Seasonal Forecasting for Shopify Apparel Brands

Seasonal Forecasting for Shopify Apparel Brands

According to Statista, as of June 2023, over 500,000 apparel online stores are built on Shopify’s eCommerce platform, making fashion the most popular industry.

For customers, this means a wide variety of products to choose from 🥳🛍️. However, for Shopify store owners, it signifies fierce competition and potential inventory challenges 🤔. Effective store management becomes crucial to stay ahead in the market. Imagine if you could predict the future – it would instantly solve many of these problems! This is where seasonal forecasting comes into play.

In this article, we'll explore the key factors influencing seasonal trends, the importance of seasonal forecasting for Shopify apparel brands, how to analyze market data, tools and techniques to enhance accuracy, and best practices to implement these strategies effectively. Let’s start with a definition to clear our minds before delving deep.

What is Seasonal Demand Forecasting?

Seasonal demand forecasting is simply the process of predicting future seasonal demand 🔮 by analyzing past data and evaluating both internal and external factors. ✍️ Thanks to seasonal inventory forecasting, Shopify fashion stores can make inventory plans according to forecasts to have the right product in stock when the customer demands it. 📦 But which factors affect this forecasting process?

Key Factors Influencing Seasonal Forecasting in Apparel Brands

Understanding key factors influencing seasonal trends is important because seasonal forecasting relies on data generated from them. There are several key factors affecting seasonal trends in fashion brands:

Fashion Trends 👚

Fashion trends and customer expectations, especially influenced by social media, are changing daily, aren't they? To stay competitive and meet the fluctuating demand of your customers, it's necessary to closely monitor trends 🔍 to avoid missing out on potential sales.

Weather 🏖️

When it comes to apparel, relying solely on daily weather forecasts is insufficient! In summer, customers prefer to buy lightweight, light-colored clothing and shoes, while in winter, they demand the opposite. Even accessories 🧢 change! Therefore, weather conditions are one of the most influential factors for Shopify fashion brands.

Cultural and Social Events 🎟️

Cultural and social events such as holidays, festivals, and sporting events often influence seasonal trends in the apparel industry. Apparel brands may create special collections or promotions tailored to these events to capitalize on increased consumer spending and demand.

Economic Factors 🏦

We all know that if the economy is not doing well in a country and the unemployment rate is rising, fashion products are not the first thing people prioritize to buy. When housing and food take priority for people, it's inevitable that the revenue of apparel brands will decrease. Thus, the economic conditions in the countries where sales are made directly affect the seasonal trends of fashion brands.

Demographic Trends 🧑‍🦰👵🏼

Demographic factors such as age, gender, and lifestyle preferences can influence seasonal trends in apparel. For example, younger consumers may be more responsive to fast fashion trends and seasonal capsule collections, while older consumers may prefer classic and timeless styles.

Since we’ve compiled the factors affecting seasonal sales forecasting, let’s find out why seasonal forecasting is vital for apparel brands on Shopify.

Why is Seasonal Forecasting Crucial for Apparel Brands on Shopify?

Several reasons explain the importance of seasonal sales forecasting for Shopify Apparel Brands.

📈 Fluctuating Demand Curve

The demand curve of an apparel store is not linear.📉 What does this mean? The demand for products in an apparel store fluctuates based on various factors such as seasons, trends, and events. Therefore, failing to accurately identify the factors and analyze current data correctly leads to ineffective inventory management and, accordingly, stock issues. Imagine you create purchase orders based on your own plans without forecasting. If the demand falls short of what you've expected, you unnecessarily pay warehouse costs. 📦 On the other hand, if the demand exceeds your expectations, you end up out of stock. 👀 The result is unnecessary costs and decreased customer satisfaction. ☹️ In short, not using seasonal forecasting can be quite costly for your apparel store.

Stock issues when seasonal demand forecasting is not applied.

However, with effective seasonal sales forecasting, you can predict demand as accurately as possible and adjust your inventory accordingly.

Stock status when seasonal demand forecasting is applied.

🏁 Intense Competition Among Shopify Apparel Brands

Apparel is the most popular category of Shopify, and there are 520,321 stores as of June 2023. This means competition highly affects the efficiency of your Shopify store’s operations. That’s why, when managing your Shopify store’s inventory, you should be extra careful and use all the necessary features just like seasonal forecasting.

👗 Dynamic Fashion Trends

20.5% of Shopify stores in the apparel category sell clothing and accessories products. We are all aware of that; trends change daily in these categories! Social media plays a major role in this change; models, famous clothing brands, influencers, and others impact customer preferences, making forecasting challenging. Even though there is no definite answer to "Which product will be trendy next?", we know how to avoid missing potential sales. As a Shopify apparel store owner, you can benefit from seasonal forecasting to meet demand as effectively as possible and keep your Shopify store profitable.

