Business downturn or are you selling soup in the summer?

Last week my wife and I went out for soup for lunch.

It was a sunny day but something about a warm, rich soup sounded good.

When we showed up there was only one other person there which seemed odd at first. This place was super popular a few months ago and the burger place down the street had a packed patio when we walked by.

But that’s because it’s summer and Portland has had a hot week.

Most people don’t want hot soup.

A few do, like us, but summertime is definitely a low demand month.

Now in the heart of wintertime, this place will have a line out the door.

But not right now.

Your store probably follows a similar cycle. There’s the standard winter holiday cycle that many stores are on but depending on your products and market, you could be on another.

I know a bathing suit customer starts to have their peaks in late winter and early spring. Same for a garden supply store.

What’s important is to know your cycle and how changes in it impact your business.

If you have a string of bad months, that doesn’t necessarily mean your business is doomed.

You might just be selling soup in summer.

One easy way to get a custom view of your cycle is to look at your customer’s purchasing by their monthly cohort. A quick glance at that behavior can help you spot highs and lows better than an ongoing sales graph.

Repeat Customer Insights can generate those cohorts and segments for you automatically, across different variables (orders, amounts, AOV).

Eric Davis

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