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Q4 Planning & Readiness: Category Analysis



Q4 Preparation: How to Analyze Your Category & Set Goals. Setting the bar for the peak holiday season takes the right prep. What to look for, where to find it, and how to judge the competition. With the overwhelming amount of metrics and data points, it can be hard to track and understand which ones carry the most weight. Analyzing your products against the competition can quickly become an overcomplicated process. To clarify, we recommend three main points of focus.


#1: Track the Right Competition. Know what’s relevant. Not every competitor in brick-and-mortar or your D2C is the most comparable to your product on the Amazon platform. And not every top-selling product in your category on Amazon is a fair competitor. For example, the main brand you track in your off-Amazon marketing may underperform on Amazon because it’s not a focus for their company, or they sell just via branded search but aren’t optimized to grow on the platform. At the same time, if you’re a high-end travel backpack, comparing yourself to an Under Armour everyday use backpack will not help you understand how to improve.


Instead, when setting the bar for your brand, evaluate products with the same target audience, price points, and product benefits as yours.


Track your sub-category BSR to get a read on how your products are performing versus the competition throughout the year. It may not be realistic to be the #1 selling casual backpack on all of Amazon. But if your true competition is between #20 and #50 in a specific sub-category, then that might help you set a better baseline and evaluate a ceiling and floor for your goals.



#2: Research Keyword Performance.

How is the competition winning? What keywords are they ranking high on that your product is missing? You hand-pick the relevant keywords you are missing and target them to improve your organic ranking. Adjust your content and advertising strategy to convert on these keywords. Finally, see which competitors have significant branded search and target their brand to steal some additional market share.


Focus 3: Evaluate Feedback.

A quick and relevant way to improve your product’s performance is by reading the reviews and questions consumers post on your listing. Gauge feedback on competitors too. Reviews inform why consumers choose your product or one similar. Once you know what consumers are seeking, and why, you can adjust your product and listing to get ahead of the competition.


Conclusion. Q4 planning requires skillful analysis and attention to the right data. Elite planning requires more depth and detail, but this is a good springboard. These three focus points help you set initial goals and improve from there. If you’re looking for a full analysis of how your brand is performing in the category versus your competition, we can help.

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