Summer is a season brimming with opportunities for retailers. As the warmer weather entices people to spend more time outside of their homes, retailers can engage with a wider pool of potential customers. Organising a promotion is a great way to attract some of those customers in store. However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how you organise your summer sale and if there is one thing you need to keep in mind, it’s this: be strategic! Here are my top six tips to help you make the most of the summer sales:
Make some noise with your marketing
It is imperative to adopt a summer mindset when you start planning your sales, and that includes the way you promote your business and communicate with customers. Your target audience will likely be on the move during summer, relying heavily on their mobile phones and other devices for information and connectivity. Planning a mobile marketing campaign means you can maximise your chances to engage with clients. If you don’t have an app to showcase your business, make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices. Ease of use will keep customers on your website longer, increasing exposure to your brand and the likelihood of converting to a purchase.
Set your store up for success this summer
While a busy store during summer sales may be what retailers like to see, the experience can be frustrating for customers. Organising your store in a way that makes the shopping journey as convenient and intuitive as possible will keep clients coming back. Use signage to indicate where summer sale items can be found, highlight your best offers and ensure easy access to those areas. Maintaining visual appeal is key for customers who are already in-store as well as passers-by. An easy way to remain attractive for both is to make sure displays and racks are kept tidy amidst the inevitable sale chaos.
Queue 2.0 – use tech to stay efficient and effective
One of the main pain points for customers is time spent waiting to pay. There are obvious measures you can implement to reduce queuing time, such as ensuring you have ample pay points and staff training to maximise speed. However, employing the right tech will keep you truly efficient and effective.
Implementing an electronic point of sale system (EPOS) that has the capability to function on mobile devices such as iPads is a worthwhile investment. It will enable your staff to provide stock information to customers on the go and process payments from anywhere in the store. The ability to provide a seamless service to customers, especially during a busy time like summer sales, will make you stand out from your competition.
Use data and get to know your customers
Personalisation is now a must, as more and more customers expect to receive a tailored shopping experience. Having a system in place that can help you analyse data quickly can prove invaluable in this area, as it will help you better understand your customer base. You can then offer your customers tailored ads and sales pitches that are more likely to get them through the door or clicking online. With clever targeting you may well win a customer’s loyalty for the future.
Offer extra perks
Going the extra mile for your customers is always worthwhile. Reward your existing clients for choosing to spend with you throughout the year by offering them extra discounts or free delivery during sales. “Buy online and pick up instore” is also a great way to showcase your online platform as well as your brick-and-mortar location to customers, all whilst saving them time and delivery costs.
Don’t forget to have some fun!
Even though competition can be fierce during summer sales, remember it is more than a numbers game. Inject some fun into the shopping process, get creative with eye-catching displays and organise in-store events and competitions. Even small details such as greeting customers with some refreshing lemonade or offering children something to do while the parents shop can make all the difference. If you manage to bring some of that summer feel-good vibe to your store, people will follow.
Being strategic and planning ahead is always a great approach to conducting your business, but it becomes even more important during the summer. Stay focused, engaging and true to your brand, and you’ll cut through the noise and attract customers.
Dax Dasilva is the founder and CEO of Lightspeed and a member of Modern Retail’s Editorial Board. Founded in 2005, Lightspeed develops a cloud-based EPOS platform used by over 50,000 independent retailers, restaurants and eCommerce merchants worldwide to run better businesses and process over £12 billion in transactions annually.
Visit https://lightspeedhq.co.uk for more info.