As many Chicago retailers know, when the days get longer and temperatures rise, sales can sometimes correspond inversely, stalling or dropping until fall (and school) is right around the corner. But there’s a lot you can do to beat the summertime sales blues. Try out the following marketing tips.
1. Draw Attention — and a Crowd — with In-Store Events.
An in-store event is the perfect opportunity for your business to showcase your expertise, personally engage with customers, and actively show how much you care about their questions, interests, and needs. Be sure to choose an event that makes the most sense for your business — depending on your offering, you might be able to host in-store classes that help educate customers or equip them to do some things on their own (with the products and services you offer, of course). Food and beverage companies may consider hosting a giveaway or contest to create a customer experience — and a reason to come back with friends. No matter what you choose to do, one of the benefits of an in-store event is that it’s indoors, which lets attendees beat the heat, too.
2. Generate or Nurture Leads with a Partner.
Consider local businesses in your area. Are there other neighborhood shops that you could partner with for a joint event or promotion? Other organizations may also make sense as a partner when they align with your business, or a cause your care about. Partnering up will generate buzz and, if you leverage your website, help bring in new leads. It can also present the perfect opportunity to build new mailing lists during the slow season.
3. Think “Limited Edition.”
Take a page from the popular beverage company, Red Bull, which releases a unique, limited edition summer flavor that changes from one year to the next. A limited edition product or service may not make sense for your brand, but a seasonal promotion related directly to your offerings can also do the trick. The purpose is to drive a sense of urgency coupled with seasonal demand that can really heat up shoppers’ fear of missing out.
4. Use Targeted Social Advertising Campaigns with Summer Flair.
Social advertising provides options that let you zero in on an audience based on their location, interests, behaviors, and many other categories and subcategories. Target these audiences with summer-influenced copy and images, even if it’s to provide a stark contrast with winter (which feels pretty long in Chicago). Be sure this is paired with a strong call-to-action for a seasonal offering. And don’t forget to target tourists, too!
5. Join (or Sponsor) Community Events that Bring Locals Together for Fun in the Sun.
Chicago is an exciting place to live and do business, with numerous events all summer long. In fact, Choose Chicago (our city’s official tourism and destination marketing organization) lists 34 festivals and events in July alone. Sponsoring a food, snack, or water tent will raise awareness about your business and help support the community. But if you set up a booth, share samples, or hand out coupons, you can also let your customers enjoy your company. Becoming part of the fun transfers that positive experience to your brand.
Summer doesn’t need to cast a cloud over your retail business. Follow these five tips to lift sales and keep your brand top of mind all summer long.