Finding the right product is probably the most important threshold of kickstarting a business. People tend to make their own choices whether to go with selling general products to target a broad audience or specialized products to target a specific group.
Selling seasonal products has always been an area of debate. Be it selling online or via physical stores, selling seasonal items has not always been an easy decision.
This article will help you learn about what seasonal products are, the pros and cons of selling them, and much more. By the end of this article, you will be able to have a clear decision regarding the products that have seasonal demands.
What Are Seasonal Products?
Seasonal products are items that have varying demand all through the year at different periods.
Some seasonal products are also beyond the year. They may be affected by the specific occasion which we will be discussing later in this article.
So, you can say that the seasonal products are contrary to the products that have a consistent demand throughout the year.
Seasonal Products Examples
There can be many examples that fall under seasonal products. Some of them are listed below.
- Swimwear in the summer months
- Snow covers and gloves in winters
- Valentine’s day flowers
- Holiday season items for Christmas and new year.
These are only a few examples of seasonal products. You will see more examples in the following section.
Types of Seasonal Products
Seasonal products are static. They keep on changing from time to time. They also do not have a single type.
As per our experience of sourcing products for a number of our clients, we can divide the seasonal products into the following 5 types.
- Weather-specific Products
- Occasional Products
- Fluctuating Trends
- Products with Sudden Demand
- Time-bound Items
Let us discuss each of them briefly.
These are the kinds of products that have the demands as per weather or climate. These products will be heavily influenced by whether it is cold or hot out there.
For example, beanies and jackets are the products with the most demand in the winter or fall season.
On the contrary, beach towels and sunshades are the high selling items in summers.
You can see from the screenshot of Google Trends above that the demand for beach towels arises every summer season.
So, these are the products in demand as per their relative weather or climate. Most general stores replace the items from the previous season with the items of the current season.
This is true for both physical and online stores.
Another type of seasonal product is the items that sell high as per the occasion or a particular event. An occasion or an event can happen at different times around the year.
For example, Christmas is one of the most important events in western countries. So are Halloween and the new year. These occasions or events have huge demands for products related to the event.
For example, you will see a lot of advertisements regarding funny and scary items just before Halloween. Similarly, you will also find a lot of products regarding Christmas and the ads start to pour in right around Christmas time every year.
Have a look at the screenshot from Google Trends below.
These products are not sold all around the year. Whether the sellers have these items in their stock or not, they only sell them at these times.
Apart from such religious and cultural events, the occasional products are also sold when particular social events or customs occur at a specific time of the year.
For example, if there’s a wedding season in a region, it will have plenty of products related to the wedding ceremony.
There are some products that are influenced by trends that are not permanent. Rather these products keep having an upward and downward trend in their demands.
For example, if there is an election season going on in the US or any other country, that region is going to have a lot of products related to elections.
It is when products like Republican and Democrat caps have high demand in the US.
Another example is the FIFA world cup which also happens every four years. This is the time when you will see a lot of t-shirts having pictures of Messi and Ronaldo along with other products.
Both US elections and the FIFA world cup are huge trends but they only repeat after four years. So, they are also seasonal products.
Products with Sudden Demand
You must have noticed that some products have sudden demands. They may be due to a specific reason or a particular trend that arises out of nowhere.
The world recently witnessed the Covid-19 pandemic when every part of the world was either affected or take precautions not to be affected by the virus.
This was the time when we saw an insanely sudden demand for products like facial masks and hand sanitizers. The demand was so high that these products suffered a shortage for many months all over the world.
Although this had been a tough time for everyone this was somehow the golden period for sellers especially online sellers.
Those who had managed to arrange masks and sanitizers or had them in their stock started selling these products for the prices of their choice.
Although the demand for such items was sudden at the end of 2019 and almost during the complete year of 2020, the demand for these products became regular even after the gap was covered.
The demand for these products may still remain there even as long as the virus remains in the world or even after it is gone.
So, such are the times when it is highly advisable to start selling these seasonal products if you want to get your share of the pie.
If you have had an interest in selling things online since 2017, you must remember a product that took the world into its charisma. Yes, we are talking about the fidget spinners. This is the product that the internet got crazy for.
The demand for this product suddenly rose in 2017 and reached every corner of the world. This was the time when almost everyone needed a fidget spinner.
Have a look at the Google Trends below.
