A summer sales slowdown isn’t inevitable.
True, there are dips in workplace attendance while we all jet off on our holidays. True, those absences affect project turnaround time. And it may even be true that the hot weather makes us all a little less productive, and a lot more distracted with wistful thoughts of beer gardens and beaches.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be resigned to a poor summer sales performance. The weather is sizzling, and your ecommerce sales can too.
So, to help you avoid the dreaded summer sales slump, we’ve put together the ultimate seasonal sales guide spanning 3 core areas: acquisition, engagement, and automation.
Part 1: Acquisition
Let’s start at the beginning: acquisition. You want to acquire more inbound leads via your website, so you can drive those summer sales. Here’s how.
Get tracking 🔍
No movement at the bottom of your sales pipeline? Refill it from the top with fresh web leads.
Reverse IP tracking will pinpoint your website visitors and tell you precisely who is browsing – precisely as they’re browsing. The right software will trace visitor identity, location and contact details, so you can reach out right away.
It’s not about bothering your web visitors, it’s about giving them the same level of service they’d receive face to face. (And driving custom in the process.) To do that, you need to start tracking visitor entry and activity.
After all, you wouldn’t make zero effort with a potential customer who enters your store, so don’t ignore one who enters your website. Take the time to identify, understand, and acknowledge your web audience – there’s no better way to keep a healthy pipeline.
- • Hint: Try WhosOn prospect detection 💡
Get optimising 👌
Are your display banners summery? Are your bids weather optimised using AdWords scripts? If not, you’re missing out on obvious seasonal opportunities.
It should go without saying, but leaving the same dusty old ads running the whole year round is a bad idea. Your customer’s needs, behaviours and moods aren’t static. Your campaigns shouldn’t be either.
It’s simple stuff. If you’re selling a car in July, it’s more effective to show a sporty convertible in your display ads than a rugged four-wheel drive. If you know that people search for a specific product or service more on a sunny day than a rainy one, use AdWords scripts to fetch weather information and auto-adjust your bids. And since we’re all weather-obsessed, use season-relevant ad text that consumers are more likely to respond to.
An ad that runs all year round leads to a desensitised consumer. The right ad, to the right person, at the right time… that’s the ad that will get clicked.
Get dovetailing 🕊
Your shop front looks different with every season, doesn’t it? Well, your website is your online shop front, and it should look (a little) different with every season too.
That doesn’t mean radical, sweeping changes every few months. It simply means dovetailing summer visuals across your site. It could be a subtle addition of summery graphics, or it could be a touch of light colour to embrace the season’s warmth.
Small, summery changes don’t just perk up your site, they also perk up your visitors. And engaged visitors become shoppers.
Plus, you’ll keep your site fresh and relevant. Customers don’t trust a site that looks outdated, so don’t risk losing that trust.
Get offering 🛒
Take a cue from retail this summer. Summer sales and special offers aren’t just pervasive - they’re expected. Customers know that summer is the time for a bargain, and they expect it across the board.
You might think that special summer offers aren’t applicable to your business. But have you thought outside the box?
Take a look at Uber. They may not be able to offer slashed prices or discounts, but they did bring a slice of summer to consumers recently by delivering complimentary ice creams via their usual app. Needless to say, the campaign was met with resounding delight and garnered both impressive reach and impressive engagement.
So, get creative. Figure out how to incorporate the sunny weather into sunny extra offerings for potential customers, and watch the results roll in.
Get blogging 🖊
Capitalise on the time of year. Seasonal topics are of the moment, and writing about them can bring a big traffic boost.
As useful as evergreen content is, it can become a little stale. Seasonal, summery blog posts, on the other hand, are fresh and timely. They show that you’re on top of things. And of course, they’re also a great source of inbound leads.
Don’t forget to tie those summer blogs in with season-specific SEO. You could even consider creating specific pages for specific periods, complete with optimised content and targeted keywords.
The point is: create custom content for summer-loving customers. You’ll win more website visitors, more engaged users, and more resulting sales.
Get implementing ⚙
When it comes to sales, having the right tools is half the battle. So, use the summer downtime to try new sales and productivity tools.
We’ve already mentioned reverse IP technology as a powerful acquisition tool. But what about a heatmap tracking system – so you can see precisely where your visitors are clicking?
