28 May 2024, 11:18
By Ed Sloane Aug 26, 2014

How to manage seasonal products and respond to demand

One of the issues with seasonal products is there is seemingly only a market at specific times of year. This then raises the question of how to adjust stock levels throughout the rest of the year, and how to maintain a business, if all you have to rely on is seasonal demand – Ed Sloane from GardenBenches.com offers advice on how he maintains a successful business from a summertime product …

The key to managing any business is to know your target audience and understand their purchase journey. Although it may seem that garden benches, for example, are only bought in the summer, we found that the research process started in February, so we start increasing our stock levels during this period.

There are some great tools out there to help understand your customer purchase journey, and for online businesses, we definitely recommend searching through Google Analytics to find your sales stats.

When your product is off-season, you have to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. As an online business, we turn down our PPC budget and pause the usual campaigns. Instead, we know that during the colder months, hotels and golf clubs experience similar off-peak circumstances and refurbish their outdoor patio areas while it is quiet. This gives us a different target market and we adjust our PPC strategy accordingly.

Alternatively, if you have a seasonal product, it may be worth thinking of accessories or similar products that accompany your main seasonal items. For example, we stock bench covers and protection oils which we emphasise during off-peak times. Expanding your stock range slightly will give your customers purchase options throughout the remainder of the year.

"You need to understand your customer purchase journey and ensure there are products available when they want them"

Before we move on to handling the influx of seasonal demand, it is also worth noting that regardless of whether your products are seasonal, you should maintain your marketing efforts. Use off season to focus on building your brand and always stay active on social. This will help build up a customer base and when these products are in demand, people will remember your company.

When your products are in demand, you need to really give your business everything you can. Optimise stock levels and increase marketing budgets. As I mentioned previously, you need to understand your customer purchase journey and ensure there are products available when they want them. Use data and previous sales records to help unveil this, and if you find you have certain products left more than others, offer competitions and promotions on those.

The most important thing about managing seasonal products is to be ahead of the game. Know when the demand is coming and prepare. When your products are off season, look at alternative products that accompany your brand but also look at targeting other markets.

© 2013 - 2024 Gearing Media Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved.