September 2023

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The Importance of a Refreshed Q4 Strategy

The rush of Q4 can be a stressful period for e-commerce sellers, especially those banking on the performance of a 3rd party marketplace like Amazon.

The first rule of Q4 prep is that you’re never too early, and if you think you’re ahead of the game, you’re already behind.

The best time to start prep was yesterday, but if you’re ready to go back through the checklist now, here are the most important things to keep in mind.

1. Product assortment:

  • Is your focus product assortment seasonally appropriate?
  • ie. Fall/Winter relevant products, giftables.
  • Or is it an evergreen ‘need’?
  • Those are the sub-categories of your assortment that you should be focusing on to ensure you’re maintaining relevance in a period of increased traffic.

2. Content:

  • Does your content match the season?
  • Are your lifestyle images still showing summer backgrounds and situations?
  • Are your titles and bullet points still focused on spring/summer use cases for your products?

3. Marketing:

  • Where is your keyword focus?
  • How much extra are you planning to allocate for non-branded campaigns?
  • Unless your brand is a household name, chances are you will not see the same ballpark of search volume across your branded terms as non-branded terms.

Q4 is a monster of a period that can make or break the course of your year, and drive momentum into the following year.

Set yourself up for success and ensure that you have a cohesive strategy in place to provide your business with the best opportunity to drive sales.
-From TH Marketing Lead Kayin Hunter

Masterclass coming from Wendi!

You know Wendi as the Amazon and planning expert. For years people have been asking her to teach a master class on forecasting. She is finally going to take the plunge! We start with some live coaching classes this year. If you or someone you know would benefit from learning more about inventory planning and management, sign up for the True Hero Times Newsletter for the chance to be one of the first 10! Be ready for the 2023 Holiday! Maximize your selling potential! The first class will receive a big discount. If you refer someone to the course, we will throw in a commission to you as well! Manage your INVENTORY and increase PR!

Manage your INVENTORY and increase PROFIT

  • Do you own a brand, ecommerce or brick and mortar store?
  • Are you profitable? HOW SURE ARE YOU?
  • Do you know your current inventory spend?
  • How many days, weeks, years of inventory do you have on hand and on order?
  • How much does it cost for Amazon, your 3PL or even your own garage to hold that inventory?
  • How many units do you sell each month on average on each item/sku/upc?

Answer all these questions and more in Wendi’s upcoming course.

Wendi’s Corner

Welcome to the True Hero Monthly Newsletter

Brought to you by our founder – Wendi Mathis Held

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”
– Albert Einstein

I cannot tell you how many times in the past few years, even the last few months, that I have said things like “it used to be,” “when I started,” “back in the day…” when it comes to Amazon. Retail changes fast on its own, e-commerce even faster and Amazon has a speed all its own it seems. That means, True Hero has to change too – if we are smart.

What are the biggest changes we have seen in the past 14 years?

  1. Amazon did not use to show Net PPM or even talk about it. Now it is one of the most talked about metrics
  2. Amazon has always been price followers, no matter the cost/profit, that is not entirely true. Amazon is looking at margin, so they are also strategic where they will follow price (so it seems)
  3. Marketplace (3P) and Retail (1P), we are seeing an increased blending of the two platforms. It is a passion of mine, that brands will get to decide what, where and how they sell on Amazon without risk to their overall business. (S&O brands seem to feel this more than others IMO)
  4. Two Day Shipping is no longer two days in most cases.
  5. Prime Day did not exist, then it was one day, now two days and twice a year.
  6. Marketing – started with AMG (Amazon Media Group) started, then AMS and now AA. Lots of changes, placements, opportunity and much more expensive and effective.
  7. Brand Stores and A+ Pages were not free, and you had to know how to code to create them.
  8. New Item Set-Ups with no data fields, it was a free for all – no rules, no guidance, no restrictions. The Wild Wild West.
  9. Catalog maintenance: availability, titles, variations, bullets all done via Contact Us and changed within hours.
  10. Retail marketing packages – those were essential, went away and now back but more expensive and not as effective?
  11. 3P fees are changing annually – This has always been the case, so it’s imperative to monitor these changes and see how they are affecting your profits.
  12. 3P account health tracking was introduced – provides better visibility to what Amazon wants and needs from sellers, providing you with more communication if your account is at risk and what steps you need to take to fix that.
  13. Storage fees and utilization have had huge changes post COVID – before the covid pandemic you were to be able to send and store anything you wanted but now your utilization is based on several metrics.