Or what about A/B testing software, to see which content and which call to actions work best? What about analytics software, so you can see which sales campaigns are performant?
This summer, take the time to introduce new tools to your team. They’ll feel more empowered, more confident, and more battle-ready.
- • Hint: Try WhosOn live web analytics 💡
Part 2: Engagement
By now you’ve started the process of acquiring more leads. So, the next step is to nurture those summer leads while they’re still hot. And tailored online engagement is the key.
Get chatting 💬
A prospect has landed on your website. How can you expect to give them impressive customer care if you’re not there?
To be there for your online visitors – and more importantly, to turn them into new customers – you need to integrate a live chat solution. Conversations drive conversions. With live chat, you can reach out to users as they browse and give exceptional service that would otherwise be impossible.
A powerful live chat tool can show you what visitors are looking at in real-time – meaning you can provide relevant, specific support and information. It can provide intelligent automated responses to commonly asked questions – so customers receive answers instantly, while they’re still interested. And of course, it can prevent shopping cart abandonment by engaging the user before they leave.
The result? Sizzling summer sales.
- • Hint: Take WhosOn for a free trial 💡
Get targeting 🎯
We mentioned the importance of tracking visitors in the first part of these summer sales tips. You already know how useful it is for insights on prospects. But it’s also invaluable for live online engagement.
Good tracking software will tell you things like the location of your visitor, their traffic referral source, and number of previous site visits. In short, it will tell you everything you need to know to deliver a tailored experience that generates conversions.
So, why not use the data you have on visitors to display relevant, dynamic content? It could be a banner for return customers, offering a discount to them for being “old friends”. It could be a location based ad, informing the visitor of a sale in their area.
You get the idea here. Don’t just sit on visitor data: use it to roll out the red carpet and treat your potential customers to a targeted web session.
- • Hint: Try our personalised CX features 💡
Get popping 💻
Pop-ups can be massively annoying. But, when used sparingly and specifically, they can be effective conversion tools.
So, let’s say a visitor has just finished reading a long blog article. They’re clearly engaged, and you want to keep them that way. So, what better time to trigger a pop-up recommending similar content, or asking for an email subscription?
Or let’s say a visitor has spent over 3 minutes browsing a product page. Obviously, they’re interested – and you can further encourage that interest with an understated pop-up offering a free trial or a scheduled call to an agent.
By engaging web visitors with timely, relevant pop-ups, you can keep them invested on your site, and bring them closer to a subsequent action or sale.
Get relevant 💯
You’ve succeeded in acquiring prospects to your site. No doubt you’ve also succeeded in filling your site with clever content to stimulate conversions.
But great feedback from existing customers will always be immeasurably more compelling than all that clever content. So, use it in the right place, at the right time, to the right visitor.
That means not lumping all your feedback together on a single static page. Instead, dynamically surface the best and most relevant review whenever a specific product is clicked on.
That way, you’ll establish authenticity right at the point of interest. A prospect checking out your product either has interest or a mind to buy, and feeding them great appraisals at opportune moments is a seriously convincing sales tactic.
Get revealing 🔢
Statistics are a great way to drum up sales. Live statistics are even better.
Do you know how many customers have purchased your product or service? Do you know how many countries it’s used in, or the percentage of happy customers, or how many active users it boasts? Well, reveal that kind of information – live onsite.
And don’t stop there. Drum up heightened sales interest by showing how many other site visitors are currently looking at the same product, or how many visitors have looked at it that month.
After all, popularity is a powerful sales driver. Not only are you engaging your online visitors by serving them dynamic, pertinent content, you’re also pushing them closer to a sale by disclosing accurate numbers.
Get surveying 📝
Everyone has an opinion. And most of us like sharing them, too. Are you taking advantage of this online?
By surfacing site surveys to engaged visitors, you’re first and foremost collating useful data. But more than that, you’re showing that you’re a brand that cares about the voice of the customer. You’re giving users a platform to express their opinions on your site and services, directly at the point they’re reading about it.
The feedback in itself is enough to optimise and nurture future sales. But the live survey engagement also keeps users on your site, and keeps them considering your offering.
Your sales can only increase as a result.
