November 10, 2015
Holiday Shopping (From a Seller's Perspective)
The holidays, a fun and exciting time when many families come to celebrate together. Though realistically, many holidays wouldn’t be the same without presents. This can be quite an expensive time to many families, and this is because businesses all around the world try their best to target holiday shoppers to spend as much possible. These had been getting accomplished in many different fashions, including the internet. In 2014, 61% of shoppers in the United States bought their gifts online (Wipro Digital). This is a dramatic increase from 36% of shoppers just one year earlier (Wipro Digital). The demand has increased for shoppers being able to conveniently buy deals online. This method has become more popular over the years and it’s consistently continuing to grow annually. This is one of the reasons why I sell products online.
What products exactly, you ask? Currently, I sell a wide variety of items ranging from sports memorabilia to clothing on my eBay store. What I’ve noticed, just like many other sellers is that sales start to spike throughout November and December. Specifically my sales tend to have an average increase by about 30%. Unfortunately for me, this increase doesn’t come magically, and does take strategy to make happen. Since the demand in customers has risen, the supply of the business or producers also increased on eBay’s selling platform. If one was to look at the supply curve of eBay’s active sellers, there would be a increase due to the current market demand. In order to get as many sales possible, one of my techniques are running sales on my items. This may sounds obvious, though when marketing, in my experience customers find “On Sale” more attractive than just a fixed cost of an item. According to Shopify.com, “[businesses] use this information (on sale graphics) to grab a customer's attention and cue them to take action in making a purchase.” To summarize, the prices are technically the same, but sellers in general are much better off putting a “sale” sign or graphic on their item since customer tend to get attracted discount advertisements.
Moving on, have you ever thought why businesses put the most/largest amount of discounts at the end of the year for retail/online shoppers? Some consumers believe it’s because businesses want to give the best deals to their customers for the holidays, though that’s far from the truth. The other side the story that you may not know about is businesses have to pay taxes on the amount of inventory they have in stock. Thus for a business, it’s best to sell as many items possible then it is to keep the items at normal market prices. In addition, they can’t write off any of their profits in taxes with physical inventory. When stores are able to reduce taxes they’re maximizing profits. This is one of the behind the scene details, not all holiday shoppers have knowledge about, but is worth noting.
Lastly, I would like to turn the tables by asking you (the reader) three quick questions about holiday shopping. First, do you personally prefer to shop online or in a physical store? Secondly, have you ever shopped on eBay for gifts/presents? Thirdly, in your opinion, what attracts you to purchase gifts from the store(s) you buy from (cost, brand recognition, trust)? To conclude, the fourth quarter is a very important time for businesses, because this is where it’s time to “make it or break it”. Personally in the future, I only envision the amount of customers increasing on online platforms and the growth of online sales in the future. Many business owners including myself are looking forward to a bright looking future of online selling.
Khan, Humayun. “Why All Sale Signs Are Red: The Science of Color in Retail.” Physical Retail. Shopify, May 18 2014. Web. Nov 10 2015.
“No gift bag? No problem: Expert tips on novel ways to wrap presents”. Pure Minutes Mobile Long Distance. 2014 Pure Minutes. Pure Minutes Blog Team, Dec 13 2013. Web. Nov 10 2015.
Wipro Limited. “Consumers Increase Online Shopping at the Expense of Omnichannel Retailers This 2014 Holiday Season: Wipro Digital Research.” Yahoo Finance. PR Newswire, Jan 21 2015. Web. Nov 10 2015.