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Survey: 42% of Amazon Sellers Raising Their Prices this Holiday Season Due to China Tariffs

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Jungle Scout recently conducted a survey* of nearly 200 experienced Amazon sellers to understand the impact of the holiday shopping season on their businesses, how they prepare for this time of year, and what consumers can learn about when and how to shop on Amazon to find the best deals. 

The results: China tariffs are forcing Amazon sellers to prepare differently for this crucial season.

In 2019, Amazon sellers are concerned about maintaining the high sales volume they expect during the holiday season. As the holiday season is a typically crucial sales boon for Amazon sellers, rising costs from tariffs on Chinese products and an increasingly competitive Amazon marketplace are forcing sellers to push harder for success.  

Key Findings:

1. Tariffs from China will affect the U.S. holiday shopping season.

  • 42% of Amazon sellers said they will charge more for their products this holiday season due to the tariffs on imported products from China.
  • Because of these tariffs, 38% of sellers are reducing their typical holiday discounts.
  • Tariffs represent the biggest difference between the 2018 and 2019 holiday shopping season, sellers reported.

 

 

2. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season are critical for Amazon businesses.

  • 47% of Amazon sellers said that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are crucial to their businesses, and 64% of sellers said the month of December is crucial to their businesses.
  • Of the 61% of Amazon sellers who said their sales are higher during the holiday season:
    • Black Friday sales are an average of 145% higher;
    • Cyber Monday sales as an average of 129% higher;
    • December sales leading up to Christmas are an average of 391% higher.
  • Amazon sellers see increased traffic and sales well before Black Friday:
    • 56% see an increase in traffic to their listings before Thanksgiving, while 23% see an increase before the month of November;
    • 58% see an increase in sales before Thanksgiving, while 22% see an increase before the month of November.

 

3. Amazon sellers started offering deals and discounts early to boost sales and profits.

  • More than half of Amazon sellers (53%) will offer deals and discounts during the holiday season.
  • 76% of sellers will offer deals and discounts on their products or or before Black Friday; only 22% of discounts/deals will start on or after Cyber Monday.
  • 61% of sellers will offer the greatest deals and discounts on their products on or before Black Friday; however, 13% wait to offer the greatest deals until the third week of December.
  • Discounts will average about 10% lower than typical listing price.

 

What does this mean for consumers? 

Much of Amazon sellers’ success depends on the holiday shopping season. Although the tariffs on imports from China might make shopping a little more expensive this holiday season, there are still plenty of ways consumers can find the best deals on Amazon. 

  1. Start shopping now, as Amazon sellers will offer their steepest discounts early in the holiday shopping season.
  2. Look for the price you want to pay rather than a certain amount of “discount.” Many Amazon sellers simply reduce the price of their products to remain competitive rather than offering discounts or deals. In fact, 32% of Amazon sellers will drop their product prices this holiday season, rather than apply special Amazon “Lightning” or “7-day deals.”
  3. Don’t stress if you procrastinate — 13% of Amazon sellers said they will offer the greatest discounts on their products during the third week of December.

 

*See more seller tips on how to find the best holiday deals on Amazon.

 

What should Amazon sellers do to be competitive this holiday season?

The good news? Amazon sellers typically see higher sales during the holiday season. So even if you don’t feel prepared for it (43% of Amazon sellers said they don’t feel prepared for the holiday shopping season), you can still benefit from the seasonality.

What you can do now: While it’s too late for most sellers to find a product to sell or order more inventory for the holiday season, sellers should prepare their existing product listings ASAP to compete for traffic and sales. This means updating keywords, optimizing for mobile, updating PPC bids, etc. Learn more here.

What you can do next year: Generally, sellers said they prioritize their holiday preparations in this order: planning inventory, researching new products, researching new suppliers, optimizing listings, researching keyword strategy, running deals or promotions, updating PPC bids, and then raising their ad budget.

  1. Sellers prepared the most by stocking up on inventory, which makes sense, since 32% of sellers noted running out of stock as their biggest pain point during the holiday season; 46% plan inventory 2 or more months before Black Friday.
  2. Sellers want to capitalize on holiday gift trends; 44% research new products to sell 2 or more months before Black Friday.
  3. While looking for a new product, many sellers look for new suppliers too; 42% research new suppliers 2 or more months before Black Friday.

 

Methodology

*Between October 23 and November 4, 2019, Jungle Scout surveyed 194 Amazon sellers with a minimum of one year of selling experience about their preparations and consumer recommendations for the 2019 holiday season. 

Contact [email protected] for more information.

 

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