The cost of living crisis has proven a catastrophic blow to retailers. Huge inflationary spikes mean that more and more households are struggling to cover the cost of essentials like energy bills and rent or mortgage payments. This has left UK households with precious little to spend on non-essential shopping, and high street sales have slumped accordingly throughout early 2023.
But with the sunshine of late spring came a ray of hope and optimism for retailers. With shoppers coming out of their homes to enjoy the sun and spend their money in May, we look at how retailers can ride the heatwave and capitalise on a surge in consumer demand this summer.
Sales volumes exceed expectations in late spring
A modest spike in retail sales activity in late May proved a welcome glimmer of hope for retailers. In the latter half of the month, temperatures soared and consumers were coaxed from their homes to the high street, prompting a modest but welcome spike in retail sales of 0.3%, exceeding the expectations of the Office for National Statistics.
A senior ONS statistician told the BBC that “Retail sales grew a little in May, with online shops doing particularly well selling outdoor goods and summer clothes, as the sun began to shine. Garden centres and DIY stores also saw growth, as the good weather encouraged people to start home and garden improvements”.
Further heatwaves are predicted later in summer as African plumes are predicted to arrive in the UK throughout late July and August. As rising temperatures and bright sunshine draw their customers out, we look at 6 ways brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce outlets alike can generate revenues, grow profits and add value with their summer promotion ideas.
6 Ways to boost summer retail sales
Studies have drawn a clear line between sunny weather and increased consumer spending. But in a challenging economic climate, retailers need to work that little bit harder to part consumers from their hard-earned money.
With that in mind, let’s look at some summer sales promotion ideas that will not only generate money for the business but leave customers feeling like they’ve gotten a great deal and that their relationship with the brand has gotten stronger.
1- Think of some exciting summer sale ideas
You have some leftover stock from the winter season. Your customers are looking for a great bargain. You have the makings of a great deal for both parties.
A great summer sale should feel like a fun event with unmissable bargains for all. Consider sending targeted summer marketing emails to existing customers with great promotional prices on products you know they love.
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2- Generate goodwill with giveaways
Giveaways cost businesses very little. But the sense of goodwill and hype that they can generate among your customer base should not be underestimated. Giveaways and competitions provide customers and prospects with a sense of exclusivity while creating positive associations with your brand.
3- Turn your summer marketing into an event
If you have a physical retail space, why not make it a destination for customers with a summer marketing event? This can easily coincide with a flash sale. Think free drinks and snacks, competitions, prizes and giveaways, games, raffles and goodie bags. The only limit is your imagination.
4- Tweak your local SEO to maximise foot traffic
The summer heat is great for getting people out and about. So make sure your local SEO is primed to ensure that when consumers start walking, they’ll find themselves at your door. Local SEO can aid your marketing in summer by driving foot traffic to your store.
Some powerful local SEO tips to make your business more visible in local searches include:
ensuring that your company has a Google business account
making sure name, address and phone number data is up-to-date
encourage and incentivise customer reviews
source backlinks from trusted local resources like other businesses and directories
offer ‘click and collect’ for e-commerce purchases
5- Use cross-selling to generate high-value bundle deals
Bundle deals represent a great opportunity to generate value for the customer while also increasing average order value through cross-selling. Bundling products is equal parts art and science. While it may require a small sacrifice in terms of profit margin, bundling products that complement one another can be a fantastic way to give customers value for money, engender brand loyalty and keep customers coming back.
6- Offer flexible payment options
In an uncertain economic climate, flexible payment options like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) can provide consumers with the confidence to make high-value purchases that they might otherwise eschew by spreading the cost and aiding household cash flow.
With Square POS for Retail, retailers can take their summer marketing campaign to the next level with automatically-generated customer profiles, free e-commerce and Instagram selling and Clearpay to spread the cost of high-value sales.
Contact our sales team to learn more about how Square could help your business.