From family vacations to weekends floating on the boat, summer is a time best spent soaking up the sun. While temperatures heat up during these warmer months, retailers often find themselves experiencing a sales chill. In July 2017 alone, total sales decreased nearly 10 percent in the late summer. Despite these frigid numbers, there are ways retailers can help defrost their summer sales.
Reach Consumers Creatively
Social media has provided a cost-effective method to reach a variety of demographics simultaneously. Creating a strong social following is critical to getting consumers engaged with your content and into stores. Incentivizing your customers through social — e.g., having them share a photo of their summer vacation for a discount coupon — is a simple tactic. The exchange of images creates an interactive experience and can help to quickly build an engaged and loyal group of followers.
Leverage Popular Summer Events
Every year, Americans spend an average of $24.9 billion on back-to-school items. By focusing on significant summer events like this or summer holidays, retailers target shoppers in search of items tied to those key dates. From notebooks and pencils to tech accessories and even furniture, event-driven advertising can motivate shoppers toward a purchase. To entice consumers even more, attach a deal for specific items related to these events.
Create Additional Protection
Many big-ticket items need protection. From outdoor activities to moves to college, consumers’ items are susceptible to damage. For retailers, offering warranty protection on a variety of items is a great way to help consumers protect their purchases. Not only do warranty options help consumers long term, but they also help retailers create an additional line of revenue during those tough summer months.
Thank Your Customers
Customer loyalty is an important part of success for every retailer. In order to keep customers coming back, especially during slower stretches, it’s important to show them appreciation. Take the time to acknowledge long-term customers, letting them know how much they’re valued. And don’t forget your new customers! Sending them a post-purchase email with a special offer can go a long way towards getting them to come back again. Not only will this grab their attention, but it can deepen relationships and possibly get them into your shop for a return visit a bit sooner.
While the summer months might be chilly for many retailers, creative solutions can change the sales climate. By using social media, leveraging summer events, offering product warranty protection, and recognizing loyal customers, you can heat up your summer sales.
Steve Davidson is the vice president of Fortegra’s Warranty Product Group, where he spearheads business development and client support for the company’s consumer and commercial product service contracts.
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Steve Davidson is vice president of Fortegra’s Warranty Product Group, where he spearheads business development and client support for the company’s consumer and commercial product service contracts, helping deliver customized risk management, regulatory compliance, and administrative solutions. A graduate of Eastern Illinois University with more than 25 years of industry experience, Steve has played a critical role in growing Fortegra’s warranty business, advancing the company’s service offerings through retail and commercial distribution channels.