Ah, summer. The sun is out, kids are on break from school, and vacations are planned. If you live in a tourist destination, you’re probably noticing the streets are a little busier and people are staying out a little later. And if you’re a business owner, it’s time to take advantage of these warm months.
You may not have the time or resources to take on a new marketing strategy for the summer, but there are a handful of small tweaks you can make to engage your existing customers, attract new customers, and make the most of the summer months.
1. Adjust store hours
With warmer nights in the summer, you may see that you have more transactions at the end of the day, compared to other times of the year. If you’ve been in business for more than a year and use a POS system, take a look at your sales data from last summer and analyze your transactions by hour to see if that holds true. (If you weren’t in business last summer, observe sales data for a few weeks to see what traffic patterns look like.)
If you see a pattern, optimize your schedule to take advantage of it. If sales are happening later in the day, for instance, try adjusting your business hours for the summer months — close a little later and give those evening strollers the opportunity to stop by your business.
2. Enhance your outdoor areas
If you have an outdoor space that you’re not fully utilizing, make a few small updates to create an inviting space for customers. Add sun umbrellas for the daytime and fire pits, candles, or strings of light for late evenings.
If you own a restaurant — and have the available space — add more outdoor seating. It can increase your revenues by up to 30 percent. If you’re located in a really hot climate, add sidewalk misters to offer a place for customers to still enjoy the outdoors while taking refuge from the heat.
Whether you have access to a sidewalk, rooftop, or patio, creating an outdoor experience for your customers attracts more revenue and makes a nice environment for summer.
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3. Go seasonal
Incorporate seasonal products to take advantage of summer. Have a restaurant? Try adding a fruit-forward beverage or dessert. Own a retail store? Stock up on summer-inspired items like sunscreen or warmer-weather clothes.
Whatever you decide to add, make sure to promote it via email to your customers and via social media to attract new customers.
4. Have a sidewalk sale
With more people out strolling the streets, summer is the perfect time to try a sidewalk sale. You can take advantage of the space right outside your entrance and enjoy the sun at the same time.
While major sales take a lot of planning and marketing effort, sidewalk sales are a little simpler. Just move some of your sale items outside on a sidewalk to attract passersby and entice them to come inside — especially if you have air conditioning.
You might think about offering water or other refreshments to bring in thirsty passersby as well.
5. Send a summer email
Fill your customers in on any of the adjustments you make with a quick email. Let them know if you’ve changed hours, updated your outdoor space, or added a seasonal item to your menu. Think about adding a small promotion to invite them to swing by your business and check out the summer tweaks you’ve made.