For some businesses, summer sales are sluggish. Customers are busy planning trips, hitting the beach and enjoying some fun in the sun. It’s all the more reason to create several summer-specific promotions to increase your sales this season.
The ideas below can be used anytime during the summer, but research indicates that July is a particularly slow month. Some businesses see a 30 percent reduction in sales in July, compared to December, when the holiday amped up sales.
Don’t give in to the summer sales slump, use these four marketing ideas and promotions to add some sunshine to your sales figures:
1. Lower prices as temperatures rise
When there’s a scorcher in the forecast, celebrate the summer blast with a promotion. This promotion shouldn’t require a lot of work. You don’t need special banners, or months of lead-time to promote the event, just keep it simple.
Send customers a text message on the 100-degree day that offers customers a deal based on the heat wave. For example, “Beat the heat with 15% off a cup of ice coffee” or “Cool off with 10% off all summer apparel.”
Make sure your promotion mentions something about the weather. Use phrases like “heat wave,” “beat the heat,” “cool off” or “fun in the blazing sun.” Pair that with a discount or an incentive to get customers to come by your store.
2. Get outside
If your shop is in a plaza, or a spot that has high foot traffic, consider setting up a table outside. Rather than waiting for customers to come to you, go to them.
Have an employee or two run a small sidewalk sale on summer-themed items, or set up a summer giveaway and enter shoppers to win as they walk through the plaza.
Consider giving something small away that encourages shoppers to follow you on social media, or check out your website. For example, a salon could hand out free samples of a new shampoo that’s available in store with a small tag that encourages shoppers to check out the new line of products that are currently featured on your Facebook page.
The idea here is to shake it up. Get outside to meet and greet new and existing customers.
3. Grab some sidewalk chalk
Sidewalk chalk might be your child’s favorite summer toy, but you can turn it into a marketing tool too. You can go as simple or as elaborate as you want.
Running a summer promotion? Share the details on the sidewalk. For instance, you can write “5 Summer Deals for $5” on the sidewalk outside of your shop. Or, you can step it up by hiring a chalk artist. (Yes, they exist).
People love to watch the art take shape too, so consider blocking off a small section of the sidewalk and have the artist work on the picture during the day. That way, people walking by can watch the process. It’s sure to stop traffic, and encourage shoppers to come inside.
Of course, you should be a good business neighbor. Don’t clog the sidewalks, or impede traffic to another store. And it’s a good idea to mention it to neighboring businesses too, just so they’re aware. Who knows, they may want to team up with you.
4. Plan a “thank you” event
Customer appreciation sales are always a good idea, and can happen anytime throughout the year. However, summer is a particularly good time to hold an event.
The most common customer appreciate events provide a discount to customers, and maybe a few treats like free snacks or a small piece of merchandise. That works, but remember not every event has to sell goods, sometimes focusing on customer relations is just as important.
Consider hosting a community picnic and invite your most loyal customers. Break out the barbeque and offer a light lunch as a token of your appreciation.
If you run a sales-based business, you might consider taking your loyal clients out for a round of golf or to see a baseball game. These kinds of events provide a pressure-free atmosphere to network and get to know your client’s needs moving forward.
Yes, these events cost money, so you don’t want to invite every customer that walks in your door. Reserve this kind of event for the VIP only. Your return on investment can be invaluable as you build trust and loyalty with your most valuable clients.
What promotions are you planning this summer? Feel free to share your ideas with others in the comment section below.