The summer months are an ideal time for eCommerce store owners to create seasonal campaigns, experiment with new summer marketing ideas, and engage new customers.
Summer is traditionally a slower season for online shopping, and with continued concerns around COVID 19, website traffic and sales will likely remain unpredictable.
Thus, it’s important to implement summer marketing ideas by relying on traditional best practices for sales and discounts, and budgeting to experiment with new, fun ideas to engage your local community and boost conversions.
In this article, we’ll cover 12 summer marketing ideas to give your online store a sales boost and drive deeper engagement with your customers.
12 Ideas and Best Practices for Summer Marketing
1. Boost Revenue With Holiday Sales
Summer holidays are traditionally prime opportunities for eCommerce companies to run special sales and promotions themed around the specific holiday.
Customers have been conditioned to look for these bargains, and tend to be in a shopping mood. From the fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day to father's day, you can implement several targeted summer marketing ideas to sell specific products.
2. Test Exclusive Summer Offerings
Customers love an exclusive offer. It creates a sense of urgency and feeling they are purchasing a scarce product or service. These can come in the form of bargains on old inventory, buy 1 one get 1 offers, or a completely new idea.
If you’ve got the budget, consider creating summer-themed products and services available exclusively during the summer season. These unique, seasonal products will establish your brand as forward-thinking and experimental, and if successful, can create an annual campaign to boost seasonal sales.
If the tests are successful, they can be used as a template for other seasonal campaigns. The risk of course is being left with unsold inventory that’s outdated by next year, so weigh the pros and cons.
3. Donate a Percentage of Holiday Sales to Local Groups
Even though online stores live in the cloud, there are still opportunities to make a connection with the local community. With the impact of COVID 19, there are a lot of non-profits, charities and other local organizations that need help. Consider donating a percentage of summer sales to one of these groups. It’ll have a direct impact on those in need, create a positive experience for your customers, and solidify your company as an empathetic brand.
4. Host and Participate in Summer-Themed Events
COVID 19 has put a damper on many summer events but if you are mindful, and do the research, there might be strategic opportunities to establish a presence, and interact with new customers at select community events. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of participating, and naturally, follow local guidelines about social distancing and mask-wearing.
5. Introduce Temperature Based Sales
Warmer weather can be a mixed development for online sales. As people spend more time outdoors, it means they aren’t not buying as much online, however, the equation could be disrupted due to COVID 19.
eCommerce store owners can experiment with temperature-based sales to see if there is a sales boost, for example, if a temperature hits a certain milestone, like 90 degrees, related discounts can be offered. These will need to be strategically timed, and sensitivity should always be considered if the weather has an impact on health and well-being.
6. Introduce a Summer Photo Contest
Summer photos are bright, colorful and generally fun. They put people in a good mood and allow them to daydream. A summer photo contest through Instagram or Facebook is a fun way to engage your customers, and allow them to share their stories and adventures. Including product giveaways or discounts will incentivize people to share and participate.
7. Offer Summer-Based Freebies
Everybody loves free offers, and this can be an effective summer marketing idea to employ. Among your summer giveaway ideas, include things that suit summertime activities. Offer free items such as water bottles and other promotional items to customers who shop from your store on specific days. Customers who benefit from the freebies will provide a free advertisement to your business to others.
8. Leverage Flash Sales
Just like freebies, flash sales are a favorite for everybody. Flash sales prompt customers to make purchases in a short period, ultimately increasing your summer sales. It also encourages customers to keep track of your social media so that they don't miss the next upcoming flash sales.
9. Reward Customer Loyalty
Loyal customers often want to feel appreciated every time they come back to make new purchases. Rewarding loyalty will keep the customers coming back, recommend your business to friends, and boost your summer sales. You can do this by partnering with loyalty apps, stamp cards, and social media.
10. Update Your Marketing Creative Summer-Themed Visuals
Refreshing your marketing materials to fit summer marketing campaigns should be part of a yearly marketing plan for an eCommerce business. It’s important to align these marketing materials with your planned campaigns for brand consistency.
Working with experienced graphic designers will provide a creative boost for realizing effective summer visuals. This can include a simple typography, color palette, or summer pictures. You can use these backgrounds for event flyers, supplement sales promotions, and add life to an event invitation.
11. Organize Referral Based Giveaway
Word of mouth is among the best ways to spread your business to new customers. Most people will likely check out a place after being recommended by their friends. You can leverage this by using a reward program to customers for recommending new customers. This summer marketing idea encourages customers to market your business and help create returning clients.
12. Take Advantage of Back to School
As the summer ends, the back to school preparations are another great opportunity to introduce summer marketing ideas. If your eCommerce business model doesn't deal with products or services that relate directly to kids going back to school, you can find alternatives to make summer sales. For instance, you can offer discounts to parents looking to make orders from your business.
Optimize the Shipping Process With Easyship
Cart abandonment is always a challenge for online stores, and can especially impact the bottom line in the slower summer months. It's critical eCommerce merchants optimize the checkout process reduce cart abandonment and increase sales conversions.
The Easyship Real-Time Shipping Rates Plugin helps create price visibility by recommending the cheapest, fastest and best value options at checkout. In addition, we provide powerful analytics in the merchant dashboard to provide insights into customer behavior.
Here are a few more ways Easyship optimizes the shipping process:
- Calculate shipping rates and taxes using online calculators – Easily calculate how much it would cost to ship your orders and taxes from Easyship.
- Deliver during seasonal rushes – Easyship makes it seamless to fulfill orders during summer seasons.
- Help with eCommerce returns – with inflowing summer orders, you can make mistakes during dispatch. If you make wrong deliveries, Easyship fast tracks the return process with return labels.
Make Summer an Impactful Sales Period for Your Online Store
While summer can be a slower season for eCommerce businesses, that shouldn’t discourage you from implementing summer marketing best practices and experimenting with new ideas.
Not every idea mentioned above will be applicable to your business, so make sure that your summer marketing campaigns align with your overall business goals. This summer might be more unpredictable due to ongoing COVID 19 concerns, so you’ll want to evaluate which campaigns make the most sense in a fluid marketing environment. Learning how to increase eCommerce sales is all about developing best practices, experimenting with marketing ideas, and discovering new customers.
Sign up for an Easyship account now to supercharge your shipping.