It might surprise you, but there’s more to seasonal planning in online commerce than the holidays. Or Prime Day. Sellers need to keep up with the most current consumer trends at all times, no matter how heavy their traffic can get. But one of the best times of the year to start reviewing your performance is right before the spring.
Seasonal performance changes in eCommerce might seem like they’re variable. But the reality is that outside of major holidays and sales-focused periods, traffic for many sellers can seem fairly steady. Except for spring. Why?
Because just like physical retailers, you need to rotate inventory. Customers know that some of the best bargains they can find online are going to be during spring. And so do your competitors. And if you’re not prepared, they will be.
But even if your target audience are winter fanatics, you can still benefit from getting your storefront ready for what can be a springtime rush. Here’s what to look for.
Realign Your Marketing Strategies
Keywords and SEO
One thing sellers and even many marketers seem to forget is that keywords are never stagnant. And strings rarely get recycled. Even if you have a steady selling item throughout the year, what drove traffic for you last fall won’t necessarily drive traffic for you this April. Take the time to review your keyword research strategy now, not during the spring. Ask yourself:
Which words or phrases performed best?
Are my words or phrases too vague? Too specific?
How relevant is my keyword pool to my product category? Can it be refined? Could my word strings be made clearer? More specific?
Reimagine Your Content
Even the most seasoned sellers seem to overlook a critical fact about content: it literally is any delivery channel which has any subject whatsoever. That includes your blog, your Amazon storefront, your podcast… nothing is off-limits when it comes to content.
Except when it doesn’t perform.
If your content isn’t generating traffic, ask yourself if there are any tactics which could help drive it. How visible are the top sellers in your niche? What content generates the most engagement for them? What content generates the least conversions for you? But the biggest question of all…
Are you keeping track of your testimonials?
Testimonials and reviews carry substantial weight in eCommerce. It’s been estimated that 93 percent of online purchases are influenced in some way by testimonials. Unfortunately, you can’t alter or remove a bad review on Amazon. But you can pay attention to what a reviewer is trying to tell you. More often than not, many reviews have nothing to do with the actual product itself but with your customer service. Think of them not as opinions, but as touch points which can inform just how well you’re meeting customer needs.
Content Themes for Spring
Relevance is critical in any form of content delivery. But there’s a catch. Content needs to reflect the present, not the past nor the future. You can’t rely on the same themes over and over again. Repetitive content doesn’t simply fail to convert. It alienates.
But what if your product line has nothing to do with spring? For example, skiing accessories?
There’s actually some fairly subtle ways in which you can use the season to your advantage. No one likes to be reminded of blizzard-like conditions in the middle of April. But they will pay attention and respond to an Instagram post emphasizing brighter colors and warmer temperatures. It might seem incongruous with your product line. But it builds a shared connection with your following. And connectivity results in conversions.
Reaffirm Your Price Advantage
There’s a certain breed of customer who only waits until spring before making major purchases. And they’re more common than you think. That’s because just like you, they know you need to move unsold inventory.
And they know you can only offer the best deals during the spring.
Limited time offers work because… well, they’re limited. And no one wants to miss out on an exclusive bargain. Appeal to the season by offering:
Limited time BOGO offers.
Time-sensitive promotional discounts.
Or any other number of spring clearance promotions. The point is to be creative. But don’t simply assume that customers will automatically be reviewing your storefront during spring. Get the word out through social media, affiliate marketing, your own site… any and every means you can think of.
Spring cleaning isn’t just limited to consumers. Your inventory could use a fresh touch up, as well.
Color More Lines provides white glove, global account management of your eCommerce platforms so mission-driven companies can focus on new product development, branding and growth strategies. Find out more at Color More Lines.