Back to blog

How to Make the Most of Your Winter Seasonal Products on Amazon: A Guide for Savvy Sellers

Insights
Ahmed Sanda
Published
November 28, 2023
Modified
January 17, 2024

Seasonal products are items that have varying demand throughout the year, depending on the season, holiday, or occasion. Examples include Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes, and Valentine’s gifts. Selling winter seasonal products on Amazon can be a profitable strategy, but it requires careful planning and research. In this blog post, we will show you how to make the most of it.

At Threecolts, we are building the most comprehensive online marketplace management platform, and we believe it’s our responsibility to empower our partners with crucial information to aid their decision making. 

In this report we back propagate current US winter seasonal best sellers from Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry, Home & Kitchen, Sports & Outdoors, and Toys & Games to answer the following questions:

  1. Are there non-obvious peak demand periods for winter seasonal products that sellers can capitalize on?
  2. How should sellers plan and manage inventory and marketing strategy to optimize conversions for winter seasonal products?
  3. What groups of products have the greatest contribution to seasonality in a given category?

Key Findings

  • Exercise caution and reduce off-season inventory holding risks in Sports & Outdoors or Home & Kitchen products. Capitalize on strong seasonal demand for Toys & Games and lower brand influence, enabling competitive pricing and higher sales potential.
  • Align promotional strategies by category, leveraging specific months for maximum impact. Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry promotions in January, February, and September. Home & Kitchen promotions focused on summer/winter deals and Prime Days in July and October. Offer Sports & Outdoors discounts in May and Aug. Toys & Games thrive during winter holidays and promotions should focus squarely in this period.
  • Customers on average are willing to pay 11.5% more for brands in Clothing, 8.7% in Home & Kitchen, and 4.8% in Sports & Outdoors, but only 0.6% in Toys & Games. This underscores the need for adjusting pricing strategies based on brand value for seasonal success.

Unraveling Sales Surges and Unexpected Crescendos

Ever wondered how products on Amazon go through their seasonal highs and lows? We took a close look at these seasonal best sellers – those items that surge in demand depending on the time of year, be it holidays or changing seasons. Our goal? Pinpointing the peak moments these products enjoy and identifying patterns and trends our selling partners can use.

We sifted through Amazon’s best seller data from fall 2023 for “Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry”, “Home & Kitchen”, “Sports & Outdoors” and “Toys & Games”, and tracked their performance back to fall 2022. This exploration allowed us to follow the sales trajectory of these items, highlighting key periods of high sales, optimal pricing strategies, and the factors influencing consumer behavior.

Performance of best-selling winter seasonal products from Amazon over the course of the year

Here’s what we found: Different product categories thrive at distinct times. For instance, Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry steals the show in February, while Home & Kitchen dominates in November. Surprisingly, Sports & Outdoors shine not only in November but also in January. And, of course, Toys & Games peak during the holiday season and well into December.

For Amazon sellers, understanding these seasonal swings is crucial. Being prepared for peak sales periods, aligning inventory, and fine-tuning marketing strategies based on these trends can significantly impact success. The quieter times? They're your opportunity to gear up for the next big sales rush.

Our insights uncovered expected trends like holiday sales for toys, but also revealed surprising successes in unexpected months. 

  • Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry was surprisingly performant in May and September possibly due to memorial day and back-to-school sales with savvy shoppers aiming to get ahead of the holiday crunch. 
  • Home & Kitchen exceeded expectations in July & August, likely driven by increased spending for outdoor furniture and kitchen goods. 
  • Sports & Outdoors surprisingly performant in June possibly driven by out of season sales or occasion specific wear e.g. hand warmers for camping trips.
  • Toys & Games winter seasonal products underperform out of season consistently.

Seasonal Market Dynamics & Maximizing Off-Cycle Peaks for Strategic Amazon Sellers

  • Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry: This category has the highest proportion of annual sales in February (17.38%), possibly because of Valentine’s Day shopping. The lowest proportion of annual sales is in July and October (3.47% and 2.14%), possibly because of seasonal trends or saving for the holidays. Discounts or promotions in this category are likely to be most effective in January and February, to convert in-market customers who are looking for new styles, or in September, to entice customers who are preparing for the fall season, and looking for early bargains.
  • Home & Kitchen: This category has the highest proportion of annual sales in November (17.34%), likely because of holiday season shopping. The lowest proportion of annual sales is in March (2.74%), even though the average price is the highest ($41.91). This suggests sellers’ attempts to compensate for reduced sales volume with higher prices with limited success. Given the demand profile in this category, sellers should anchor on summer sales and winter deals as the backbone of their promotional strategy. Participating in both the July and October Prime Days, can help drive conversions during peak demand periods.

  • Sports & Outdoors: This category has the highest proportion of off peak annual sales in June (10.02%), likely because of warmer weather and more outdoor activities and sports. The lowest proportion of annual sales is in July (4.05%) possibly due to seasonal trends, school breaks, and early shoppers getting ahead of the July 4th shopping crunch. A good time for discounts or promotions in this category would be in May, to encourage customers who are planning for summer adventures or fitness goals, or in August, to lure bargain hunting customers who are looking for back-to-school or end-of-summer deals.
  • Toys & Games: This category has the highest proportion of annual sales in November (17.55%), likely because of holiday season and Black Friday shopping. The lowest proportion of annual sales is in July and October (2.92% and 2.99%), even though these are the months of Prime Day 1 and 2. This could mean that lower prices are not enough to drive sales. Sellers in this category should deploy the bulk of their promotional campaigns during the winter holiday season to maximize sales, as shoppers in this category tend to do the bulk of their shopping then, and exhibit very little brand loyalty as discussed in the Price Dynamics Section. 

