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Summer strategies: selling when the heat is on

Jessica Rowe
Culture Journalist

Jessica Rowe is a Melbourne-based writer with a passion for not-for-profits, the digital world and making a difference

Jessica Rowe
Culture Journalist

Jessica Rowe is a Melbourne-based writer with a passion for not-for-profits, the digital world and making a difference

When the mercury rises, it's not just the temperature that changes, consumer behaviour does too. Here's how tech and savvy thinking can help sales soar.

Summer, the season of barbeques, beach cricket and generally the great outdoors. It's also the season for Christmas parties, New Year's resolutions and maxed out credit cards. With so much going on, here's how retailers can use selling strategies to take advantage of fragile bank accounts and the warmer months.

A woman buys an ice cream from a portable stand, while two people chat to one side.

(Not so) merry bank accounts

Summer can be a financially taxing time. With heat rising, cooling costs and the desire to get away, our bank accounts are heavily exercised.

December is the most popular month for marketers to reach both male and female shoppers but it's also a very cluttered time. So with the busiest shopping time of the year behind us, how do you make your product stand out from the competition? Smart selling strategies online. 

Facebook alone can be powerful. With 14 million Australian users, you can target your products specifically to speak to your audience. Carousel ads are fast becoming the most popular way to advertise on the platform. With up to five clickable images or videos, you can showcase your range clearly and effectively. Plus, Carousel ads have been 30 - 50 per cent lower cost per conversion than single-image link ads. 

But after the madness of the holiday season, when budgets are feeling a little worse for wear, how can we encourage consumers to shop?

  1. Re-think your customer service strategies. Ensure you greet at the door and create conversation
  2. Email. Check in with your customer base and tempt them with exclusive offers
  3. VIP nights. Everyone loves to feel exclusive. Set up a VIP night with store-wide discounts

New year, new you

The new year is synonymous with New Year's resolutions: health being the biggest. In fact, in a recent Nielsen study, when people were asked what their New Year's resolution would be, 37 per cent said "staying fit and healthy", and 32 per cent said "lose weight". This is the ultimate opportunity for fitness-based businesses to take control of consumer behaviour, advertise and sell.

Fitness and diet gadgets are big for retail, and capitalising on people's desires at the start of the year can pay dividends. Plan out your new year, look for ways to differentiate yourself from your competition and cater to the on-demand economy.

Gymnasiums and studios can also take advantage of this New Year trend.

Entice potential customers with free gym tours, free trial passes, or bring a friend for 50 per cent off. The same applies for existing customers to ensure they aren't shopping around - reward their loyalty. Whether it's a free month or a free personal training session, when customers feel valued, they're more likely to stay, share positive comments on social media and refer friends.

For local cafes and restaurants, this means thinking about adding to the menu. The juice trend has never been so popular so invest in fresh fruit and a good quality. Get the word out by promoting your menu online, Facebook and using sandwich boards to increase impromptu street purchases. 

Keep your customers cool

Temperature and weather have a huge impact on what we purchase. It’s no secret on a warm summer day we’re more likely to buy ice cream, frozen yoghurt and other cold treats to keep us cool. In the peak of summer, there’s also a spike in the sales of air conditioners. But what does this mean for retailers? Understanding the weather and how it impacts consumer decision-making processes can hugely influence your sales.

Following the weather, online, via an app or weather channel can help you plan your sales strategies. Different weather conditions and variables such as rainfall, temperature, pollen count and UV index can help retailers know what to sell and when. For example, if there’s a predicted heat wave, whitegoods stores should stock up on fans and air conditioners, and consider some in-store promotions. It’s also a smart time to cross-sell to preserve margins.

Summer has created an opportunity for food trucks too. With longer days and more light, Australian consumers are more likely to be outside and dine al fresco. Teaming up with summer festivals is a smart way for food truck owners to maximise sales. 

Are you working longer hours over summer?

Read our tips to keep yourself on track with Signs You’re Approaching Burnout.

Find Out MoreAre you working longer hours over summer?
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