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
Spring-Easter eggs paint sets
Year-round-oil paint sets
As you can see, seasonal products are sold in all seasons.
Brick and mortar stores are crazy busy during the seasonal holidays. Big-name retailers like Walmart and Target, as well as major department stores like Macy’s, make huge profits during this time by selling seasonal products. Christmas tree companies generate over $1 billion in the USA every year!
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 sometimes have the same product work both 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, and 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 two tools you can use to determine if a product is seasonal or not.
Tool #1: Google Trends
Google Trends shows you online interest in the product. It displays search, engagement, and share activity for any keyword.
Let's say you're looking at pumpkin cutters. It automatically displays the past 12 months of data and can be narrowed down to the past hour. The bigger time period you use, the more effective the data. However, narrowing your search down can help you find useful data.
Using this, we see a massive spike of interest starting August 11th until the middle of October. People are preparing for cutting their creepy and cool pumpkin designs. Then, we see it drop after Halloween. By January, almost nothing! Strange spikes of interest occur in the middle of the year.
Changing Google Trends to show the past five years reveals something else.
Interest piques every year in the fall. It's definitely seasonal. But, over years, interest has fallen. Each spike is smaller than the one in 2015. This means either that people are starting to use something other than pumpkin cutters to carve their jack-o'-lanterns or jack-o'-lanterns themselves are falling out of style.
If a product spikes at different times every year, that is a sign of an unhealthy market for that product. If a product has a steady, healthy rise over time, that is a sign of a great product. Fast, out-of-control spikes may indicate a fad, like fidget-spinners (remember those?) that crash down to selling nothing.
For your product—Is it slowly fading? Is it growing? Is it steady? This kind of data allows you to 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 (paid version available).
How interested are shoppers in this product you are considering selling? Keepa shows a sales and price history for a product on Amazon.
The data is a little mind-melting at first, so to make it easier to learn and then apply to your product research, start by un-clicking everything except the "New" button. Keepa shows you the lowest price the product is being sold for when new, including third parties outside of Amazon.
When investigating the seasonality of your product, there are three segments of data you are going to dig into: New, Sales Rank, and Rating. Let's look at an example using the Hydro Flask water bottle.
Here we see a consistent price until September when it spikes. Either demand went up or the seller did some kind of promotion. Since it's not during the summer months, I doubt it was seasonal. We match this data with Google Trends to make sense of it. What I like here is that the price doesn't waver; it only spikes up.
Pro tip! consistent price history means a stable product with a strong year-round potential.
Sales Rank shows you the BSR (Best Seller Rank) for the parent listing. It helps you look at the demand.
Compared to all products under that category, the Hydro Flask goes all the way to number four in August. Only three products sold faster than theirs. And that's for a price of $44.95. Why? Because they built a brand. Just One Dime shows you how to build your own brand with our membership.
Rating tells you the number of stars the product has from reviews. Over the course of a year, the Hydro Flask consistently has 4.3 stars and goes up in August to 4.4 stars. The consistency of the star rating is a strong indicator not only that this seller did an outstanding job building this product, but that the seasons have little influence on the reviews. Why does this matter? Because most highly seasonal products are more susceptible to low star reviews during their peak season.
Use tools Google Trends and Keepa to quickly determine if a product is highly seasonal like the pumpkin cutters or year-round like the water bottle.
While Google Trends is looking at the searches, Keepa is looking at when the money 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. Why not monetize the product you built from every possible angle? Just like your business, the tree that loses its leaves in the fall is still a tree.
Here are four tips for building a year-round and seasonal version 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 have a built-in 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 need to make sure there is demand for this toy.
What's amazing about this approach is it reduces a lot of time and costs because you already have a supplier who could probably make it for you. It's just going to be smaller and cheaper.
Tip 2: Create a festival/party version of your product
This one requires imagination. It requires foresight and intuition to extract ideas from what you have, and turn it into something you do not have.
For example, if I am trying to make my candle seasonal, how do I know what seasonal version of that candle to create?
Look at your product. Sometimes you see your product so much that you stop looking at it. Really look at it from a different perspective.
What version of this would your shoppers use during Christmas?
One with a red ribbon. (Really? That's all? Yes, really!) And red ribbons are cheap! Even a picture of a candle with a ribbon on it will affect its conversion.
One with the scent of cinnamon rolls or mulled wine will sell better during Christmas.
Tip 3: Find year-round and seasonal keywords being searched together
See if your product's main keyword is ever matched with a seasonal keyword.
Let's say you are selling costumes.
