Conversion Rates and Seasonality - How Yearly Patterns Should Shape your Digital Strategy
Seasonality is like a wave your company can ride to greater prosperity. If you are like most businesses, there is a definite rhythm to your consumer activity throughout the year. Red-hot periods alternate with quieter stretches. Savvy companies capitalize on seasonality by maximizing opportunities to capture predictable patterns in user behavior. Here are some additional considerations from Guidance.
How can you harness seasonal crests to reach new peaks in profitability? Thankfully, seasonality is much the same in digital as it is for your traditional business. Therefore, what has impacted your business historically will be relevant as you build your online strategy.
Seasonality, of course, impacts specific industries differently:
- Traditional Retailers typically experience a surge in volume from November through December.
- Party Suppliers and Costume Businesses usually see 60% of their annual revenue generated around Halloween.
- HVAC Contractors are at their busiest between spring and summer.
Turning Seasonality to Your Advantage
How do these cyclical patterns impact your online strategy? And more precisely, how can you harness high-tech digital commerce solutions to take advantage of seasonality?
1. Being Nimble
Digital tools allow your business to respond with agility to both seasonal trends and consumer shifts. For example, you can share new content almost immediately, update web pages, and approach customers with relevant offers in real-time.
In the past, traditional retailers expended substantial time updating product catalogs, signage, or mailing lists. Now, online firms can respond the seasonal opportunities or emerging market conditions with blistering speed.
Talk about opportunity -- an hour of optimization on your website could impact an entire year’s worth of results, which could mean millions of dollars in extra revenue.
2. Being Responsive
Customer sentiment can shift quickly. What is the latest holiday or party trend? Are you utilizing analytics to identify what your consumer-base is buzzing about on social media? And what about predictive analytics, which can help you forecast nascent customer wants. You need a high-performance website that can integrate insights from Big Data, which allows your team to implement adaptive changes expeditiously.
3. Planning is Critical
Traditional seasonal planning considerations still apply, but they are necessarily more complex in the digital sphere. As a result, you’ll probably need to engage in more fine tuning in terms of allocating energy and resources.
For example, with digital, you now have hundreds of channels, countless marketing options, and unlimited ways of engaging with consumers. But which are the right strategies to pursue? To answer questions like this you’ll need to utilize analytics so that you can see where your customers are coming from. That way, you can allocate and prioritize marketing dollars where they make the most sense.
4. Tying Messaging/Promotion to Purchasing Intent
Understanding how seasonality impacts customer intent can help your business capitalize on it. Of course, traditional companies have planned promotions with this consideration in mind. For example, holiday coupons, free shipping offers, and thematic ad campaigns.
However, CRM software, analytics, and real-time engagement can help your business identify, manage, respond to, and even anticipate customer intent as never before. Companies that match their language, outreach methods, and inventory decisions with the seasonal changes in buying intent will reap the rewards.
Most companies are aware of seasonality, but few plan optimally for it. Preparation for seasonal events should take place well in advance, but both comprehensive strategies and fine-grained responses should be informed by insights gleaned from analytics and other digital tools.
Is your organization functioning cohesively to take advantage of seasonal trends? Attuning yourself to the rhythms of the marketplace and your customer base entails both art and science, technology, and the human touch.
At Guidance, we consult with companies to help them better understand and capitalize on the seasonality that impacts their business and their industry. In particular, we help firms understand what methods have worked in the past and what tools can assist them in the future.
Seasonal trends are pervasive. Sometimes, they are obvious, but often they are under the surface and harder to discern. Discovering them can help carry your business to greater prosperity.