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E-commerce Seasonality: Sales without Borders

Fourth quarter of every financial year comes along with puzzled trends and introduce ample of opportunities to various verticals. Admiring the concept of this, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder shipped the very first book from his garage to Seattle in 1995, the company got famous by the name “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” within 30 days and made it presence in U.S. and 45 other countries and went public in 1997. Company net sales in 2013 valued USD 74 billion with 237 million active users worldwide making its brand value of USD 23 billion. Similarly, while Bezos and team were busy packing books, Omidyar, eBay founder coded a website by the name of “Auction Web”, to bid on second-hand consumer goods and in 2013, company valued the revenue of USD 16 billion with 145 million active buyers and brand value at USD 13 billion.

Deceptively simple concept of “Seasonality” i.e. slot of time in year when business receives higher or lower volume of consumer orders, for instance, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday tend to give the retailer a severe headaches if not ready for the massive spike in sales. E-Commerce and online grocery sales rise more sharply during the fourth quarter of every fiscal year and compel the major e-Commerce retailers and online grocery stores to adjust their business model, supply chains, inventory and shipping strategies during the winter fall.

Seasonality occurs or coincides with celebrations and each ecommerce store is likely to sell a specific type of product, spikes and slumps in sales are going to happen at different points of the year like linchpins for ecommerce success are aforementioned Thanksgiving holiday shopping days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday broke the sales record in US with sales of USD 1.5 billion, Diwali inspires shoppers to make purchases online and Single's Day, a recently invented holiday in China, broke ecommerce sales records in the Asian nation by making online sales of USD 3 billion. Similarly, online flower shops and candy stores will likely see a major jump in sales during Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. In Southeast Asia, around 40% of online sales are generated in the last three months of the year, beauty products and consumer electronics show higher fluctuations in month-on-month sales growth, while fashion & apparel sales growth is steady.

However, beware of tokenism and reactive social media as jumping on a bandwagon can be dangerous for a brand like what happen to Cinnabon when they tried to plug their cinnamon buns when Carrie Fisher passed away therefore just keep the eyes and ear open and interact with your customers in real way and not with the hashtags.