Memorial Day is the unofficial First Day of Summer. With it just passing, it’s time to start thinking about every Amazon seller’s worst nightmare: the Summer Sales Slump. But don’t push the panic button just yet -- there are plenty of ways to build up your business in the offseason and prepare for Q4 to boost holiday sales when they’re at their peak.
Hopefully, you’ve managed to figure out a way to keep your sales steady year-round.
But, if you’re like many sellers out there, there’s a chance that your numbers dip (or drop) during the hottest months of the year.
After all, most people are going on vacation instead of spending time on their laptops or smartphones and buying things online.
That being said, smart sellers know that there can’t really be any “breaks” in their schedules if they want to be as successful as can be. Savvy sellers take advantage of any lull in activity to map out their Amazon dominance for quarters to come.
To help you plan, we’ve put together a handy list of ways for Amazon sellers to boost holiday sales by starting their Q4 to-do list as soon as possible.
Read on to find out our advice on how to make the most of the summer slowdown.
Stock up on seasonal summer items to boost holiday sales in the short-term
Even if you don’t consider your Amazon store a “summer products hot spot,” it’s vital for sellers to adapt to the seasons and try to score a slice of the sales pie any time they can.
That means you should source popular summer items, such as sunblock, flip flops, t-shirts, pool and beach toys (or anything pool- or beach-related), and any other items that sell like crazy when the weather is hot.
You should also source as many patriotic products as possible to capitalize on Independence Day.
Bulking your inventory up with American flags, red, white and blue lights, Uncle Sam outfits and other items that are symbolic to July 4th will surely help boost holiday sales for your Amazon store in the summer.
Prepare for Q4 by building your holiday inventory NOW
In the world of eCommerce, there’s no such thing as being “too early” when it comes to getting ready for the Q4 rush.
Some sellers may even earn more money in Q4 than they do in all the other quarters combined.
With that said, the key to killing it in Q4 is to prepare not just early, but very, very early.
That means you probably could have begun sourcing your Halloween products yesterday.
But, even if you didn’t start building up your inventory of Spider-Man costumes, face paint and fake blood, you still have all summer left to do so.
Get started as soon as you can so that you're stocked up with products before your competitors.
Be a sourcing visionary by doing tons of product research
The smartest sellers use any downtime over the summer to put in time doing product research on what’s trendy. Then, they stock up early on likely hot-sellers for the major sales days ahead.
The more a seller can monitor the pulse of what’s popular, the better they can guess what items will be the hot-ticket sellers when the Fall and Winter holidays roll around.
Pay attention to pop culture trends and movies/TV shows that are in the news or coming out later in the year in order to anticipate what Halloween costumes will be trending the most when October hits.
Also, stay on top of what video games, board games, and clothing items are in-demand among young people, as teens love to shop on Amazon even more than their parents do.
The best part of doing this kind of “research” is that it doesn’t have to be boring.
You can simply watch TV, use social media like Twitter and Facebook, and search online to see what’s trending, what movies are slated to come out, and what items are poised to be prized by parents and kids alike when holiday shopping starts.
Creative sellers even use repricers to help find sourcing opportunities.
By being ahead of the fray when it comes to sourcing potentially popular products, you ensure that you’ll be in stock when the time is right.
Not only that, you’ll also be less likely than other Amazon sellers to go out of stock since you’ll set yourself up for first dibs from manufacturers and wholesalers, allowing you to optimize your inventory in advance to prevent your store from being on back-order at a critical time of year.
Stock up on seasonal winter items now to get price breaks and lock in high margins
It’s one thing to be a sourcing visionary for trendy items, but it’s just as important to see the obvious. For Amazon sellers, that means stocking up early on products that you know will be needed when the weather changes from hot to cold.
Smart sellers know that rakes, snow shovels, and winter boots are much cheaper during the spring and summer than they are when people actually need them.
Sellers who can afford to sit on inventory for months seek out big sales of these items to bulk up in the off-season. Then, when the season hits, they’re able to mark them up and sell them at huge margins, raking in profits faster than their customers can rake fallen leaves off their property.
Sure, on the surface these items are boring.
But when you realize how much you can boost holiday sales and profits by stocking up on winter necessities like gloves, knit hats, and salt spreaders for melting the snow and ice from your sidewalk when demand is low, the better these products start to look.
Just remember: It’s not always about how “hot” a product is; it’s often about how much people need it and how much they’re willing to pay for it over the amount you paid for it.
The bottom line: Prepare as early as possible to seriously boost holiday sales
Summer may seem like the perfect time to take a vacation and relax on a beach. But if one day you want to be able to buy that beach, it’s vital to use the “summer sales slowdown” to prepare for Q4, the most profitable quarter of the year, as much as you can and to the best of your ability.
It’s okay to spend some time tanning in the sand and perfecting your backstroke, but it’s crucial for Amazon sellers to invest time in researching products, trends, and events that may impact the popularity of products they sell or want to sell later in the year.
Do your homework to learn what items will be major sources of profit for you later in the year, and then stock up your inventory early to lock in low costs and high margins for when you’re selling like mad when the holidays finally arrive.