A seasonal product is a product that sells only, or especially, during certain seasons.
This is in contrast to a year-round product that sells regardless of the time of year.
Seasonal Products vs Year-Round Products
As you can see, seasonal products are sold throughout all seasons.
Brick and mortar stores get crazy busy during seasonal holidays. Big-name retailers like Walmart and Target, as well as major department stores such as Macy’s, make huge profits during this time by selling seasonal products. In 2021, the global swimwear industry was valued at $21.34 billion. That number is projected to increase up to $32.62 billion by 2027. 👙
And if you're not selling seasonal products, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity. You can leverage seasonal and year-round products at the same time and even sometimes have the same product work for you seasonally and year-round.
In fact, if you sell a non-seasonal product, there is a strong chance that you can build a seasonal version of it to double your annual cash flow.
Step 1) Distinguish year-round from seasonal-products.
A year-round product is like a perennial tree, such as a pine. It stays green all year. It keeps making you green paper. 💸
A seasonal product is like a deciduous tree, such as an oak. 🌳 It sells strong while in season but goes bleak during wintertime.
There are multiple tools you can use to determine if a product is seasonal or not.
Tool #1: Google Trends
Google Trends shows you online interest in a particular product. It displays search, engagement, and share activity for any keyword—a word or phrase that shoppers search to buy on Amazon or browse on search engines like Google.
Let's say you want to sell pumpkin carvers. Google Trends will automatically display the past 12 months of data for that keyword, “pumpkin carvers”. Larger time periods tend to offer more effective data. However, you can zoom in on smaller time periods—down to within the past hour—within a larger time frame to zero-in on specific, recent selling trends.
From this graph, we notice a massive spike in consumer interest in this product from September 12th through the beginning of October, when shoppers are preparing to carve their creepy and cool pumpkin designs. Then, we see it drop after Halloween. By mid-November, there’s almost nothing, although strange spikes of interest seem to occur randomly throughout the year.
If we change our dates to the past five years, Google Trends reveals something else.
Interest piques every year in the fall, meaning this product is definitely seasonal. But, with the exception of this past fall, interest has remained fairly consistent. Each year’s autumnal spike is more or less the same, until the fall of 2021, which saw a massive seasonal increase. This might suggest that the actual activity of carving jack-o’-lanterns also saw a recent uptick and is coming back on trend. 🎃
As you analyze Google Trends graphs, pay specific attention to each product’s overall trend. If a product has a steady, healthy rise over time, that’s a sign of a strong, year-round product. If a product sees consistent spikes at the same time each year (such as our pumpkin carvers), that is likely a strong seasonal product.
If a product spikes at different times every year, however, that is a sign of an unhealthy market for that product. Fast, out-of-control spikes may indicate a fad, like fidget-spinners (remember those?) that crashes to little-to-no demand.
When you research your own product ideas on Google Trends, ask yourself, “Is my product slowly fading? Is it growing? Is it steady? The answers can help you evaluate the risk and reward of creating a particular seasonal product.
Tool #2: Keepa
Keepa shows you buyer history on Amazon and is free to install on Google Chrome (although a paid, premium version is available).
If you’re wondering how interested shoppers are in the product you might sell, Keepa can show you a sales and price history for that product on Amazon.
The data is a little mind-melting at first. To make it easier to learn, and then apply, to your product research, start by un-clicking everything except the New button. Keepa then shows you the lowest price that product is being sold for when in new condition, including third parties who sell outside of Amazon.
When investigating the seasonality of your product, there are three segments of data you should dig into: New, Sales Rank, and Rating. Let's look at an example using a Hydro Flask water bottle.
Hydro Flask’s bottle sells at a consistent price until it takes a slight dip in mid-May.
Either demand fell off or the seller did some kind of promotion. By looking at the product listing on Amazon, we can see that it actually is on a $12-off promotion.
Since the price is not peaking as we enter summer months (when water bottles are in especially high demand), we can deduce the product is likely not seasonal.
We can then match this data with Google Trends to make more sense of it.
Pro tip! Consistent price history indicates a stable product with strong year-round potential.
Sales Rank shows you the product’s Best Sellers Rank (BSR). BSR measures how quickly products sell on Amazon within a specific category. It’s a strong indicator of a product’s consumer demand. BSR compares products within a category against each other like a race.
