Are you ready for Q4? Amazon Q4 is the last selling quarter of the year that in most if not all instances, drives the most amount of sales for any business.
As an Amazon seller, it is critical that you prepare for the Q4 holiday shopping rush as early as possible. This holiday period encompasses well-known sales days including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day. For ensuring your success this upcoming 2019 holiday season and for Q4, you must start preparing now (if you have not already)
Check Your Listing
All in addition to making sure your listings are up to date, high ranked keywords that relate to your product, and rechecking your pricing and items’ descriptions for accuracy, how can you prepare well in advance when thinking about your production line in your China-based factory.
First is making sure your supply is abundant. For instance, if you are ordering a quantity of at least a few thousand for the previous three quarters, you will certainly double your September orders. There will be another window in November and December to restock again.
For those sellers who are able to afford it, they will place between two and three orders before Q4 to have stock for the end of the year rush and the Chinese New Year vacation period.
Not only will you need a significant supply for Q4, you will also need enough to carry you through the Chinese New Year celebrations, when all of the factories close in China. During the month of January, for example, orders are unable to be placed and the factories will take a three week break, approximately.
The last week that goods are shipped is usually the last week in January, after which they immediately close for three weeks and sometimes up to four. Most factory workers return to their workplaces in mid-February to resume production, the same time when Amazon sellers will have access to their products. Then, you would have to consider the timeframe for clearing customs, which could have a significant delay on top of the Chinese New Year.
A confident Amazon seller will buy between two and three thousand units, whereas smaller and startup businesses will buy between 500 and one thousand units. Remember, that a constant cash flow allows for growth, so it is always worthwhile to invest in purchasing more units than you might think, especially months prior to Q4.
How Much Product Do I Need?
How do you know exactly how many products you will need? It is important to first consider that you would never want to run out of products during Q4, or even falling short enough in supply that it is noted on Amazon or your seller’s page. Ample supply is always key, and this also falls on the notion of having enough to carry you through the next three months after Q4 or at least until the end of March. If you have been in business for at least a few years, see how many units you sold during last year’s Q4 or perhaps double the number in sales from the second and third quarter.
Perhaps you are being a bit more conservative rather than aggressive, and are ordering a substantial number that is reasonable for predicting sales. You would then have to diligently look at your supply by the end of the first week in December, and if you think you may run low, process one more order immediately so that it may arrive to you before the end of January. Having a warehouse or storage supply unit set up and ready to go at least three months in advance of Q4 will help, giving you enough time to organize and itemize and while focusing on other tasks at hand with all that it takes to be an Amazon seller.
Another tip is to see what the trending gifts are for Q4, and what the top selling products are. Use these facts and figure on an estimate for how much supply you should be ordering. For the holidays, it is of course common for Amazon sellers to create specially designed sets for the holiday season. Bundle a few items into a new set, creating an encore product, or create a completely new product that is on-trend with the season. Target a specific group of buyers that are most likely to buy more gifts during the holidays such as parents of young children, gifts for spouses, grandparents, etc.
If you are just starting out, remember that the process is fairly simple. First, decide upon your product material, etc. with an emphasis on quality. Private label development will take between one and two weeks, then you will find a factory to negotiate with and where your products will be crafted
and assembled in. For simple products, it will take about one month for production, and between 10-30 days for shipping.
Choose the Best Supplier
With regards to availability of certain products and materials, the best factories always become full the fastest. Making sure they will have their required deliveries met when the Q4 rush begins as well as ensuring your supplier has room for these in July-September and in December is a top priority. The Q4 rush begins in July and August, thus this is the time for when you should be gearing up for the holiday season shopping wave.
Thinking about new development. Since July and August are the rush months, naturally factories will see hundreds of new products. This is a great time for spotting new trends and ideas, and also a great way to see what other clients are working on.
Another smart strategy is to have a backup supplier. Every client who works with Guangzhou Agent gets five suppliers to choose from. This is in case of delivery dates, potential quality issues, and of course common sense. If there is a delivery date or quality issue, the order can be quickly moved to another pre-approved factory without the interference to the supply chain. If you happen to not have a backup factory, now is the time to get one.
With regards to Q4, your main takeaway is this: Remember, making sure you are ahead of the rush at least six to eight months in advance while investing in your product growth will ultimately lead to more sales and an even more prominent presence on Amazon. Your efforts and hard work will catch Amazon buyers’ attention and therefore help to generate more sales and traffic, even into the month of January and beyond.