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The seasonality of e-Commerce, what happens in summer?

For all businesses within the e-commerce environment, the seasonality of their sales is a problem when it comes to balancing their accounts and properly managing their stock.

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For all businesses within the e-commerce environment, the seasonality of their sales is a problem when it comes to balancing their accounts and properly managing their stock. Although each sector has its own seasons of low activity, it is usually said that summer is the period in which the volume of orders usually drops by 30% compared to other times of the year.

To alleviate this phenomenon, both the best-known marketplaces and the most modest online stores usually resort to loyalty strategies that generate a recurring clientele even in June, July and August, months in which consumers tend to focus their interest on tourist and hotel products. . This activity usually includes marketing actions, offers and promotions with which to revive the pace of sales.

How do online customers behave in summer?

 If we look at the data of the National Commission of Markets and Competition, it is confirmed that there are ups and downs in online sales throughout the year, but not in the moments that we could expect. Thus, the regulator ensures that the largest volume of orders is concentrated between July and December, thanks to the drag of Christmas shopping, Black Friday in the fall and the summer sales and the Amazon Prime Day.

In fact, in the third quarter of 2017, online sales worldwide exceeded 700 billion euros, which is 26.1% more than the same summer of 2016 and 100 billion more billings than the first quarter and 40 billion more than the second. However, most of the sales occurred between October and December.

Among the sectors with greater movement, the CNMC highlights the travel agencies, with 15.6% of turnover, air transport, with 9.9% and clothing, with 5.1%, exceeding hotels and ground transportation. In this way, despite the fact that the seasonality typical of summer persists in many sectors, fashion has managed to break a trend based on discounts and promotions.

Logistic and marketing planning

 In view of these data due to seasonality, each digital business area should plan their marketing campaigns and their promotional efforts to avoid stoppages in their activity that may last longer than their budget allows. The most common recommendation is to resort to analytics to detect public and key moments in which to act to generate recurrence, loyalty and stability.

In addition, it is necessary an effort in logistics planning that helps to adapt the formats of delivery of orders to the availability of customers, which tends to be more complex in summer. Therefore, it is necessary to combat the decline in activity in order to save logistic costs and, at the same time, take advantage to plan the distribution needs for the new period that opens in September.

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