Subcategory Goldmines: Unveiling Amazon's Untapped Seasonal Inventory Potential

Clothing, Shoes & Accessories: Seasonal shifts and occasions like back-to-school, Valentine's Day, and the holiday season significantly influence this category. The key contributors are trendy apparel, seasonal accessories, and themed clothing. Amazon sellers should focus on building inventory around these subcategories and explore personalized or customizable options, curate limited collections, and focus on eco-friendly or sustainable fashion to tap into consumer sentiments.

Home & Kitchen: Holidays, wedding seasons, and seasonal changes greatly impact this category. Kitchen appliances, home decor, and seasonal items are top contributors and sellers should build out their inventory to reflect this. Sellers can leverage influencer collaborations for unique home styling ideas, create themed bundles, and emphasize convenience or time-saving aspects to address consumers' needs during busy festive periods. 

Sports & Outdoors: Offering seasonal gear or specialized apparel for outdoor activities during summer, winter, or specific sporting seasons can attract niche audiences. For example, promoting ski gear in winter or swimwear in summer. Additionally bundling related sports or outdoor items into exclusive kits or packages can enhance customer value e.g. combining essentials like hiking boots, a tent, and a backpack into a camping kit, for instance, can appeal to outdoor enthusiasts seeking convenience.

Toys & Games: Dominated by the holiday season, birthdays, and special occasions, this category thrives on unique toys, educational games, and trending collectibles. Sellers can focus on building their inventory on toy exclusives, collaborate with popular franchises, and offer limited edition items to ignite the enthusiasm of young buyers and collectors alike.

Each of these categories presents immense opportunities for Amazon sellers to reshape their inventory. Understanding the seasonal dynamics, consumer preferences, and leveraging innovative marketing strategies tailored to these niches can unlock the true potential of these subcategories, turning them into profitable goldmines (see Appendix for additional sub categorical images)

Price Dynamics and Brand Influence: Navigating Seasonal Product Valuations on Amazon

We investigate how to price your winter seasonal products based on the brand name effects within a product category using best seller data from Amazon and a metric called the coefficient of correlation to price, which measures how much customers value a brand. We analyzed four product categories: Toys & Games, Sports & Outdoors, Home & Kitchen, and Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry. We will also consider the impact of the 2023 holiday season, which boosted consumer spending and retail sales.

The results indicated some product categories have stronger brand effects, which means that customers value brand loyalty and differentiation, and are willing to pay more for branded products. These product categories are:

  • Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry: This product category has the highest average coefficient of correlation to price, at 11.51%. This means that customers are willing to pay 11.51% more for a branded product than the average price in this category. The top brand in this category is Team Fan Apparel, with a coefficient of 24.08%, followed by SHAPERX and PURE CHAMP, with coefficients of 13.66% and 13.19%, respectively.
  • Home & Kitchen: This product category has the second highest average coefficient of correlation to price, at 8.68%. This means that customers are willing to pay 8.68% more for a branded product than the average price in this category. The top brand in this category was Peter Thomas Roth, with a coefficient of 37.00%, followed by Bones Coffee Company and Starbucks, with coefficients of 34.64% and 33.03%, respectively.
  • Sports & Outdoors: This product category has the third highest average coefficient of correlation to price, at 4.83%. This means that customers are willing to pay 4.83% more for a branded product than the average price in this category. The top brand in this category is Walkers, with a coefficient of 64.42%, followed by Fitbit and Clout Fitness, with coefficients of 28.59% and 11.14%, respectively.

Conversely some product categories have weaker brand effects, which means that customers are more price-sensitive, and are more likely to choose more affordable options

  • Toys & Games: This product category has the lowest average coefficient of correlation to price, at 0.62%. This means that customers are willing to pay only 0.62% more for a branded product than the average price in this category. The top brand in this category is Fitbit, with a coefficient of 26.74%, followed by Rubiks, with a coefficient of 8.55%. However, most of the brands in this category have a coefficient of zero, which means that there is no brand effect at all.

The analysis illustrates the varying brand effects influence on the pricing of winter seasonal products in different product categories. Sellers of winter seasonal products need to understand their target market and their brand value, and adjust their pricing strategy accordingly. Sellers of winter seasonal products need to adapt to the changing customer needs and preferences, and offer more value and benefits to attract and retain customers.

Conclusions

Understanding seasonal shifts in Amazon's marketplace is crucial for sellers aiming to maximize profits. Our analysis across diverse product categories revealed key insights into the peaks and unexpected successes during various months.

Different product categories peak at distinct times. For instance, Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry shines in February and surprisingly in May and September. Home & Kitchen dominates in November and also unexpectedly performs well in July and August. Sports & Outdoors thrives in expected months like June and surprisingly in January, while Toys & Games peak during the holiday seasons.

Recognizing these trends is essential, but leveraging this information is where sellers can truly benefit. Planning inventory allocation, aligning marketing strategies with peak periods, and identifying key subsets within categories are crucial for success.

The varying brand effects and price dynamics across categories underscore the importance of understanding consumer preferences and tailoring pricing strategies accordingly.

The subcategories of Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Home & Kitchen, Sports & Outdoors, and Toys & Games present significant opportunities. Customizing offerings to align with seasonal dynamics and catering to consumer sentiments can transform these subcategories into profitable ventures.

Ultimately, success in winter seasonal products on Amazon lies in applying these insights strategically. Armed with this knowledge, sellers can navigate seasonal shifts and unlock the potential of their products in line with changing consumer preferences.

Appendix

Stacked Charts of annual proportion of annual sales  by SubCategory

Download Additional Data