No matter what kind of business you are into, most likely it is seasonal, at least to some extent. The e-commerce business is really no different.
Even though, I know that certain seasons mean that business will be down, when the downward trend starts showing up, I worry. After I’ve been on the low end for a while and it’s time for things to start picking up again, I worry more. Will my business just stay down this time, or will it come back as it always has? It’s something you can’t take lightly.
I’ve been in business on my oldest e-commerce site for about 6 years now. Basically, the same trend has always been followed. I have extremely busy times for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. By the end of May, things start moving slowly, and generally come back pretty strong in late August or early September. That is the trend. It’s been like that, with slight modifications for 6 years now. So, why would I worry? Well, when this is the way that you feed your family, worrying is human nature, I’d say. When things are slow, you certainly wouldn’t want them to stay that way! When it’s a busy season, you certainly hope and pray that things will keep moving just as busily after your peak season. But, things always ebb and flow. The river is never straight, it always has bends.
I’ll tell you one thing, though…. regardless of the seasonal ups and downs, the general trend is up. My valleys are never as low as last year’s valleys. My peaks are always higher than the peaks from last year. How do I do this? Well, the key is to always do your very best to make your customer happy. I find this to be the case especially during peak times. For example, my main e-store sells gift items that are given by boyfriends to their girlfriends. In this type of business, Valentine’s Day is probably our best selling season of the year. Well, we break our butts to make sure that we do our very best job at this time, because we want to impress our customers. If the customer makes a mistake and forgets to order on time, we do everything humanly possible to make sure his late order is delivered on time. If it is order too late and can’t be delivered on time, we will even tell the recipient that the lateness of the delivery was our fault. The customer really appreciates something like this, and he knows that we will take care of him. Because of this, he tells friends, and we pick up new customers. So, next year, we will do even better than this year.
These days, our very slow times of year are probably matching our peak periods from a few years ago. Our peak days now match maybe a week’s worth of business five years ago. Growth is a good thing, and it’s an excellent measure of your success.
I keep spreadsheets that compare today’s date with last year’s same date so I can see how our sales are trending. If you want to push yourself to be more successful, I think that would be a good tactic for you too!