Summertime. The sun is out, the school holidays have begun and the warm evenings feel endless. If you work in a tourist town, the streets are now getting busier with visitors, and the locals are starting to stay out later. With only a few weeks until peak season is over, there’s no time to waste — you may not have the time or resource to create a new marketing strategy for the summer, but there are a handful of tweaks you can make to get more from this time of year.
1. Adjust your opening hours
As the mornings heat up and the days get longer, you may find your store getting busier at different times to the rest of the year. With an integrated point-of-sale (POS) system you can take a look at historical sales data and analyse transactions by hour to see where there’s been a change.
Take advantage of any patterns by adapting your opening times. This could mean opening and closing later, or closing and reopening at strategic points throughout the day. Keep an eye on the numbers so you can adjust your approach as summer phases out. And don’t forget to let customers know your opening hours have changed on social media or with a window sign.
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2. Embellish your outdoor areas
Existing outdoor spaces can be beautified during summer to invite more customers in. For restaurants, just having a number of extra seats can increase revenue by up to 30%, according to hospitality experts VSAG.
Pubs and cafés are often the luckiest when it comes to gardens, but salons and shops in residential areas sometimes have a small yard, rooftop or licensed street space that can be put to use. Affordable tweaks include parasols, bean bags, fire pits and fairy lights.
In the complete absence of outdoor space, transforming your store interior can bring the outdoors indoors. Tropical plants, garden lighting, water features and natural scents give customers the impression they’re out in the open air, reducing FOMO and providing a summery setting even if it’s raining outside.
3. Move with the seasons
People’s tastes change drastically with the seasons. Selling seasonal products or promoting certain services alongside your core range ensures you still have appeal during this fluctuation. For example:
- Coffee shops: for every hot drink you serve, start offering an alternative iced version.
- Restaurants: include lighter, more exotic items on your menu.
- Bars: stock up on crisp beers and create some refreshing cocktail concepts.
- Salons: offer special discounts on waxing and tanning.
- Shops: add impulse-buy product lines that will appeal to tourists.
With inventory management software, you can track in real-time how much these seasonal additions are selling and gear up to sell more.
4. Get out on the street
With more people out strolling through town, summer is the perfect time to expand your space and sell out on the street. You’ll need to get a street trading license, and sometimes your council may charge a fee. However, if it’s something you can afford, this proactive approach could create extra sales without people even coming into your store.
5. Show the sport
The summer months are a busy time for sport, with something to watch on the TV almost every day. By acquiring a non theatrical film license, your business could become a regular go-to for fans and a drop in for curious passersby. Businesses like salons and cafés — not widely known for showing live sport — can expand their target audience and create a unique angle for their brand.
For a small business short on planning time, summer arrives quickly, often allowing little preparation. But a couple of tweaks can help you catch the extra revenue up for grabs during this season. And by reaching out to your customers to let them know, you reopen communication channels that may have been lying dormant before.