Understanding Ecommerce Seasonality and Identifying Niche Based Seasonal Events

ecommerce seasonality

Ecommerce seasonality can significantly impact the flow of sales and income. Entrepreneurs have to understand market trends of a niche and try to utilize it. In this article, you will learn about the e-commerce seasonality peculiarities.

E-commerce is gaining more and more power. It became popular even before the pandemic and lockdown. Consumers like to make purchases from home. It’s convenient and worry-free. There is no need to stumble upon dozens of people as you check out in a physical store location.

Businesses have shifted their focus to online sales because of increasing demand. They work on customer satisfaction and online advertising to ensure a constant flow of consumers. Sometimes, the demand depends on the seasonality. In this article, we will cover the main aspects of ecommerce seasonality and its impact on sellers.

Seasonality in E-Commerce: What Is It?

Seasonality implies a seasonal demand. Basically, it means that, depending on the time of the year, consumers will buy less or more. By season, we speak not only about the divisions of the year (like winter, spring, summer, and autumn). The notion encompasses holidays and special events. 

Seasonal sales example
Image: Seasonal sales example – Halloween signs – Source

To get a better understanding, it’s easier to mention some examples. People buy warm clothes like coats and boots mostly in a cold period, starting from as early as autumn. At the same time, they spend more money on shorts and sandals in late spring and summer.

As for online holiday sales, customers prepare for the coming holidays by purchasing presents, decorations, and groceries. By holidays, we mean everything from Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas to Mother’s Day and Valentine’s. 

Although the holidays and seasons don’t change from year to year, businesses have to track the situation regularly. There are many things that may have an influence. For example, the pandemic is likely to affect 2020 holiday e-commerce trends in ways we can’t fully predict at this point, as the situation is consistently in flux.

Seasonal Factors to Consider

Many aspects influence consumer behavior and buyer intent. Sometimes, they can be as insignificant as the exact time or day of the week. If you are skeptical, here is proof. According to the consumers’ research from EmpathyBroker, the most popular time for customers to search for clothing and special deals is Sunday evening.

Turning to a wider perspective, there are four factors that influence seasonal variables:

  1. The business niche and its peculiarities
  2. Weather
  3. Events
  4. Demographics

While weather and events can be attributed to macro-influencers that affect the majority of niches in one or another way, the exact niche specifics and its target audience are micro-influencers. They include peak time for surfing, buying, the demands of the target audience. 

Weather and events can boost sales for some e-shops and hinder for others. For example, the period from October to December is considered to be the holiday time, where everyone prepares for the upcoming celebrations. This is also winter time, and that means more shoppers are looking for jackets and cold weather products. While those who deal in gifts prosper, others, for example, retractable banner sellers, might experience stagnation as events are being cancelled with the cooler weather and going online, especially now with the virus in our midst.

How to Prepare Your Business to Seasonal Demand

E-commerce holiday planning, and seasonal demand, in general, requires sufficient preparation. This includes an in-depth analysis of the market. It’s not enough just to monitor Google trends. Sellers must track the historical record and interpret it in terms of the current situation. 

Forecasting is a demanding challenge. The wrong prediction may come at the cost of lost revenue. It’s vital to understand that businesses can only work out an efficient ecommerce holiday planning if the forecast is precise and correct.

Basically, there are two main aspects that an e-shop needs to adapt to. They are:

Demand

To analyze a potential demand, a business should take a look at the historical record. This is the basis. It’s vital to pay attention not only to how much customers intended to buy or bought. A company must get to know when and where. For example, it makes sense to have in stock Halloween-related products. According to the Online Peak Seasons Report, one-third of the total sales of Halloween-related products accounts for online channels.

By knowing when, where, and how much, a seller can prepare a sufficient amount of the inventory in stock. Moreover, he can hire more staff for locations with the highest peak.

Advertisement Costs

Advertisement is key even when the demand is high. Peak seasons are known for high competition. Everyone aims to sell as much as they can. You have to launch a seasonal advertisement based on the prior analysis. Pay attention to the time of the highest ROIs to make the maximum from your marketing investment.

Ecommerce seasonality might not be easy to comprehend. It requires a data-driven approach based on analytics. Please, share your working seasonal merchandising tricks in comments.

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Tony Kreychmar

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