In the ecommerce world, summer season brings the inevitable summer sales slump. For new ecommerce merchants, this can be a slow time for your online store sales. If you’re already feeling the pressure of the summer sales slump, we’re here to help you get through it.
With a calm, cool and collected approach, you can successfully market and attract consumer traffic to grow your sales during the typically slow summer months.
Whether it’s your first summer season or fifteenth, the summer sales slump doesn’t single anyone out. The worst thing you can do during a sales slump is panic. It’s best to take a step back, carefully evaluate and understand your site’s data, and regroup with a strategic solution (we promise there is one).
With proper preparation and a rational sales plan you can survive the slow summer sale season like the pro ecommerce merchant you are.
When you know what to expect during a summer slump you can soften the blow.
Planning ahead is the best way to implement a strategy that eases the decrease in your shop’s summer sales. The first step in creating a new strategy is to check your analytics.
Be mindful of things such as seasonality, bounce rate, and what pages site visitors are arriving and leaving from. Get a good overall idea of your store’s various methods of online traffic acquisition. This will help you counteract any seasonal metrics that might be leading to a slump in sales.
Here are some stats to keep in mind as you plan for summer sales:
- Bounce Rate: Your bounce rate is how often customers visit a page on your site and then leave without any further interaction. If customers are leaving, that means they aren’t buying. The entire of goal of an ecommerce store is to sell. Ask yourself ‘why are people leaving your site without making a purchase?’ and determine how this can be fixed. Fixing a high bounce rate can help you reclaim your sales and keep visitors on your site longer.
- Landing Pages: Your landing page report in Google Analytics shows you exactly what pages people are entering your site on. This can help you determine where it might be most effective to add more products or sales copy.
- Exit Pages: Exit pages are pages on your site where users typically leave, or exit from. This is a great report that will help you zero in on problematic or frustrating pages that are causing customers to look elsewhere.
Landing and exit pages can help you generate leads for things like conversions and re-targeting ads to help improve sales.
Stay Connected and Network
The last thing you want to do during a summer sales slump is “go dark”. Stay connected with repeat customers and seek alternative leads for your sales funnel. Here a few ways to stay connected and network all summer long:
Automated Email Blasts and Social Media Posts
Generate a database of users who have opted in for email marketing to directly expose them to summer promotions and sale offers all season long. Also, setting up your social platform to post automatically during the summer months ensures that you maintain an active presence online.
Utilize Retargeting Ads
It’s always easier to sell to existing customers than it is to new customers. Segment your site visitors by products viewed or most recent purchases. Use segmentation as a way to guide your re-targeting ads. Segmentation allows you to generate creative and engaging ads that pertain to the products on your site that users have recently viewed or similar to products purchased. Re-targeting ads are a smart way to save money by promoting your brand to specific users with specific products they already expressed interest in. When done correctly, re-targeting ads can help your customers pick up where they left off and result in a sale.
Engage with Existing Customers on Social Media
Engaging with your followers is a great way to cultivate relationships with your current customers. Staying active with your social accounts can keep your brand from falling “out of sight and out of mind” with current and potential customers.
Consider Customer Incentives
Take care of your loyal customers and nurture their incentive to buy. Don’t compromise your business margins unnecessarily during the slow season with drastic and unreasonable price cuts. Look at negotiating for discounts as a means to an end – it’s a solution to your summer sales slump, but be smart about it.
Summer Sale Prices, Promotions & Discounts
Discounts have a big effect on consumer purchasing behavior because let’s face it, everyone loves a good deal. Discounts can create a sense of urgency and persuade shoppers to make a purchase sooner rather than later. It’s important that you learn what discounts work for you and don’t hurt your business’s profit margins. Test out different discounts and find what’s most effective in driving sales.
Plant the Seed to Drive Repeat Business
Generate a post-purchase email campaign that rewards recent buyers and drives repeat business. Existing customers are 9x more likely to convert and spend 500% more than new customers. A smart post-purchase email campaign includes either a discount offer on a re-order or additional order. As long as your buyer is happy with their purchase, this gives them the incentive to re-order the products or purchase something similar. Not only will this improve customer retention but it will also drive sales.
Take Advantage of the Summer Holidays
Summer holidays are prime opportunities to drive traffic. Use clearance sales, promotions, bundles, and discounts to encourage summer sales. The biggest summer holidays that drive e-commerce sales are Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Back-to-School. In 2018, 31% of consumers planned to their gift shopping online for Mother’s Day. For Back-to-School shopping, more than 55% of back-to-school consumers chose to shop online. Research your customer’s seasonal spending habits and capitalize on upcoming holidays to improve your summer sales.
Keep your brand close to the customer and be consistent. Consumers want to know what they can expect from you and when you’re inconsistent, you lose credibility. Maintaining relevance keeps your brand at the top of mind for your current and potential customers. Here are a few ways to maintain relevance during a summer slump:
Create New & Engaging Content
Give consumers content they can relate to on a regular basis. Authentic content that people can relate to will keep your customers coming back. Curate content that inspires and drives customers to desire the lifestyle of your brand. Most users scrolling through their social media are being advertised to through the use of high quality visuals. Take advantage of your social platforms as an avenue to build brand transparency and trust to improve social conversions and drive sales.
Sell Across Multiple Channels
If you start to notice a decrease in site visits, bring your products to your customers. Get the most out of your social media platforms by setting up you Facebook Shop, Shoppable Pins on Pinterest and Shoppable Posts on Instagram. Widening your product availability across multiple platforms increases the chances of your products being purchased.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile View
Consumers carry the world’s largest store in the palm of their hand every day. 79% of smartphone users made a purchase with their mobile device in the last six months, while 80% of shoppers used their mobile device while physically shopping in a store front to look up product reviews, compare prices and find alternative store locations. Mobile optimization should be user friendly, easy to navigate and have a simplified check-out process to avoid abandoned carts and encourage online sales.
Implementing these tactics can help alleviate the pressure of the summer sales slump. Take the time to invest in your business by learning about consumer spending habits and how to appeal to your target market. Know what works for your business and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to try something new or to make adjustments to your current strategy to encourage summer spending!