June 23, 2017 Cindy Bendel

Don’t Let Summer Slow Your Sales Down

Summer can be a slow time for retail. People spend less time on their phones and computers and more time outdoors and away for vacation. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until September before the sales pick up again.  Here are some ideas to keep your sales going.

Blog articles. Think about what your customers are doing for the summer. They may be taking vacations to the beach or Disney. They may have backyard or pool parties.  And definitely lots of barbecues. It’s a good opportunity to write blog articles in relation to these activities. Like if you sell kids items for instance. You could write an article about slumber party ideas, then mention some of your products. Cozy pillows and blankets would be great for these sleepovers.

Fourth of July. Now is the time to promote any Independence or Patriotic theme products you have. Keep in mind that it’s just as easy to buy a 4th of July t-shirt at the grocery store, so your designs will have to be unique and cannot be found anywhere else.

Christmas in July.  The first I heard about it was when I was in the hospital to delivery my baby (on July 25th of course). The ward was decorated for the holidays and there was a party taking place.

I believe the concept of Christmas in July originated in Australia, where it can be hot and humid in December and quite the opposite in the summer. It has since grown to become a big retail promotion. And it’s a good opportunity to drum up the excitement of the holidays and promote your products. People love Christmas, and believe it or not some shop for it year-round! You don’t necessarily have to have holiday theme products. But customers will expect sales like they see in November and December. You don’t have to follow suit, sometimes it can be a race to the bottom. Maybe you can have a sale on one particular item. Or maybe you can create a design that incorporates the holidays and summer. Something fun and a conversation piece.

Back to School. When August rolls around people start thinking ahead to the next school year. Good items to promote including clothing, backpacks and notebooks.

Start building up to the holidays. Summer is a great time to build your email lists, to work on branding and creating awareness for your business. It’s also a great time to engage your customers and get to know them. Find out what they like, what they get excited about. It’ll help you come up with some good products when the holidays roll around.

It’s also a good time to plan and get organized. It’s never too early to develop a timeline of order deadlines and turnaround times. Think about what promotions you want to run. The holidays get really crazy, the more you prep now hopefully the more smoothly things will go.

It’s also a good time to reflect on last year’s holiday season – what went well and what didn’t.  What products sold and what didn’t.  What were some big customers service issues?  And once you think through all these, what changes will you make this year?

Personally for me, I was disappointed in some of the fulfillment companies. I had lengthy delays in processing times, some customers didn’t receive their order in a timely manner. Then some customers received products damaged in shipment. Or the fulfillment company did a rush job and produced a poor quality product. It was frustrating. And I understand these things happen during the holidays.  But these problems led me to search for companies that I could trust with product quality and customer service.

I know this is short list, Have any other ideas?  Chime in the comments below and feel free to share your thoughts.