Most Amazon sellers have a pessimistic idea about how Q1 is supposed to go: slow sales, holiday returns, and seller frustration. Call it the “Q4 holiday shopping hangover” or the "post-holiday selling slump." But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right Amazon seller tips to guide you, you can turn Q1 from lackluster to lucrative in no time.
Of all the Amazon seller tips I can give, the most important one for Q1 is keeping things in perspective. That because surpassing your Q4 sales won’t be achievable for every Amazon seller.
Understanding that your Q1 benchmark for success shouldn’t be matching or exceeding Q4 will help you keep things in perspective.
But that doesn't mean you can't crush it in Q1 compared to how you've fared in previous years.
Keep reading for our Amazon selling tips to help you start the new year with a bang.
Q1 Amazon seller tip #1:
One of the best things that any business owner can do is to reinvest capital into her or his business. That goes especially for Amazon sellers, Walmart Marketplace merchants, and online retailers on smaller platforms.
If you prepared for Q4 correctly, you should be coming off your most profitable quarter when Q1 starts. Instead of taking those profits and depositing them into your savings account, use them to strategically build your inventory.
The smartest sellers will tell you that investing your profits back into your business is the best long-term play. For Amazon sellers, that means sourcing products early in Q1 (and late in Q4, if you can) with high selling potential.
Some of the products you source with your reinvested profits should be bestsellers from the Q4 holiday season. That’s because some consumers will have missed out on buying them in time for Christmas/Hanukkah, but they’ll still want them. Stay on top of what was trending during the holidays to gauge what’s worth sourcing after they’re over.
Also, consider investing in a strategic product research tool to help you hunt down items with the highest chance of becoming lucrative listings. You might just be missing out on sales because you're not picking the right products to sell based on selling potential.
Also, consider that many consumers will have received Amazon gift cards over the holidays. And, as you’d expect, many of them will be looking to spend their gift card balances early in Q1. We can’t predict exactly what these gift card holders will want to buy, but you can make educated guesses.
Which brings us to our next Amazon seller tip:
Q1 Amazon seller tip #2:
The next Q1 tip for Amazon sellers is to start sourcing for the Q1 holidays as soon as you can.
Every holiday outside of Q4 offers sellers the chance to boost sales during an otherwise slow time. So, the sooner you source for each one, the better position you’ll be in to outsell your competition.
Here’s a list of the Q1 holidays with the highest potential for sales:
- Chinese New Year (February 16, 2018)
- Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2018)
- St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2018)
And, while it’s not technically a “holiday,” Super Bowl Sunday is another day that Amazon sellers should think about targeting. In 2018, it falls on February 4th, so start paying attention to the teams that are doing well leading up to the NFL Playoffson so you know what merchandise to source.
Also, don’t forget that Easter hits right at the start of Q2 on April 1, 2018. Products you can source for this highly commercialized holiday include:
- gift baskets
By studying the calendar for upcoming holidays at least a few weeks in advance (and preferably months in advance), you can identify times of year where you can experience a major spike in your sales--if you prepare properly.
Q1 Amazon seller tip #3:
This next Amazon selling tip applies not just to Q1, but to your overall selling strategy. That is, source a healthy mix of products across multiple categories and price points with different margin potential.
Source products with high potential upside but that are potentially low-turnover and then balance your inventory with low-margin, high-turnover items. The idea is to keep a vast array of products with different selling potential and risk levels to hedge your bets against future losses and keep your cash flow strong when those slow-movers aren’t selling.
Following a balanced business model throughout the year affords you the opportunity to be patient.
Often, prices will dip below your desired selling price after the Q4 holidays. But, these prices often rebound a few months later (or the next holiday season). So, sellers who have patience also have the potential to profit more in the long run.
And, as stated above, you can always use aggressive pricing strategies to help liquidate slow-sellers when you’re desperate for cash.
Consider using different fulfillment methods for different product types, as some products are better suited for FBA and others are better off being fulfilled by merchant (FBM).
Q1 Amazon seller tip #4:
January and February may have sweet-sounding names, but they’re known for the most brutally cold weather all year. That means people will need products to help combat the frigid temperatures, sheets of ice, and piles of snow.
While they aren’t glamorous, products like snow shovels, rock salt (for melting ice), and windshield scrapers can net serious cash. You can also branch out to the Clothing category by listing snow boots, gloves, scarves, and jackets/coats for the season.
On top of clothes and winter necessities, Amazon sellers can also add winter recreational gear to their inventories. Skis, snowboards, sleds, and equipment associated with these snowy activities can impact your bottom line very positively.
And, if you can’t sell out these seasonal products before the weather warms up, you can always try to sell them next year.
Or, if you’re looking to avoid Amazon inventory fees, you can always use an aggressive setting on your repricer to help liquidate those products from inventory and free up cash to reinvest in seasonal products for spring/summer.
If you're looking for a tool to help drive sales and keep you profitable,
check out Informed.co's automated repricing software