For many retailers, summer isn’t exactly the high season. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a bust.
With summer about to go into full swing, have you thought about how you’ll boost business for your retail store this season?
Boost Summer Retail Sales
If your store is in an outdoor mall, on a city street or other location with an actual outdoor entrance, foot traffic is likely to increase as more people take advantage of the nice weather to stroll outside.
Draw in these passersby by taking your business outside, too. More than just window signs, which are easy to ignore, use signage that juts out onto the sidewalk or walkway so it can’t be missed. Tie a few balloons to a sidewalk easel promoting a sale or new summer merchandise. Also consider putting out water bowls for dogs so their owners will stop a moment in front of your establishment to refresh their pets.
Simple ideas like these are all it takes to make your store stand out from the rest.
Sponsor or Participate in Local Events
Find out what events will be going on in your community this summer that are relevant to your customer base. Then figure out how you can participate.
For instance, is there a marathon or walkathon where your sporting goods store could set up a booth to sell fitness gear? Even if the event rules don’t allow you to sell products, you could still market your business by donating water bottles, handing out sports drinks (along with coupons for your store) or becoming a sponsor.
Tap Into Tourists
Does your local area enjoy an influx of tourists in the summer? To capture their dollars, see if you can partner with local businesses that cater to tourists, such as hotels, bed and breakfast inns, restaurants or tour companies.
Ask the business owners if you can cross-promote by putting brochures, sale notices or business cards in their locations (offer to do the same for them, of course). Find out about advertising on their websites.
Does your city or chamber of commerce print maps for tourists? Often, these include local businesses as landmarks, or ads from local businesses. See if your business can be included in the map and/or advertise on it.
Throw a Party
Create excitement by hosting a summer event at your store that includes free giveaways, music, refreshments, face-painting for kids—whatever activities make sense for your store.
Mail and/or email your customers party invitations that can be redeemed for a discount or a free gift with purchase. You can make the event exclusive by focusing on VIPs outside of normal store hours, or open it to the public.
Make it a Group Effort
Market your store with other business owners in your shopping center or on your street by hosting a summer sidewalk sale. (Check zoning regulations or shopping center rules before planning this, of course.)
Everyone sets up tables outside the store with merchandise at extra-deep discounts. You have more stuff inside (at both sale and regular prices) to attract customers into the store. You can add to the fun by getting local restaurants involved to sell “tastes” or snacks outside, too – this energizes shoppers and keeps fussy kids happy.
Shopping With Dog Photo via Shutterstock
While some businesses receive a boost in sales in summer, some businesses experience the opposite. But I do see the value of your suggestions here. It will really pay if you put an extra effort into marketing especially in these slow times.