Much like a race, the lower a product’s BSR, the faster it’s selling.
Compared to all products within its product category, the Hydro Flask water bottle jumped all the way to number four in May. Only three products sold faster, and that's for a price of $37.
We can see, however, that even when the product was at its full, non-promotional price of $49, it still ranked 8th overall, which is incredible.
Why does it sell so well? Because Hydro Flask built a strong brand. Just One Dime shows you how to build your own brand in our membership.
Keepa also breaks down each product’s BSR within its various, associated product categories.
In addition to the overall BSR and price, we can also see that this product is the fourth fastest selling product in the Sports & Outdoors shopper category on Amazon and second fastest in the Water Bottles category.
Rating tells you the product’s average star review rating. Over the course of a year, the Hydro Flask’s rating maintained at 4.8 stars. The consistency of the star rating is a strong indicator not only that Hydro Flask did an outstanding job building their product, but that seasonality has little influence on customer reviews.
Why does this matter? Because most highly seasonal products are more susceptible to low star reviews during their peak season.
If you don’t have Keepa, or you want more intel than customers’ shopping habits, you might instead opt for a product research software.
Tool #3: Niche Hunter
Just One Dime’s Niche Hunter, (among other product research softwares) offers invaluable seller and customer data and analytics.
Niche Hunter consists of both an online interface and a Chrome extension. Whenever you conduct a search on Amazon.com, Niche Hunter will automatically pull statistics on that keyword.
When you investigate the seasonality of products through Niche Hunter, you should examine the BSR and average sale price of existing products in that niche.
Let’s look at an example through Easter baskets:
We can see, for example, that this particular Easter Basket pack’s average annual price is about $36. However, that price was on the decline down to $20 up until March, at which time the price rose drastically, peaking around $38 in the middle of April. This suggests that the product is highly seasonal in nature.
We also notice that this product’s BSR was quite high up until early March, at which point it too took off rapidly, dropping to the 3,000s (from the 370,000s) in mid April, just before Easter.
We can deduce that this particular Easter basket is a strong seasonal product.
Now let’s compare with the Hydro Flask water bottle.
We can see that the product holds a consistently low BSR. Yes, there’s a little bounce, however that is normal for non-seasonal products.
We can also see that the sell price has remained fairly constant, which is another indicator of a strong year-round product.
Now, there is a fairly recent price drop on this product. However, as we already saw, this listing is currently running some sort of promotion on Amazon which accounts for the price drop.
By assessing where the product's BSR spiked, we can even see that even though the sell price discounted about $12, the promotion is driving lots of conversions and clicks for that product, which makes the promotion a smart move.
Like Google Trends, Niche Hunter can also tell you the recent search volume of particular keywords by Amazon shoppers. Rather than a graph, however, Niche Hunter will give you a list of keywords related to the one you’re researching and their total shopper searches.
It’s an invaluable tool for Amazon sellers!
Use tools like Google Trends, Keepa, and Niche Hunter to quickly determine if a product is highly seasonal, like the pumpkin carvers, or year-round, like the water bottle.
Both Google Trends and Niche Hunter assess searches while Keepa and Niche Hunter show when monetary exchanges are happening.
Step 2) Build year-round and seasonal versions of your product.
No matter what season you are in, you still have a business and that business needs cash flow year-round. Much like your business, the tree that loses its leaves in the fall is still a tree.
Why not monetize the product you’ve already built from every possible angle?
Here are four tips for building both year-round and seasonal versions of your product.
Tip 1: Create a toy-version of your product.
Gloves sell on Amazon.
So do toy gloves.
Tools sell on Amazon.
So do tool kits for kids.
Clothing sells on Amazon.
So does dress-up clothing.
Kitchenware sells on Amazon.
So does play kitchenware.
If the demand is there, you can produce a seasonal version of your product every fourth quarter (yay Christmas!). Some of our students have tripled their annual revenue using this strategy.
You already have the design. You already have the marketing engine.
The only differences are:
- You are reaching a different kind of customer.
- You must ensure there is demand for your toy.
What's amazing about this approach is it reduces a lot of time and costs because you already have a supplier who can probably make a toy version of your product for you. It's just going to be smaller and cheaper.