As you can see, there has been almost no interest in this product before or after 2017. This means that this product had a time-specific demand.
Those who started selling fidget spinners at the right time in 2017 must have got a lucrative share in its sales.
But consider if someone decides to start selling fidget spinners in 2022 when it attracts almost no interest from the public. Yes, it won’t be a good idea.
That is why we call them time-bound items. It is only beneficial if you sell those products at the right time.
Other examples of time-bound or time-specific products are the fashion items that attract the audience’s interest at a specific time.
Say the superhero movies for example. We keep hearing about the release of superhero movies from time to time. They include some of the most-liked characters including Superman, Spiderman, X-men, etc.
The audience is generally desperate to watch the new movies from such series. That is what the sellers are also waiting for.
So, when the time is right, the sellers start selling the superhero t-shirts for the passionate audience of such characters or the gadgets used in those movies to attract those customers.
We witnessed the booming sales for Harry Potter’s stick and necklaces when that series was at the top.
But again, timing is all that matters in such cases. If someone starts selling the dragons from Game of Thrones years after its last episode, it won’t be a very good idea.
Pros and Cons of Selling Seasonal Products
Selling seasonal items comes with certain advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss them quickly.
Pros of Seasonal Products
Following are the advantages of selling seasonal products.
As we discussed earlier, seasonal products have high demands provided the time is right. So, you can enjoy huge sales at certain times that would also translate into high revenue.
Less Competition with Niche and General Stores
If you are focused on selling seasonal products, you won’t be having direct competition with the niche stores.
For example, a store selling the items for home decor won’t be competing with you if you are selling the items related to FIFA.
So, in a way, you have less competition than the mainstream and regular products.
Element of Passion
Specific seasonal items have a more passionate audience as compared to the general products. Therefore, you can take advantage of this aspect and target the passionate customer base more easily.
Pull sales and push sales are the two most common selling techniques. Seasonal products have higher pull sales. That means that consumers are already searching for those products.
Unlike other products, you don’t have to create the demand for seasonal products by spending a lot of budget on marketing campaigns. The demand for these products is already there in most cases. You just have to fulfill those demands.
Another advantage of selling seasonal products is that there is a huge variety of these products. One seasonal product may be completely different from the other.
So, what is the advantage here? This variety of products keeps your interest alive for selling these products using different techniques.
This also compels you to try out different selling strategies. You might get your hands on a selling strategy that changes your business for good.
Better Product Planning
As seasonal products appear in demand from time to time, you get enough room to plan or source your products in advance. This is especially true in the cases of fluctuating trends and weather-specific products.
Cons of Seasonal Products
Let’s discuss the disadvantages of selling seasonal products.
Low Product Lifespan
As seasonal products are not necessarily in demand throughout the year, these products have a low lifespan. There may also be occasions that you only sell a set of seasonal products for as long as a month or two.
If you order a lot of products after observing a huge demand for a seasonal item and that demand suddenly plunges, it could be a problem for you to handle the unsold items.
Strict Delivery Times
Seasonal products are time-specific products. You need to follow the delivery timing strictly to ensure that the products reach your customers while the season for those items is still going on.
What if your customer gets a product he ordered for winters at a time that is close to summers? It is likely that he might refuse to accept that product.
That can incur the charges of returns and refunds.
Product Sourcing Issues
As discussed earlier, some seasonal items suddenly emerge in demand out of nowhere. In those cases, the products are readily available to all the manufacturers or suppliers.
So, it can be challenging for you to arrange products even if you buy from China.
Top 10 Tips to Maximize Your Seasonal Products Business
Here are a few professional tips if you decide to launch a business selling seasonal items.
1. Keep in Touch With Trends
First of all, you will be in a better position to market seasonal products only if you know what they are. If you won’t be updated with the latest trends, you can miss out on the seasonal opportunities.
You can join the groups, pages, and forums that discuss the latest trending products. You will get a lot of product ideas there.
2. Be Ahead of Your Competition
Always do competitor research and try to have a keen eye on your competitors. Keep following what products they are selling at what times.
You must have all the major products in your store that your competitors have. That is the way to knock out your competition.
3. Have Regular Employees
Some seasonal sellers tend to work only in a particular season and after the season is gone, they stop working until the next season.
This costs them a lot of factors. Losing employees is probably on top of the list. Try retaining your core employees at all times because it is always difficult to find the right employees when you resume work.
