Perhaps unsurprisingly, this recent Google Trends analysis shows that people search for winter shoes more during the fall and early winter than they do at any other time of year. At the same time, the analysis indicates that merchants change their prices more often during the same time period. Data from 2018’s “winter shoes” keyword search shows that the online demand for winter shoes slowly picked up beginning in the month of October and reached its peak during the holiday season. The demand decelerated in the months of January and February.
In 2019, Google showed a similar trend with online demand slowing to its lowest in January and February and peaking in November and December. The positive correlation between the average Google search trend and the number of price changes by the seller shows increasing demand and the seller’s desire to win market share when demand is highest (around November). The frequency of price changes also slows down as the online demand slows down.
To win market share, merchants are leveraging their price adjustments in favor of the consumer. Our pricing data collection of 140,000 SKUs of winter shoes shows that sellers lower the price of winter shoes as the demand rises. With that being said, we also noticed a substantial number of times when prices were raised. The primary reason for this is clearly that the sellers want to win market share and find opportunities to maximize revenue.
Leveraging Data to Boost Margins
It’s somewhat obvious that seasonal products like winter shoes behave in this pattern when they’re most in-demand — in this case, in the late fall and early winter. So, bearing this in mind, what should the seller do to maximize sales revenue with better gross margins? Below are a few suggestions based on our data analysis:
- Fill Inventory at the Right Time — The online demand trend shows that it’s crucial to fill adequate inventory around October to prepare for the spike in demand.
- Monitor Your Competitors — It’s important to monitor your competition’s pricing and develop an aggressive ad and pricing strategy to boost click-through rate and conversions. Keep track of competition in each SKU and find opportunities to raise prices.
- Use Dynamic Pricing — It’s crucial to have a dynamic pricing strategy for seasonal products like winter shoes. It’s also essential to use online demand metrics in your dynamic pricing strategy to maximize revenue and margins.
- Clear Inventory at the End of the Season — As the online demand starts to slow down, start an aggressive remarketing/retargeting ads campaign to clear the seasonal inventory so that you will have the latest design inventory ready for next season.