08 Aug Boutique Tips | FIVE Tips to Beat the Summer Retail Slump
5 Ways to Beat The Summer Slump in Your Boutique Who’s been there? The dreaded J months in retail…..or so you thought? Let’s talk about how to make some of the J months your best ones yet! PLUS…how to prep for 4th quarter NOW.
In the summer, margins are down because there is less need. You can use this time to keep your engagement up with your customers. Here are some creative ideas to maintain relationships and end your year strong!
#1 Maximize Video
If you attended Summit, you heard us talking about IGTV. A simple way to maximize your lives is to upload them to IGTV. Focus on connecting with your audience and creating engaging Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube videos. We offer 6 video ideas for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat here and 5 ways to rock video for your boutique here.
Another incredible resource for your boutique is The Boutique Hub Member Training Library. It is packed full of content to help you up your video game!
#2 Lifestyle Content
The person who keeps engagement up during summertime wins! When fall hits and your customers are looking to start buying, you want them to be the first person they think of. Here are a few creative ideas to get you started:
- Closet cleanout challenge
- Clothing drive
- Summer styling
- Bring customers in as a client. Charge $50-$100.00 for a styling session. Offer a coupon for a percentage off their next purchase or a BOGO.
- Hair & Makeup Tutorials
- Recipes/Recipe Swaps
#3 Tax-Free Weekends & Community Holidays
Tax-Free weekends and community holidays are a perfect opportunity to increase sales during the summer months. Each year, select states offer tax-free weekends before school starts. This is to nix sales tax on back-to-school items. The eligibility requirements vary by state but eligible items usually include clothing, school supplies, books, computers, and more. If you do not live in a state that offers a tax-free weekend, or you can’t participate in your local community events–create your own!
Tax-Free Weekends 2019
Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi had tax-free weekends in July.
Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina offer their tax-free weekends in August.
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Texas have their events coming up. You can check out the dates here if you want to participate!
#4 Events & Experiences
For inspiration, look at big box stores. I know this seems like a bit of a contradiction when you are trying to encourage people to shop small. But they have millions of dollars and full-time marketing staffs. If there is something we can agree on is charitableness is always a good idea. Most big box stores offer school supplies, clothing, or food (non-perishables) drives to help families that are struggling with back-to-school purchases. Check out their calendars and offer an event like that of your own.
You can also use the J months to offer experiences to your customers. Creative ideas like digital shopping experiences, scavenger hunts, or even deals like Buy One Now, Get One Later can get customers engaged with your store and build relationships. Another idea is to create a pop-up outside of your normal space or offer one in your own space!
#5 Use The Downtime To Update Your Marketing & Numbers
J months can be slower but this is your time to prep for the really busy third and fourth quarters. Don’t overlook the opportunity you have in the J months to make something happen. Here are several ways that you can use that downtime to prep for the end-of-year holiday sales.
Update Your Marketing
You can segment your audience to increase open rates into past customers, best customers, get back customers, location, & size. It is also a good time to update your emails and create text marketing lists. If you aren’t using Facebook messenger there is an opportunity to update that during the summer. Do a social media audit and update all of your channels, content calendars, and marketing strategy.
Update Your Numbers
Understand your margins, your maintain margins, your best-turning vendors, sizes, and categories. So many times people are only focused on Gross Sales. But because they did not calculate their best turning vendor, category, size, or their maintain margins they miss an opportunity to keep their money in the right place. You can use that data to become a better buyer and that will set you up for success.
Update Your Finances.
Get serious about your QuickBooks, PNL’s, balance sheets, and create that open-to-buy plan! If you haven’t read the 7 Financial Tips That All Boutique Owners Must Know, that is a good place to start.
Use our five tips to beat the summer retail slump to prep for the fourth quarter. The J months can provide an opportunity for savvy boutique owners to plan and strategize. The Boutique Hub offers a #BoutiqueBoss Planner with built-in checklists, dates, and multiple ways to get organized.
Want more tips and strategy for your boutique, brand and the industry as a whole? Make sure you are on our email list or join us for the most in-depth resources, training library, company profiles and collaborations at www.theboutiquehub.com/join.
This blog was assisted with the help of Tosha Schiffli, Owner & Creative Director | Willow Bend Design