Statistically, the summer months generate the least amount of ecommerce sales, dipping by as much as 30% compared to December.
Being able to determine the slower months for online sales for your business is half the battle. From there, you can leverage holiday selling ecommerce tips or other tactics that will show an increase in profit no matter what time of year it is.
The fun part is getting creative and discovering different methods to increase sales during the slower months. Consider the following 10 ways to help your business overcome sporadic decreased demand:
1. ‘Tis the season
We’re about to reach Thanksgiving and you know what that means: Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This is not considered a slow time of year by any means, but the same rules apply. Change up your website to reflect a more festive theme. This will definitely spark the interest of consumers and get them in the mood to shop for the holidays. They also appreciate when retailers keep up with seasonal design, as 93% of consumers consider a site’s visual appearance to be the main deciding factor in a purchasing decision. They love a website that is clean, easy to navigate, and has imagery that presents promotions and showcases products for the time of year.
For some small businesses that can’t afford to invest in a full-time web designer, it’s actually rather easy to implement seasonal pop-ups to your site in just a few minutes. This way, you’ll have the ability to keep up with seasonal changes all year and drive more sales.
2. Create seasonal collections
In relation to the suggestion above, make a seasonal theme around some of your specific product collections. This will help make purchasing decisions easier on the shoppers by directing them to certain places on your site. In addition to seasonal collections, a collection of similar items, buying guides, or a clearance section can also be examples of how to group different products together.
From there, you can create email campaigns that draw attention to your product collections with calls-to-action (CTA) in an effort to drive traffic directly to these specific pages and products.
3. Refresh visuals
Sometimes when things are slow, look at it as though you’ve been given the gift of time. This is when you can devote energy to something productive that will impress the masses upon return. You can start by freshening your product pages with optimized product descriptions and images that will catch the consumers’ attention and increase the probability that they will buy something based on the improved look.
It also never hurts to take a look at the back end of your website for SEO. Update the meta descriptions, meta keywords and tags with the most optimal keywords that describe your company, your products, your mission, anything else that is specific to you to help you get noticed in an organic Google search. You can do this with the help of ecommerce keyword research to get an idea of what your customers want and therefore, lead them to your site to fulfill their needs. This downtime could be just what you need to make a full comeback when business picks up.
4. Hold a contest
People love to win stuff. And what better way to boost traffic engagement and conversion when things are slow than to launch a contest? Buzz of this magnitude can attract many consumers to your site. A contest can also provide businesses many new leads as well as generate more traffic. You can gather their email addresses by offering visitors a chance to win a big-ticket item or a bundle of your products simply by entering their contact information. It’s a great lead magnet. A simple contest can drive a $2 million quarterly revenue goal. That ought to make up for some lost time.
5. Have a sale
Holding a holiday ecommerce sale can work wonders when momentum has dropped a bit. Anticipate the next big holiday or event. If it’s during the summer, run a special on back-to-school items. If it’s Valentine’s Day, discount your products that reflect anything romantic. Have a flash sale on some access items in your inventory. This is more of a year-round conversion rate optimization strategy. Just make sure you devote the time it takes for the sale’s lead time, various sales channels promotion, and a discounting strategy.
Your sale’s parameters should also include length, discount amount, what items are eligible, and the profit goal. Here are a few key date ideas with which to plan your next promotional sales strategy.
Check out Keap's Lifecycle Marketing Assessment to determine where your business stands among the industry's top performers.
6. Reward customers for their loyalty
Devoted customers deserve something special. These people are your bread and butter who keep coming back, keeping your business in the black. Treat them nicely. Send them a free gift for their birthday. A BOGO promotion. Something that will get them in the store or come to your site that will take the pressure off obtaining new customers during slow months while still enabling you to drive sales. Check out Sweet Tooth Rewards for ideas on how to set up simple and effective loyalty programs for retailers.
7. Clear out excess inventory
Sometimes quantity can be a tricky thing. It’s hard to anticipate what will be a big seller and what won’t when you’re gauging your inventory. A great way to get rid of those 10 extra fall-themed wreaths or 15 extra pastel-colored table cloths? Have a clearance sale. Shoppers are always looking for a deal. Even if it’s on something they don’t necessarily need, people love the feeling of knowing they’re saving money. You also need to get rid of your superfluous items and make space for your new products.
8. Create new content
Add value to your customers’ shopping experience with your distinct content marketing, which provides information shoppers need to help them make a buying decision. Content that can result in more sales conversions include:
- How-to videos
- Design and style guides
- Beginner’s guides
- Recipe books
- Buying guides
Use these as an opportunity to separate yourself from similar businesses in your industry. Put a personal touch on your content that will give shoppers a better buying experience and help them identify with your brand and associate your place of business with some substance. They’ll appreciate you going the extra mile.
9. Focus on email capture
It’s not enough to depend on people just visiting your site, especially if they leave without a conversion. That’s why it’s imperative that you nurture your email list with email capture. Your customer email list is what breathes life into your business.
Collecting visitors’ email addresses, other than getting a sale, is the most important step in traffic conversion, as it is the most direct form of communicating with leads and customers.
With your email list, you can create custom audience Facebook ad campaigns, enabling you to pursue current leads with your Facebook ads. Email capture yields better convert traffic, drives more sales, and increases ROI from your paid traffic campaigns. Check out these conversion ideas to help your email list grow.
10. Combat cart abandonment
Here’s a frustrating stat: 73% and 86% of shopping carts are abandoned on desktop and mobile devices, respectively, leaving a lot of unspent cash.
The main reasons why include unexpected added costs such as shipping, service fees, etc. Other reasons may be sometimes a discount code won’t go through at checkout, or they’re just comparison shopping. Consumers may want to hold on to their coveted item in the shopping cart so no one else can get to it. Meanwhile, they open another tab to look for a better deal. They see the same item can be shipped for free with another company and complete their purchase with them instead, abandoning your company’s product in the cart. It’s definitely a wake-up call for those who aren’t offering discounts, free shipping, or other sales or promotions to satisfy the needs of their customers.
In an effort to prevent shopping cart abandonment, create more activity in the cart and checkout pages. For example, program your site to anticipate when shoppers are about to desert their cart with an exit pop-up containing an enticing offer such as a discount or free shipping with no strings attached. Create urgency by stating they have to buy at that very moment to qualify. You can also send them a reminder email that an item was left in their cart and to go back and complete their order in the instance that they just forgot to hit “Purchase.”
Any or all of these handy tips should help you overcome the slump of a slow sales period, whether they generate short- or long-term benefits. You should begin to see some improvement in your product demand and a more consistent cash flow.