If you sell seasonal products, you run a big risk of product obsolescence. All kinds of Christmas stuff – Santa hats and beards, for instance – is useless by the time we get to December 26th. That’s why we never recommend selling products that are purely seasonal.
(Let’s be clear; fake fur coats, or Lycra swimming costumes, are not ‘seasonal products’, even though you’ll sell more of one in winter and the other in summer. They’re useful for months on end, not just for a single short holiday season.)
However, you can make use of seasonality without selling seasonally limited products. Here are a few ideas.
Have a holiday coupon code. It works for Black Friday, so why not have holiday coupons for Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, or even Groundhog Day?
Obviously, you’ll want the event to be relevant to your product. Offering a discount on your party frocks for Father’s Day is probably not a great idea. On the other hand, there may be specific days relevant to your product, such as International Cat Day or International Fountain Pen Day (yes, they really do exist), that aren’t as well known to the wider population but can help you sell really well in your little niche.
Do some holiday-themed promotions on social media. For instance, you may have an interior decor business and offer small golden candlesticks for table settings. Take some pictures with a holly wreath and other seasonal decorations, and you can get some extra seasonal sales – even though you haven’t changed the product at all. In the same way, if you sell cat toys, you might run a ‘cat advent calendar’ on Instagram showing kittens with Santa hats playing with the toys. Again, an imaginative way to do some seasonal marketing.
Halloween cats with witches’ hats, luminous green bats, or skeleton mice could enliven your October Instagram feed…
Flex your ad budget. If you aim for higher sales during the holiday, increase your ad spend for the period coming up to the holiday period. Big companies will be doing this. For instance, Prime Day always sees about a third more advertising than the rest of the year.
Of course, you then want to monitor whether this worked for you and whether it was worthwhile. If you have an idea of just how much you gained from it, you might decide to spend even more next year.
Check your pricing. However hard you advertise, however much social media you use, if your pricing is wrong you’re not going to benefit properly. So get started well before holidays or commemorations by looking at your pricing and ensuring your product is competitive.
Tweak your ads. Add a holiday theme to your PPC content – “What every big kid wants for Christmas,” “Makes a great stocking stuffer!” or perhaps “Guaranteed to terrify!” for Halloween. Give your sponsored brand ads a rework, and feature holiday images.
Set up a separate holiday campaign. Generic terms like “gifts for men” are going to be expensive – and may not work for your product anyway. The big sellers often bid up ads on their preferred keywords in the run-up to holidays. However, the longer tail the keyword, the more likely you are to be able to afford a good campaign: try “fishing gifts for men”, or “fishing rod gifts for men”. Use 10-20 percent of your budget for this, because you’ll want to keep your regular ads running, too.
Remember that your regular ads are what keep your product selling all the way through the year, and keep it in its (we hope) great place on Amazon. So don’t stop them while you’re running the holiday campaign, and don’t cut your regular marketing after the holiday.
And finally, which is really crucial – remember to have enough of your product in stock!