When temperatures rise, sales slide. Unless your eCommerce site offers summer goods and services, this season may hit your E-biz with a rapid sales slump. Generally, summertime is the period, when lots of online businesses face two common tendencies:

  •  the number of site visitors gets reduced

This is the result of the seasonal Web traffic decline. As a rule, summer is the period when people want to get out to the beach, explore new places and generally relax. All that means that your regular and prospective customers spend much less time in the cyber space.[/zilla_one_half]

  • the conversion rates get lower

Summertime is the season when folks have quite low buying intent. In this period people are reluctant about making big purchases and spending money even on the things they need.

But whatever scary all that might seem, a well-planned business strategy can prevent your summer revenue from shrinking. Moreover, a wise marketing plan can even help you get hold of a bigger market share during this “dead” season.

This guide suggests 7 actionable ways to prepare a Magento-based store for the upcoming traffic and conversion decline.

1

Design



Summer is the season when it’s better to keep things cheerful. From the website to email newsletters – everything should look bright and full of fun. No matter what you sell – just let your customers feel summer spirit!

Add beach balls or drink coolers to your logo, make a summer photo shoot of your store merchandize, create a bright Facebook cover or draw an appealing summer-themed banner.

Look for the ways to make your product appeal to the audience. Even if you sell snowplows, great summer visual for such a product isn’t a problem. Create a cover with a snowplow standing on a grass and add a slogan “Winter is coming”. For sure, all fans of “The Game of Thrones” will love it!

Content

Adjust your content strategy to be in tune with the season. Incorporate summer topics into your blogging plans, create catchy summer titles and draw in your would-be customers around the upcoming summer events.

Keep in mind that Father’s Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekend aren’t the only summer holidays. For example, the whole June is a Candy Month, in July there’s a Geek, UFO, Bastille and Chocolate Day and August is a National Picnic Month with the Lazy, Book Lovers’ and Frankenstein days. Try to come up with some creative promotions during these days and you’ll for sure get lots of traffic.

Embrace the wedding season. Summer is the busiest time in wedding industry, so if you don’t sell bridal gowns or groom suits it doesn’t mean you can’t be the part of it.  Your product is perfect for bachelor parties, bridal showers, ceremonies or honeymoons? Great! Write a post about it like 5 Best Gift Ideas for the just married.

And don’t forget about the peak of the traveling season. Write about travelers’ vacation-packing needs and promote your goods in these posts.

3

SEO

Keywords is the key asset of a successful summer SEO campaign. Hence, your top priority is to find the keywords that generate summer traffic. That can be done in three ways:

  • Use Google Trends to check your keywords and find those that are performing best at the moment.
  • Take a look at your previous summer traffic stats and pick up the words that were performing best at that time.
  • Find new summer-specific keywords. These keywords can be related to popular summer holidays  (Independence Day, college graduations, wedding season), local events (concerts, festivals, marathons, etc.) or international events (FIFA World Cup in Brazil). Your new keywords can also target some other regions – remember that when it’s summer in New York, it’s winter in Sidney.

When done, strengthen titles and meta descriptions on categories and popular products with summer-specific keywords. You can completely automate the process with the help of SEO Suite Ultimate extension.

Also, adjust your homepage headline to show shoppers that you’re the perfect place to shop in summer. But make sure that you include similar keywords as before so you don’t lose ground in your existing rankings!

When you finish adjusting your store pages,  resubmit your XML site map so search engines can index and rank them better. SEO Suite Ultimate can help you in customizing your .xml sitemap and making it search engine friendly.

PPC

Adjust your PPC campaigns to include holiday-related keywords you have found. Reformat your PPC landing pages to include summer appeal. Regardless of what your biz is about (whether you are in travel, electronics or retail), a summer feel will enhance your conversion rates.

Also, think about changing your normal day parting strategy. With it being light till 10pm (compared to 4-5 pm in the winter months), people may surf the Web at a later time.

And finally, consider weather forecasts! If it’s raining heavily, more people will get online from their laptops and see your ads.

Social Media

The excitement of summer gives brands the opportunity to have fun with their customers in a personal way. People want to share their summer experience with the world, and social media communities can be a perfect place for that.

Organize a summer-themed contest. For example, ask your customers to share the pics of how they are using your products in summer, or how your store helped them get unforgettable summer experience.