You go to MerchantWords and start searching seasonal version of that costume. So let's see "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 into Keyword Tool Dominator. What this does is pull all of the types of terms with "snowman costume" in it on Amazon.
Now you have an ocean of ideas for what kinds of snowman costumes to create.
What started with a single 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 it is that people want? PPC keyword reports will tell you keywords that people are searching that no one is selling. That gives you a huge advantage!
Let's say you're selling socks. In the wintertime, a lot of people want wool socks, extra thick socks, or socks with Christmas designs on them. You are literally building products that your customers are asking for. It's like someone knocks on your door and says, "Winter socks, please?" Let's make it for them!
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 the product during the last quarter. Amazon FBA Mastery membership goes in depth on exactly how to set this up, step by step.
Here’s how you will know when there is a strong demand for a seasonal product idea:
- Impressions: Anything over 1,000 impressions spanning a 10 day period is strong search volume
- Click thru rate: Minimum 0.25% CTR is also strong
Step 3) Maximize year-round and seasonal cash flow
Launch seasonal products and year-round products 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 launch nude lipstick in March, since it's a spring color.
This drops your capital temporarily in January, but by the time your sales are kicking in, you can use those funds to launch your next style 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.
By spacing out perennial and deciduous launches, you escape the risk of running out of cash and end up with year-round cash flow.
Why is cash flow such a big deal? It allows you to grow your business fast. It's food to your business.
Pro tip! You can generate a huge extra chunk of cash by exploiting urgency toward the end of the season. I witness dozens of sellers missing this huge opportunity for another big chunk of income.
Here's how it works: Umbrella sales are going to tank in late May to early June. Run a massive discount as the season speeds towards an end. As a result, you generate more urgency. People realize they can buy it 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 for five reasons:
- You will retain your hard-earned keyword ranking
- You will block competitors from buying you out
- You will avoid going out of stock
- You will capitalize on competitor stock-outs
- You will 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 seasons 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. If you were in battle against a powerful army, you wouldn't just attack from one side. You would surround them on all sides to win.
When you launch, use a combination of things:
• Amazon PPC
• Amazon's early reviews page
• A gift in your package
• A well-planned email sequence
• Facebook ads
Use them all together.
If you are not familiar with all these steps, take advantage of our step-by-step Amazon FBA Mastery training.
By launching 30 days in advance, you gain momentum for a healthy listing that is ranking and converting, so that by the time peak season hits, your product is ready to sell well.
Tip 2: Launch your year-round product in the other 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. Instead of putting all your money into one launch, you're spreading it out.
The key is to alternate. This gives you three months to build cash flow toward your next product. 💵
Tip 3: Avoid going out of stock
Decide where you are going to rank.
Pro tip: Always go for the top half of the first search results page. Over 70% of all sales happen on the first page.
If you follow our teaching which you can find here, 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 to your desired spot. Assuming you want your product to rank on the upper half of the first page, use software like AmazeOwl or Helium 10 to determine how many sales your top competitors ranking on the upper half of the first page are getting daily.
Let's say it's 25 sales per day. That means you need 25 sales per day to rank at the same level when you are in the same product category as your competitors.
Determine how long your inventory will last. Divide your goal for the number of sales per day into the total number of units you are purchasing.
Let's say you are purchasing 2,000 units. Your product needs to sell 25 times a day to rank on the upper half of the first page of search results.
2,000 ➗25 = 80 days of inventory.
Decide 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 5 days. Contingency means in case there's an unexpected delay such as a manufacturing error, or if customs decides to hold your product, or maybe Amazon is slow on getting the product ready in the fulfillment center because it's peak season.
Adding those up, total lead time is 60 days.
In this example, 20 days after your launch, your manufacturer needs to already be starting on your next batch.
Let's say your product is selling for $45 a piece. 20 days of sales at 25 sales per day, selling for $45 a piece is $22,500.
Now let's say your product costs $15 a piece to manufacture.
To manufacture another batch of 2,000 units, you need 2,000 x $15 = $30,000.
To get your next batch started, standard down payment is 30%. Thirty percent of $30,000 = $9,000.
So you pay $9,000 to get it started and still have $22,500 minus $9,000 of cash on hand which is $13,500.
That is a cash-rich business model!
A lot of people have asked me: Seth, why do you teach this? 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 can give back, make a different, boost the economy, and live the life they were meant to live.
Today we coach entrepreneurs in over 100 countries, many of whom are now giving back and enjoy the margin to do the things they love with the people they love. Several in this community are multi-millionaires now, impacting the world at a phenomenal level.
But it all started with the belief they could make it happen. You can too! Go here to learn more.