Seasonality on Amazon
-How are sales? Is it slow for anyone else?
It’s one of the most commonly asked questions in Amazon seller groups online. It’s also a question being always discussed on the conferences and chat groups.
You can hardly go a week in any facebook group full of Amazon sellers without seeing someone asking if sales are up or down. There is an inherent desire within each of those questions to make sure that you are still a part of the norm, you are not outside of where the herd is. That is to say: ‘’Is everyone else’s sales suffering?’’, ‘’Had everyone else had a good day of sales?’’.
Well, today we are going to talk about seasonality of sales. Let me walk you through a typical year on Amazon. With any commerce company, whether it be retail, wholesale or online selling – there is seasonality involved.
We are going to paint with a broad brush today and look at the total sales on Amazon platform starting in January and carrying all the way through to December.
It’s kind of mixed bag. The top of the rollercoaster being January 1 and the bottom of a big drop being the end of the month. The reason for this is that a lot of people are shopping late for the holidays. They might have received a gift card, they might be sending gifts to people that they have forgotten about, or they might be buying something for themselves. January overall is about an average month for Amazon.
It has a little bit of an uptick in sales, mainly because of Valentine’s Day, but overall sales are much-much slower than Q4 of previous year.
March – April
It is about the same compared to February, however many sellers may see a little bit of a drop. Towards the end of April there is a little spike, as spring is coming: we have spring breaks, people are spending money on outdoor items, and start thinking about getting outdoors.
Mother’s Day comes, and May is considered a slightly above average month for Amazon sellers. But then it drops off.
There is a significant drop between May and early June. Unless you sell seasonal items that do really well in summer, you will notice that people pull back a little bit on spending, as it’s usually a beginning of summer break and holidays for most families.
July – mid-September
What are you buying during this season? Are you buying stuff online during these months? For most people the answer is – ‘’No’’. That’s why we see a radical decrease of sales in average on Amazon during July – August. These are considered the slowest months for Amazon sellers. Most people are not sitting at home on their mobile device shopping, – they are outdoors at the beach or at the river, or barbecuing in the backyard with friends. These are the most common months for people to take vacations.
Why do you think Amazon put Prime Day in July? It’s not as if they just picked a date out of the blue. They looked at the books and they saw that July was traditionally their slowest month. So they invented a holiday. They said: ‘’Let’s convince all of our sellers to offer amazing deals and bring in a lot of extra traffic and revenue.’’ And it worked.
If you don’t have a habit of participating in Prime Day sales, then you should! I personally know many sellers who mitigate those slow summer months by having an incredible Prime Day with 5, 10 or sometimes 20 times their normal sales on that one day alone.
Mid-September – October
This is the time when traditionally sales start to pick up. This is the big climb of our sales rollercoaster. With the start of school, Labor Day and upcoming Fall festivities Amazon sellers start recording considerable increase in sales. This is the time when you want to put extra emphasis to make sure that you are in stock, and start gearing up for upcoming Q4 rush.
Traditionally early November is associated with a little bit of a drop in sales after Halloween and before Thanksgiving. It’s still way above average, and then things really get interesting right around Thanksgiving.
Starting late November we see a HUGE spike in sales on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and then the rush leading up to Christmas holiday. Many sellers see three, four, or even five times their normal sales each day during 3-4 weeks leading up to Christmas.
A few tips to help make sure that you make the most of Q4:
- Acknowledge the holidays – update your listings to reference holiday deals and specials
- If it’s easy – change your packaging to reflect the upcoming holiday season
- Increase your budget if promo campaigns are successful – why limit your growth
After December 25th, don’t pack it up and go home just yet. You have to realize that Christmas can be the gift that keeps on giving for several more weeks.
Hopefully this has been helpful and might serve as a voice of reason the next time you find yourself wondering ‘’How are sales?’’