NEW YORK – TECH – It’s summertime and the living is easy—unless you’re an online retailer facing the dreaded seasonal slump. Many ecommerce entrepreneurs see the vast stretch of time between Mother’s Day and back-to-school buying as an annual challenge to their bottom line, and for good reason. Web analytics startup SumAll found that gross online sales in July decrease by 30 percent compared to their peak in December.
But despite this (sometimes daunting) outlook for summer online sales, it’s not time to sit back and hang all your hopes on the next traditional holiday season. It’s time to focus, double down your efforts and maximize your impact between June and September. Start with these four tactics to keep ecommerce sales strong this summer.
“Summerize” Your Marketing
Summer is more than just a time period; it’s a mood. Most shoppers could close their eyes and conjure up exactly what summer means to them, whether it’s full of cool days at the lake house, loved ones gathered around for a cookout, lightning bugs flashing above the freshly mowed lawn or cross-country road trips with the whole family. Summer evokes plenty of nostalgia and a return to tradition: strawberry shortcake, corn on the cob, fireworks, sunscreen, chlorine and green grass.
Part of any successful summer-focused marketing program is tapping into that feeling. Tailor your marketing and design to match the mood of summer. CommerceClinic recommends “adopting a brighter, bolder color palette and summery designs for products, web design, social media backgrounds and newsletters.”
And don’t forget about the ever-growing power of video! Creating a series of summer-focused product videos will liven up your website and make your marketing plan more impactful. After all, including “video” in the subject line of an email boosts open rates by 19 percent and click-through rate (CTR) by 65 percent.
Launch a New Line
Launching a new product, line or bundle during a typical lull can drive strong sales and help you stand out among competitors. First, build hype for the release date with content and social media promotions. Thanks to the scalability of modern enterprise ecommerce platforms, your store will help you handle the unseasonable rush and host a must-attend virtual sales event for new and returning customers.
Encourage Customer Loyalty
Part of running a successful website is brand building. You want your customers to stay loyal to your brand through seasons, years and product lineups. Summer is the perfect time to roll out a loyalty program that makes it worth their while to shop throughout the year. As Neil Patel writes for Forbes, a well-crafted loyalty program will encourage customers to make consistent purchases, even during the typical slow season.
Promote Seasonal Holidays
Sure, summer may technically be as far from Christmas or Black Friday on the calendar as you can get. But there are a number of key sales opportunities unique to this season. In 2017, you’ll want to craft your retail schedule around Father’s Day (June 18), Independence Day (July 4) and Labor Day (Sept. 4). Work on increasing traffic to your online store with promotions leading up to these key dates. Even if you don’t sell summer-specific merchandise, your promo codes and copy can still take a creative approach to channeling the season.
This summer, fight the slump with marketing and ecommerce sales strategies that show the world what your store has to offer year-round. After all, while your shoppers are jetting off to new locales on vacation or lounging poolside, they’ll likely have their phones in hand or tablets in tow. It’s a great time to reach your customer base and achieve your sales goals.