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Seasonal store or not? [Help Needed]

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Shri Kanase

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Hey guys,

So I run an online store in the relationship niche (relationship matching bracelets/necklaces/etc) and I'm in a dillema. I've been running it since October 2017 and what I noticed is that it booms Jan-Feb (6 figure + rev) and then slows down the rest of the months. I don't think relationships would be seasonal because almost all of the world is constantly getting in relationships and getting out. From spying my competition, I noticed that he gets 50k+ monthly visitors with the same amount of sales each month. I'm lost as to why I'm not able to be profitable in the other months. I use Facebook ads mainly and constantly test new things to find winning ideas.

What should I do?
 

RazorCut

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Jewellery, like a lot of personal gift products, has high and low periods. A lot of products drop off during the summer vacation period then slowly ramp up to the Christmas rush.

You need to learn what market your competitor is hitting for his consistent sales so sign up to any marketing they offer. Try and pick up a re-targeting pixel to see what ads they are running. I do have a few insights for you however.

Having been in this market myself I know that birthdays are a good niche for consistency due to the fact that they are spread out throughout the year. Also, during the quieter summer months, Weddings bring in a lot of traffic if you target it with the right products. Christenings too.

I had a personalised product store that catered specifically for the gift market. Birthdays, Weddings and Christenings are key areas to target to help to get more consistent sales throughout the year. BUT you have to have the right products to do it.
 

Shri Kanase

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Feb 19, 2019
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Jewellery, like a lot of personal gift products, has high and low periods. A lot of products drop off during the summer vacation period then slowly ramp up to the Christmas rush.

You need to learn what market your competitor is hitting for his consistent sales so sign up to any marketing they offer. Try and pick up a re-targeting pixel to see what ads they are running. I do have a few insights for you however.

Having been in this market myself I know that birthdays are a good niche for consistency due to the fact that they are spread out throughout the year. Also, during the quieter summer months, Weddings bring in a lot of traffic if you target it with the right products. Christenings too.

I had a personalised product store that catered specifically for the gift market. Birthdays, Weddings and Christenings are key areas to target to help to get more consistent sales throughout the year. BUT you have to have the right products to do it.
I do have rings on my store as well which can be given as "wedding rings". But I'll need to see regarding the other types.
 

RazorCut

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I do have rings on my store as well which can be given as "wedding rings". But I'll need to see regarding the other types.

No, I mean little gifts that guests give to the bride and groom. Not something as important as Wedding Bands. These would be stuff like:

Amazon.com: wedding gifts

Also forgot to mention Anniversaries which is another strong area that can be more seasonal as a lot of weddings take place in spring and summer (at least in the UK).

Loads of ideas for gushy rubbish that sells well here:

Amazon.com: Anniversary gifts
 

Shri Kanase

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No, I mean little gifts that guests give to the bride and groom. Not something as important as Wedding Bands. These would be stuff like:

Amazon.com: wedding gifts

Also forgot to mention Anniversaries which is another strong area that can be more seasonal as a lot of weddings take place in spring and summer (at least in the UK).

Loads of ideas for gushy rubbish that sells well here:

Amazon.com: Anniversary gifts
Ah, got it. Also, I've been relying on one specific product which was my first winninf product. Basically, I created my whole brand around that product. I'm not sure whether I should always be testing new products as well or do a betted job on this one or what. It seems that no matter what else I test, this one outperforms it.
 

RazorCut

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The more products you have the less exposed you will be. It is the same with venues. If you only sell on Amazon then if something goes awry you are screwed. If on the other hand you sell via Amazon, eBay and a couple of Web Sites then you are less exposed.

Always keep in mind that the Pareto principle will always have an effect on pretty much everything. Typically not exactly 80/20 but a big disparity (80/20 is used for simplicity).

80% of your profits will come from 20% of your products. 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your outlets. 80% of your costs will come from 20% of your overheads, etc. etc. etc.

Leverage that where ever you can.
 

Shri Kanase

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Feb 19, 2019
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The more products you have the less exposed you will be. It is the same with venues. If you only sell on Amazon then if something goes awry you are screwed. If on the other hand you sell via Amazon, eBay and a couple of Web Sites then you are less exposed.

Always keep in mind that the Pareto principle will always have an effect on pretty much everything. Typically not exactly 80/20 but a big disparity (80/20 is used for simplicity).

80% of your profits will come from 20% of your products. 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your outlets. 80% of your costs will come from 20% of your overheads, etc. etc. etc.

Leverage that where ever you can.
So in general, what are saying is focus on that one or several products? Sorry about all the questions
 

RazorCut

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So in general, what are saying is focus on that one or several products? Sorry about all the questions

If you want more sales and less exposure to risk you need more products. Just bear in mind that even if you have a lot of products the majority of your your sales will still come from around 20% of them.

I had thousands of products for sale when I had eCommerce stores but probably 80-120 of them accounted for the lions share of sales.

