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What is the best way to plan cashflow if your e-shop is a seasonal thing?

Doing business with a seasonal nature presents a particular challenge that many entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic are familiar with. At a time when holidays and events affect buying behaviour, it is crucial to be able to adapt to fluctuations in demand. However, there's no need to despair - there are several steps that e-tailers can take to successfully manage fluctuations in sales.

Forecasting demand with regard to seasonality

Tracking past sales data can be a great way to predict demand during different periods. Let's look at the example of an e-shop specialising in the sale of barbecues and outdoor equipment. In the summer, before the barbecue season starts, demand for grills, grilling equipment and outdoor furniture skyrockets. Conversely, during the winter months, when most people do not barbecue, demand is minimal. How about demand forecasts?

  • Analyse past sales: track sales data over the last few years to identify patterns of demand over different periods.

  • Identify seasonal trends. Is there a specific time period when customers start buying specific products?

  • Consider external factors: consider factors that may affect demand such as holidays, events, weather or seasonal trends.

  • Compare with competitors: Track how demand changes for your competitors during different periods. This can provide valuable information about overall market trends.

  • Communicate with your customers: Collect feedback from your customers about when they tend to buy certain products.

  • Be nimble in your planning: be prepared to react quickly to sudden changes in demand. Have a flexible purchasing plan that allows you to adjust inventory quickly.

  • Leverage multiple sources: Aggregate data from different sources such as sales data, Google Trends and social media to have a more comprehensive view of demand.

  • Seasonal Forecasting: Create seasonal forecasting models based on data analysis to help you estimate future demand. (Flowpay will do this for you!)

Maintaining balanced stocks for better cashflow

E-shops with seasonal products are often faced with the dilemma of whether to buy large quantities of stock before the season or rather risk a shortage of goods. Imagine an e-shop that sells carnival costumes. Demand for them rises sharply before the carnival celebrations, but drops rapidly just after. The e-shop should consider how to efficiently purchase sufficient quantities of costumes before the carnival begins while minimizing unsold inventory after the carnival.

Marketing strategy depending on the season

An effective marketing strategy can help e-shops cope with seasonal fluctuations. For example, an e-shop that specialises in selling gifts for Christmas should start its advertising campaign at least a month before Christmas to reach as many customers as possible. On the other hand, an e-shop with seasonal products such as swimwear should focus its marketing on spring and early summer, when people start planning their summer holidays.

Seasonal offer and exclusivity

Some e-shops in the Czech Republic take advantage of seasonality to offer their customers exclusive products. Let's imagine an e-shop with natural beauty products. During the winter months, it can come up with limited edition moisturizers that are perfect for cold weather skin care. This way, the e-shop provides customers with a unique product that is suitable for the current season. It's also a great example of how a business can quickly adapt to demand and act as a chameleon in the marketplace among competing businesses.


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