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Posts Tagged ‘sales slow down’

Halloween Sales Slowdown

November 1, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve had several emails asking about this, so I’ll put it in a post.

My sales do slow down considerably in the days before Halloween.  People are probably too busy with decorations and activities to spend time shopping online.  So if your sales have slowed down in the past week or so, most likely it’s just a seasonal thing and they’ll pick back up again now that Halloween is behind us.

Do, however, take the opportunity to get things done while sales are slow, even if it’s only for a few days.  Looking for new products to sell is always a good thing to do, it should be part of your weekly (if not daily) routine.  Whenever there’s a seasonal respite, use the extra time to find more good products to carry.  That’s what will keep your sales going in the future.

You can also use the time to plan your merchandise purchases for next year.  By now you should have a good feel for how well each of the items you stock sells, and what your profit margin is on them.  Plan your inventory buying accordingly.  If you don’t have the data available already to make this decision, spend the extra time to get the data, you’ll be glad you did next year.

My sales generally recover pretty strongly right after Halloween as people start their Christmas shopping in earnest.  If you fulfill your own orders this will probably be the start of the busiest time of year.  If you use a third party fulfillment service it should be a relatively quiet time, as you’re mainly just getting ready for next year.

Good luck with your Christmas sales season!  Drop me an email and let me know how it’s going, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Sales Slow in the Summer

July 12, 2013 2 comments

My online retail sales slow down every summer.  Summer is a big vacation time, so it isn’t surprising there are fewer people surfing Amazon or Etsy looking for things to buy.  It’s a bit unnerving, since I worry that the slower sales are caused by something else rather than just the season, like competition.  And to be sure, sometimes there are other causes as well.  But for the most part things pick up again after mid-summer.  So if you’re new to retail and worrying about why your sales have slowed, do check on external factors, but most likely it’s just the season.

The week heading into July 4th was particularly slow for me this year, though now that the weekend has passed sales have rebounded quite a bit to a more normal ‘summer time’ level.  Of course your mileage will vary.

I’ve written about how to mitigate a summer sales slump before, and I came across this article which has some good suggestions on how to use the extra time.

So how should you use this time?  I have two suggestions.  First, Fall is the busiest sales time of the year, so if your inventory is light this is a good time to stock up.  It will seem counter-intuitive to commit to a big inventory spend now, since revenue is at its lowest for the year.  But to capture the full potential of the Christmas season you have to be stocked up before Fall buying kicks into gear.

I’ll take a moment here to mention, as I have many times, that that doesn’t mean you should borrow money to buy inventory. Especially if you’re relatively new to selling online and don’t have enough experience to know how well your products will sell, borrowing money to buy inventory can leave you with a lot of unsold merchandise, a big debt load, and no way to pay for it.

My other suggestion on how to use this slow sales time is to spend more time looking for new products to sell.  You need to be doing this all the time, but do take any opportunity to spend more time on it whenever you can.