For Business

Get your operations in order for the holidays

Timely advice to help get your business operations ready for the holiday season.

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Key take aways:

  • Tips to help optimize the timing of your campaigns.
  • Best practices for setting your inventory and fulfillment operations.
  • Advice for getting your logistics, analytics and support systems ready for increased demand.

Time your campaign

How big do you want to go?

Timing is everythingConsider how long you plan to run your holiday promotions. Your budget and available inventory can play a role, but the length of time for running your campaigns is really the foundation for holiday promotional strategy.

It’s estimated that 42% of consumers start their holiday shopping by the end of September. The holiday shopping season starts early, so we recommend that you start planning and running promotions as early as possible. It’s never too early to start offering holiday deals to capture insights and drive sales through the rest of the season.

By starting your holiday campaigns early, you can also increase your chances for getting your brand noticed by all types of shoppers. For shoppers that get their gift buying done early, making an early impression can increase the potential that they’ll visit your site. And for the last-minute shoppers, getting an early start can help leave a lasting impression.

Finalize inventory & fulfillment plans

Meeting demand during a peak time.

Now that you’ve established your campaign timing, you need to figure out how you’re going to meet the expectations of shoppers who want the fast, free delivery experience that they know from Amazon Prime. And they do: 69% of the global consumers surveyed say they wish retailers and brands offered similar services to Prime, according to Wunderman Thompson’s Future Shopper Report 2023. Check out these ideas for how to scale fulfillment during the busiest shopping season to meet the higher volume of sales.

Work with a third-party logistics providerIf you haven’t worked with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to simplify your ecommerce fulfillment operations, read an overview of what 3PLs are, the benefits of using one, and what to look out for when choosing.

Designed for reliable shipping across ecommerce channels, Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) can help you offer the fast, reliable shipping across your ecommerce channels. If you’re using Buy with Prime, you can rest easier this holiday season knowing that orders fulfilled through MCF have a >97% on-time delivery rate.

What is MCF?MCF is a 3PL solution that leverages Amazon’s fulfillment network and team of experts to pick, pack, ship, and deliver your customer orders from sales channels beyond Amazon.com, including brand websites, ecommerce marketplaces, and social media stores.

Inventory planningManaging your inventory during peak shopping periods can be complex and challenging. Luckily, MCF

has put together a guide to ecommerce fulfillment during the holiday season. This guide can help you establish the right framework for managing your inventory, and getting your customers’ orders delivered in a timely fashion.

The MCF holiday guide also offers advice on how to forecast demand using past sales trends and historical data. One important reminder is to make sure that you send your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers four weeks before you kick off your holidays campaign. You don’t want to miss your 3PL provider’s cutoff date for inbounding and potentially risk not having enough product to meet the seasonal demand.

Getting your back-end operations ready

Beyond fulfillment, Buy with Prime can help you streamline logistics, track performance, and create a better shopper experience.

Enhance your customer serviceDuring the busy holiday season, one way to help your brand stand out is delivering always-on customer support. This means being available 24/7 across support channels to answer customer questions and address any order issues they encounter.

Customer service from Buy with Prime can help merchants like you free up time and resources to focus on your business, while saving on customer service costs. Using Buy with Prime Assist, which comes as the default customer service for Buy with Prime orders, you can provide high-quality, real-time support for all post-order inquiries through a chat feature that connects to a live customer service representative. You receive data and insight for all customer service inquiries that can help you nurture relationships and build brand loyalty. Learn more about how Buy with Prime customer service works.

Set up conversion trackingBefore pushing your campaign live, get your tracking tools set up so that you can report on your campaign’s performance and shopper conversion during and after the holiday shopping season. For example, you can set up advertising pixels to attribute orders to specific search engines and social media ad campaigns, helping you evaluate and maximize your cross-channel ad spend.

Buy with Prime merchants can use conversion tracking tools on Buy with Prime orders. With conversion data, as well as Buy with Prime analytics available in the merchant console, you can evaluate performance of campaigns and identify purchasing trends. Learn more about conversion tracking with Buy with Prime.

Streamline order and catalog managementMake sure you’re ready for peak shopping by setting up Buy with Prime to scale with your business. Buy with Prime merchants can use the Order connector app by Alloy to automate key business functions that can save time by giving you a way to manage all site orders and customer data in one place.

You can also manage product listings more efficiently by using the Catalog updates app by Alloy to update product variations and pricing from your ecommerce catalog to your Buy with Prime catalog. Learn more about saving time with Alloy apps.

A/B test

Before you start your holiday campaign, embracing the practice of ongoing, iterative A/B testing can help you identify the right mix of products to promote with discounts or deals, while providing customer behavior signals that can help you optimize key elements of your checkout flow for conversions. Learn more about the basics and the importance of A/B testing for any ecommerce business.

Launching a new shopping experience using Buy with Prime–especially during the busy holiday season–comes with many potential benefits. To help provide assurance and mitigate risk, Buy with Prime merchants get access to a performance impact analysis that tests the impact of Buy with Prime on your sales. Using a performance impact analysis, you can work with our third-party provider to A/B test aspects of the Buy with Prime shopper experiences on select product pages to identify the best-performing version. Following an A/B test, you receive data and recommendations that can help you improve your site and shopper experience, giving you peace of mind as you decide where to place your bets for peak shopping.

Kelby Johnson