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October 1, 2016

Don’t Believe Q4 is the Season for Your Product Line? Think Again!

Erinn Groh

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The gift giving season is upon us and for many merchants this means the sales start to roll in… CHA-CHING!  Unfortunately, Q4 doesn’t bring holiday cheer for all merchants. This can be true for any merchant that sells products specific to the spring/summer months or items with no true seasonality (such as products that are considered necessities more than wants).  What should merchants like this do? Instead of going quiet during Q4, here are some tips to make the most of the season and drive a little more revenue:

  1. Test, Test, Test

Take this time as an opportunity to test out offers that you normally wouldn’t through the affiliate channel. Test your tried and true coupons against a variety of offers your customer base has never seen before.  You can test $ off vs. % off, free shipping vs. low flat rate shipping, new customer specific offers, free gifts with purchase and deals with spending threshold. These tests should not only identify your top performing offer, but also provide you with insight as to which offers work best with different segments of your customer base. By testing and analyzing results now, you will be equipped with the best offers when entering your peak season.  Plus, you may even find that this Q4 drove more revenue than usual!

  1. Fake it ‘til you Make it!

Make your site and products relevant to the season. Add a little holiday language to your site, affiliate links and banners.  If you have the ability to run promotions, push a Black Friday coupon out to your affiliate channel. If you make it seem like you have a product you can sell NOW, your customers will be more likely to buy NOW. You will be happily surprised to see an increase in conversion and higher than usual sales!

  1. Participate in Low Risk Placement Opportunities

So, you may be thinking, “why would I participate in Q4 placements when I am unlikely to see a return?” This is a very valid question. The goal here is not to spend any flat fees on placements but get enough coverage within the affiliate channel to remain top of mind. Look for opportunities where you can supply a small increase in commission in exchange for holiday placement. Consider participating in increased cash back opportunities on Loyalty/Rewards sites and don’t be afraid to ask your publishers if they have any remnant spots available that you may be featured in free of charge.  Remember, there are more consumers shopping now and more eyeballs will be on you if you are in the right spot.  Even if they aren’t ready to buy now, your brand will be remembered for when the customer is ready to make that purchase.

  1. Play on Obscure Holidays

It may seem that Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hanukkah and Christmas are the only holidays in Q4, but there are plenty more! Run a quick search and look for all the upcoming national holidays. You are likely to find a holiday relevant to your product or service that you can form a promotion around.  Do your products Kick Butt in the industry? If your answer is “hell-yeah” then “National Kick Butt Day” (October 10th) is a great time for you to create a sale. Sell Mattresses? Well, November is National Sleep Month and could be your time to shine.  Put on your creative cap, have fun and make the most of what is available.

Be sure to test out these tips this Q4 and turn your off season into a lucrative one!