📱Marketing Strategies

If you have a Shopify apparel store, you are well aware that you need time to create and apply marketing strategies. However, constantly worrying about your stock status, supplier relationships, and future inventory takes your time and money. That’s why applying seasonal sales forecasting matters for your Shopify store; your plans are already in place, saving you time to focus on marketing strategies.

📌 For more detail, you can now read 5 Inventory Forecasting Benefits for Shopify Stores.

After understanding the importance of seasonal sales forecasting for Shopify apparel brands, it's time to address one of the most critical questions: How to apply seasonal sales forecasting in Shopify?

How to Implement  Seasonal Forecasting for Shopify?

There are primarily 2 fundamental methods for demand forecasting: quantitative and qualitative forecasting methods.

  • Quantitative demand forecasting methods rely on past data for future predictions, including time series analysis, regression analysis, trend projection, seasonal index, naive method, and straight-line method. These techniques analyze historical sales data, relationships between variables, and seasonal patterns to make forecasts. 📊
  • On the other hand, qualitative demand forecasting methods involve independent predictions based on market research, expert opinions, and consensus-gathering techniques like the Delphi Method. 🕵️ These approaches provide insights into market dynamics, industry expertise, and collective expert opinions to inform forecasting decisions.
  • Wouldn’t it be great if there is an inventory management app that uses all these methods and makes seasonal forecasting for you? That app is Fabrikatör! If you have 30 minutes, schedule a free demo right now!

What is the tool you prefer for inventory management and seasonal demand forecasting? Excel?

Can Excel Be a Seasonal Forecasting Tool? 💼

Excel can be a good starting tool for tracking your inventory if your Shopify apparel store is new and your product range is limited. With less data, the chance of making errors is lower. But what about when your product range expands, and your Shopify store grows? 🤔 That's when you'll need more advanced features like seasonal demand forecasting and face Excel’s limitations. This requires more detailed data analysis. However, Excel data entry is prone to errors due to human factors, and the process is time-consuming. It's not the ideal solution for managing your current data, and accordingly predicting future demand. Therefore, using another efficient tool for seasonal forecasting would be more beneficial for your apparel store.

📌 Is your apparel store new on Shopify? Here is a free & ready-to-use Excel spreadsheet for your inventory.

Now, let's delve into the challenges that apparel brands using Shopify experience when conducting seasonal inventory forecasting.

Challenges of Seasonal Inventory Forecasting for Shopify Apparel Brands

🔮 Unpredictability

Even though forecasting promises to predict demand as closely as reality, there are times when unexpected scenarios cause inventory crises. Let’s go back to 2020, when some online stores were out of stock due to unexpected supply chain issues due to COVID-19. Just like it was in 2020, unforeseeable issues can still result in out-of-stock as a seasonal forecasting challenge.

📌  Not only accurately predicting future demand and handling potential challenges is necessary for a Shopify store to succeed. That’s why you need backorders to be ready for unexpected stockout issues. How does it work? Backorder makes you keep generating revenue when you are temporarily out of stock. Read Backorder & Preorder Guide and Backorder Benefits for Your eCommerce Store to learn more.

🛍️ Fluctuating Consumer Trends

Keeping up with constantly changing fashion trends in the industry constitutes a challenge for Shopify apparel brands. What's popular this season may be outdated the next, making it difficult to accurately forecast demand for specific products. Factors such as emerging fashion trends, celebrity endorsements, and cultural influences can all impact consumer preferences, adding complexity to the forecasting process.

🚚 Supply Chain Disruptions

Problems in the supply chain can also make inventory forecasting difficult for Shopify apparel brands. Events such as natural disasters, transportation strikes, or geopolitical tensions can lead to delays or interruptions in the sourcing and delivery of materials and finished products. These disruptions can cause stockout or overstock, affecting both customer satisfaction and your store’s financial performance. To effectively manage this challenge, you can make agreements with multiple suppliers and will be able to order products or materials from various locations.

Best Practices for Seasonal Demand Planning in Shopify Apparel Stores

Some best practices for seasonal planning in Shopify apparel stores include:

1️⃣ Pay attention to external factors!

Carefully observe external factors affecting your apparel store’s seasonal demand, such as weather, upcoming holidays, cultural events, and fashion trends. These factors can significantly impact consumer behavior and purchasing decisions.

2️⃣ Categorize your customers!

