Every market has a pattern of a seasonal high and low. The holiday season typically begins around Thanksgiving and runs to Christmas (and even a bit beyond). The wedding season also has a fairly clear pattern, which generally starts around January and is heaviest from July to August. Even back to school has a pattern, with early sales starting mid-July and becoming heaviest about the first and second week of August.
When you open your store, it is important for you to understand what kind of business you can expect throughout different times of the year. This is not only important for getting your inventory right, but if your sales rely heavily on a seasonal pattern, you have to figure out what to do during the rest of the year.
Just because your inventory has a seasonal high and low season, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t find creative ways to boost those off-season sales. As an example, if the main item that you sell is ugly Christmas sweaters, you might think that the holiday season is the only time people will want to buy them. What many ugly Christmas sweater sellers have learned though is that there is also another opportunity to sell them during mid-June and/or July.
You see, some people have yearly “Christmas in July” parties, so even though the thermometer outside may say 95 or 100 degrees, inside it’s nice and cool in the air conditioning and people are enjoying Leon Day (Noel spelled backwards), which is on June 25th .This date marks exactly six months until Christmas rolls around again! Even Christmas decorations will briefly sell around this date, so if you primarily sell Christmas items, there is a small seasonal peak there in which with the right promotion, you might actually do quite well.
Thinking outside the (country) box
Although most brick and mortar stores usually won’t have sweaters and jackets for sale in June or shorts and flip flops for sale in November, some online sellers have discovered that they still do some booming business since international buyers, such as those in Australia are in the middle of their winter season while those in the United States are in the sweltering heat. When the seasons reverse again, they are even able to sell bathing suits to buyers who are “down under” while snow is falling outside the window. Jasmine, an eBay seller who typically buys clearance summer items around the time that school starts back states that one surprising item for her was suntan lotion for children, which she says she sells year round.
Do you take advantage of some of these off-season peaks in your store? Leave a comment below.