The summer season is in full swing. And while tourist and hospitality industries generally see a boon in sales, traditional retail often sees sales cool as the temperatures heat up.

Friday, August 9, 2019


This slump in sales is due to many shoppers choosing to spend their money on trips, outdoor concerts and festivals, and sporting events, just to name a couple of examples. 

But this slump doesn’t have to be accepted as the status quo. In fact, smart retailers can cash in on the tourism spending this time of year, while still marketing to local customers. Whether your retail business is primarily online or also has brick-and-mortar locations, there are ways to take advantage of the summer selling season by employing a few seasonal sales-boosting strategies.

1. Host a summer event

Who doesn’t love a party? The summer months are filled with BBQs and pool parties, so create an event that shoppers will want to attend. Crank up the air conditioning, serve lemonade, and schedule things like an in-store demonstration by one of your suppliers, a free class using some of your products, or a trunk show with your best vendors.

Not only does this increase traffic to your store, but it helps to build a sense of community and customer loyalty. 

This has helped them spread the word about their business locally, and they see more than 50 people for each event. Not only that, but those people tell their friends and family, and each event continues to grow — as do sales. These events are a great way to push new products and also get rid of excess inventory. Even if customers don’t shop at the event, they’ll often convert later on. 

2. Take advantage of tourists

If you get a good amount of tourists in your city during the summer, promote your store to visitors by distributing flyers at your local welcome center and contacting tour companies to create an exclusive offer for their customers.

More than three-quarters of travelers use review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor when planning their vacation, so make sure you’re listed there and on Google Places. And those travellers are still on social media even when they’re on vacation, so ramp up your efforts online to increase your visibility.

Customers will be posting images from graduation parties, holidays, and vacations; make sure you’re seen in their feed so they’re enticed to shop. Better yet, incentivize them to talk about you on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by offering vacationers a discount coupon if they share a photo of themselves on summer vacation using your products and tagging you in the photo.

3. Get outdoors

Foot traffic tends to increase during the warmer summer months for both locals and tourists, so make your visual merchandising something that stops them all in their tracks. If it’s feasible, push your store outside by setting up display tables or racks out in front of your store on the sidewalk. Those passing by will see what you have to offer and most likely want to come inside to see more. 

Your windows are key real estate, so make sure you’re visually merchandising these in a fun and creative way that will draw shoppers into your doors. Take advantage of a summer- or travel-themed window display, or simply create a compelling visual collection of products most relevant for warmer months — think hats and visors, sunglasses, lip balm, moisturizers, outdoor toys, etc. 

4. Create limited edition summer products

Speaking of new summer merchandise, now is the perfect time to create or stock limited edition products that cater to the summer months and travellers.

More than just windows, use signage on the sidewalk or walkway so it can’t be missed. If you have a sidewalk easel, tie a few balloons to the sides and promote a sale or new summer merchandise. 

People often have more time to shop in the summer, so take advantage of both tourists and locals that will be walking past your store. Make your store something they can’t resist, and you’ll be well on your way to scorching summer sales. 

5. Hold a contest 

When it comes to that seasonal merchandise, consider holding a contest or giveaway that encourages your customers to submit designs to be featured on limited edition products and rewards them with discounts on the final products. Not only are you keeping your loyal customers involved and invested and engaged in your brand, but you’re also getting great ideas for designs and products that customers actually want.

Everyone likes the chance to win something, so away from the seasonal merchandise, brainstorm ideas that will encourage word-of-mouth advertising all while increasing the traffic to your store. This could mean giving away raffle tickets for a free prize to those who make a purchase or encouraging customers to share their summer pictures on your social media channels. The photo that gets the most likes, gets the gift card to your store. 

The goal is to increase interaction and build brand awareness, so make the prize relevant to your brand or products. This is also a great way to help liquidate extra inventory that might be taking up space on your shelves.