Examine the purchasing behavior of your customers by categorizing them based on factors like demographics, location, etc. This segmentation can provide insights into how different customer groups respond to seasonal trends and promotions.

📌 Reminder: You should also categorize your products to see which ones perform best! Use ABC analysis, which categorizes products based on their sales contribution to your store. This method can help you prioritize your inventory management efforts effectively. Read ABC Analysis for eCommerce Inventory to learn more.

3️⃣ Collaborate with suppliers!

Suppliers are one of the most critical components of your inventory management process. Building good relationships with them helps you to negotiate better and seek support in unexpected situations. Besides, collaboration can be beneficial for the timely delivery of products and minimize stockout or overstock situations.

4️⃣ Evaluate performance regularly!

After each season, carefully review your forecasting accuracy and inventory management practices. Identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategies accordingly to refine your forecasting process over time.

5️⃣ Invest in inventory management software!

Why struggle with all the seasonal forecasting challenges when successful apps are available to do it for you? Implement inventory management software that seamlessly integrates with Shopify to optimize forecasting, purchase orders, replenishment processes, and more. We strongly suggest you choose an app that users already love, just like 5/5-rated Fabrikatör!

Maximize Seasonal Forecasting Efficiency with Fabrikatör! 🚀

Choose a fast, efficient, and profitable way of forecasting for your Shopify apparel store. With Fabrikatör, you can easily improve future demand planning and streamline apparel business processes.

Image from Fabrikatör's demand planning page.

This is the way to ensure you always have sufficient stock for your customers. Moreover, forecasting is just one of the advanced features your Shopify apparel brand needs, and Fabrikatör brings you all the must-have features:

▪️ Create purchase orders in seconds ⏱️

▪️ Restock your inventory quickly 📦

▪️ Accept backorders and manage stockout efficiently 🔄

▪️ Leverage insightful data analysis and reports to make better decisions 📊

▪️ Forecast future demand & keep your customers happy 😊

▪️ Seamless integration with Shopify, Klaviyo, Shiphero, and more.

Ready to transform your Shopify store with Fabrikatör’s powerful inventory management features? See Fabrikatör in action now! ✨

Want to see Fabrikatör in action?
Get a 30-minute free demo and see how Fabrikatör can improve your inventory operations.
Book a Demo

Seasonal Forecasting for Shopify Apparel Brands

Seasonal Forecasting for Shopify Apparel Brands

According to Statista, as of June 2023, over 500,000 apparel online stores are built on Shopify’s eCommerce platform, making fashion the most popular industry.

For customers, this means a wide variety of products to choose from 🥳🛍️. However, for Shopify store owners, it signifies fierce competition and potential inventory challenges 🤔. Effective store management becomes crucial to stay ahead in the market. Imagine if you could predict the future – it would instantly solve many of these problems! This is where seasonal forecasting comes into play.

In this article, we'll explore the key factors influencing seasonal trends, the importance of seasonal forecasting for Shopify apparel brands, how to analyze market data, tools and techniques to enhance accuracy, and best practices to implement these strategies effectively. Let’s start with a definition to clear our minds before delving deep.

What is Seasonal Demand Forecasting?

Seasonal demand forecasting is simply the process of predicting future seasonal demand 🔮 by analyzing past data and evaluating both internal and external factors. ✍️ Thanks to seasonal inventory forecasting, Shopify fashion stores can make inventory plans according to forecasts to have the right product in stock when the customer demands it. 📦 But which factors affect this forecasting process?

Key Factors Influencing Seasonal Forecasting in Apparel Brands

Understanding key factors influencing seasonal trends is important because seasonal forecasting relies on data generated from them. There are several key factors affecting seasonal trends in fashion brands:

Fashion Trends 👚

Fashion trends and customer expectations, especially influenced by social media, are changing daily, aren't they? To stay competitive and meet the fluctuating demand of your customers, it's necessary to closely monitor trends 🔍 to avoid missing out on potential sales.

Weather 🏖️

When it comes to apparel, relying solely on daily weather forecasts is insufficient! In summer, customers prefer to buy lightweight, light-colored clothing and shoes, while in winter, they demand the opposite. Even accessories 🧢 change! Therefore, weather conditions are one of the most influential factors for Shopify fashion brands.

Cultural and Social Events 🎟️

Cultural and social events such as holidays, festivals, and sporting events often influence seasonal trends in the apparel industry. Apparel brands may create special collections or promotions tailored to these events to capitalize on increased consumer spending and demand.

