When the summer months hit, it’s an unfortunate reality for eCommerce retailers that while the temperatures rise, sales commonly decline. This drop in revenue can be quite significant, with a potential decline of up to 30 per cent in comparison to their peak sales months.
In “normal” pre-COVID times, this was as a result of customers travelling, taking time out and simply not spending as much time browsing online as they would at other points during the year. Although the pandemic will now see many holidaymakers staying on home turf this year, eCommerce businesses will still find themselves struggling to boost sales, with staycations and an exit from lockdown tempting people to drop their devices for the first time in a long time.
The good news is that there are strategies that can be adopted to encourage an increase in both engagement and sales over the sunny months. Take the heat off your eCommerce business this summer by considering the following top tips.
Make your website summer suitable
A sure-fire tip for success is to place your focus on items that will get most traction in summer. Whether you are a skincare consultancy, local boutique, pet shop or garden centre, identify your products or offerings that best suit the season and highlight these throughout the summer months. By updating your offering, you remain current and valuable to your audience.
In addition, customers with a summer mindset are more likely to purchase products that enhance this feeling, so get ahead of the game by ensuring that your website is summer-ready in good time. Review your landing page and update accordingly using fonts and colour palettes suited to the season.
If your summer inventory has just arrived, place attractive images of these items front and centre so that any visitors to your site will automatically be enticed to click and hopefully, head for the checkout.
Reward (and retain) existing customers
Your customers may be on a summer break, but that doesn’t mean you need to take a step back. Gently remind them that you are here and ready for their return by offering incentives such as discount codes and loyalty rewards. These exclusive customer rewards might be just the nudge they need to continue purchasing from you throughout the silly season.
As well as incentivising your existing audience, consider offering a promotional discount to new email subscribers. This will increase your customer base and subsequently, summer sales.
Get your shipping in shape
Ensure client satisfaction and repeat custom this summer with a hassle-free, reliable shipping and delivery service. By outsourcing your order fulfilment requirements to a specialist company like ParcelPlanet, you create a positive customer experience from dispatch to delivery.
The perks of partnering with ParcelPlanet include speedy delivery, with the option of same- and next-day; late order cut-offs; great returns service; choice of delivery companies; and high accuracy. As well as offering peace of mind to the customer, outsourced order fulfilment alleviates pressure on the business owner, with 90 per cent of all ParcelPlanet deliveries completed direct to end-user on behalf of the dealer, utilising the dealer’s own paperwork as part of the delivery.
Showcase your collections
Create “collections” on your website, which can be grouped by theme or season and complement these with ‘Related Items’ or ‘Suggested for You’ options. For example, a customer that clicks into your ‘Beachwear’ tab in search of the perfect swimsuit might be notified of a matching pair of flip flops through the ‘Related Items’ archive, which in turn could lead to not one, but two sales on the part of a single customer.
Creating a user-friendly experience by grouping and correlating products condenses the customer’s choice and makes it more likely for them to find what they are looking for, and more importantly, commit to the purchase.
Promote a summer competition
Everyone loves the idea of winning a prize and if you’re not in, you can’t win, right? Encourage existing or potential customers to enter a summer-specific competition via your social media channels in a bid to drive traffic to your website and boost your subscribers.
By placing an attractive prize up for grabs, you will increase engagement during a quiet period, while also growing your email database for further promotions down the line. Furthermore, with many customers opting to indulge in retail therapy at the beginning of the week, launching a competition on a Monday or Tuesday may also improve your potential for success.
Hold a summer sale
With lots of new customers to speak to thanks to a successful competition giveaway, what better time to hold a seasonal sale? Issue email alerts to notify your audience of an upcoming sale, while also promoting the event across your social media channels. Base the sale around annual summer events and occasions, such as Father’s Day, or hold a random promotion that offers customers a certain percentage off certain items (20% off sun-safe products, for example) for a limited time.
A late summer sale could also provide an opportunity to clear out soon-to-be dated inventory, while still appealing to customers looking to make the most out of what remains of the warmer weather.
Give back to your customers
Your success as an eCommerce business is largely dependent on customer loyalty and satisfaction, so keep your audience onside this summer by giving a little back. Offer your customers some behind-the-scenes info that is seasonally appropriate. You may be a retailer that specialises in contemporary accessories, in which case you could share a video across your social platforms that detail your top tips for jewellery layering for summer.
Perhaps your business revolves around cosmetics, and you could highlight the steps to creating a summer glow that is perfect for beach days and nights within a blog shared on your website. Whatever your business is, make it your business to engage with your customers so that they continue to come back for more.
Outsource your ecommerce order fulfilment today
To discuss the possibility of outsourcing your ecommerce order fulfilment, get in contact and speak with one of our Customer Success Managers today. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +353 1 902 9510 (Ireland) or +44 1 6043 00340 (UK).