Officially, summer doesn’t start for another couple of weeks. But if you step outside you could be excused for thinking it is upon us already. People are outside enjoying the sun, having barbeques by the pool, going to sports events and of course enjoying the beach. As a retailer, you have the opportunity to capitalise on this mood by understanding exactly what the customer wants.
Some things are significant during summer; so remember them while you plan your events, displays and promotions timetables:
- The school holidays – maybe you aren’t directly affected by this but remember that your customers are much more likely to be bringing their children in over the 6 weeks of holidays.
- More people in general are on holidays; if you operate in a tourism area, you can expect an influx of visitors over this period.
- Then there is Christmas! Focus on the Christmas season when you are making your plan, but consider how else you will drive sales after this time.
- Christmas isn’t the only event in summer – push patriotism leading up to Australia Day in late January, capitalize on Valentine’s day and the festivities surrounding New Year’s Eve.
Many people travel in the 2 weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year and this will directly affect retailers. If you are in an area that sees an influx of visitors over this time you might want to consider advertising techniques to attract them. Use social media, customer referral and on-street advertising to make the most of these one-off customers.
With so much gift giving going on over the Australian summer time, look again at your products and see if there is a way to bundle similar items. This encourages some customers to buy more than they originally intended, and makes it easier for them to give gifts.
Consider holding activity sessions directly related to events over the seasons. Workshops and fashion parades will be great for those on holidays, who wouldn’t be able to otherwise attend. Free water/lemonade/iced tea in-store is a great idea to make customers linger and interact with your store.
Get your shop into the spirit of summer with specialised merchandising techniques. Summer is all about bright and light colours – black is rarely welcome! Use summer motifs such as beachy icons, florals, sporting themes and summer treats.
For your window displays, dress your mannequins in summer outfits – like swimsuits, sleeveless tops, big straw hats and sunglasses. This is what your customers will be looking for and will respond best too. Put a cocktail glass in their hand (if you can without it breaking!) and you will be heading in the right direction.
Our last tip is to remember to take a holiday yourself! Hire summer staff (all those students looking for holiday jobs means it should be easy), and take some time off to enjoy the weather, recharge your batteries and get ready to tackle 2015.