We also might assume that the world buys pens and pencils consistently year round (*spoiler* not true).
But if you’re not certain of how seasonal your Amazon FBA product actually is, your sales might start to freeze 🥶
Today, I’m going to give you three steps to determine if you are accidentally selling a seasonal product on Amazon FBA.
1. Understand seasonality.
Product seasonality refers to the phenomenon in which certain products sell well depending on the time of year. These items sell predominantly well during certain seasons or months and see low sales the rest of the year.
Pumpkin carving kits are a seasonal product, for instance. They sell particularly well from the beginning of autumn through Halloween, and they don’t see much action the rest of the year. Easter egg baskets 🥚, Christmas wreaths, and even kites 🪁 are all examples of seasonal products.
Most sellers avoid seasonal products at all costs, opting for year-round (perennial) items, instead. That’s not to say that you can’t make a lot of money selling seasonal products if that’s your strategy. But it’s more difficult, especially for newer sellers.
That said, all products—even the most perennial—have their “season”, where “season” refers to a specific time frame in which a product’s sales peak. There are certain months where coffee ☕sales skyrocket. There are also months where sets of dishes sell best 🍽️
Essentially, seasonality exists on a spectrum. All products have some small trace of seasonality, some are just overflowing with it.
So the true question is not, “Are you selling a seasonal product?” but rather, “Are you selling a product that is too seasonal?”
To understand that, we will assess product trends with BSR data.
2. Understand BSR.
BSR—or best sellers rank—is how quickly a product sells within its most specific subcategory along with its overarching product category. For example, a dog pool float product might have a BSR of 55 in the Pool Rafts & Inflatable Ride-Ons subcategory of the broader Toys & Games category, in which it has a BSR of 4,575.
Much as with a race, the product that sells most quickly has a BSR of 1, the second fastest selling product has a BSR of 2, etc. 🏁
Now there’s actually a lot you can learn from a product’s BSR, all of which we teach in our Amazon FBA Mastery membership. If you’re dead serious about changing your life, visit JOD.com/freedom to see how we can help you build, launch, and grow your very own Amazon FBA store.
BSR fluctuates daily. It’s also a strong indicator of how well a product is selling on Amazon, which means we can use it to analyze trends in how well a product sells, and when.
3. Assess product trends.
You can view any product on Amazon’s historical BSR, across its entire time for-sale on the platform, in graph form, on just about any product research software (we show you how to do this with Keepa).
Using both annual and lifetime views, assess your product’s BSR trends. Notice where the BSR peaks and drops. Are there repetitive peaks, or is it more of a steady line? Are there any patterns?
If you see a more or less steady line—small fluctuations are normal and some drop-offs may reflect an out of stock moment—that product likely sells well year round, such as is the case with this box of ballpoint pens product 🖊️
We can even see its best selling time frame—its marginal degree of seasonality—right around the end of summer and early fall, when back to school shopping is in full swing (remember, I told you even pens have their season).
If you see a product with periodic peaks throughout its lifetime that rise and fall around the same time each year, that is likely a more seasonal product, such as is the case with this set of Halloween pumpkin carving tools 🎃
Notice how sales start to spike each September, before peaking in mid-to-late October, and dropping off by the end of December. And this makes sense: shoppers start to look for Halloween supplies as temperatures drop and fall vibes kick in, sales peak just before Halloween, before falling off as spooky season comes to a close 👻
Oh, and if you see a product with a totally random spike in sales that just keeps climbing and you’re thinking, “Oh I’ve got to get in on this like yesterday,” put your wallet away. That product is likely a fad that will die out…probably before you can even complete a manufacturing order for your first batch of inventory.
Fad products are often broadcast on a national news segment or hawked by celebrities for a short period, causing sales to spike for one to two days, and before dribbling off.
(Larger) case in point? Fidget spinners—the boom and bust of 2017.
You probably have a good idea of which products are more seasonal, and which aren’t. But it’s always best to check. By analyzing product BSR trends, you can better understand how consistent your sales will be, when you’ll need greater inventory, and more, so you won’t get caught unawares.
And if you’d like to learn all the ins and outs of selling on Amazon FBA—from bringing product ideas to life, to listing your products for sale, to advertising them, to growing and expanding your not store, but business—then head on over to JOD.com/apply. You can speak with a member of our team, who will understand your plans to see if we are the right fit to help you achieve your goals.
What’s your favorite season(al product)?