Seasonality is a common concept within marketing, as consumers make purchasing decisions based on events happening outside of the shopping experience. Identifying these opportunities can help with not only understanding seasonality but also selling more products to target audiences.
Google Trends is a tool that allows you to search for keywords and see how popular they are over time. It can also help you identify trends in your industry. Read more in detail here: google trends.
Autumn has arrived in most parts of the globe, which means eCommerce preparations for the forthcoming winter vacations are at an all-time high. According to Statista, eCommerce sales in the United States totaled $108.2 billion over the 2017 winter holidays, and the upward trend is expected to continue this season.
eCommerce business owners all around the world recognize the importance of having a solid marketing plan in place to make the most of each holiday season.
Does this, however, imply that an eCommerce company’s yearly sales statistics are solely dependent on how successful the Christmas season is for them? Not at all!
To make better business choices, the eCommerce community must grasp the importance of seasonality in eCommerce and its variations in order to maintain a consistent ROI throughout the year, not only during the holiday season.
What is eCommerce Seasonality?
Let’s attempt to comprehend it by looking at some of the most frequent terms used by local purchasers in the United States, as well as their Google trends.
The months of April and May, when monsoons are most active, saw the greatest searches for rain jackets:
The months of November and December, when the winter season is at its height, saw the greatest searches for warm jackets:
During the month of December, keywords connected to presents were popular for holidays such as Christmas and the New Year.
These statistics show that changes in climatic seasons, as well as the occurrence of big events/festivals, significantly raise demand for related items during such intervals, resulting in periodic increases in opportunity throughout the year.
These diverse tendencies, from a business standpoint, also expose the true pain point of various eCommerce enterprises, as they always must:
Predict website visitor volume based on seasonal patterns.
Estimate the quantity of orders that will be placed in order to maintain acceptable stock levels.
During peak hours, effectively handle order fulfillment.
Calculate the amount of money you’ll need to spend on advertising.
Above all, provide a pleasurable buying experience.
To obtain a constant ROI, a firm must continuously forecast the “when” and “how much” of client demand in order to provide a spectacular experience.
However, it is easier said than done to do this.
As a result, in order to create an article that contains everything you need to understand eCommerce seasonality and its variations, we combed through several existing articles as well as case studies of our own clients, digging into their analytics data to break down the entire eCommerce seasonality conundrum into an action plan for eCommerce fans.
So let’s get this party started.
Seasonal Factors Affecting eCommerce Returns
Seasonal differences are rather self-explanatory. Customers acquire relevant things for a variety of reasons when the seasons change. This tendency is at an all-time high, particularly during the Christmas season.
Marketers must recognize, however, that there are other seasonal characteristics at work, which continue to generate a variety of events throughout the year.
Seasonal variations are heavily influenced by four important factors:
Popularity and Business Niche
It is simple to see how these four components are depending on one another.
Macro events such as holidays (such as Christmas/New Year or Diwali), special sales (such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday), weather (summer, monsoon, winter), or once-a-year days such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are all important to target.
SEMrush has forecasted keyword trends for amazon.com.
You may use Google Search Console to see how much traffic your website receives for certain keywords over a given period of time, including clicks, impressions, average click-through rate, and average position.
Brihaspati Infotech’s Google Search Engine Console Report
With the aid of these tools, you may collect particular data that you’ll need to compare to real product conversion to see which sections of your organization need to be optimized based on niche-specific seasonal characteristics.
2. Use landing pages to track client behavior:
The next step in establishing your store’s past performance is to look at how visitors that arrived at your landing page engaged with it. Google Analytics is your best choice for tracking audience activity for your shop and determining how prospects engaged with your landing page depending on the various objectives you set up.
You can also split the success of your landing pages depending on the many sources that drove traffic and conversions to your shop.
3. Produce performance reports for products:
Your eCommerce CMS is most likely supplied with its own analytics system that analyzes product performance over time.
Magento provides product performance data under Advanced reporting.
E-commerce platforms like as Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce also offer third-party add-ons or plugins that allow you to produce more thorough reports for assessing your goods’ performance over time.
4. Compare and contrast various seasonal events:
Now that you have real data on keyword traffic patterns, shop traffic trends, and product conversions, it’s time to see whether you were successful in targeting niche-specific seasonal trends for your business or if you’re losing out.
The procedure is easy to follow:
Identify the seasonal spikes in keyword trends as revealed by SEMrush or Google Adwords.