Part 3: Automation
At this stage, you’ve acquired more web prospects, and successfully engaged them online. That means more summer sales, but less time. Here’s where automation enters the fold.
Get scheduling 📆
Summer time is when most of us enjoy a relaxing holiday in the sun – making outreach problematic. But some weeks are more popular with holidaymakers than others.
July, for example, is the holiday month of choice – with the second week being the most common time to take a break. (This compares to just 11% of people who take their holiday in June, and 36% in August.)
So, use automation software to schedule outreach at the most opportune times. The right package will automatically send emails at set times and dates, respond intelligently, and even update your Outlook calendar with meetings and appointments.
By eliminating costly communication delays while prospects are on holiday, you eliminate points of friction. In the process, you increase your chances of summer sales.
- • Hint: Take our automation solution for a test drive 💡
Get calling 📞
To avoid a summer slump, you need to up your outbound efforts. A large part of that is the telephone – and a large part of that can be automated.
How would you like the opportunity to instantly call the people browsing your site, as part of an automated dial-up? What about having your telephony systems automatically lined up with the numbers of prospects to call that day?
This summer, give yourself a head-start by automating the phone call process. The right software will do all the pre-call legwork for you – meaning you can make more calls, more efficiently.
As an extra tip, try to make more calls before noon. Productivity wanes during those long summer afternoons, and you need to capitalise on morning motivation while it’s still there.
- • Hint: Try the ThinkAutomation Twilio integration service 💡
Get translating 🌐
There are plenty of summer sales obstacles to contend with. Don’t let language be one of them.
Making sales is easier without lengthy delays and misunderstandings. But it’s not guaranteed that all your inbound messages or telephone calls will be in English. So, try using a real-time translation tool to break communication barriers.
A touch of automation software will instantly translate incoming text into your language of choice, for quick, clear communication, 100% of the time. It will even connect to your telephony systems, so that verbal conversations can be translated back and forth as they unfold.
Less impediments means a smoother sales process, and a simpler path to increased summer sales.
Get syncing ⛓
You have to work harder to keep a healthy pipeline during the summer slowdown. That means you want to spend time chasing sales, not keeping on top of admin.
What better time to let email automation software lend a hand? With a simple parsing tool, all your inbound messages can be processed, stripped of key details and synced with your CRM, database and cloud computing systems.
You won’t have to spend time copying and pasting message content into customer CRM records. You won’t have to update purchase orders in your database. And you won’t have to spend time manually updating contact details or conversation histories. It will all be done automatically, instantly and accurately on your behalf.
So, as well as saving yourself a mammoth chore (and a mammoth bore), you’ll be able to focus your efforts on what you most care about: driving those summer sales.
- • Hint: Try ThinkAutomation email parsing 💡
Get monitoring 👁
You need a competitive edge to thrive during a slump. To do that, you need to have eyes everywhere – including your competitor’s activity.
Time to try some social monitoring. Now, we know you don’t have time to sit on social feeds all day, which is why we’d recommend letting automation software do it for you. Social media automation software can scan for any and all content related to your business, your products, your industry and your competitors.
Even better, it can analyse that content for sentiment. Without lifting a finger, you’ll know what the public thinks of your brand, rivals and sector, and precisely what they’ve been saying about it.
To get ahead this summer, get informed. With an all-encompassing view of the market, you’re much better placed to beat a sales slump.
- • Hint: Try our automated monitoring service 💡
Get texting 📱
You’re already sending outreach emails. You’re already making as many telephone calls as possible. But are you using SMS to stimulate your summer sales?
There’s no better way to have your content read than by sending an SMS. People delete emails, they screen calls and they scroll past your ads. But they’ll always open up a text message – and therein lies the value of SMS for your summer sales strategy.
Try sending SMS campaigns to pump new life into your sales funnel. With simple SMS automation software, you can issue large-scale campaigns to customers and prospects – putting your offers directly in front of them.
90% of SMS texts are read within 3 minutes of delivery. It’s an almost guaranteed way of having your messages read immediately, and a perfect opportunity to send targeted, time-sensitive offers during those slow summer months.
- • Hint: Try our automated SMS service 💡
Ready for sizzling summer sales?
If you want a little technological help to get you through the summer sales slump, take out a trial of: