12 Proven Ways to Win in the Summer Ecommerce Slow Season

This video is brought to you by Fulfillrite.

Hey – welcome to the Fulfillrite YouTube channel. Today, we’re going to talk about every eCommerce store owner’s worst fear – the summer.

When you think of summer, you might think of vacationing on the beach or firing up the grill. But if you run an eCommerce store, you might be thinking of all the sales you’re not going to be making.

There’s good reason for this, too. Ecommerce sales drop as much as 30% compared to December in the summer. It’s not unheard of for companies to make 85% more revenue in September than August.

And why wouldn’t sales be down? The weather is great and people are traveling instead of spending time online. Plus, there are no Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals to take advantage of.

So what’s an eCommerce store owner to do in the long, hot summer when revenues are trickling in? Turns out, there are a lot of techniques you can use to drum up sales.

In this video, we’re going to talk about 12 ways that your eCommerce store can fight off the summer doldrums and keep the money rolling in.

But before we get to that, a quick note. If you use the tips in this video and you wind up with more eCommerce orders than you can handle, go to fulfillrite.com/open to request a quote today. Link in the description.

Alright, back to the show!

12 Proven Ways to Combat the Summer Ecommerce Slow Season

1. Run a flash sale.

How often do you go to an online store completely unprompted to buy something? Sometimes, sure, but it’s probably not too often. What pushes people to stores is a coupon, or a sale, or the release of a new product. Something exciting! Anything exciting!

That’s the problem in summer – there’s no Black Friday, no Cyber Monday, and a lot of retailers don’t roll out new products. That means your customers have no real call to action begging them, like a siren’s call, to come to your store.

The easiest way to fix that is to run a flash sale. You can alert your customers by email, social media, or any other means where you have an audience. Tell them they have just a few hours or days to make a purchase to get a deep discount. That can cut through summer doldrums and give customers a reason to purchase!

2. Run a contest.

Running sales is a good way to pull in existing customers, and sometimes new ones too. But if you want to grow your overall brand awareness and acquire new customers, sales alone might not cut it.

That’s where contests come in handy. People will go to great lengths to win some of your most desirable products, or even something more generic like an iPad or Amazon Echo.

If you run a contest on your social media of choice – we think Instagram is best – you’d be surprised how many people will enter in and share the contest with their friends. This can get a whole lot of new traffic on your store very quickly. If you want to really step things up, look into tools like Gleam.io or RafflePress for advanced contests.

3. Roll out a reward program.

Running a sale or a contest is great for a quick burst of sales or engagement, but what if you want something more substantial? After all, your goal should be to get repeat customers, not necessarily one-off customers or simply traffic.

You can always roll out a loyalty program to give your dedicated customers a reason to come back. Send them a coupon on their birthday. Give them access to an exclusive promotion! Little touches like this go a long way to drumming up sales and retaining customers.

If you’re a Shopify user, look into Growave and Smile. These are good, simple systems that can help you roll out a reward program on your store.

4. Refresh and rebrand.

Slow summers are a great time to do work that is important, but not urgent. One of important part of marketing that many businesses neglect is branding – particularly making sure that their copywriting, graphics, and so on help accomplish a specific goal.

Try experimenting with small tweaks to your website to see if it changes the way customers respond. One excellent way to do this is to use Google Optimize to run A/B tests. This will help you see, with real data, what people find more appealing. This can help you increase sales, time on site, and much more!

5. Add new items or collections to your catalog.

A lot of the reason why eCommerce slows down in the summer is because of the relative lack of new products. After all, companies are often tempted to hold onto their new products for the upcoming holiday season.

However, if you find yourself in the middle of slow summer sales, consider releasing some new products. The excitement can help increase traffic and sales on your website.

Don’t have any new products to sell? Consider making seasonal collections around existing products. Sometimes casting an established product in a new light is enough to generate excitement on its own.

6. Clear old items from your catalog.

By the time summer rolls around, odds are good that you still have some winter stock that didn’t sell as well as you wanted it to. Excess inventory can get expensive because of storage costs and even taxes, so it’s not good to keep too much on hand, especially of products that just aren’t moving.

If you find yourself in this situation, try running a clearance sale! It’s an easy way to appeal to shoppers in need of a deal. You may not be getting full price, but revenue is revenue, especially when you’re cutting excess inventory expenses in the process.

