How to prepare for the eCommerce summer lull
The summer months can present a real problem for eSellers. With business slowing down by as much as 30%, some sellers can really feel the pain of the summer lull. But the savvy business owner will seize this opportunity to refine, tweak, and revamp their business practices to maximize this slow season for optimal sales and growth.
In fact, there are several ways that you can keep your eCommerce business churning, even increasing sales, when the weather warms up. These are some expert tips on how eSellers can brace themselves for that seasonal jolt.
Tip #1: Diversify your product offering
If you have a limited product selection that curbs your sales season, consider branching out to include additional items related to your product. For example, if you sell winter boots exclusively, perhaps try bringing in a line of summer sandals, flip flops, or water clogs to help improve summer sales. Diversifying your offerings will broaden your customer pool and give your products a longer sales reach.
Tip #2: Change things up
Giving your website a summer sprucing-up can affect the way shoppers interact with your brand. Customers like seeing a fresh design periodically (in fact, 93% of customers actually feel the way a website looks is one of the most influential deciding factors in purchasing decisions), and updating the site, sales, or products for the season will give your brand a more inviting feel. You can also add a seasonal pop up that takes less time and effort than an entire website redesign, or send out seasonal emails, promotions, or newsletters.
Source: Expert Reviews
Tip #3: Get ready for Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day is a one-day sale that Amazon hosts to boost sales and get business churning during the slower season. Esellers give discounts, promote their products, and offer free shipping on orders. Is it effective? Last year’s Prime Day increased sales from the previous year by 60%, selling hundreds of millions of items on that single day and attracting roughly 50 million visitors.
To get ready for the globally-anticipated event, eSellers should
- Review their inventory, bulk up on hot selling items, and consider price reductions for less popular items that just need to be moved already.
- Create promotions to attract more sales.
- Advertise using Amazon’s sponsored products feature.
- If you don’t have it already, consider FBA, Amazon’s fulfillment arrangement that takes care of storing, packaging, and shipping.
- Beef up your customer support to handle the influx of questions, issues, and orders.
Tip #4: Use buzz to drum up biz
Slower months usually occur when people are distracted. So if you want your eCommerce to thrive, you’re going to have to get their attention! Wake people up with colorful ad campaigns, exciting announcements, social media contests, and fun industry news or giveaways to get customers to notice you, start talking, and most of all, start shopping again.
Macy’s colorful summer ad from 2016
A huge summer sale on Asos in 2011
Tip #5: Optimize for mobile
One of the main reasons summer months are slower is because people are outdoors more away from their computer screens and the comfortable auto-shopping experience you get online. So when the weather gets hotter, it’s time to update your mobile experience for customers on the go. Make sure your website is mobile-optimized so the experience is smooth, fast, and clean on all devices, and update your mobile app if you have one. You can also offer special mobile offerings and exclusive deals via text messages, email or the mobile app to attract mobile users.
Tip #6: Update your look
We mentioned earlier how important visual appearance is to consumer behavior, and this is even more important to the average eSeller since their entire business is solely based online. For this reason, the summertime lull is the best time to upgrade your appearance. This means looking at your product images and updating the ones that are outdated, unclear, or too small, adding more descriptive or persuasive descriptions, and adding keywords when appropriate. These tweaks will provide a better user experience and boost sales.
Tip #7: Use promotions to move products
Slower months are the perfect time to run a promotional sale, offer a loyal customer discount, or create a unique giveaway of some sort. You can use this to move stagnant inventory that just isn’t selling, or you can even promote best selling items with a discount to get people to come in and buy. If you don’t have one already, implement a loyalty program to encourage spending as well.
Tip #8: Make a thorough accounting
If you’ve got the time on your hands anyway, why not take an overall look at your business, and see which areas need improving? When was the last time you added new content to your site? Providing a newsletter, how to videos, style guides, beginner’s tips, and other helpful advice for shoppers can increase your appeal and your SEO standings. How does your website UX feel? If your site is slow, hard to navigate, unappealing, or missing something, now’s the time to change that. Fix up your website so it is a pleasure for customers to use. Go through the rest of your business practices from return policies to customer service responses and more to see where you can improve and how.
Bottom line, eSellers need to shift gears during the slow season in order to attract customers and make the sales. It’s also a time to take stock of how you’re doing business and make any changes, tweaks, and improvements that can help put your business in a better light.