You can also tap into other social campaigns (via hashtags, comments) and take part in a campaign dedicated to a popular local event (concert, festival, carnival, etc.).
2

If your current products are not selling well, broaden your product range. There are 2 reasons why it can be good for your eCommerce site. The first one is that your store will get much-needed attention during this low season. And the second – doing that will help you occupy new profitable niches.

Selling mobiles and tablets? Offer your customers a selection of cool summer-themed cases. Running kitchenware store? Start selling items that can be used at a picnic, outdoors summer party or when on a hike.

Also, you may organize memorable summer-oriented promo campaigns. For example, offer a free awesome beach bag or umbrella as a bonus to your products.

Advanced Product Options extension will let you easily and efficiently organize a huge range of product types and options. With the help of this module you will quickly set up products with custom options, products with complex configuration and bundled deals.

5

Take a look at your current pricing scheme and adjust it for the summertime.

1. Avoid the temptation to start off deep discounting. To overcome summer sales slump, E-store owners may offer a huge discount on every single item. Although it may generate some extra sales, it will also eat into summer profits. It’s reasonable to offer discounts only on seasonal or promotion products. Also, you can offer discounted items as a bonus to the products that are not popular during the season (see the previous point).

2. Make clear that your summer special offer is time-limited.  People react quickly when they know something may expire soon. So setting strict dates for your summer specials will trigger mental notes for the memory of your customers and make them act faster.

3. Be unique with your offers. Just offering discounts is too short-sighted and can damage your ability to increase prices in the long run. Utilize promotions that will surprise your customers! For example, you can offer a 50% discount, if the summer temperature drops to 50F. Or 90% off, if the analogue temperature lingers for 7 days in a row.

4. Increase summer sales by charging more! Yes, you have read that right. Surprisingly, a little price increase can help you with the slump you are currently going through. These pricing tricks will help you increase your prices the smart way and generate more summer sales.

4

Summer is the season when the significance of flexible shipping can be even greater than ever. If your E-store still doesn’t offer the options listed below, consider adding them for this period:

  • Offering free, discounted shipping for goods that are not popular in summer.
  • Providing shipment to the regions where your merchandize is on demand at the moment. For example, you may tap into the Southern Hemisphere markets (Australia, New Zealand), where customers are more active due to the wintertime.
  • Offering diverse shipment options. Let your customers opt for urgent delivery, re-route their packages, choose a way of shipment, etc. – all that will let them get your products regardless of their current location.

Shipping Suite Magento Extension  is the tool that will let you manage shipping zones, rules and rates for your products.

6

Just because people are spending the majority of their time outdoors, doesn’t mean they won’t be able to shop with their mobile devices. Hence, an active mobile presence can greatly benefit merchants during summer months.

No matter what device customers may be shopping on, your site should have a friendly view available to all visitors. Get your store a responsive Web-design or user-friendly mobile theme (for example, an iPhone theme by AheadWorks) so that your store is easy to navigate on tablets or smartphones.

And don’t forget about optimizing your summer email campaigns! Make sure that your messages are properly displayed on mobile devices. Retest different delivery times, since change in seasons brings change in schedules of your would-be customers.

7

Make a tourist-friendly store – go multilingual.

As mentioned before, summer is the season when folks travel. A lot. By providing different language versions of your eCommerce site, you can get more customers among those who visit your country but don’t speak your language.

Also, in case you decide to target alternative markets, make sure your store displays prices in local currencies. Otherwise, that can be confusing for online shoppers outside your country. For example, if you target the Australian market, people there may have no idea of how much an Australian Dollar translates in US dollars.

To attract more summer shoppers from the regions where your products may be currently popular, equip your store with the Store & Currency Auto Switcher module. That will let your site visitors see prices in ‘their’ currency without having to select it or think about exchange rates. In addition, the extension will automatically switch the store to the languages of your customers.

* * *

And finally. As a business owner, you might be sarcastically laughing at the phrases like ‘vacation time’ or ‘lazy weekend’ but…take a little break! Summer is cool – catch and enjoy its spirit!

This is a perfect period to rest up, free from all the distractions and enjoy new scenery, meet people, learn something new and eventually reignite your passion for what you do. It’s a vacation season, get away from the office for a little while and relax!


Happy and Profitable Summer!