With customers heading out to enjoy summer getaways, the kids home from school, and very few holidays or reasons to spark a shopping trip, many retailers start experiencing sales slowdowns during this part of the year. However, the sizzle in those revenue numbers doesn’t have to fizzle if you focus on smart, season-specific retail sales strategies like these:
Change Pricing Up (Or, Rather, Down)
This may be the time to slash those prices to lower inventory and make room for new products you want to feature for upcoming occasions. For your physical store, create bold signage that alerts foot traffic to clearance opportunities.
If you are an online business, have a landing page with special deals so you can share the link to that page on social media to drive web traffic.
Introduce Summer-Themed Products
If you don’t typically carry season-specific items, then this might be the time to expand your product offering to assess customer interest. For example, that might mean summer clothing and accessories, beach products, vacation essentials, or personal care products for hot weather.
Engage with Customers on Social Media
While it may or may not stimulate summer sales, interacting with your audience on social media in an engaging way can keep your brand top of mind, leading to potential revenue.
Some ways to engage with customers include asking them to share pictures of their vacation photos with one or more of the products they use from you. This could even be the basis for a contest with prizes to encourage more participation.
Host a Store Event
Part of the challenge of summer sales is just getting customers into your store. Once there, you can enact other strategies like the aforementioned price reductions to stimulate purchases. Hosting an event and inviting your customer list or promoting it on your social media may help draw a crowd.
Depending on the type of retail business you operate, you might bring in a DJ, complimentary spa services, or catering. This encourages your customer base to stay awhile and turn shopping into an experience. Adding comfortable seating and decorations can add to the inviting festive mood.
Step Outside the Store and Web Presence
If the customer won’t come to you, then it’s time you go to them. Find out what community events and festivals are coming up in your surrounding area and then reserve a booth. Appearing alongside other retailers that appeal to the event’s demographics, your brand then aligns with the event's theme or intent.
Alternatively, you can explore other options like a kiosk at a retail center or a pop-up shop. These short-term experiences can provide a boost in summer income and introduce you to other potential customers.
If you are strictly an online business, then this strategy of festivals, community events, and kiosks is a way to meet your customers face to face, as well as create awareness with new prospects who weren’t familiar with your virtual brand.
Start Preparing for School Season
Many retailers can leverage the upcoming school season that for many start in August. That means as soon as July rolls around, you can start campaigns geared at things like school clothes and supplies, dorm room and college necessities, and more.
Plan your value message for the audience. That could mean variety, low-cost, or the idea of a one-stop shop just to name a few primary campaign concepts that speak to the audience’s pain points for this activity.
For example, set aside part of your store with signage to get parents and students quickly to what they need to buy. Or, on your website, create a landing page or mini-store within your online store that is for “Back to School.” Send coupons via text, email, or IoT device to encourage your customers to shop early as soon as your supplies arrive.
Leverage the “Christmas in July” Tactic
Amazon raised the bar high when they created their online holiday shopping days. Then, they went a step further and surprised consumers with the idea of Christmas shopping days in July. Since then, other major retailers have added the summer season of holiday savings strategy, and you can, too.
Physically decorate your store for a week when you host this holiday in July promotion, as well as create a virtual holiday version for your online store. Make it as festive as possible and highlight items that often make ideal gifts for that season, emphasizing how convenient it is to get some of your Christmas and Hanukkah shopping done as early as possible.
Make it Fun, and the Payoff Will Follow
Although the main point of these summer strategies is to drive greater seasonal revenue, it’s also good to simply enjoy this time period and these tactics. If you are having fun with these activities, it will shine through to your audience and rub off on them. This can only help your brand and build a better forecast of hot revenue figures.