Summer is a favorite time of year for most people. For businesses, it may not be the ideal season. With consumers often opting to spend money on vacations, summer revenue tends to stagnate and even drop. In fact, it is so common that many businesses plan for it by suggesting that their teams take their vacations. Projects and campaigns get shelved.
Summer doesn't have to be a season of low revenue. Instead, there are tactics you could implement right now to make the most of the summer season for your retail business. Here are 7 ideas to consider:
1. Post Seasonal Content That is Relevant to Summer Activities
Whether it is your website, social media accounts, or, preferably, both, you can boost revenue by reminding your audience that you are a go-to source for their summer-time needs. The content doesn't even necessarily have to directly relate to your product or service portfolio.
Keeping it relevant to what you do, for example, you might offer summer recipes if you are a restaurant or summer vacation/staycation ideas if you are a retailer. By providing content they need, your audience will keep you top of mind when they need to purchase items for their summer plans more so than a competitor that doesn't.
2. Launch On-Demand and Delivery Service Options
The good thing about slow is the idea that you can try out new customer experiences with time to tweak them. Plus, if you can get it right, you have found a new revenue stream to boost those summer numbers. On-demand services have proved to be very successful with consumers because they like the idea of buying online and picking up in the store on their schedule.
This gives the customer more control over their purchase, which often gets them to buy more. Additionally, you may also want to consider a delivery service option, especially when new service providers, like Door Dash and Uber delivery services, are available to give you the logistics and resources to easily add this to your service offering.
3. Personally Contact Your Customer Base
Not many people actually call anymore, so stand out from the crowd by taking five customers a day and calling them to thank them for their business and highlight specials or promotions. Look for those that may have listed a summer birthday so you can use this as a starting point for the personal contact.
Even if they don't pick up the phone, leave a message. If you aren't sure about this, it's still okay to opt for the text message route with the same messaging.
4. Update Your Pricing Structure
There's always the fear that you'll lose customers by raising your prices, which is probably why you haven't dared to do so in years. However, this is the time to stop operating by fear and start boosting those revenues. Customers that appreciate the value you bring will stay with you regardless. They understand that prices do go up over time.
While you can't use this opportunity to raise it to where it should be because that would scare all your customers away, you do want to raise it in order to achieve greater revenue. Also, make customers aware of why you are raising prices like some restaurants and retailers have done in terms of the minimum wage increases.
5. Add New Products
A summer slowdown also gives you space and time to try out new products similar to the aforementioned services. Look for seasonal items or products that customers have recently asked about. Then, find vendors to help you offer those and promote them like crazy on all your channels. If you are a restaurant, create a seasonal menu that is only available for a short time. Even retail products can be billed as limited-time items to encourage more purchases.
Also, let your regular customers know there are new products that they need to try and provide feedback on. You can do this by contacting them directly through email, text, or phone.
6. Change Your Graphics
Your customers and audience are in a summer-time mood. Your business should reflect this same spirit. While you may already add seasonal graphics during the holidays, it's good to change them up during the summer season. These visuals will be engaging and may even encourage your audience to buy.
For example, put a beach or other summer symbol photograph as a cover or profile photo on your social media sites. Add summer graphics to your website or special summer promotions landing page. You may even add some summertime videos featuring your staff or photos of your team enjoying the summer. Ask customers to send in their best summer holiday pics and feature those.
7. Participate or Sponsor Local Events
With so much online activity, offline events have become more popular again as a way to reconnect with each other. More towns and cities are having festivals and fairs. This is an opportunity to boost summer revenue and make in-person connections with your audience. As a restaurant, you may want to get involved in a food festival or, as a retailer, offer a booth at a summer fair.
You may also want to invest in a sponsorship that gets your brand noticed in more places besides just at the local event. This marketing tactic provides a way to get coverage online and direct connection to your website. You'll also be able to be featured in any event collateral that can keep you top of mind with the audience long after the event ends.
Don't dread the summer for what you think it will do to your balance sheet. Instead, see it as an opportunity. Invest in the technology to leverage new revenue opportunities. Make the most of these tactics, which also allow you to enjoy and have fun with what you are doing. Get into the spirit of summer and your audience will be inspired to buy from you.