Tip 2: Create a festival/party version of your product.
This one requires some more imagination. It requires foresight and intuition to extract ideas from what you have, and turn it into something you do not have.
For example, let’s say you sell candles. That’s a steady, year-round product. But how could you create a version that flies off the shelves over the holidays?
To answer that question, you must look at your product from a different perspective. Sometimes you see your product so much that you stop actually looking at it.
So what version of a candle would your shoppers want during Christmastime?
One with a red ribbon (Really? That's all? Yes, really!). And red ribbons are cheap. Even a simple picture of a candle with a ribbon on it will affect the product’s seasonal conversions.
You might also create a seasonal-scented candle, such as cinnamon roll or mulled wine, that will sell better over the holidays.
Tip 3: Find year-round and seasonal keywords being searched together.
You can find ideas for a seasonal version of your product by searching for seasonal keywords that are searched in conjunction with your product.
Let's say you sell costumes.
You go to MerchantWords and search seasonal versions of the keyword “costumes”. Let's examine "snowman costume": 26,000 monthly searches.
If you're already producing costumes, your supplier will have no problems producing this seasonal variation.
Keyword Tool Dominator
Now let's drop that same phrase, “snowman costume” into Keyword Tool Dominator. This tool then pulls all of the keywords that include the term "snowman costume" on Amazon.
Now you have an ocean of ideas of what kinds of snowman costumes you could create.
You can also use Niche Hunter for this same process.
With Niche Hunter’s keyword finder, you can find keywords related to just about any other keyword you might search. And those related keywords are all based on actual Amazon searches to buy.
When we search “snowman costumes” on Niche Hunter, we get the following results:
That’s even more strong ideas for how to build out a snowman costume that shoppers will go crazy for!
What started with a single basic product, costumes, is now an open door to a fortune on Amazon.
You can apply this approach to almost any product! 😀
Tip 4: Run PPC year-round on perennial items.
How do you know which seasonal version of your product is the one that shoppers want?
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising keyword reports can show you keywords that shoppers are searching but no other seller is selling. That gives you a huge advantage!
Let's say you sell socks. In the wintertime, a lot of shoppers want wool socks, extra thick socks, or socks with Christmas designs on them. By reading your PPC reports, you can build products that your customers are literally asking for by name.
PPC data gives you real, live data on what customers are doing—especially if you are wondering if there is a seasonal spike of demand for a product during the last quarter. Our Amazon FBA Mastery membership goes in depth on exactly how to set this up, step by step.
When you analyze your PPC reports, pay close attention to the following:
- Impressions: Anything over 1,000 impressions spanning a 10-day period is strong search volume
- Click thru rate (CTR): A minimum 0.25% CTR is strong
If a keyword meets both of these criteria, there is strong demand for that seasonal product. 💪
Step 3) Maximize year-round and seasonal cash flow.
If you sell both seasonal and year-round products, aim to launch them three months apart from each other.
For example, you might launch your red lipstick in January, since red lipstick is always in style. 💄 But you would launch nude lipstick in March, since nude is a spring color.
This might temporarily drop your capital in January, but by the time your sales from the first product kick in, you can use those funds to launch your next color of lipstick in March.
By alternating your cash flow, you generate a consistent cash flow that keeps powering your business like coal to a train engine. Put another way, by spacing out perennial and deciduous launches, you escape the risk of running out of cash and end up with year-round, positive cash flow.
Why is cash flow such a big deal?
It allows you to grow your business quickly.
Pro tip! You can generate a huge chunk of extra cash by exploiting customer urgency towards the end of a shopping season.
Here's how it works: Flip flop sales will tank over the winter.
If you run a massive discount as the season speeds towards an end, you generate more customer urgency. Shoppers see the product on sale and realize they can (and should) buy it now for next year.
Step 4) Strategize year-round and seasonal inventory.
Most Amazon sellers don't think about inventory planning until it's too late. You must plan ahead. In doing so, you will:
- Retain your hard-earned keyword ranking
- Block competitors from buying you out
- Avoid going out of stock
- Capitalize on competitor stock-outs
- Have steady cash flow which makes your business scalable
Here are three tips for good inventory management:
Tip 1: Launch seasonal products 30 days before their peak season.
