Countdown Bonus: Understanding Shopping Occasions with Amazon



With 2021 soon behind us, there’s so much brands can do to put themselves in the best position for 2022. This week, MikMak’s Holiday Countdown concludes with a bonus article featuring some of Amazon’s best 2021 holidays strategies, and discusses how brands can use their learning to prepare for the shopping events of the new year.

The 3 stages of shopping events for brands

While the holidays are the marathon of shopping events, there are many others throughout the year. Many principles of event driven shopping occasions are the same. For Amazon, when it comes to approaching shopping events such as the holidays, there are three key periods. Here they are: 

The Lead Up: This is the time to align on what the desired outcomes and definitions of success are. Use a combination of insights across your channels, both from Amazon and non-Amazon. This phase is also an excellent time to test and learn which campaigns will work best for the season ahead. 

The Event: Next is the event itself, which is time to make real-time changes to campaigns based on audience insights. There are three main goals in this stage, optimizing budget, monitoring performance and identifying opportunities to change, and strategizing inflight optimization.

The Lead Out: Finally, after the season has concluded, take the learnings and apply them to drive more impact in future campaigns.

The details of when the lead up starts can depend on the event, the category, and the brands’ goals. At MikMak, we tend to see demand peaks occur two weeks prior to when the event takes place. However, depending on the nature of the event or macroeconomic conditions at play, the timing can shift, making it extra important to keep your eyes on both campaign performance and shifting shopping habits.

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Targeting with accuracy to stay top of mind during shopping events

Once the event begins, the name of the game is to always stay top of mind for your consumers, especially during their shopping journeys on Amazon. One key way brands can do so is through using insights gleaned from Amazon Attribution Reporting. Learning how your media strategies on and off Amazon impact your Amazon sales can help you understand your consumers’ shopping journey on Amazon, discover new high-value opportunities, optimize campaigns in flight, and refine and re-engage audiences across all channels. 

Staying on budget using negative keywords is beneficial as well. This is a search tactic that excludes terms and helps you focus on keywords that actually matter to your consumers. Amazon reports that advertisers who ran out of budget in 2020 would have seen 18.7 percent higher sales on average if they stayed in budget. What’s more, advertisers who start adding negative products or brands to their Sponsored Products campaigns for the first time saw an average of 192 percent increase in impressions, and an average of 213 percent increase in ad-attributed sales in the following month, compared to advertisers who do not take this action. Following these steps will help your brand enhance its budget in 2022 

Staying nimble and making real-time changes is a competitive advantage that can help your brand gain and protect market share on Amazon. Further, Amazon recommends that during the event, brands monitor inventory levels and campaign budgets to ensure deals and promotions are meeting their potential. This will be especially important in 2022 as many brands face uncertainty in inventory levels. 

Leading out of the holiday season into 2022

Now that you know the steps before and during the holiday season, now is the time for the lead out period. Use your holiday data to see which consumer segments you won and on the other hand, where you have the opportunity to saturate a demographic or psychographic category even more. According to Amazon, there are three main goals for leading out of an event:

  • Adjust your sponsored ads bids and budget
  • Activate new brand customers via cross sell and upsell opportunities
  • Gather and apply new learnings to evergreen campaigns.

After running a successful campaign for the event, especially one like the holidays where there is a surge in shopping traffic, you’ve likely acquired new customers and reengaged existing ones. This is prime time to increase your follow up marketing efforts to remarket to them, build audience loyalty, and keep this audience engaged. To do so effectively, use the insights you got from Amazon Attribution  Reporting and other data sets you have collected to revisit and analyze the customer journey. Has anything changed? Are there any new high value audiences and channels you have discovered? After all, the next shopping event begins very soon.

This concludes MikMak’s 2021 Holiday Countdown. Special thanks to all of our partners and contributors. We look forward to keeping you updated on these fast evolving shopping trends and consumer preferences in the year to come.


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