The holiday season is fast approaching, and as October ushers in the start of the fourth quarter, brands are scrambling to maximize on strategy. In recent times, this kickoff of the new quarter has taken on an additional significance – it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. A survey conducted by Google earlier this year revealed that by mid-October, a significant 21% of holiday shoppers had already completed a substantial portion of their shopping lists. This research shows that Black Friday is no longer the exclusive start of the holiday shopping season. And the new trends and expectations don’t stop there.
We sat down with Keeleigh Marr, Channels Manager at Spreetail, to get expert advice on what 2023 Q4 looks like and what brands can execute on to grow profits. In this article, you’ll get insights around:
- Shopping trends
- October Amazon Prime Day
- Shopping season Prep
Q4 Shopping Trends
It's evident that over the past few years, consumer behavior and shopping patterns have undergone significant transformations. The pandemic of 2020 coupled with ongoing economic uncertainties means that most buyers are left with a reduced amount of disposable income. Consequently, consumers are now more concerned with their spending, and your product needs to be justifiable in their eyes. This shift in consumer mindset doesn't necessarily pose a disadvantage though. Many brands who are not accustomed to the shopping season spotlight are finding renewed attention as shoppers are using holiday deals not only for "want" items but also for essential "need" purchases.
“Deals go a long way. People are much more conscious of how far their dollars go. This means keeping in mind key breaking points you can take advantage of. For example, if your product retails for $150, being able to get that into the ‘under $100 bucket’ now moves you down to a different tier and a different type of customer – widening your customer base.” - Keeleigh Marr, Channels Manager
The Value of October Amazon Prime Day
2023 marks the second consecutive year Amazon is hosting Prime Day in October. This new event at the beginning of the fourth quarter offers brands a valuable head-start to the holiday season, providing a competitive edge – provided they strategize effectively. Leveraging deals, generating brand excitement, and initiating holiday discounts allow you to gain an early advantage, enabling better readiness for end-of-year sales. Moreover, your performance during this event directly influences your Best Sellers Rank (BSR), positioning your brand at the forefront of search results during the peak holiday season.
“October Prime Day is intended to act as more of the building blocks to the foundation event (Black Friday, etc.) rather than something that is going to skyrocket sales. The sales lift will be there, but this event is to help you throughout the remainder of Q4 by providing that added boost over competitors.” - Keeleigh Marr, Channels Manager
How to Prepare
It's important to recognize that this event effectively extends the reach of Q4. Amazon's October Prime Day serves as the kickstart of the holiday shopping frenzy. Being well-prepared and having a clear understanding of your brand's direction is the key to a successful eperience. Here are some key considerations:
- Define Your Objective: Set a specific goal that guides your efforts, ensuring that any promotions or deals you run align with this objective. Remember, promotions and discounts are not solely about boosting sales; they should be tailored to meet your specific needs and timed appropriately to fulfill those needs.
- Understand Your Audience: Gain insights into your customers' spending preferences. Most buyers have a budget in mind, and the choice they face is whether to spend that budget in October or wait until December. For many, they are attracted to the ability to spread out their spending. Use this to your advantage.
- Analyze Competitors: Keep a close watch on how your competitors are navigating October Prime Day. This doesn't mean blindly following their strategies, but rather evaluating their approaches and considering if similar tactics would make sense for your business.
By keeping these considerations in mind, you can make the most of this early holiday season opportunity.
“One piece of advice I would give is to be foundationally strong. Make sure you feel confident in your listings data before you start putting significant amounts of dollars towards promotions or deals investments.” - Keeleigh Marr, Channels Manager
Elevating Q4 with Spreetail
Navigating deal-making, timing, and goal setting can be a source of confusion even for well-established brands. This is where Spreetail steps in. We specialize in streamlining this process, providing clarity on which promotions to leverage to maintain a competitive edge. See how Spreetail transformed Tricam Industries’ expansion strategy, propelling them to the impressive #6 position on Amazon UK.