This will help you avoid two big mistakes a lot of Amazon sellers make:
1) Launching a seasonal product right when the season begins. By the time their listing is ranking for its top-searched keywords, the season is about to end.
2) Using a one-pronged launch strategy. Many shoppers anticipate changing seasons and will buy seasonal products before they’re technically in season, which means that if you launch in-season, you’ll miss out tons of sales. Go for the two-pronged approach to make strong sales numbers both before and during your product’s peak season.
When you launch, use a combination of strategies:
- Amazon PPC
- Amazon's early reviews page
- A gift in your package
- A well-planned email sequence
- Facebook ads
Use them all together.
We show you how to leverage all of these steps in our step-by-step Amazon FBA Mastery training.
By launching 30 days in advance, you gain momentum for a healthy listing that ranks and converts well, so that by the time peak season hits, your product is ready for in-season shoppers.
Tip 2: Launch your year-round product in non-seasonal months.
If you launch men's swim trunks (seasonal) in the month of May, then launch your casual men's pants (year-round) in August. That way, instead of putting all your money into one launch, you spread it out.
The key is to alternate. This scenario gives you three months to build cash flow toward your next product. 💵
Tip 3: Avoid going out of stock.
You will need to understand where your product currently ranks and where you want it to rank.
Rank refers to how high up in search results your product appears when shoppers search a relevant keyword.
Pro tip! Always aim for your product to rank in the top half of the first page of search results. Over 70% of all sales happen on the first page.
If you follow our training, we show you exactly how to get your product ranking on the first page of search results.
Find how many daily sales you need to rank in your desired spot. Use software such as Niche Hunter, AMZScout, Helium 10, or Jungle Scout to determine how many sales the top competitors who do rank in the top half of the first page accrue daily.
Let's say those top competitors do 25 sales per day. That means you need 25 sales per day to rank at that same level, provided you are in the same product category as those sellers.
Determine how long your inventory will last. Divide the total number of units you will order from your supplier by your goal number of sales per day.
Let's say you will purchase 2,000 units. 2,000 ➗ 25 = 80 days of inventory.
Determine your lead time for manufacturing a new batch of your product.
Manufacturing time is 25 days.
Shipping time is 30 days (if shipping by sea 🚢).
Contingency time is an additional 5 days. Contingency accounts for unexpected delays such as a manufacturing error, customs holding your product, or maybe an Amazon delay in getting the product ready in their fulfillment center (it's peak season, afterall).
When we add all those timelines up, our total lead time is 60 days.
We then subtract this lead time from our projected 80 days of inventory. 80 - 60 = 20 days leftover.
This means that 20 days after you launch, your manufacturer must already start on your next batch.
Find out how much money you need to order your next batch of inventory.
Let’s say your product sells for $45 a piece. To figure out how much cash you will have before you order your second batch of inventory, multiply that price by 20 days of sales at 25 sales per day:
$45 x 20 x 25 = $22,500 in revenue
Now let's say your product costs $15 a piece to manufacture.
To manufacture another batch of 2,000 units multiply that number by manufacturing cost:
2,000 x $15 = $30,000.
Standard down payment to start your next batch is 30%. To get that amount, multiply $30,000 by 30% expressed as a decimal:
$30,000 x 0.3 = $9,000 down payment
So you need $9,000 to get your next batch of inventory under way. Since you’ve already made $22,500 in sales at that point, you will still have $13,500 left over ($22,500 - $9,000).
That is a cash-rich business model!
A lot of people have asked me: Seth, why do you teach this stuff?
Because I get it. I know what it’s like to be broke and hurting. I know how it feels to go to work with no purpose or drive and wonder why the weekends take so long to show up.
I lived this for years. Today, my dream is to build a community of entrepreneurs around the world who give back, make a difference, boost the economy, and live the life they were meant to live on their terms.
Today we coach entrepreneurs in over 100 countries. They enjoy margin to do the things they love with the people they love. Several in this community are now multi-millionaires, and they impact the world at a phenomenal level.
But it all started with the belief they could make it happen. You can too!
If you’d like to speak with a Just One Dime team member to learn more about the process of selling on Amazon, and how Just One Dime can help you create, launch, and grow a thriving Amazon store, go here to apply: JOD.com/freedom.