4. Use Broad Keywords for better SEO
SEO is a technique of staying relevant for as long you want. Therefore, instead of using specific time-bound keywords, try using general and broad keywords in your content strategies.
That is because you would want your site to remain relevant for search engines even after the season is over.
5. Market Yourself as a Brand
People generally believe a brand instead of the business that has suddenly appeared only to be found nowhere after a certain time period.
Try marketing your business as an established brand so that your customers have an idea that they are buying from a brand that will always be there to support them.
6. Single Product Store for Hot Items
This is a very good technique especially for selling hot and trending items. In addition to keeping the hot item in your store, you can also make an online store that only sells that particular item that has crazy demand.
This can bring you more sales from both stores.
7. Flawless Customer Service
Most customers do not return to the same seasonal brand after purchasing items because of bad customer service. If you want to play big, you have to provide exceptional and flawless customer service.
It is only why your customers will return to your store again to buy other seasonal products.
8. Upsell and Cross-sell Techniques
Don’t just depend on the sale of a single product. If a customer buys a seasonal product from your store, try hooking your customer with another related product for cross-selling.
You should also suggest to your customers the high-end products if they have bought a low-priced product from your store. That is how the sales are maximized.
9. Use Efficient Sourcing
Sourcing products and delivering them to your customers’ addresses are the key to the successful selling of seasonal products.
Do consider hiring the services of a product sourcing agent so that you can focus more on bringing sales.
A good product sourcing agent like NicheSources knows where to find products from. So, you can save time in searching for the products and focus on building your business while letting a sourcing expert do his job.
10. Update Your Store Regularly
Your store can’t afford to have a consistent set of products at all times. If you want to sell seasonal products, you need to update your store as per the season or the trend.
FAQs about Seasonal Products
We have answered some of the frequently asked questions regarding seasonal products in the following. Read the answers to have further clarity on this topic.
How Do You Identify Seasonal Goods?
As we have explained earlier, seasonal goods are items or products that mostly have no consistent demand.
The demand for these products rises at a specific time. It can be a specific time of year, once every few years, or even once in a lifetime in some cases.
One way to check whether the goods are seasonal is to use Google Trends. You just have to write the name of the products in Google Trends and check for the result after specifying the time period and the region.
If the graph is consistent, then those products are not seasonal goods. If there is a visible fluctuation in the graph, then they are most probably seasonal goods.
What Is a Seasonal Brand?
A seasonal brand can be referred to as a brand name of a company that sells seasonal items. It would most probably have a general name instead of a name that hints towards a specific niche.
For example, there is a brand named “Digital Trends”. It promotes trending digital items. It can be referred to as a seasonal brand because of its tendency to promote whatever suits the latest trends and are in demand.
How Do You Manage Seasonal Purchases?
It can be tough to forecast seasonal sales and manage seasonal inventory accordingly. Therefore, you need to act smartly while you are purchasing your inventory of seasonal products.
You can take help from the following tips to manage inventory smartly.
- Take help from Google Trends to see the ups and downs of seasonal products. It also has a forecast feature. You can see whether the interest of the audience will rise or fall by taking help from the forecast feature of Google trends.
- Buy a safe level of inventory and keep your supplier in line to be ready to ship more products if you give a green signal.
- Have a good product sourcing agent in the loop so that he can help you buy products from China at the minimum possible times.
How Do You Market a Seasonal Product?
There are various methods of marketing seasonal products. You can also start marketing them just like the way you market general items just at the right times.
For example, if you are selling online, you can start marketing the summer products a month before the winter season.
Cash flow is tight for a small business while selling seasonal items. So, business owners need to act more wisely while spending marketing budgets, etc.
Some of the marketing tips have been listed below.
- Announce flash sales for the season’s arrival.
- Use clearance sale techniques at the end or at mid-season times to attract more customers.
- Make use of social media including Facebook and Instagram, etc.
- Use Facebook’s detailed targeting methods.
So, should you sell seasonal items? If you are willing to use the tips and tricks shared in this article, it is advisable to sell these varying products.
You just need to stay connected to the demand trends and keep your supplies on time. You can rock as a trusted brand for seasonal products in your area or even all across the world.
Do you need a reliable sourcing partner? Consider asking for a free quote from us. Our representative will be right there to assist you with sourcing the best quality products from China at affordable prices.