Demand for some products are evergreen and will just about stay the same throughout the year, while others will have spikes and valleys - T-shirts are a year-round commodity, but winter coats are seasonal.
In practice, however, seasonality will touch almost every product category, meaning that you will need to know how to navigate seasonal changes to maintain stock, optimize your PPC campaigns and maximize sales.
Selling a seasonal product effectively means having to adjust campaign structure, bidding strategies, even price and other factors. It is also incredibly important that you have enough stock to accommodate the demand.
One of the challenges is knowing when to act. You already know, of course, that there will be a high season, but when does it start?
Determining when to rev up the engines is a combination of analytics and risk appetite.
On the one hand, you will need as much historical data as possible, not just on your own sales but as much as you can get your hands on from competitors and the wider market. You need to have the best possible picture from the data of when customer demand will start driving up, when it will peak, and when it will come back down.
Once you think you have a good enough idea of the demand curve, it’s a matter of how proactive you want to be. If you look back at the data and find that your on-season is pretty consistent, then you can risk being a bit more proactive and kicking things off in anticipation of the demand rise and get some early-mover advantage - after all, if you wait until the peak to get into gear, you will have missed a good chunk of your window of opportunity.
If you calculate it wrong, though, you’ll see your ROAS suffer as your ad spend is out of proportion to your actual sales.
If you look back at the data and see that the on-season is not as consistent, however, you might want to take a less proactive approach and rely more on your rolling sales data to try and anticipate the spike. The danger here, of course, is that you let your competitors get ahead if they successfully anticipate it, but at least you get rid of the potential downside of wasting money on a potential false start.
The level of correlation between your product demand and the season should also factor into your strategy.
Other items that may well spike but have a steady demand might be something like a winter coat, which will obviously go up during winter but also has a geographical correlation that means there will be some level of demand year round.
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