While Amazon is a great sales channel all the time, like any retail business it does better in the holiday season, and some dates can make a huge difference to your sales performance. Running through the year, you’ll notice there are some major events that can affect your sales. (For those outside the US, Thanksgiving and Independence Day won’t apply, while local celebrations like July 14th in France or St Nicholas’ Day in the Netherlands will.)
February has the Super Bowl (13th) and Valentine’s Day (14th), and is Black History Month. But the biggest event is Chinese New Year which falls at the start of February this year. Suppliers may be closed for a week before and after this holiday so be sure to check with them and order well in advance!
March is normally Spring Break, though with the pandemic, that might not happen – but there’s also International Women’s Day on the 8th and St Patrick’s on the 17th.
April has National Pet Day (11th), Holy Week/Easter 15-18, and Earth Day on the 22nd, and the end of the month is your last chance to get order in to Chinese suppliers before the May 1st Labor Day.
May has the Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day, as well as Eid al-Fitr on the 3rd.
June is Pride month, together with Father’s Day and Juneteenth, and it’s the beginning of summer so holiday products should be in stock by the end of the month if not before.
July the Fourth needs no introduction from me! But July is also time to start thinking about getting your inventory ready for Black Friday, particularly if you’re sourcing from China. And July 10 is Eid al-Adha, another chance for gift giving.
August is back to school time. Then September has Labor Day on the 5th followed by the beginning of the NFL season. Autumn is beginning, so seasonal products need a refresh.
October is the build up to Halloween at the end of the month. You’ll also want to be ordering Chinese supplies now in order to get them delivered before the Chinese New Year.
November 1st should be your target date to get Black Friday inventory in to Amazon’s warehouses. This is Native American Heritage month, with Veterans’ day and singles’ day (11th), and then a slew of dates towards the end of the month including Remembrance Day in Canada, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
And December of course delivers us Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year sales. Note that your Christmas inventory needs to be with Amazon no later than the 2nd.
These are the bare dates, but let’s suggest a few good ways to play them.
• Don’t do special seasonal products. You’ll probably end up with excess inventory that can’t be sold for another year.
• On the other hand, look for seasonal angles for your product. For instance, if I were selling a Rosa Parks printed tee-shirt, I’d want to promote it for Black History Month. If I sold stationery I’d be adding a coupon in August for back-to-school purchases.
• Remember that if your product is seasonal, your inventory needs to be planned to fit. For instance, if you have barbecue stuff, make sure it’s all in stock at the beginning of May, and aim to reduce your stocks gradually as you head into the autumn. (Remember Amazon charges extra for inventory in November and December.)
• Use coupons as well as advertising and social media to get your sales moving.
And lastly, don’t forget that there’s one other set of dates that should be in your agenda – your tax filings. Because whether your Amazon business goes gangbusters or you have a bit of a disappointing year, you know that Uncle Sam will want his fair share!