looking for discounts in my market. If I just send out my product to a deal site then everyone that I'm sending that out to, they are not all my target market. They are people that are just raising their hand going, “I would love a deal. So give me a deal.” Because of that I'm competing with a whole bunch of different products, whole bunch of different offers. Why not call out my market even if it is going after people that are looking for deals in my market
[00:24:02] Scott: Those people can help me spike sales to get organically ranked. So what I like to do is do that big contest and then from there I tracked my market and then from there I get to communicate with that email list. I start to survey them. I start to build good will. I get them to know our brand. I get to do a little bit of future planning by again, asking them questions. I also get them to maybe share a post that I created on a blog or a Facebook Live. Like I'm able to take that email list and not just sell to it but build a relationship with it and this can be done over the course of a week or two with you sending out valuable information and then you can…
Even if you just sent out the email, like we talk about on our workshop where you send out an email and you say, “Hey, just want to let you know the winner is Suzie Brown and she won, so congratulations and it's awesome. I'm so excited for her. And everyone that entered I just want to thank you guys as well, I don't want you guys to feel though as you guys didn't win because everyone can be a winner and what we want to do is extend a special offer to just you guys that entered. We want to give you guys an additional 30% off from now until this weekend.” So maybe it's three days. Maybe you send that out on Friday.
Then from there, we can follow up with them and go, “Hey, here's a cool video that I found with a son and a father going out in their boat on the weekend catching bass on this weird lure.” Then again, you're going to entertain them in a sense by giving them something that's of value to them because they entered my contest because they are into fishing because that's where I put my little bait if you will. Wow, that's kind of ironic. So I was able to put something out there in the pond of bait, in a sense that qualified them as being my market. I send them out a YouTube video that I didn't even create as a piece of content.
[00:26:00] Scott: Then I can throw a PS in there and go, “Oh yeah by the way, just want to remind you, that special offer that I mentioned the other day expires tomorrow.” Then the last day I can do the same thing. Another piece of content, and say, “Oh by the way, I just want to let you know, it's going to expire tonight.” Then from there we get a rush of sales. That's worked every single time that we've done that, three emails. We don't even need to create the content even though we are in our brand, we are creating our content. You don't have to. Again, you guys can hear me go on here. I can go on and on and on about how powerful this is because I believe this is the way of the future and if you have this asset for fourth quarter, game over.
You're able to get in there and really start to push sales, drive sales, get rank and start to get that momentum and that velocity that you're going to need when fourth quarter comes because that will also help you gain the natural organic velocity that you'll get in the fourth quarter. Number six is communicate with your email list, do surveys, build good will and do some future planning.
The last one here is seven, is FOCUS ON SALES AND CUSTOMERS. FOCUS ON SALES AND CUSTOMERS. Your feedback plus reviews equals health of your account. What does that mean? Well, sales is going to boost our rankings and organically and it's going to put money in the cash flow. We're going to have cash flow now which we all love. Then customers, that's what's also going to also help your account become stronger, more seasoned. Think about all of this stuff that you're doing. Isn't necessarily just for the dollar or the sales that you're going to make today. It's about feeding Amazon what they want which is sales and then happy customers by getting feedback and reviews and preferably good reviews and feedback. And if it's not, then you need to address that.
[00:28:01] Scott: It could be something that you've done, that you can correct. The other little side note here is please, everyone that is leaving feedback and reviews, I want you to reply back publicly to them on your page. Why would you do that? Well, you're publicly saying, “I'm not hiding, someone wrote a three-star review because whatever… The product arrived damaged,” and then you can say, “I'm so sorry about that, that that had happened. Send us a support ticket here and we will take care of it. We want to make sure that our customers are 100% happy.” This way here, they're seeing that the brand is actually interacting with the customer.
The feedback on your account is really, really important and people don't understand. They don't talk about this part of the Amazon space as much as they should. The health of your account is huge. The more sales that you generate, the more feedback that you generate, Amazon starts to see what kind of a seller you are. Then that's also going to play in your rankings and their algorithm and all that stuff. I don't know what the metrics are, and I don't think anyone does. But I will tell you this, if you have a higher feedback score with more sales that have been through it, it's going to help you rank in the future easier than if you were brand new account.
It just makes sense. It's like a website that's a day old or a website that's five years old. It makes a big difference in Google and it makes a big difference in Amazon. It's a seasoned account we call it. That's the health of your account. Then the reviews, the same thing. If they leave you a review that's a negative review, don't run from it. Address it. Go write on that review as you as the brand and communicate on that and address the issue and talk about the issue and then obviously say, “Reach out to us and we'll make it right.” Because that there is going to help you in the future when people are reading those reviews. Again, that's everything that I would do and that I am doing and that we are doing especially in the new brand that we're ramping things up right now is we are doing all of this.
[00:30:09] Scott: We have products that we are going to be launching. But we are going to launch them before October 31st. We have current products that are doing really well. We're going to double down on those. We've actually ordered; let's see I've got 1,500 units coming right now because we ran out of stock. We've been out of stock for almost four weeks which is crazy and I'm disappointed in that but you know what, that's the way it goes. We learned some valuable lessons during that time. We ordered 1,500 units but in the meantime we also ordered an addition 3,000 units. So I have 4,500 units that are coming in because this product proved to us that it's going do well.
We doubled down on that one. Then the other thing is our pay-per-click. We're constantly refining and we're constantly looking at the data and we are constantly optimizing where we need to. We're going to dial that up. We're always building our email list or communicating with our email list on a regular basis. At least one email per week goes out to that list and that could be a piece of content, it could be a piece of content and an offer. It could be an offer, it could be whatever we want it to be. We do like to mix in valuable tips and advice or even just humor and then from there you have an offer.
That's what we've been doing on a regular basis now with this new brand. So everything I just shared with you is just like my brain dump of what we're going to be doing for fourth quarter and I think you guys should be doing as well, depending on where you are and going back to asking yourself those questions, what's your plan? When you ask yourself those questions like where are you in the process? If you're launching new products ask yourself, can I launch this by October 31st? If you can, go for it. If you can't then I'm not saying don't launch it, I'm just saying it's going to probably not be as successful as it would be if you got it in before October 31st or you could get it in November 5th and still be fine.
[00:32:06] Scott: But you should shoot for October 31st. Then again, looking at history from last year from your own brand or someone else's brand will also help you have a little bit more of a prediction of what you can expect for sales volume through that market or through that product. So, lot of information there. I know. That's why you guys can always go to the show notes, there'll be transcripts, there'll be links, there'll be notes, all that stuff; theamazingseller.com/411 and again, this is how you can actually go out there, create a plan and get those fourth quarter sales that are going to be there for you or for someone else.
It's really up to you and I've said this before, in order to get results you got to get in the game. You have to get in the game if you want to be able to get some type of results. Get in the game, like where are you in the process. I'll bring it up one more time, if you're a brand new listener, you're like, “Wow, that was a lot to take in.” It's okay because you can start right now. It doesn't even mean you're going to have to launch right now. You can launch January 1st if you want to. I would recommend you guys go and register for one of our upcoming workshops and that can be found at theamazingseller.com/workshop. You'll see the upcoming dates there. Definitely go check that out.
All right guys. That is going to officially wrap this up. We'll probably be doing some more episodes here in the future talking about fourth quarter, maybe even talking about lightning deals and stuff like that. But right now, this is what I'd focus on.
All right, so guys that's it, that's going to wrap up this episode. Remember, as always I'm here for you, I believe in you, and I am rooting for you, but you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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