In the Uk we all get excited about the hot weather (yes, it’s a real novelty to us Brits!), but heck, it’s really destroying our retail sales.
Hot Weather = Slow Sales
Unless your business is HIGHLY season i.e. selling bikinis & shorts, BBQs, garden furniture, paddling pools then the rest of retail is incredibly quiet. Want to know why?
The first bout of good, hot weather here in the UK is a HUGE novelty for us… who knows how long it will last, when it will end or how high the temperatures may reach? So, us Brits get whipped into a frenzy, super excited and embrace the weather… peeling off the layers of winter clothing, finally turning off the central heating, and heading off to buy a new BBQ, blow up the paddling pool and lounge in the garden enjoying the hot sun for as long as we can… after all, it could be raining tomorrow. And yes, it has been known to switch so rapidly.
And that means…. No shopping. No wandering to the high street, craft markets or retail parks… because we are sunbathing or sat in a park, beer garden or beach basking in the sun. Of course, bricks and mortar shops in tourist locations will be picking up the trade, to an extent, but hot weather in this instance really affects online business and those who rely on social media to engage with their customers… and they struggle because customers simply aren’t around during the hot spells.
So, what can the regular retailers do to combat this down turn in sales? I’m not suggesting you add buckets and spades and vest tops to your range, but I am advising you to work a little strategy into your marketing.
Be Online at the right time
For online businesses, this is time to plan some marketing to target your customers in the evenings. The sun has gone in and shoppers can see their phone screens without the glare of the sun. After 7-8pm is when they will read a newsletter and browse through facebook and Instagram. This is when you need to be active.
Talk, talk and talk some more about your offer! Instagram images, facebook posts, facebook ads, blogs and pin your post to your page so that it is the first thing that new visitors see to your page.
Give them Great Offers
Entice them with an offer. They will be feeling good, relaxed after a chilled day in the sun… how can you relate your products to how they are feeling (remember according to a study by the Harvard Business Review, online purchases increased by 52% when the customer felt an emotional connection to the brand and / or product). Think about reasons for the customer to connect with you.
Emotions such as feeling part of a community, protection, fun, security, success, satisfaction, pride and confidence are all triggers that turn a browser to a buyer.
All of your marketing – offers, copy, images should all be focusing on creating the above feelings and emotions. During warm weather emotions such as fun, community and confidence are all great to work on to entice the sale.
Offers need to be simple, easy to understand and glaringly obvious. We may think our customers can calculate 15% off, but the reality is, some cannot. So, make your offers easy!
- Show them the new price
- Use % that are easy to calculate e.g. 10%, 20%, 25%
- Show them the saving eg Save £5, Save up to £12.99
- Don’t give them a reason to walk away or click away just because they didn’t realise how much they could save
- Offers such as 3 for 2 and Buy 1, get 1 free are easy to follow (use the text in the format I have just shown not THREE for TWO or 3 4 2!)
- Don’t merge two offers into one… if customers will also get free postage, add that as a simple one line to the marketing but don’t clutter your copy by adding complicated deals on free postage
Here’s the link to a short video I recorded in response to one of my retail biz club members asking for help with offers. Take a look here
Bold POS (Point of Sale)
Good clear and eye-catching POS in store is needed. Simple and bold work best. (applies to instore and online)
Window displays in stores need to be eye-catching, themed and draw attention. Set up your window display and then go outside, step back and see if your window is eye-catching
POS graphics on your ecom site – same principles, clear, bold and easy to read in 3 seconds or less
You don’t need to be a BBC cameraperson to take a great video for social media or your online store. Using phones to take 20-30 seconds of your display can be effective. Remember that most people are viewing your video on mobile, without the sound on. So, add subtitles or start and end the video with images of your POS.
Apps such as Lumen 5 are easy to use (yes, even I can use them!). Using stills and captions, you can create a slide show (but looking much slicker) with text on in less than 30 minutes. If you are running an offer which includes several different types of products, remember to take images of each separate product or range, and use a slide per product in your video.
The Novelty will wear off
If we do (hopefully) get some continuity of good weather, and an actual Summer than consists of more than a few off days of sun, then the novelty of rushing into the garden and making the most of the sun will wear off. It’s the first few freakishly hot spells that throws the customer into a summer relaxation frenzy, so sit tight and hope that we do see the next 3-4 months of warm weather.
If you want to chat in more detail about how I can work with you to build a strategy to ensure you have consistent sales throughout the Summer, then click here to book a free 20 minute consultation with me.
Don’t forget the FREE facebook group where you can mingle with like minded retailers, all going through the same challenges as you. Join Here and don’t forget to answer the simple questions so we can let you in!
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