How is Q4 2021 going to shake out for Amazon sellers? What can we expect in 2022? How is Amazon hurting or helping you succeed? What tactics can put you ahead of the competition? 

Who better to theorize on these topics, and more, than a panel of ecommerce experts? 

Liz Downing brought together some of her smartest friends to chat about ways you can avoid risk, predict the future, and be more successful in Q4 and beyond. 

Q4 Insights and Predictions Topics Covered

  • Supply chain issues in Q4
  • How culture and trends are impacting ecommerce
  • Strategies you should implement prior to 2022
  • What you should expect in the coming months for your Amazon store

Our Amazon Expert Panel

Q4 Insights and Predictions Show Notes

Watch the Full Webinar Replay:

Insights and Predictions Webinar Highlights

What are the biggest problems facing Amazon sellers and how are they solving them? Here’s a roundup of highlights from the expert panel.

Challenges breed creativity 

Frank pointed out that the challenges of the past year have bred great creativity and innovation in the space

More venture capitalists are out there. There’s more people giving out loans. There’s more 3PLs opening. So within the negative is always a piece of positive. Seeing the sellers are expanding to other countries and looking for other sources, it’s something that they should have been prepared beforehand. 

As a good business owner, option B should always be on the table and Option C and other options available. No one had done that before because they were dependent on one source now that they were forced to open their eyes to be able to overcome if another pandemic like this does come or another situation like this presents itself. It’s a learning curve at a crazy price.” -Frank Acosta

Walmart is a great opportunity for sellers especially if they’ve stalled on Amazon

We’re seeing an increase in success on Walmart with brands that maybe have seen a little bit of a slowdown with Amazon because of inventory limits, or because of other Amazon-type things. Walmart is still an enormous opportunity, and they’re very interested in, third-party sellers, are very interested in third-party brands. They’re interested in being an attractive marketplace. I think that’s important because they can look at Amazon and what Amazon has done, and then get feedback from people who sold on Amazon for a long time and know not what not to do as they expand the marketplace.” – Liz Downing

Sellers are finding alternative solutions for supply and inventory

Sellers who are getting through the supply chain crisis have found alternative ways to source products, store inventory, and fulfill orders.

I love that you brought up the alternate sourcing. We did a webinar with Patricio Tellez from Algo+ He’s helping people find manufacturers in Mexico. I got a call with a company this week that’s doing the same thing. I talked to Mike Begg with Amazon Advisors and they’re helping their customers do the same. It’s just such an amazing opportunity. And I think it’s going to be good for more than just ecommerce.” -Liz Downing 

Some people have lost traction on Amazon, and inventory limitations are a problem. I think pretty much everybody has made peace with the fact that you have to have a hybrid model of FBA and FBM.” – David Dayon

The bigger players that are sourcing from overseas, they basically prepared for war. So they got the finance ready, and they invested a lot into inventory. So they’re sourcing a lot. A huge batch. Instead of buying for 30 days or 90 days, they buy for six months, or nine months, or even a year. They bring it all in here because it takes forever. So then finally, when it’s here if they don’t have the capacity to store it on their own they use a 3PL, a third-party logistics center. They store it there, and they start dripping it into FBA and also using FBM. 

That’s the main strategy that I’ve seen right now because of the sourcing and logistics constraints on a global level with all the ships and the containers. So they have to do that. The second challenge was the Amazon storage limitations. So these two techniques they were able to battle it and it’s wartime for them. Until further notice, this is the strategy. This is a tactic. And once they implemented it, it seems like they’re much more stabilized.” -Yoni Mazor

Sellers need to amp up product listings and creative

With increasing competitiveness on Amazon and other marketplaces, sellers need to maximize their product listings to take hold of every possible advantage.

We are getting a lot of our brands that are saying, look, we need better creative. We need somebody to optimize our listings, tell us somebody who can do great video quickly. I’ve got really good friends that can help out with that. But the need that brands have, right now, to create images, video, the assets for their advertising, their own websites, whatever they’re trying to do, because the space is so competitive. There’s a real rush for creative agencies… People really, really need that differentiator.” -Liz Downing

Sellers understand today, now more than ever before, the need to really communicate with the consumer, the end target, in the most sophisticated, beautiful, creative way possible. Whatever benchmark you created, keep pushing for the next one because it’s very competitive out there.” – Yoni Mazor

You have to care about your customers. All these customers are buying from you, have been loyal to you for years. And the only way for you to give back is to update your stuff. Where they go to your listing, and they see a video, whether this is the big thing that I’m about to say right now: this Christmas, why the hell don’t you have a post that resonates with them? Why don’t you update your banner in your storefront? Being up to date shows your customers that you care, and that’s what makes you a memorable brand.” -Frank Acosta

I find myself saying this a lot these days, and I’ve been saying it for a while, but more now than ever. Image one is the most important image you have. It’s the image that’s going to decide whether the customer is going to click on the product or not. Don’t be afraid to test out different images, test out different angles.” -David Dayan

You can stand out by using holiday-specific creative 

Investing in video helps to capture customers but also retains them as future shoppers.

I have a few customers that did a Christmas video with me and every year, they just change it to that video. There’s a one-time investment. And obviously if your product didn’t change, you can keep re-using the video. But the simple fact that someone goes on your listing, and then you have a video dedicated just to Christmas, which we all know is the biggest quarter on Amazon, like you know at that point you’re you’re a level above everybody else, right?” -Frank Acosta

Just make sure your videos are following all of Amazon’s policies. 

You’re not allowed to say anything about Black Friday deals or Cyber Cyber Monday deals. That’s against protocol. It’s terms of service. But you can use a Christmas tree. And you can use a gift in the image and in the video. You know, you gotta be a little bit careful with terms of service, as far as calling out deal days and discounts. There’s a couple of words that are big, no-nos, but for the most part, you’re definitely allowed to take out that holiday feeling, and if you’re just trying to create content that evokes emotion, that gets that customer in that shopping mode, makes people happy and makes people look forward to the holidays.” – David Dayon

Now is the time to get ahead on social selling

Our panel is predicting that social selling is only going to grow. 

You can put, as a brand, effort into your social, you can put some money into it, and you can actually see a return on your investment without having to find, you know, a Kardashian to talk about your product.” Liz Downing.

Amazon Live is an underutilized social selling opportunity.

Simply sitting down at a table, having the product in front of you, talking about it, opening it up. It’s as simple as it sounds. It seems like a product unboxing sort of, but it’s more friendly, and you’re the brand owner, and you’re talking about it maybe for thirty seconds before you open it. 

So that’s what I’ve seen.” -David Dayon

Amazon is reporting that customers who follow brands double what they spend on the brand. David thinks it’s going to be more powerful even than that.

You log onto the Amazon app, you’re shopping for something, and because you’re following a brand, you will see their content during your shopping experience. So, if you’re following a brand, you’re going to see their products. If you’re gonna see their products, I would imagine that over time, we’re gonna see that it’s a lot more than just double. Who’s clicking the unfollow button? Nobody. I didn’t even know if they know where it is. Now is the time to take advantage of that, not in a year from now, when, when we’re talking about how 2022 was the year of the social aspect.” -David Dayon

Frank’s company is poised to help you take advantage of Amazon Lives.

I want to drop a little bomb. So we talked about Amazon Lives. Obviously, I’m in the video space. We just purchased new equipment, we just signed our first client for Amazon Lives. We will be recording next month. It’s a new space for us. We’re going to see where that takes us 

We’re coming up with a different approach. We’re writing out the content. We’re writing up the scripts. We’re having models, we’re doing a whole different environment to see where that comes from. So I’m excited to see how the first Live comes out. We’ll be doing a lot of behind the scenes filming. I’m seeing how the process goes. I want people to see what goes behind the scenes, because just watching what’s in front is only a portion of what goes down. So, yeah, Lives is something we’re looking for in the next year or so.” -Frank Acosta