How to Help Drive More Sales in Any Season

It’s always a great time to generate (or accelerate) momentum. Here are 6 tips to help your business.

The traditional peak shopping season centers on Black Friday for many online retailers. But, depending on your line of business, sales can rise or fall any time of year. So whether business is booming or lagging, there’s always space to get more strategic with your sales. Let’s explore 3 smart moves to help drum up business in slow times, plus 3 ways to help stay steady when sales are strong.

First things first

Before talking about growth, let’s check on your current e-commerce approach. Take a closer look at your website and existing campaigns—are your products and content pieces as timely as possible? If this is your first audit since the holidays, make sure you delete any winter or holiday-themed messaging. Then think about the calendar events coming up and how you can plan content that resonates with your audience and is relevant to their interests. For example, a spring break-themed sales event might speak to the college crowd, but may not be the best choice if you’re going after the 35-and-older demographic.

3 ways to help generate demand if sales are slow

1. Follow the hype model

It works for the multi-million dollar streetwear industry for a reason: no one wants to miss out on the next big thing. Creating surprise short-term sales events is a great way to generate demand when there normally isn’t. Keeping up with your social channels is key to getting the word out in advance or sharing user-generated content from engaged customers who caught the sale.

If product drops aren’t your style, you can generate demand by reducing the availability of a given product. Pick a popular item to start, one that you can feel confident will sell out if inventory becomes low. With availability down, demand will hopefully shoot up, persuading customers to pull the trigger faster so they don’t miss out.

2. Throw a pop-up

Pop-up experiences are a great way to create urgency around your brand while offering a fun and unique way to engage with your customers. Just like limited-edition products, pop-ups typically find success by limiting the duration of their event. From a few weeks to a single weekend, timing the length of your pop-up could be key to creating FOMO.

To bring your pop-up to life, consider partnering with a local brick-and-mortar or events space, depending on the size of your experience. If you’re working with a smaller budget, even a tent at your local vendor market or community event can go a long way. Just make your activation feel like you, to help your customers feel excited about their experiences connecting to your brand.

Try using postcards to get the word out or say thanks for stopping by. Mailchimp can help you send physical postcards to your customers and similar audiences in one area, even down to the zipcode. Since it’s tangible (and hopefully fridge-worthy), a postcard is an easy way to stand out with a personal touch.

3. Plan for holidays and events

Planning around major calendar events in your industry is a savvy way to spend your resources while staying in the conversation. Consider the moments that your audience is tuned into online, whether that’s a gift-giving day like Valentine’s Day or a cultural event like the annual Big-Game-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Think of these major moments as platforms for getting content in front of the right audiences.

First, post on your social accounts and include relevant hashtags to help make your business easily searchable. Then, set up automated emails to help drive business from your regulars leading up to these key dates. If your pricing strategy has enough wiggle room, try setting up timely promotions to cast the widest net within your target audience. Finally, if you need a hand creating beautiful and on-brand content, use Mailchimp’s Creative Assistant to make it happen in just a few clicks.

3 ways to keep momentum if sales are booming

Even if business has been consistently strong, you can still make some moves to help drive even more sales now and in the future.

1. Gain 5-star reviews

Even one-time customers can help do right by your business by leaving favorable reviews, so make it easy with a well-timed request for feedback.

Following up just after delivery, when the product is new and excitement is high, could be one of the most effective times to solicit feedback from your audience. It can also help sway your next customer into committing to a purchase. Be sure to place your product reviews in a visible spot on your website for easy reference.

Think of these reviews as your e-commerce “word-of-mouth” or a personal recommendation from a friend. Highlighting that third-party endorsement could be an effective way to reaffirm a purchase decision or persuade someone who’s still deciding.

2. Create a post-purchase strategy

The only thing better than making one sale is making two. Establishing a base of repeat customers can do big things for your bottom line. So make sure you’ve considered the customer journey beyond the first sale.

Create a welcome page with a sign-up form or encourage customers to add their email address at checkout—whatever works to add their email to your list so you can follow up with new sales opportunities. To save time, set up an automation to send product recommendations based on their most recent purchases. Or send a reminder email every set number of days if you sell a refillable product.

3. Help turn window shoppers into satisfied customers

Not everyone who visits your site makes a purchase, so focus on converting as many onlookers as possible. Limiting friction points between your business and your visitors could help push the odds in your direction. For instance, try including a newsletter sign-up or link to your social channels as soon as someone new stops by your website. Then hit them with a retargeting ad, a great way to get back in front of the more elusive members of your target audience.

If you’re seeing people fail to pull the trigger at checkout, you can reach out to them automatically with abandoned cart automation. As long as their information is in your email list, you can leave a friendly reminder in their inbox persuading them to come back and close the sale. If you’re feeling generous, try throwing in a discount code to sweeten the deal.

No matter how business shapes up, it’s important to realize it won’t stay that way forever. Staying nimble with your marketing can help you reach new customers and see your business in a new light, while crafting a long-term strategy can help keep your regulars coming back for more. Look for sales opportunities throughout the calendar year so that your Black Friday peak can become one of many.

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