Crazy Dave Promo UK

Some Power Bank Market Statistics - Seasonal Changes

Are Power Banks Seasonal?

What time of year is demand for power banks greatest? Is there a good time to market and advertise them? What are the prospects for the UK in 2021?

We can make a guess and say yes we need power banks for Christmas stocking fillers and for Glastonbury Festival and other summertime multi-day events or power banks for camping and for international travel. Data is better than guesswork though and we have used publically available data to draw our conclusions.

An interesting source of data is Google Trends which shows wiggly lines that go up and down according to the number of times we search for a particular thing. In this case the search term is "power bank".

Here are the Google search trends for "power bank" sought over 5 years in the UK, Australia and the USA. There looks to be a lot of randomness with curious bumps and spikes. The lines are quite different. There are fluctuations but are they annual and therefore seasonal?

Google Trends for power bank

Google Trends for power bank in the UK, Australia and USA

We include Australia since their summer months are different and any similar seasonal influence would show up in different months.

One thing to be aware of is that these are not actual search figures but are rebased in relation to biggest in the set. All figures are multiplied by a number that causes the biggest figure to be 100, thus all figures are relative.

Power bank peak demand

There's an odd looking spike was around July 2016. We searched on Google for power bank on the News tab and constrained the date range to around that period and found Pokemon Go causing mobile phone batteries to go flat since users could not put them down. That caused a surge in demand for power banks.

Another notable feature is of course the lower levels around March 2020 when everything went haywire with the realisation that the Covid-19 pandemic was real.

Filtering the noise

Other bumps and undulations look like they might be periodic but on a chart like that they are not that obvious. The Australia line looks like nothing in particular is happening since its larger Pokemon spike makes the other fluctuations smaller. Does the noise camouflage anything interesting? Since that one is the least distinct let's filter that one.

Downloading Google's figures into a spreadsheet allows us to process the data to view it in different ways. Here is the Australia data shown as a moving average of 10 days. For each point we take the current days value and average it with the previous 4 days and the next 5 days. It filters out a lot of noise and shows some trends. There's nothing special about choosing 10 days but it was a pretty good choice in this case. A longer period would show a smoother curve but the gyrations would be smaller.

10 day moving average of Australia power bank searches.

10 day moving average of Australia power bank searches.

Clearly there is something interesting in the figures. We can see some bumps that look like they might have an annual period. So next we adjust our spreadsheet to show the average values for each month of the year combining several years.

Interpretation

So here is the chart of the UK, Australia and USA relative search figures for four years grouped by the month of the year. This is where we can make a stab at interpreting the data.

Power bank monthly searches UK, Australia and USA

Power bank monthly searches UK, Australia and USA

For the UK, the summer months are by far the most popular. So power banks are seasonal. The peak in August is a massive 43% higher than in September. (100-70 is 30 and 30/70 is 43%)

Searches in the UK in October are lower than other months so maybe you should not spend too much on advertising power banks in October. We show data below that should make us cautious about making definite conclusions.

In the USA which covers many more lines of latitude let's assume summer produces a more varied behaviour than in the UK so although we see an increase in the summer months it is nothing like as pronounced as in the UK.

For Australia June, July and August are winter months and have amongst the lowest number of searches. Meanwhile December which combines summer with Christmas is hugely higher than any other month, flanked by November and January as the other highest months. So that too looks seasonal.

Note, since Australia is in the southern hemisphere we have shifted the bars by six months to align summer but of course, that makes Christmas out of line.

For the UK, apart from the three summer months the highest is December which includes Christmas and we see that in the USA November (Thanksgiving) and December exceeds summer months.

So the data says the summer period and Christmas are when power banks are most sought. Our initial supposition is confirmed. We knew it all along. It was so obvious. On the other hand there's nothing quite like seeing data to back up your hunch.

Excluding inconvenient data

We can see in the picture at the top that the Australia "Pokemon Go" peak was way above the rest of the figures which makes them relatively muted by the magnitude of that peak. To find a seasonal trend it makes sense to exclude that peak by using four years data.

We can see that distortion that the Pokemon year would have caused to the Australia data in the yellow bars of this chart. That could lead to the wrong conclusion that Australians love power banks every July.

Google Trends for power bank

Comparing 4 year and 5 year figures for power bank searches in Australia

Be careful what you search for

Look closely at the next picture which shows the data for power banks (plural) in yellow as well as the singular power bank search term. What a difference an "s" makes on Google Search.

Power bank singular and plural UK monthly searches

Power bank singular and plural UK monthly searches

We need to give some thought to search intent. Who and under what circumstances would a searcher choose singular or plural? A person running out of juice would probably use the singular whereas someone interested in power banks as a topic to learn more about them would use the plural. The intent to buy is more likely to be singular.

Although the trend is pretty similar you might not conclude that October is a duff month for advertising power banks.

Conclusions

Interest in power banks has seasonal fluctuations with increases in summer and Christmas. The UK shows the biggest summer fluctuation with the August peak being more than 40% higher than September.

Google Trends is a great place to get data for marketing but you need to take care what you choose and how you process it.

The outlook for 2021

Today it was announced Glastonbury is cancelled because of Covid-19. Probably other events will be cancelled too. That'll play havoc with our data.

The outlook for other festivals, outdoor event and travel situations require power banks are also likely to be severely muted in 2021. We guess that with the Covid vaccines being rolled out this summers peak of interest with be slightly better than 2020. However, travel restrictions could make the figure lower this year.