Summer holidays are on their way! It’s time to dig out your flip flops and sunblock…but also prepare yourself for a dip in the number of visitors to your e-shop. As everyone knows, summer is a fairly slow period for e-tailers: internet users tend to abandon their computers and head to the beach or the park instead. This will be a slower sale period. Although for some e-tailers, summer is nothing to fear; we’re not worried about those in the travel and tourism business for example (the biggest sellers on the Internet!).
As for the rest of us, this article explores how we can avoid the decrease in sales over the summer months, and increase revenues instead.
1. Provide special offers and discounts!
As everyone knows, internet users are big fans of special offers and good deals. To encourage them to spend money in your e-shop this summer, organise special offer contests. There are several possibilities here:
a) Organising competitions
Competitions will have an immediate impact on your turnover, so why not use them this summer? Organise a photo competition, a lottery, or a quiz on the internet. In all of these cases, offer a serious prize (a trip for two, for example) to your visitors to encourage them to play. You can then offer coupons to the participants. This is a useful way to turn participants into customers: according to the Journal du Net 1, between 10 and 20% of these coupons get used.
As soon as your competition is set up, you need to let everyone know about it: you can use social networks or partner sites (like magazines) to inform people of their chance to win!
For example, the site Ma spatule regularly has competitions and uses their Facebook page to let people know about them.
Ma Spatule competition.
Having said this, it’s important to be aware of the legal terms and conditions regulating competitions of this type. Consult your legal team about the rules for lotteries when the prize value exceeds a few hundred euros. And don’t hesitate to seek advice before launching any competition. The Journal du Net has published a very useful article on the subject of competitions: http://www.journaldunet.com/0412/041207jeuconcours.shtml
b) Have “flash sales”
Weekly or even daily, you can offer a discount on a star product for a limited time only (hence the term “flash sale”). This confirms your e-shop as a place for good deals and so encourages your customers to return frequently (even during the summer) to discover the deal of the moment.
For example, Monsieur Bière has an event sale on one of its products every week. So customers have something to get excited about, bringing them back regularly to the site in search of good deals.
Monsieur Bière event sale
2. Encourage impulse shopping
Sunglasses, sunblock or beach towels sell better during the summer months than turtleneck sweaters. So if you can, put your seasonally appropriate products on your homepage, and give it a summery look.
For example, Livbelle, a Brazilian e-tailer, displays products like sunglasses and even has a slice of watermelon on its slideshow – a real taste of summer!
Livbelle’s homepage has a summery appeal, displaying sunglasses, watermelon, etc.
3. Make the most of the sales to prepare the “post sale” period.
Before considering summer holidays, you should prepare for the sale period. This is the best moment for you to clear out unsold stock.
You should also think about preparing the “post sale” period which announces the arrival of the summer holidays. To encourage customers to come back to your e-shop, for every product sold during the sales, give them a coupon for the new collections, valid all summer. A coupon or discount offer means they’ll be more tempted to browse the new summer collection!
For example, Etam offers a discount on their new collection for every sale item purchased. Now there’s an idea to get customers back to the shop!
As we’ve seen, there are several ways to encourage customers to spend on your site – even during summer. And remember that even if your customers prefer the beach over their computers, they’re never far from their smartphones! Maybe this is the right moment to think about an m-commerce strategy?
But in the end, everyone deserves a little break. You too could always put your e-shop on the back burner and make the most of the sun!
- 1 Le Journal du net, How to increase your turnover with competitions?, 2009 : http://www.journaldunet.com/ebusiness/expert/37278/comment-augmenter-votre-chiffre-d-affaires-par-le-jeu-concours.shtml