Economic Factors 🏦

We all know that if the economy is not doing well in a country and the unemployment rate is rising, fashion products are not the first thing people prioritize to buy. When housing and food take priority for people, it's inevitable that the revenue of apparel brands will decrease. Thus, the economic conditions in the countries where sales are made directly affect the seasonal trends of fashion brands.

Demographic Trends 🧑‍🦰👵🏼

Demographic factors such as age, gender, and lifestyle preferences can influence seasonal trends in apparel. For example, younger consumers may be more responsive to fast fashion trends and seasonal capsule collections, while older consumers may prefer classic and timeless styles.

Since we’ve compiled the factors affecting seasonal sales forecasting, let’s find out why seasonal forecasting is vital for apparel brands on Shopify.

Why is Seasonal Forecasting Crucial for Apparel Brands on Shopify?

Several reasons explain the importance of seasonal sales forecasting for Shopify Apparel Brands.

📈 Fluctuating Demand Curve

The demand curve of an apparel store is not linear.📉 What does this mean? The demand for products in an apparel store fluctuates based on various factors such as seasons, trends, and events. Therefore, failing to accurately identify the factors and analyze current data correctly leads to ineffective inventory management and, accordingly, stock issues. Imagine you create purchase orders based on your own plans without forecasting. If the demand falls short of what you've expected, you unnecessarily pay warehouse costs. 📦 On the other hand, if the demand exceeds your expectations, you end up out of stock. 👀 The result is unnecessary costs and decreased customer satisfaction. ☹️ In short, not using seasonal forecasting can be quite costly for your apparel store.

Stock issues when seasonal demand forecasting is not applied.

However, with effective seasonal sales forecasting, you can predict demand as accurately as possible and adjust your inventory accordingly.

Stock status when seasonal demand forecasting is applied.

🏁 Intense Competition Among Shopify Apparel Brands

Apparel is the most popular category of Shopify, and there are 520,321 stores as of June 2023. This means competition highly affects the efficiency of your Shopify store’s operations. That’s why, when managing your Shopify store’s inventory, you should be extra careful and use all the necessary features just like seasonal forecasting.

👗 Dynamic Fashion Trends

20.5% of Shopify stores in the apparel category sell clothing and accessories products. We are all aware of that; trends change daily in these categories! Social media plays a major role in this change; models, famous clothing brands, influencers, and others impact customer preferences, making forecasting challenging. Even though there is no definite answer to "Which product will be trendy next?", we know how to avoid missing potential sales. As a Shopify apparel store owner, you can benefit from seasonal forecasting to meet demand as effectively as possible and keep your Shopify store profitable.

📱Marketing Strategies

If you have a Shopify apparel store, you are well aware that you need time to create and apply marketing strategies. However, constantly worrying about your stock status, supplier relationships, and future inventory takes your time and money. That’s why applying seasonal sales forecasting matters for your Shopify store; your plans are already in place, saving you time to focus on marketing strategies.

📌 For more detail, you can now read 5 Inventory Forecasting Benefits for Shopify Stores.

After understanding the importance of seasonal sales forecasting for Shopify apparel brands, it's time to address one of the most critical questions: How to apply seasonal sales forecasting in Shopify?

How to Implement  Seasonal Forecasting for Shopify?

There are primarily 2 fundamental methods for demand forecasting: quantitative and qualitative forecasting methods.

  • Quantitative demand forecasting methods rely on past data for future predictions, including time series analysis, regression analysis, trend projection, seasonal index, naive method, and straight-line method. These techniques analyze historical sales data, relationships between variables, and seasonal patterns to make forecasts. 📊
  • On the other hand, qualitative demand forecasting methods involve independent predictions based on market research, expert opinions, and consensus-gathering techniques like the Delphi Method. 🕵️ These approaches provide insights into market dynamics, industry expertise, and collective expert opinions to inform forecasting decisions.
  • Wouldn’t it be great if there is an inventory management app that uses all these methods and makes seasonal forecasting for you? That app is Fabrikatör! If you have 30 minutes, schedule a free demo right now!

What is the tool you prefer for inventory management and seasonal demand forecasting? Excel?

Can Excel Be a Seasonal Forecasting Tool? 💼

Excel can be a good starting tool for tracking your inventory if your Shopify apparel store is new and your product range is limited. With less data, the chance of making errors is lower. But what about when your product range expands, and your Shopify store grows? 🤔 That's when you'll need more advanced features like seasonal demand forecasting and face Excel’s limitations. This requires more detailed data analysis. However, Excel data entry is prone to errors due to human factors, and the process is time-consuming. It's not the ideal solution for managing your current data, and accordingly predicting future demand. Therefore, using another efficient tool for seasonal forecasting would be more beneficial for your apparel store.

