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  1. #1
    Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I have a question for anyone that has a well established site...

    How much more business do you get in the last three months of the year compared to the rest of the year?

    I've heard that a lot of retail businesses make half their money in the fourth quarter. Is that a good rule of thumb for the online/affiliate world, too?

    Less?

    More?

    Thanks;
    Ed

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Yes it is, depending on your traffic. Last year's fourth quarter was good, but I seemed to do better in January than December...Traffic was higher.

    People tend to buy lots during the last quarter. You should see an increase in revenue.

    ------------------------------------------------------------Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open. Thomas Dewar

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    Last year the fourth quarter definitely had the most sales. The highest traffic and sales were on the day after Thankgiving.

    Ernie

    It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

  4. #4
    15 years and counting
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    January 18th, 2005
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    6,121
    Last year,
    October, sales X3
    November, sales X5
    December, sales X10
    One of my sites is a gourmet store with seasonal items.

    It's not the big that eat the small... it's the fast that eat the slow. Jennings & Haughton

  5. #5
    Member scottyant's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Boise, Idaho
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    Holiday sales traditionally start to pickup in the brick and mortar marketplace mid October and are ussually brisk until Christmas.
    There is a week where sales drop.
    Right after that week when returns and exchanges hopefully balance to an even point have your online operation merchandised for shoppers.

    This is a critical point where customer service and salesmanship makes or breaks you.
    There are a lot of people that get cash for Xmas and are wanting to spend it.
    That's the time to have the after clearance promotions in place directing the customers to spend more.

    The return and or exchange customers generally have already made their minds up of what they want and may either want to upgrade or cash out and even shop for an entirely different product.
    Give them something to purchase with the gift investment they got for Christmas.

    Sales tend to be spotty overall till mid January but can be steady or brisk for selected product categories. The best way to get past the break even point is to direct the buyers to higher price points that have deep discounts.

    While doing this also take control by directing the customers to a new gift giving event that can bring in fewer sales but higher dollar volume, VALENTINES Day!!!

    The receiptant of a gift may cash out at a brick and mortar establishment then return home and shop online. There are also consumers that shop at this time when the discounts and deals are advertised making purchases for next year.

    Bottom line is don't stop your online merchandising as soon as the Christmas rush is over. Be ready and optimistic because online sales is and has been mirroring traditional shopping trends with one difference, that is a steady increase compared to brick and mortar operations.

    Scott Yant
    Mall Director
    Boise Online Mall.com

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    Online sales dropped a few days before Xmas, depending on the shipping fees of the sites.

    January was great.

    This will only be my second online 4th quarter, but I'm looking forward to it! Bwahahahaha, expensive vacation in spring being dreamed up now...

    - - - - -
    42. Yup, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Speaking as a merchant we expect and generally see our site make around 70% of it's yearly income in the last quarter...

    Cheers

    Chris

    Chris Sanderson
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  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Personally I saw a 4x increase in sales in Dec. last year, but I had also added some sites right before the season started so those figures are a little skewed.

    I try to have things on that will sell at various times of the year, so there isn't a huge (70%) spike like with a single product like diamonds.

    I would say that Scott's assessment is pretty accurate but remember that online the shopping season takes a break about a week sooner than with bricks-and-mortars because of shipping times. Last year there was quite a rush of people who had apparently dumped the practical junk they got for Christmas and come over to my sites for the cool stuff! Also there are some things that sell better after Christmas anyway.

    And a few lucky listings caused February to be my biggest month of the winter, easily trouncing on Christmas even with no more w*rk done at that time! Of course, it was no w*rk because I already had The Item on my sites.

    This year I've got a lot more sites up than I did last year and I'm just drooling in anticipation of another great Christmas retailing season!

    I love this business... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    [edited out typo]

    [This message was edited by Leader on September 01, 2002 at 08:01 AM.]

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Lionstail's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I seem to recall that December 19 was right around the time that our holiday rush ended. Up until that time we were doing fantastic and then the sales crashed. I think the reason why is pretty simple, after that date people weren't confident that they'd get their items in time for Christmas. Some of the sites are smart and have signs on their sites after that in which they say that items will still be received before the holiday if purchased now. Dave

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