The slowest months for eCommerce are traditionally January and February. This is in part due to a large amount of consumers spending their allocated budget during holiday sales. For eComm businesses themselves, post-holiday season sales often result in large inventory deficits which can be difficult to replenish during these slower months.
When looking at eCommerce trends, we often see a steep increase in traffic from November through December. This is largely driven by holiday shoppers who are looking for gifts for their loved ones and also includes Black Friday sales. As soon as the holiday shopping period ends, however, traffic drops off significantly. This decrease usually continues until March or April, meaning that January and February are typically the lowest-volume months of the year for most* eCommerce sites.
Due to the decreased customer activity during this time period, it’s important that businesses utilize strategies to try and bring in new customers during these slow months:
- One way to do this is by running limited-time offers such as flash sales or discounts on services or products.
- Another effective strategy is increasing marketing efforts around product launches that coincide with slow times of year like January or February.
- Finally, offering exclusive deals or content to loyal customers can be an effective way to drive engagement even during periods of low activity.
Another factor to consider is that some consumers are actually waiting for post-holiday sales and promotions to continue their shopping. Retailers should take advantage of this opportunity and curate their marketing and messaging toward these consumers in Q1.
Lastly, eCommerce businesses should use calmer periods to prepare marketing initiatives in advance. If you’re running organic campaigns, the sooner you start posting content and driving awareness for competitive holidays & seasonal trends to gain equity, the better.
Of course, it’s also important to remember that, in very niched spaces, these trends don’t have to apply. If you’re not familiar with seasonality in your niche, then you should conduct a competitor & market analysis first before making any decisions based on generalized data.
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*Some businesses also experience a lot of traction around Valentine’s Day and President’s Day Sales. Businesses in countries other than the US, where New Year’s Eve and Christmas fall on different dates, may also see the holiday shopping craze continue into January. In such instances, the slowest months for the business are likely March & April.