This week was the official start of summer and unfortunately for many online retailers that means lower than average sales.
Between vacations, summer camps and numerous outdoor activities, consumers are busy during the summer months and spending less time on their computers perusing online stores. According to web analytics firm SumAll, gross sales for online merchants in July decline by 30% from December highs, and the average order value falls almost 5% below the annual average.
Whether you face these summer lows or are lucky enough to dodge them, here are some tips for keeping your customers engaged and making the most of the summer months.
Seasonal Offerings: Summer seasonal sales are easier for some retailers than others, but just because you don’t sell bathing suits or grills doesn’t mean you can’t participate. Get creative this summer to keep your customers engaged with your brand. If you sell winter clothing or sporting goods create a campaign to encourage customers to “Beat the Heat” by dreaming of their ideal winter getaway and purchasing equipment in preparation.
Contests: Start a contest to keep customers engaged with your brand and visiting your website often. Manufacturers of consumers electronics like cameras or mp3 players could ask customers to submit pictures illustrating how they use their products while on vacation. Kid’s clothing and toy stores could start a contest for parents to submit their best ideas for keeping their kids entertained during the summer.
Mobile: Summer means consumers are spending more time away from their computers, but that doesn’t mean they are leaving their phones behind too. Make sure your site is mobile responsive and your marketing campaigns can easily reach them on their phones. Run Social Commerce campaigns to snag consumers as their scrolling through their news feed when they’re waiting in line at an amusement park.
Social Commerce Sharing: Create a Sharing and Referral campaign by creating incentives for your customers to share your brand across their social networks. Although people aren’t spending as much time at their desktops they are uploading vacation photos and checking out their friends pictures. Use this opportunity to grab their attention with an incentive for sharing a great deal from your favorite brand.
Free Shipping: Free shipping is a huge draw for customers to follow through on a purchase and rings even more true when they are looking for something last minute. If you sell typical vacation items like clothing, suitcases, cameras etc, offer free 1-day or overnight shipping to customers who are looking for quick delivery of the items they forgot to buy for their upcoming vacation.
The summer months don’t have to be a drag on your eCommerce store. Take the opportunity to get creative with your marketing and truly connect with your customers.