At one point we had one item that sold so well we took it from its position in the racking on one of the aisles and put it right next to the packing station. It amounted to around 30% of our sales volume at the time.
 

lejus

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RazorCut - some excellent advice there.

I am only entering ecommerce zone now but being brick and mortar I thought that every industry will be more or less seasonal. I mean there will be cycles when bracelets/supplements/online training you name whichever product you want will sell more and less. And there will be bigger cycles when for years industry might be more quiet and down and years of boom.

Of course that does not change the fact that increasing your customer base might get your quiet months to the size of your current busy month, and that doesn't mean you can't average out by flirting with other industries, products, side hustles, ventures, etc but... if you are strongly attached to one industry and products from within that, cycles will happen inevitably to some degree. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I think my post doesn't add as much practical value as RazorCut he gave you some solid solutions and insights on how to change and improve. But if I am correct, some fluctuation is just part of the game so worrying about it if it's not too extreme might be more counter-productive than increasing your sales when it's busy.
 

RazorCut

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Of course that does not change the fact that increasing your customer base might get your quiet months to the size of your current busy month, and that doesn't mean you can't average out by flirting with other industries, products, side hustles, ventures, etc but... if you are strongly attached to one industry and products from within that, cycles will happen inevitably to some degree. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Totally right. Here is sales trends for apparel across 12 months. Huge spike for Christmas as can be expected.

Screen-Shot-2018-08-30-at-2.19.20-PM.png

However if we introduced a swimwear business into the mix the graph would peak for that particular product in early to mid summer. Add Skiing and that might peak at Christmas but extend strongly into January and February where most sales fall like a stone.

The great thing about eCommerce is the fact that you can have multiple specialist websites but run all the products from your one warehouse (or use different drop shippers). I used to run 5 different verticals from 2 warehouses (2 only because we outgrew the first one).
 

lejus

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This is some great information RazorCut!

How many of your e-commerce is drop shipping and how many stocking actual products?

Do you focus on having different websites for different products/niche or rather shop with a lot of items and big selections?

Which form of advertising do you find most effective in season and which off-season?
 

Shri Kanase

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Feb 19, 2019
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This is some great information RazorCut!

How many of your e-commerce is drop shipping and how many stocking actual products?

Do you focus on having different websites for different products/niche or rather shop with a lot of items and big selections?

Which form of advertising do you find most effective in season and which off-season?
My apologies for the late reply, was busy hustling. But almost all of it is dropshipping but all packages have my store's logo and it gives it a branded look. I've created a brand new store which is a general store and it has done roughly $5k this month so planning on growing that.

And for in season and off-season I'm mostly relying on Facebook Ads
 

lejus

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My apologies for the late reply, was busy hustling. But almost all of it is dropshipping but all packages have my store's logo and it gives it a branded look. I've created a brand new store which is a general store and it has done roughly $5k this month so planning on growing that.

And for in season and off-season I'm mostly relying on Facebook Ads

Awesome, what budget do you use for product advertising on fb ? I assume it is different for testing new products and different for some established products? Is it mostly video ads or mostly ads with pictures?

Do you use local dropshippers or is it China?

Do you build your shops in Wordpress/Magento or some other system? Do you build them yourself or do you outsource it?

Sorry for tons of questions I recently try myself to make it work and I felt I was preparade but turns out I'm shooting in the darkness, I am patient because I know it all takes time but in the meantime I am trying to find some knowledge from experienced ppl like you. Thanks.
 

Shri Kanase

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Feb 19, 2019
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Awesome, what budget do you use for product advertising on fb ? I assume it is different for testing new products and different for some established products? Is it mostly video ads or mostly ads with pictures?

Do you use local dropshippers or is it China?

Do you build your shops in Wordpress/Magento or some other system? Do you build them yourself or do you outsource it?

Sorry for tons of questions I recently try myself to make it work and I felt I was preparade but turns out I'm shooting in the darkness, I am patient because I know it all takes time but in the meantime I am trying to find some knowledge from experienced ppl like you. Thanks.
Answers to all of these questions on my Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/shrikanase
 

ZCP

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find a product for mother's day (May) ....... and graduations (may / june) .......
birthday's and anniversaries are good ....... then really slay it for Christmas ......

check out the book Ready, Fire, Aim .... really good discussion on the only way to grow at that point is to add more products .... has a nice discussion on how
 

Shri Kanase

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Feb 19, 2019
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find a product for mother's day (May) ....... and graduations (may / june) .......
birthday's and anniversaries are good ....... then really slay it for Christmas ......

check out the book Ready, Fire, Aim .... really good discussion on the only way to grow at that point is to add more products .... has a nice discussion on how
My concern is, if I introduced something specifically for birthday's, wouldn't that be going outside my niche of relationships? Same with graduation?
 

ZCP

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there is an easy way to find out......... talk to your customers, offer them the option, try it and see

did i ever think my engineering firm would offer marketing services?

 

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