I Want To Ride My Buy Cycle

Today I'm introducing an old concept in a new way. Every industry, every market sector (with perhaps the exception of a handful of essential goods) is subject to the vagaries of the weather. Seasonal effects take hold everywhere you see, which is why most financial updates from major firms will account for those effects.

As an extreme example, consider Christmas decoration manufacturers. It is easy to imagine they might see a rise in custom in October, a spike in November-December and a return to relatively low trade levels throughout the rest of the year.

However, across e-commerce as a whole, 'The Buy Cycle' is similarly dominated by the festive period and other major holiday seasons of the year.

Take this graph of Google Trends data for the single word 'buy' over the past seven and a half years:

This is global data and shows perfectly not only that interest in buying stuff rises sharply ahead of Christmas, but that there are actually two peaks during the Christmas buying season alone.

Less obvious, but equally important, is the hump that occurs around the third quarter of the year - likely due to the impact of the warmer weather and the school holidays in the summer months.

Even during the global recession of recent years, the broad tramlines that can be drawn across this graph - charting the progress of each peak and trough - have continued in a modestly upward direction as more people look online for good deals, rare items, and just for goods in general.

What does this mean? Well, for me it means you should launch a new e-commerce venture in July. You don't want to launch in December, find yourself out of your depth, and then face zero sales for the next six or seven months.

Launch in July and, if you're in an industry that tracks The Buy Cycle to any great extent, you should see slightly higher levels of custom for your first few months. This should help get you on your feet and cover some of those initial set-up costs ahead of the autumn sales slump, so you're ready to make the most of Christmas and its bounty of buy-queries.

As always, this is just an opinion - don't gamble your life savings based on it. You should probably consult a professional before making any major business decisions.