Now that summer is upon us, what can retailers do to ensure that customers still flood their stores?
For some businesses the summer months are boom trading periods, for most it is a time where hours upon hours pass without a single customer entering the store. So what can be done to attract people into our shops when the sun is shining?
Firstly we need to make sure that our store appeals in these conditions. Dark and dingy shops, that do not appear to have recognised a change in weather conditions are a sure fire turn-off for customers. Windows are more difficult to see in daylight, so make sure yours is big, bold and beautiful. Utilise bright colours, fresh scents, bright lighting and upbeat sunshine music – to make people feel that they belong in this environment – rather than outside.
Promotions to drive traffic can be highly effective. Yes products referred to as “Summer Sizzlers” shows that you have spotted the arrive of sunshine – but what about tantalising campaigns, events and activity. In my forth coming promotions book pages and pages of promotional ideas will ensure that you have something for every day of the year. For now, here are some thoughts for the summer months:
- 121 Training Sessions – Show people how to get more from their purchases, identifying new uses and sales opportunities when they come back in.
- Community Events – HIghlight the role you play in the community.
- Master Classes – Show customers how to get the best from your products with an educational twist.
- Invite suppliers to run demonstrations – Suppliers will often bring freebies and exclusive products to these types of events – get them involved.
- Awareness Campaigns – Raise the profile of a particular local issue, linked to an in-store event.
- How to events – Show customers how to do useful things with your products – “The Ultimate Summer BBQ” “Creating the perfect hanging basket”
- Fashion Show – Don’t wait for Autumn for customers to make their next clothes purchase, run a fashion event to get them back in. Raise money for charity too.
- Mid-Season new lines – New products attract customers, introduce new lines and shout about it.
- Exclusive VIP Events – Make somebody feel that they are more than just a customer, they are a VIP. Exclusive viewing of…
- Celebrity appearance – Perhaps a celebrity has an affiliation with a product, talk to your suppliers about getting them in. If you know anyone who knows a celebrity – call them up, you could always raise money for their chosen charity.
- Celebrity Signing – If your celeb has an autobiography – do a signing session for them.
- Trade-in Event – Bring in your old product and trade it in towards a newer one.
- One day special offers – Urgency and our inbuilt fear of losing out. Fabulous early bird offers (and I mean fabulous) could have them queuing at the door.
- Weekend Special – Again spread the joy over an entire weekend – end of the month is when everyone tends to have money!
- Centenaries and Anniversary Events – You must be able to celebrate something?
As you can see, sitting and waiting for customers is not an option, have a brain storming session with colleagues, partners and friends to see what pro-active activity you can come up with the engage, and entice customers into your store.