E201: Amazon Update – Black Friday, Review Throttling, PPCNovember 29, 2018 in Ecom-Crew-Podcast
Q4 is already in full swing with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but before it could swallow us alive, Dave and I decided to sit down and talk about new things happening up on Amazon land.
In this episode we discuss things we discovered with Amazon recently, from good updates like new PPC changes to the frustrating alleged review throttling. We also talk about other things in between.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals: are they effective?
The short answer? It depends.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are profitable depending on the niche.
For example, Dave sells offroading products which are seasonal and not really hot items during the holiday season. He does experience a bump up in sales during Black Friday, but it’s not substantial.
On the other hand, my products (coloring books, gel pens, markers) are very giftable. In fact, a huge chunk of ColorIt’s yearly revenue is generated in Q4 during which we run lots of deals, Cyber Week included.
Should you lower prices to fight competition during the holidays?
Our answer? Don’t. In fact, we raise our prices a little bit.
A common thinking among sellers this time of the year is that they need to lower prices to get more holiday sales and therefore, more profit.
While that’s not wrong, there’s a better way to do it.
Increasing your prices will reduce sales, BUT will increase profit per widget. So you can potentially get the same amount of profit but fulfill less items, answer less customer emails and in general, have less headaches.
We found this out last year when we increased prices for some ColorIt products because we were in danger of selling out before the holidays were over. To our surprise, our net profit dramatically increased.
Some buyer psychology plays out here. People are frantically looking for gifts around the holidays and are probably more inclined to finish buying gifts than saving a couple bucks. Also, the more expensive the item, the more valuable the gift is perceived to be.
Pro tip: Make sure to A/B test this. We use Profit Peak, a feature of Splitly.
Is Amazon throttling reviews?
A very frustrating Amazon rumor has been going around seller groups recently. Amazon could either be:
a. not allowing new reviews to be posted and limits reviews to a certain number over a period of time
b. manually reviewing all new reviews posted and puts them in a “limbo” for a few days while being checked
There’s no official word for this yet but we do have some experience hinting that this is really happening.
We’ll see what happens in the future.
New PPC changes
With sponsored products, you can now target by categories and competitors’ products, not just keywords.
We’ll test this out in 2019. In effect, we will have 3 types of campaigns: automatic, manual, and competitor targeting campaigns.
Pro tip: Go to your automated campaigns and look at the ASINs that are converting. These ASINs are perfect for this new update.
Other Amazon updates
Listing hijacking seems to be a lot more rampant these days. It mostly has to do with the holidays coming up. Wherever there’s money to be made, unscrupulous people show up. This is one of those things that keep us up at night.
On a jollier note, we found that if you send a full truckload of products into Amazon, it gets received in 1-2 days. Talk about an Amazon fastlane for larger sellers!
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Until the next one, happy selling!