Using annotations in your Google analytics data, compare that spike to your product performance (CTRs and conversions).
Determine how closely these trends correspond to one another. The more you were able to utilize that seasonal occurrence, the more they matched means.
Based on the results of your previous efforts, you may then determine:
Whether or not there was a conversion effort in place for this seasonal event If that’s the case, determine which channel drove the most traffic and conversions during that particular seasonal event. Make adjustments to that particular campaign if a channel has garnered fewer traffic.
We recommend keeping a log book with excel sheets for monitoring changes to the campaign strategy or the UI-UX of the website or landing page in order to see how such changes affect the seasonal events you’re targeting.
This seasonal event was not targeted with a conversion effort. If you missed out on a seasonal event, make sure you don’t miss out the next time it comes around. Prepare a successful campaign and be ready to capitalize on it.
2. Estimate and adjust advertising costs
PPC efforts, whether for search engines or social media platforms like Facebook, are an important source of new leads. If you own an eCommerce business, there’s a good chance you’ve already started a PPC campaign.
The cost of a PPC advertising fluctuates based on the bid volume and activity level, determining the keyword bid value.
To take a strategic approach to paid advertising, it’s critical to examine Google Ads data for seasonal fluctuations in order to develop future projections and investment strategies.
So, what are your options?
Analyze your website’s previous Google Ads campaigns. Because your ad will appear at the top of search results for the keywords you include in the Ad group, sponsored advertising are mostly keyword driven.
There is no question that if there is a big demand for a product and you are targeting appropriate advertising during that period, you will notice a lot of interaction and transactions on your website. You may quickly find out the seasonal events that occurred throughout time by determining your historical impressions on business-specific keywords.
Invest in a wise strategy based on what you learn about seasonal occurrences. A seasonal event may take a specific period of time to recur depending on the company specialization. Use the time between events to do A/B tests on your campaigns to see which keyword combinations work best over time for your Google Ads. When the seasonal event recurs, choose the optimal keyword combination for your campaign.
Increase the quality score of your campaigns since it has a direct impact on the campaign’s effectiveness as well as the investment needed.
How do you go about doing it?
Determine seasonal events using impressions from Google Ads:
Sponsored adverts are administered in a similar fashion regardless of the channel you’re targeting. You can simply check how your campaigns fared in the past and over time.
Comparing the surge in unique visits with certain keyword campaigns and the transactions occuring in your shop is a terrific approach to monitor company niche specific seasonal fluctuations utilizing the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaign.
Data from a Google Adwords campaign for one of our clients’ websites.
Your Adwords tool will plainly point out your seasonal events by calculating the average of several times when your Ad campaigns were most effective in the past in terms of impressions. This kind of recurring event is a good indicator of seasonal events that are exclusive to your company specialty.
Google Analytics is an excellent tool for tracking and comparing the success of Google Ads campaigns.
If you’ve never conducted a campaign before, SEMrush’s Ad history reports feature is a useful tool since it enables you to follow the AdCopies of your top rivals so you can get a sense of their budgets.
Improve your campaign’s quality score:
Google provides a quality score to your campaign based on numerous aspects to promote the user experience given by ad campaigns. This score shows the overall efficacy of your adverts in terms of return on investment, and it is mostly influenced by the kind of user experience your campaign provides. The cost per click is one of the primary parameters influenced by the quality score.
A solid quality score not only ensures a favorable SERP for your campaign, but it also ensures a low cost per click. You get a better quality score, make sure to do the following:
- Creating ad groups with appropriate keywords.
- Setting up Google Ads that are of excellent quality.
- Creating suitable landing pages that provide a positive visitor experience
- Your ad’s click-through rate will be greater.
- Landing pages should be compatible with a variety of screen widths and browsers.
- It should comply with all key security standards as well as GDPR requirements.
- .On the landing pages, the content should be relevant to the customer’s query/keyword.
- CTAs should be actionable and attractive, and they should be properly tested.
All of these requirements for a better quality score are in place to allow companies to create more relevant advertisements that make sense and justify why they are being shown to end users. As a result, by keeping a solid quality score for your ads, you can keep an eye on the cost per click of your campaigns amid seasonal swings in PPC rates.
Various campaigns for various seasons
Seasonal differences cause buyers to become price and brand sensitive. On special occasions, such as holidays, the customer may be less concerned with the brand or price of the goods. He could be more concerned with product quality since the purchase is likely to be a present for someone important.