📌 Is your apparel store new on Shopify? Here is a free & ready-to-use Excel spreadsheet for your inventory.

Now, let's delve into the challenges that apparel brands using Shopify experience when conducting seasonal inventory forecasting.

Challenges of Seasonal Inventory Forecasting for Shopify Apparel Brands

🔮 Unpredictability

Even though forecasting promises to predict demand as closely as reality, there are times when unexpected scenarios cause inventory crises. Let’s go back to 2020, when some online stores were out of stock due to unexpected supply chain issues due to COVID-19. Just like it was in 2020, unforeseeable issues can still result in out-of-stock as a seasonal forecasting challenge.

📌  Not only accurately predicting future demand and handling potential challenges is necessary for a Shopify store to succeed. That’s why you need backorders to be ready for unexpected stockout issues. How does it work? Backorder makes you keep generating revenue when you are temporarily out of stock. Read Backorder & Preorder Guide and Backorder Benefits for Your eCommerce Store to learn more.

🛍️ Fluctuating Consumer Trends

Keeping up with constantly changing fashion trends in the industry constitutes a challenge for Shopify apparel brands. What's popular this season may be outdated the next, making it difficult to accurately forecast demand for specific products. Factors such as emerging fashion trends, celebrity endorsements, and cultural influences can all impact consumer preferences, adding complexity to the forecasting process.

🚚 Supply Chain Disruptions

Problems in the supply chain can also make inventory forecasting difficult for Shopify apparel brands. Events such as natural disasters, transportation strikes, or geopolitical tensions can lead to delays or interruptions in the sourcing and delivery of materials and finished products. These disruptions can cause stockout or overstock, affecting both customer satisfaction and your store’s financial performance. To effectively manage this challenge, you can make agreements with multiple suppliers and will be able to order products or materials from various locations.

Best Practices for Seasonal Demand Planning in Shopify Apparel Stores

Some best practices for seasonal planning in Shopify apparel stores include:

1️⃣ Pay attention to external factors!

Carefully observe external factors affecting your apparel store’s seasonal demand, such as weather, upcoming holidays, cultural events, and fashion trends. These factors can significantly impact consumer behavior and purchasing decisions.

2️⃣ Categorize your customers!

Examine the purchasing behavior of your customers by categorizing them based on factors like demographics, location, etc. This segmentation can provide insights into how different customer groups respond to seasonal trends and promotions.

📌 Reminder: You should also categorize your products to see which ones perform best! Use ABC analysis, which categorizes products based on their sales contribution to your store. This method can help you prioritize your inventory management efforts effectively. Read ABC Analysis for eCommerce Inventory to learn more.

3️⃣ Collaborate with suppliers!

Suppliers are one of the most critical components of your inventory management process. Building good relationships with them helps you to negotiate better and seek support in unexpected situations. Besides, collaboration can be beneficial for the timely delivery of products and minimize stockout or overstock situations.

4️⃣ Evaluate performance regularly!

After each season, carefully review your forecasting accuracy and inventory management practices. Identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategies accordingly to refine your forecasting process over time.

5️⃣ Invest in inventory management software!

Why struggle with all the seasonal forecasting challenges when successful apps are available to do it for you? Implement inventory management software that seamlessly integrates with Shopify to optimize forecasting, purchase orders, replenishment processes, and more. We strongly suggest you choose an app that users already love, just like 5/5-rated Fabrikatör!

Maximize Seasonal Forecasting Efficiency with Fabrikatör! 🚀

Choose a fast, efficient, and profitable way of forecasting for your Shopify apparel store. With Fabrikatör, you can easily improve future demand planning and streamline apparel business processes.

Image from Fabrikatör's demand planning page.

This is the way to ensure you always have sufficient stock for your customers. Moreover, forecasting is just one of the advanced features your Shopify apparel brand needs, and Fabrikatör brings you all the must-have features:

▪️ Create purchase orders in seconds ⏱️

▪️ Restock your inventory quickly 📦

▪️ Accept backorders and manage stockout efficiently 🔄

▪️ Leverage insightful data analysis and reports to make better decisions 📊

▪️ Forecast future demand & keep your customers happy 😊

▪️ Seamless integration with Shopify, Klaviyo, Shiphero, and more.

Ready to transform your Shopify store with Fabrikatör’s powerful inventory management features? See Fabrikatör in action now! ✨

Want to see Fabrikatör in action?
Get a 30-minute free demo and see how Fabrikatör can improve your inventory operations.
Book a Demo

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Want to see Fabrikatör in action?

Get a 30-minute free demo and see how Fabrikatör can improve your inventory operations.
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