How to make your summer sale work (without offering any further reductions)

Every year fashion brands rush the seasons upon us. Only a few months back I was staring at a swimsuit in a store window while wearing a double-layered bomber jacket! I wondered then what this window would show me when it’s actually time to wear a swimsuit. Well, I’m a lazy shopper. It’s difficult to move me unless you give me a really attractive bait. Like end-of-season sale! That’s when lazy shoppers like me can turn up at your store to pick up a whole lot of things which they may never use. But duh! Every brand knows that. With so many brands trying to reach out to the EOSS shoppers, it’s difficult to make your message stand out. Unless you seek professional help with digital marketing, your sale will not be able to bring you the business you expect it to. Of course, you could add an extra 10% off to your sale each week. The good ‘ol “further reduction” marketing. But we hate to break it to you, shoppers see right through it. They know it’s going to get bigger the next week or they might never show up at all. Remember? They are lazy? And they have options? Here is what can come to your rescue. These 7 tips can help you get more sales out of your “sale”.

1. Find New Retail Holidays

Retail holiday marketing

If you are active on Twitter, you must be familiar with some weird days that are being celebrated nowadays. Only yesterday I saw an Instagram story update from Whole Foods celebrating Watermelon Day and giving an attractive offer on watermelons. What about Black Friday? A lot of us don’t even know why it’s celebrated. And by celebrating we mean going crazy shopping. It’s what we call a retail holiday. And you can market your sales around a lot of days like Black Friday. Instead of giving further discounts on all your merchandise, you can pick a holiday like this, relate some of your products to it and create a special offer for those. Did you know August has International Beer Day, Underwear Day, Wiggle Your Toes Day, Play In The Sand Day, and Sisters Day! And there are many more where these came from. You will definitely find some which will give you a real excuse to give an attractive offer.

2. Get cozy with Instagram

Instagram retail marketing

Instagram has more than 300 million active users daily. It is the most loved social tool by Canadian Millennials. It is really easy to engage with your shoppers on Instagram. Of course there is a whole science of using the right hashtags (which you can learn here). But overall, a brand can master Instagram and use it to popularize it’s sales in a very short time. Start with the best-selling items. Click their photographs in your store setting (be as real as can be). Try to find hashtags related to them and start posting them on Instagram using the same filter each time and giving a clever caption that also states the discount you are offering. Try to post at least 3 products a day. That’s it! You will notice, how many new interested shoppers you will find on this app.

3. Cross Promote With Another Brand

Cross promotion retail marketing

There are other brands in your market who are also running promotions around these days. Try to get in touch with them and cross promote. Let’s say you are a shoes brand and there is a formal-wear store in your neighbourhood. A promotion like ‘Shop these shoes and get a 10% Off on formal-wear’ will just surprise your customers.

4. Promote your sale on Facebook

Retail brand facebook post

Facebook is the best social tool to post engaging content to. Facebook users readily share posts that are of value or entertainment. They spread the word. Though with the recent newsfeed algorithm updates, it is difficult to reach out to shoppers and even fans organically but a little paid boost goes a long way in getting your message across. Promoting your sale on Facebook works locally as well. You will only pay for the people who actually see your ad. If there is one new thing you are going to be trying this EOSS, it should be this. Have you been promoting on Facebook and still not getting the expected result? Maybe you are making these common social media mistakes.

5. Use the Same Message Everywhere

A lot of brands make this mistake. They try to change their message for every portal and audience. As a result of it, the message looses recall. Take Plenty as an example. Their sale communication is consistent across all media. So if one crossed their store window and then later saw the same message on their Facebook wall, it would create a stronger impact. From sale shopping bags and in-store sell-sheets to your store window and your Facebook cover photo, brand consistency is extremely important. (Read more about branding your retail store)

6. Catch The Loyal Customers First

Loyal customers retail specials
This Pareto’s rule is very popular. 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers, it says. So focus on retaining the existing customers first. And one of the best ways of doing this is by sending an attractive newsletter to their inbox. Yes, email marketing still exists but it has become very crafty. In fact your loyal shoppers are the ones who are most likely to open an email sent by you, so go for it. Try to include beautiful photographs and clever CTA buttons. Don’t forget to optimize for mobile. Most of the non-official email browsing these days takes place in a bus or a sky-train. Another good way of reaching out to your loyal customers first is by offering them an exclusive ‘Preview Sale’.

7. Update Your Website

Yes, I really mean it. I know you must be having a good looking website but is it optimized for this busy season? It needs to be mobile friendly, it needs to have your store location optimized for GPS, it should have search engine friendly text that show up when your shopper looks for ‘Swimsuit Sale Vancouver’. It should have a user-friendly interface. Most of the shoppers will take their decision of visiting your store within 7 seconds of landing on your website. If you are really serious about targeting millennials on mobile phone then you should try google Adwords. But let an agency manage them for you. Here’s why.

With fall almost here, it’s time to start planning for the holidays. If you need any help marketing your brand, stop by our office a.k.a the Greenhouse on Robson. We love talking marketing. And retail brands are our favourite.