Off-seasons, on the other hand, may offer a different image, since that is when shoppers are more inclined to research costs, brands, and quality before making a purchase. As a result, boosting your Adwords performance according to seasonal changes may be as simple as creating landing pages for various seasons and concentrating on how you target On and Off-seasons.
On-season, provide appealing discounts and speedier delivery to clinch the transaction, while off-season, utilize distinct landing pages to help develop your brand in the market, reduce PPC spending, and sell your USPs.
Predicting Buyer Intent is No. 3 on the list.
Seasonality has a variety of effects on customer intent. Your customers may become speed shoppers, cart abandoners, or even bargain carvers depending on the season. It’s tough to develop a marketing and sales plan based on customer intent unless you can foresee how a buyer will respond to certain seasonal occurrences.
You may plan and design more accurate marketing plans to target your present and future consumers with appropriate content by employing buyer personas.
So, what are your options?
- Determine why your customers bought from you; this will help you understand their purchasing intentions and organize your seasonal marketing rationally.
You may successfully monitor junction points between buyer intent and seasonal fluctuations for your company niche by evaluating several characteristics such as client purchase preferences, how efficiently your ads performed for seasonal events in the past, and when and why your buyers churn out.
- Buyer personas may be used to segment buyers. You may create event-based marketing strategies to target potential consumers who fit into the appropriate buyer profile based on their buying behaviors during distinct seasonal events. The purchasing history of your current clients also aids in the identification of the best prospects.
You may successfully enhance your customer retention process by targeting seasonal variations depending on your client’s buyer persona by employing all of this data.
How do you go about doing it?
Identifying the Purchase Motive:
Setting up little feedback forms on the thank you page is a tried and true method for getting information about why a consumer made a purchase. All eCommerce organizations, particularly those who haven’t begun monitoring customer intent, should go through this procedure.
You may maintain track of real consumer intent by getting customer feedback on their purchase choices and recording it in a CRM platform like Hubspot, Salesforce, or Zoho.
Analyzing a customer’s buying history is another approach to do this. This information is most likely available via your content management system (CMS). Calculate the following to determine the customer’s intent:
- Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a metric used to identify a company’s best customers. It is defined as the revenue earned by a customer’s purchases at a firm, and it is computed by adding up each customer’s purchase totals.
- Number of orders placed over time: calculate the worth of a client by adding up the number of times they’ve made an order on your website; this helps measure a customer’s loyalty to your organization.
Average order value (AOV) is a metric that measures how much a consumer spends on average each time they make a purchase. To calculate the AOV, divide the entire customer lifetime value by the lifetime number of orders.
Age of most recent order: This parameter is used to determine how long it has been since the client placed their previous order.
By evaluating all of these indicators thoroughly, you can discover the specific seasonal events during which your clients were most engaged. It might be because of the advertising you ran during the event, or because a consumer had a true need. Many questions concerning the customer’s purpose may be addressed by looking at the customer’s order behavior.
Existing customer segmentation:
Once you have all of the information about the customer’s purpose, turn it into buyer personas for more detailed segmentation. This segmentation allows you to target current consumers as well as prospective prospects in a more coordinated way based on seasonal changes in intent. We’ve found the following buyer personas that work well for most companies based on our expertise; however, feel free to add or delete persona types depending on your company’s preferences.
Promotional Shoppers: Purchased something as a result of a promotional offer.
Need Shoppers: Purchased something having a specific purpose in mind. Their actions indicated that they understood exactly what they wanted to get.
Casual Shoppers: Made a purchase after perusing your business for a while.
Site Loyalists: Long-term customers who buy on a regular basis, regardless of the season.
Once you’ve categorized these consumers based on why they converted, all you have to do now is create seasonal event-based marketing to reach out to them.
Putting it all together in a nutshell
As a fellow marketer and eCommerce solution provider, I understand how difficult it is for eCommerce businesses to thrive and develop innovative techniques to help you stay ahead of the pack.
Identifying niche-based seasonal events is an alternative that will give your present marketing and optimization initiatives a new perspective. We think it allows you to delve deeper into your business data and puts you in command of how your company changes ahead of time rather than reacting to seasonal variances.
What are your opinions on the seasonality of e-commerce? Let’s get this party started:)
Investigate your competitors thoroughly.
SEMrush is a great tool for competitive research.