The summer season is almost upon us, and while for many this signals long nights and longer weekends, for retailers this can only mean a lull in business is soon to come. The reality is that as the weather warms, many consumers will trade in their Saturday shopping trips for beach days, outdoor concerts, sporting events, and the like, leaving retailers strapped for cash and their aisles empty.
However, even with temperatures skyrocketing, consumers still have product needs. In fact, smart retailers can cash in on the warmest months of the year by employing a few summer retail ideas that are sure to boost sales. Check out these three retail ideas and discover how you can use them in your store.
Personalized Experience to Pique Consumers’ Interest
The first of the must-have summer retail ideas will be to establish a well-defined strategy to drive personalized experiences. Now more than ever, consumers are willing to provide their personal information for a more curated experience, and retailers should rise to the challenge. Before the pandemic, personalization ranged from using data analytics to understand consumer behavior to thanking them for their most recent purchase. However, when social distancing became a factor, the use of convenient, digital services such as curbside pickup rose in popularity.
Customers’ favorite brands are those that cater to their unique needs. Moving into this summer season, omnichannel experiences must be personalized and seamless in order to stand out from the competition. For example, through an SMS conversation, a shopper might want to receive promotional offers, but still have the capability to reach back out to the retailer for help. Kiosks can also be leveraged to create a better consumer experience, with features such as endless aisle and self-checkout allowing them to be more independent.
In addition to kiosks, retailers should also look into leveraging AI to dig deeper into consumer preferences. At the end of the day, even as the pandemic fades in the rearview mirror, consumers will retain their higher expectations for personalization, service, and the ability to transact in every channel.
Social Commerce Storytelling
It’s no secret that online shopping has exploded in recent years, with the challenges of pandemic and closure of brick-and-mortar stores adding to the surge. Nearly every business has or has considered opening an online store to accommodate a population that was stuck quarantining in their homes. The result: a society dependent on not only eCommerce, but also social commerce.
With the number of consumers who spend time shopping on social media, having a simple online store and casual social media presence isn’t enough. Offer a memorable product experience along with coherent storytelling that is consistent with your brand messaging. Storytelling is key to allowing consumers to connect with your brand.
Retailers can satiate consumer cravings for online content through podcasts, interactive social media posts, and other digital avenues. This and more are possible through a multi-purpose point of sale that can manage loyalty programs and monitor consumer reactions and responses to various marketing efforts.
Brand Ethics Matter: Communicate
The last of the summer retail ideas is to prioritize brand ethics. Today, customers are more aware than ever of their favorite brands’ values and ethics. 71% of consumers choose to buy from brands that share similar values, and according to Forrester, shoppers are evaluating retailers based on their ethics and values, with 41% of U.S. consumers seeking out companies with associated social, environmental, and political ideals.
This summer, communicate what causes your business supports at check-out via customer-facing technology such as POS tablets, kiosks, online sites, or digital signage. With your values front-and-center, you can cater to ethically-conscious shoppers who might be too lazy to do their own research, potentially expanding your customer base.
By offering genuine transparency, you may also weed out competition who are less forthcoming. Consumers will see the difference and suspect that these brands are hiding sketchy business practices and unaligned ideals, and instead choose to do business with you. While it can be risky to take a stance and you may lose some customers along the way, the benefit of lasting customer loyalty and trust is worth it.
There are endless summer retail ideas ripe for the picking; however, these three are sure-fire ways to keep customers coming in this season and for seasons to come. Make it worth their while with personalized experiences, social commerce storytelling, and brand transparency. Contact our team today to learn what products are best for your retail business needs.