Summer is within sight and with it, the reality that the demand for online shopping tends to decrease during the summer months due to vacations and the fact that people will be spending more time outside without their mobile devices. Fortunately, you can strategically target the summer months with some changes in your marketing strategy. Seasonal campaigns are an effective way to keep your customers engaged in the summer months. Using a seasonal hook to promote your business will give you an added boost during this historically slower time of year.
Focus on the Holidays
Major holidays should be a sales focus throughout the year but especially during summer months. Fourth of July, Father’s Day, and Labor Day are perfect occasions to promote your business. Website messaging, social media promotions, and email campaigns will help you communicate the amazing deals customers can get through your brand. Because these are time sensitive holidays, be sure to post “last day to order” information to ensure that gifts arrive by the intended date.
Father’s Day – 3rd Sunday in June (June 16, 2019)
Father’s Day has gained momentum as a notable ecommerce sales date. Dads can be difficult to buy for which means there is an opportunity to influence shoppers with your own gift ideas. Create Father’s Day focused collections and buying guides to showcase the potential gifts your brand offers. By presenting consumers with gift choices, you allow them to focus on the purchase instead of the search.
Independence Day – July 4
The 4th of July tends to provide a major swing from typically slow summer sales. Americans get excited about this holiday and are more prone to impulse buys to show their patriotic side. Amplify any products or product bundles that might be relevant to the holiday. Gear content about services you offer to focus on a “get ready for the 4th” messages – “Are your toes sandal ready for the 4th of July? Schedule a pedicure NOW,” type of things.
Labor Day – 1st Monday in September (September 2, 2019)
Although many school calendars have shifted for an earlier, August start, Labor Day tends to mark the end of summer and the beginning of school. This time of the year is excellent for season end clearance sales to clear out your excess inventory. It is also a great time for sales focused on back to school items and services. (More about that later!)
Increase Your Presence in the Community
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, look for opportunities to participate in community events like street fairs, block parties, or festivals. Pop-up stores are also effective during this time of the year if you have the ability to go mobile. Be sure to heavily promote on your website, social channels, and in an email campaign, the different events your brand will take part in.
Promote Summer Gift Cards
Gift cards are an excellent way to grow your reach and bring in more customers. Offer gift cards with a summer theme. While the intent of these gift cards is to bring in more business during the slower summer months, we’d NOT recommend putting an expiration date on those gift cards but rather keep them valid for an extended period of time.
Offer Sales and Clearance Prices
Lower pricing for “this week only” or something similar is a good strategy to encourage conversions. Promote items related to the particular time of the summer or offer discounts on relevant products or services as each specific holiday rolls around. Get creative – you never know who might be willing to celebrate with a purchase for Teddy Bear Picnic Day on July 10!
Highlight Summer Trends
Consider what people do more often during the summer than other times of the year and what relevant products or services they may buy to fulfill their needs. Since these can also be time sensitive events, be sure to post information about the time needed to fulfill and ship orders to ensure that gifts, etc. arrive by the intended date.
Wedding season tends to start slowly in the spring and then ramps up to full speed during the summer months. Consumers are searching for wedding clothes, gifts, cards, and other wedding related services. The more convenient you can make that shopping experience, the better. Create specific landing pages and collections that let the customers focus on which of your groupings to purchase instead of wondering where to get started.
Whether it is from kindergarten, high school, or college, summer is a busy time for commencement ceremonies and graduation celebrations. Friends and family will want to purchase graduation gifts and will appreciate a preconceived gift basket or another grouping to make their decision easier. Graduations are another opportunity to capitalize on with your brand’s gift cards.
Vacation-related Products or Services
Summer months also see an increase in travel as families take advantage of school vacations. This is a great time to ramp up your marketing efforts for any products or services that might relate to travel or preparation for travel. You could even use messaging focused on after travel needs such as spa pampering for mom to give her a vacation from her vacation.
Back to School Sales
Sales focused on back to school are starting earlier and earlier as many school calendars continue to shift to mid or even early August start dates. So, May and June are not too early to start planning and even executing back to school marketing strategies and promotions. Remember to speak to all of the subgroups of your target audience – moms, teenagers who have started doing some of their own shopping, college students, and teachers. They need back to school clothes, supplies, and pampering services, too!
Clear Excess inventory
If you find yourself wondering what to do with leftover inventory from the spring or even winter, create an opportunity to move some products to make room for new items. Promote the discount opportunity with a special landing page focused solely on clearance and sales items. Add a pop-up or banner to your website and push out an email campaign that encourages your customers to get the “deal of the summer!”
Build Your Email List
Capturing email addresses is almost as important a priority as sales. By converting visitors into email subscribers, you can increase traffic conversion and also build your email list prior to the winter holiday season. Utilize an email pop up and consider including an incentive to get visitors excited about providing their contact information. You don’t necessarily have to offer a big-ticket item, you can use a small discount, a coupon for a specific item or service, or a small, free gift to encourage people to sign up for your emails.
Setup your Summer Promotions Today!
If you haven’t done so already, start setting up your summer and end of summer promotions. Focus on key dates and seasonal trends to drum up business during the slower sales months. Remember to capture as many email contacts as possible to help build your list for fall and winter holiday marketing, too.
The team at Strategy Driven Marketing understands the natural peaks and valleys that are part of growing and running a business. We also understand the importance of continuously working towards increased brand awareness, driving traffic to an ecommerce website, and keeping the conversion rate as high as possible, regardless of the sales season. We’d love to learn more about your business and help you create and execute a specifically tailored marketing plan that works for your brand throughout the calendar year. Contact us today to get started!