7. Double down on content marketing.

One of the best ways to generate sales is by good content marketing. The trouble is, it’s really tough to make great content during the busy season.

That’s why the slow season is perfect for making content! That could include things like blog posts, educational videos, newsletters and other email marketing, how-to videos, shopping comparison guides, recipe books, and much more.

Giving people something worth reading can pull in sales in the short run, and it can be reused in the long run as well.

8. Nurse future leads.

Suppose you have a product that truly won’t sell well until the fall or the winter. No matter what you do, the summer is going to be slow. Such is the story of the hot chocolate and ski equipment industries.

But that doesn’t mean you have to stand idle. You can focus on capturing new leads for the future. One good way to do that is create email marketing campaigns that slowly educate your readers over time. You can collect these emails with highly tailored Facebook ad campaigns and other methods as well.

This is well worth your time. Email marketing, done for this purpose, can have a tremendously high ROI.

9. Amp up advertising.

Most marketing efforts take time to see results. Advertising, however, done correctly, can bring in money really quickly. This is a simple tip, but we’re including it because it works! If you’ve got ad campaigns on Facebook, Google, or somewhere else that you know work, increase your spending on them and see what happens.

This will allow you to pull in new customers, which can be really powerful if you pair this with some of the customer retaining techniques we’ve discussed in this video as well. Plus, you can always remarket to your existing customers, too, which is often easier than pulling in entirely new ones!

10. Tamp down cart abandonment.

Shopping cart abandonment crushes eCommerce stores. At a minimum, you can expect around 70% of people who add items to their shopping cart to fail to go through with the purchase. Forbes puts this figure somewhere between 73% and 86%. Yikes!

Any time you can reduce shopping cart abandonment, you can make a serious impact on your bottom line. Check your shipping and service fees, and make sure customers aren’t being surprised – that leads to a high abandonment rate!

If you want to go above and beyond, consider getting an app that can detect when customers are about to abandon their carts by closing out the window. You can then immediately offer them a free discount in a last ditch effort to close the sale. And as always, you can send reminder emails too, just in case they forgot to purchase at the end of their visit.

Even slight improvements here go a long way toward increasing sales, and the slow season is the best time to try them.

11. Speed up your website.

Like we mentioned earlier, the slow summer gives you a good opportunity to do things that are important, not urgent. Improving the speed of your website is one of those things!

This might sound really abstract, but it’s actually super important! According to Cloudflare, websites that load in 2.4 seconds have an average conversion rate of 1.9%. The ones that take more than 5.7 seconds to load, it’s under 0.6%.

To put that another way, slow sites convert – on average – ONE THIRD of the customers that fast ones do. That means every tenth of a second you shave off your website’s loading time can and will pay off. A slow summer is the perfect time to do this.

This is really technical, so we recommend you check out a site called Pingdom. You can run your website through their free tool and it will give you custom recommendations on how you can speed the site up. Follow their advice and see how quickly your conversion rate rises. The effects are often quicker than you think.

12. Improve your SEO.

One of the most cost-effective ways to drum up business is through organic search engine traffic. To improve your search traffic, you need to focus on search engine optimization, or SEO.

SEO is fairly technical, but focusing on it is important. Without good SEO practices in place, a lot of people will never find your store in the first place. With a few minor tweaks, though, you can push your way up the Google rankings and start pulling in new customers for minimal extra effort.

We recommend you check out a free site called SEO Site Checkup. Run your website through their free tool and they’ll give you custom advice on how you can improve your store’s SEO. You’d be surprised how easy some of the suggestions are to implement.

This is nothing to sneeze at folks – organic search traffic accounts for the majority of the new business that we see at Fulfillrite! If it works for us, it can work for you too.

If you use tips like this, you’re likely to start pulling in a lot of business really quickly. But what if it’s too much? You might need to hire some help!

Fulfillrite is the most trusted name in order fulfillment. Boost customer satisfaction and scale your business faster with a logistics partner that feels like an extension of your team. Services include same-day shipping, real-time order and inventory tracking, dedicated customer service, and volume-based discounts.

Go to fulfillrite.com/open to request a quote today. Link in the description.

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And now, a parting question – are there any other ways you can fight off the summer slow season that we forget to mention? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!