Understanding Seasonal Trends

October is here! Let us celebrate with all the pumpkin-flavored things! Or not, if that’s not your thing. Whatever your take on fall-themed snacks and beverages, you can’t deny that the change in the season brings with it a sense of rejuvenation and fresh, new possibilities. On the other hand, it also brings with it the start of Q4, and a whole slew of other worries.

Many companies may have noticed a trend of lower sales in late summer and early fall. This can be especially unsettling if they experienced a big boost in sales at the beginning of Q3.

Don’t panic!

In times like this, it is important not to overhaul your entire sales strategy in a knee-jerk reaction to an apparent setback, and instead take a look at your overall progress. In fact, this is a perfect opportunity to review your seasonal trends and prepare for a successful Q4!

Almost every product has a specific season in which it peaks. Office supplies and prepackaged snacks—while certainly useful year-round—tend to soar during Back-to-School season in late summer. On the other hand, candy, accessories, and costumes begin to rise before Halloween. The goal is to first anticipate these seasonal trends and determine when and how to best market each of your products, then to monitor them over time to ensure sales are behaving as expected.

“But I have a product that isn’t really a seasonal item…”

Are you sure about that? Anything can be spun to fit the season with a little update to your product listings. As the seasons change, review your listings by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do my product images show the product being used in a seasonal fashion?
    • For example, a photo of your product with a holiday bow.
  • What alternate uses of my product can I highlight with updated lifestyle photos?
    • For example, using a face scrub to clean off Halloween makeup.
  • Do my keywords include seasonal terms such as “stocking stuffer” or “costume makeup”?

A few small changes to your product listings could make all the difference!

Don’t get discouraged by products not selling as well “out of season,” either. Instead, compare your long-term progress to determine whether to be concerned.

It is important to look at long-term growth as well as seasonal growth. Perhaps this quarter’s sales have been low, but last quarter’s sales were high, and overall this year is at the same growth or higher than last year’s. By analyzing the long-term data, you can determine whether there truly is a problem.

“But we already do all this, and we have still been struggling the past few years.”

In recent years, the seasons have been changing. The rise of Amazon Prime Day has shifted “Back to School” sales earlier in the summer, so many companies may be seeing their sales dropping off for the pre-holiday lull earlier than in the past. On the other hand, Black Friday sales have spawned Pre-Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, kicking off the holiday season earlier and stretching it longer, resulting in overall higher sales for Q4.

All of these changes will be impacting your sales one way or another, so you’ll need to readjust your strategies to account for these seasonal changes. That could be making your seasonal updates earlier than in the past, or adjusting your sales models to account for disproportionate sales between quarters. 

Here at Digital Brandworks, we can monitor your seasonal trends to help you feel more secure about your overall growth!

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