As the days get longer and hotter, it’s time to begin thinking about how you can make the most of your summer marketing initiatives. The warmer season offers a great opportunity to engage with customers in creative ways while also building brand awareness. That said, it’s important to remain strategic about your summer campaigns to ensure you’re making the most of your budget and allocated resources.
Depending on your industry, the summer months are often associated with slower sales. Businesses often experience a summer slump where they experience less web traffic and sales, but that doesn’t mean the entire season is a write-off. Of course, those companies in the business of swimsuits or sunglasses will likely see an uptick, but in general, summer is a time when business slows down.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at a few ways you can prepare your brand for the summer season, including some fun marketing and summer sales ideas you can use to make a splash.
1. Understand your business’s forecast
Before launching a specific campaign, it’s important to understand how your business is already trending with the seasons. Studies actually show that consumer shopping habits differ depending on the weather. For example, shoppers might browse and shop online more on days that are cold and wet, while sales for certain items like cold drinks or garden furniture go up on hotter days.
Of course, your industry will play a part in understanding your business’s seasonal forecast, but to get a better idea, take a look at your audience demographic. Understand where they live, what activities they like, and how they shop to better predict how they’ll shop in the hotter months and will allow you to tailor summer marketing campaigns to their preferences.
2. Keep tabs on the biggest events of the summer
No, we don’t mean the Taylor Swift Eras Tour coming to your city this summer.
Create a calendar of dates that could be relevant to your e-commerce business to help organize sales and prepare for them in advance. Some holidays and events you might want to keep in mind include:
- Mother’s & Father’s Day
- Memorial Day Weekend
- 4th of July
- Labor Day
- Back to school
If you sell children’s clothes, you might want to line up your biggest summer campaign with the back-to-school rush in August. Alternatively, if you sell cookware, take advantage of family gatherings and BBQs surrounding Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day to optimize your campaigns.
3. Take advantage of the warm weather
Whether or not your e-commerce business has a brick-and-mortar location, you should look into planning certain outdoor events while the sun is out. For example, pop-ups or booths at outdoor summer markets can create more buzz for your brand.
You can also organize community gatherings in a park, a fun BBQ, or beach clean-ups to help connect with your audience in person. While this may not lead to immediate summer sales, it can help strengthen customer loyalty in the long run. For example, a workout apparel brand might organize yoga in the park or a beach workout class series to connect with their shoppers in different locations.
4. Get more summery with your content
There are so many ways you can add some summer flare to your content that will help make it more engaging. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
- Use summer-themed visuals in your campaigns and on social media, such as beach or pool scenes, activities like hiking or camping, and vibrant images and colors
- Spotlight summer items in your content and create collections for summer trends
- Publish posts on your blog or social channels that highlight how your products can be used for summer activities
- Create a summer playlist that accompanies your products for a fun bonus offer for shoppers
- Highlight user-generated content (UGC) that has a summer feel to it
- Post behind-the-scenes content on social media of your team enjoying summer activities (while sporting your products, of course!)
5. Target vacationers
85% of Americans plan on traveling this summer. That’s a lot of customers moving around the world! Take advantage of this by adding a vacation angle to your marketing materials. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Make sure your e-commerce experience is optimized for mobile for customers who are traveling and shopping on the go
- Use geo-targeting to reach vacationers where they are
- Partner with travel companies to create promotions that could entire vacationing customers, such as local B&Bs or hotels
- Create content such as trip suggestions, items that would complement certain destinations, and packing lists featuring your products
6. Create a customer appreciation event
A great way to avoid a slump in sales this summer and ensure your customers remain engaged rather than distracted by beach season and sunny weather is to put them in the spotlight. Launch a customer appreciation month or week in June, July, or August to drum up activity around your brand and deepen customer loyalty.
During your customer appreciation event, you should run several time-sensitive promotions or activities that help boost engagement. Here are a few ways you can accomplish this:
- Create a social campaign to encourage followers to share photos with your products that will then be shared on your profile.
- Run meet-ups for loyal customers that allow them to shop exclusive items, give input on next season’s collection, or shop with a member’s-only discount. You can also run this type of promotion online by offering exclusive content to members who are signed up for your loyalty program or newsletter
- Promote giveaways by encouraging your customers to sign up for your loyalty program or newsletter before your customer appreciation event to encourage engagement
- Offer multiple different discounts throughout the event, such as flash sales, discounts for customer feedback or reviews, or promo codes available only through your newsletter
7. Show up at local summer events
While most marketing is done online these days, it doesn’t have to be the only way to reach new customers. Go where your customers are this summer: outside.
Build up brand awareness by supporting a few local summer events in your own community or in areas where your target demographic is from. You can sponsor events such as marathons, community BBQs, junior sports events, or volunteer initiatives to help get your business’s name out there and show your involvement and commitment to the community.
8. Run a summer contest
Most people are likely to have more time in the summer to dedicate to a creative contest entry. Now’s the time to run a contest that goes deeper than simply clicking a link or reposting a story.
For example, you can ask your audience to create a themed photo using your brand’s products in order to win prizes such as gift cards, discount codes, or your brand’s products. This helps boost your brand’s visibility, increases customer engagement, and also gives you UGC from customers who are sharing their entries on social media.
Is your business ready for summer?
Some businesses actively look for ways to boost sales each summer, and our marketing tips are a great way to get started. However, some businesses, especially smaller e-commerce brands who want to enjoy the warmer months themselves, take summer as a time to refocus and regroup by bolstering their online presence before the holiday sales just around the corner.
Whatever your preference is, if you find yourself with extra time this summer, consider expanding your business to additional retailers and marketplaces to help get your brand in front of new audiences. Cymbio can help you do this effortlessly by integrating your existing e-commerce platform with major retailers so that you can sell your products on more platforms and grow your business.
Chat with one of our retail experts today to see how you can make the most of your time this summer to help your business succeed in the seasons ahead.