As temperatures rise, retail sales might tend to cool down. While warmer temps less impact online sales, brick and mortar operations may want to invest time and resources to attract consumer traffic this summer.
Whether your retail store is primarily online or has physical locations, there are ways to capitalize on the summer selling season by employing some seasonal sales-boosting strategies.
Here are the 10 summer marketing ideas to bring buyers back into your retail store.
1. Seasonal and Smart outdoors
Foot traffic tends to increase during the steamy summer months for locals and tourists, so make sure your visual merchandising stops them all in their tracks. Grab shoppers’ attention by setting up display tables or racks out in front of your store, creating a fun and attractive window display, and using promotional signage on the sidewalk.
2. Host a summer event.
Summer is a time for celebration, so you can create an in-store event just as you offer a deal or contest on your social media channels. Whether a promotional party, product demonstration, or a free class, it’s a great way to introduce your business to new customers, push new products, and get rid of excess inventory. Even if customers don’t buy at the event, they’ll eventually convert.
Many cities might host summer festivals, markets, or events where local retailers can set up booths or tents to sell their products.If you can’t set up a booth, become a sponsor and hang a banner. If you can’t sell, hand out information. Go to where your customers are to make potential customers aware of your store and your products and services.
3. Bump up your social media strategy
A great way to boost sales is to increase your output on social media. Set up a schedule that adds specialized summer content and keeps your social media pages busy and fresh. Hold a closet sale via Facebook Live, announce a date and time for a deal, and spend 30-60 minutes selling new and leftover inventory. Invite all of your social media followers to join you. Email your customers regularly about new products, planned events, and special summertime offers. Take the time to say thank you for supporting your business. Being more active on social media will naturally create more leads and opportunities.
4. Take advantage of tourists
If your town gets a lot of tourists during the summer, promote your store to visitors by handing out flyers at your local welcome center and contacting tour companies to create an exclusive offer for their customers. You also make sure that you’re listed on review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google Places, and social media to ramp up your efforts online to increase your visibility. You may reward your traveling customers for talking about you on social media, sharing a photo of them on summer vacation wearing or using one of your products, and tagging you in the image.
5. Create a unique experience
Consumers will come back to your store for an experience, not just for products, so create something your own, whether an in-store demo or class, a take-home trial, or an on-site expert.
The aesthetics are crucial to keeping customers in-store once they arrive, from the music playing in your shop to the seating areas you offer. Encourage them to stick around longer by providing free Wi-Fi, refreshments, and a clearance bin in the back of the store. Shoppers appreciate a good deal. The key is to offer them more than just a shelf full of products. Give them something they’ll want to tell their friends and family about.
Add value instead of cutting prices by offering holiday bundles of several products in a bag at a discounted price. These unique experiences serve as great marketing tools, but they also boost goodwill among your client base.
6. Hold a contest
Incorporate the season into your contest while customizing it to reflect the type of business you operate. Hold a contest or giveaway to encourage your customers to submit designs for limited edition products and reward them with discounts on the final products. Not only do you keep your loyal customers involved and invested and engaged in your brand, but you also get great ideas for designs and products that customers want.
Sponsoring social media content is also a great way to generate excitement during a slow time in the sales season. Since the goal is to increase interaction and build brand awareness, make sure the prize is related to your brand or products. It’s also a great way to help clear out extra inventory that may be taking up space on your shelves.
7. Partner with Another Business
Collaborating with a complementary business and co-promote a sale can be a great way to boost sales for both parties. Choose a retailer that is geographically close to you or serves the same audience and develop a combined sale, event, or just join forces for a mailing to your customer lists. Combine your efforts in a joint email sent to both of your customer lists, and offer a discount for purchases at the other party’s stores. Not only will you have the added benefit of sharing customers, but you’ll also share the workload and the rewards.
8. Launch a summer loyalty program
This summer, invite customers to sign up for a program that will reward them for shopping with you. You could also give a percentage off after they spend a certain amount, which you track, or after a certain number of visits to the store. A fun promotion or special offer is another way to increase loyalty to your business. You can also entertain your best clients by treating them to a classic summer event, like a warm evening at the ballpark, or rent a pontoon or houseboat for a day of cruising and barbecuing.
9. Try Something New
Retailers looking to overcome the summer slump may consider announcing a new product at this time of year. With fewer new items on the market at this time, your product is more likely to stand out and attract attention. Introducing specialized products or services for the summer season gives you the opportunity to test them with a smaller audience to gauge their appeal. Using these summer marketing ideas to try new things can help your business become more versatile. You can see what works for your business and what doesn’t.
10. Create or stock limited edition summer products.
This is the perfect time to create or stock limited edition products that cater to the summer months and travelers. For example, Starbucks’ Lilly Pulitzer water bottles flew off the shelves quickly. Of course, it’s not possible to partner with a large brand for your special product, but every retailer can design seasonal products such as mugs and T-shirts that will appeal to your shoppers through sites like CafePress and Vistaprint or Printful. You may have a contest and ask your customers to submit designs to be featured on limited-edition merchandise.
You can also pursue local publicity to promote your summer products, send out press releases containing tips related to your products and services, announce any industry honors or awards you’ve won, and ask local media for upcoming events to be added to the community calendar.
Create and publish fresh summer-themed content consistently on your blogs and social media posts, use targeted keywords to drive traffic to your site, promote your relevant products and services, and convert readers into customers.
These are just a few summer marketing ideas for generating more sales during a slower season. The most important thing is to reach out to your employees and customers to see what ideas they have on boosting sales. This allows both parties to feel like they have a say in their work and sales experience, which improves overall morale.
Summer is a good time for everyone to relax, so don’t stress out if you’re not meeting your goals. Implementing these summer marketing ideas is a great start if your business feels the inevitable effects of the summer slowdown.
ChainDrive is the Key to Driving Summer Sales Revenue
ChainDrive interacts with the indoor and outdoor Sports, Apparel, and Gear market and helps you run your business better during the summer months. ChainDrive’s fully integrated end-to-end retail management solution helps retailers manage their operations better from store to store and across their entire chains. You can seamlessly manage seasonal inventory, product assortments, prices, promotions, and your warehouses. Sports retailers can also perform intelligent size analysis on athletic footwear. With automatic replenishment and smart allocation features, your stores will be more profitable and efficient. You can manage your POS, your customers, and your products better.
Ready to implement these summer marketing ideas into your retail store? You want a commerce platform that can keep up. Get a free demo to see if ChainDrive is the right retail management system for you.