It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and I have a lot to say about online dating. But somewhere in between reading that I must love dogs or the admonition of “NO SERIAL DATERS” (I don’t know what that means, but it sounds somewhat criminal), I must have missed the most important piece of information — how to time my online subscription to online dating so that I can have the best probability for success. In other words, when are the most potential dates present on online dating sites?
According to match.com, their site experiences a 25-30% increase in enrollment between Christmas Day and Valentine’s Day. In fact, they reported that their peak hour of enrollment of the year was at 9pm on January 1 with a 55% increase in registrations on January 2. Why? Loneliness on Christmas or New Year’s Eve, perhaps. Or maybe lots of optimism about finding someone in the six weeks leading to Valentine’s Day.
So, believe it or not, online dating is affected by seasonality. Who knew? I began to think about how unrecognized seasonality in other industries might also represent a missed opportunity to maximize company revenues.
Of course, some seasonality is obvious. No one is surprised to find out that bicycle sales peak in summertime or that toy sales peak between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But, some seasonality may be surprising. Cigarette sales are the highest in June, July and August and lowest in January and February. Perhaps, indoor smoking restrictions create fewer places and opportunities to smoke in the cold of winter? Carpet cleaning businesses have the least number of customers in January and February. Maybe one of you can figure that one out!
Why is this important? Because many businesses and industries have seasonal sales patterns that may not be obvious. And, by not taking advantage of a real seasonal pattern that affects your company, you may be leaving lots of revenue on the table.
So, take the time to research your own company sales patterns for any seasonal trends. Are you taking advantage of those patterns to maximize revenue generation?
Now compare your sales patterns to your industry to assess whether you are realizing the full benefits of industry wide sales peaks and valleys. Your industry information isn’t available? No problem. Go to Google Trends, and check on the search frequency and timing of a particular keyword to give you an indication. For example, if you type in the word “bicycle” you will see that every year the highest number of Google searches for “bicycle” occurs in June, July and August, which coincides with that industry’s peak selling season.
And for those of you in B2B businesses that think seasonality doesn’t apply to you, think again. For the last three years, searches for the term “capacitor”, for example, have been 20-25% higher in February/March than December/January.
Is your business getting all of the love (and revenue) from its customers as a result of industry wide seasonal patterns? The first step is taking the time to accurately assess or discover the seasonal pattern as it applies to your company. The second step is knowing what to do with it.