The weather is warming up, the rabbit and egg displays have taken the place of the chocolate heart boxes at the grocery store, and customers are thinking about summer. The change of the seasons is always an exciting time, especially for e-commerce merchants! There are so many opportunities for sales and promotions, which means it’s an ideal time for unloading old inventory and getting your audience excited about your incoming stock.
It seems like there’s a spring holiday or celebration every week, if not more, so there’s no limit to the creative promotions you can choose from! Here are just a few of the most popularly celebrated days:
- March 8: International Women’s Day
- March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
- March 20: First Day of Spring
- March 31: First Day of Passover
- April 1: Fool’s Day & Easter
- April 22: Earth Day
It’s a time when everyone’s in the mood for a fresh start (which often means an expanded budget), but for many, the weather hasn’t quite caught up, and they’re also on the hunt for winter deals that they can use now and then stockpile for next year. If you balance your new item promotions with an end-of-season clearance sale, you’ll be able to turn a heft profit while also thrilling your customer base.
Coordinate Email & Social Media Marketing
Once you’ve decided to do a seasonal sale (and really, why wouldn’t you?) it’s time to build up anticipation. Getting your audience excited about the event is an incredibly important part of making sure that it’s a success. To get best results, make sure that your goal for the sale is not just to move inventory, but also to attract new customers - and then retain them.
To get started, promote the upcoming sale where your audience is most receptive to your branding. This is generally a combination of your social media channels and your email marketing outreach. Use these platforms to highlight both your new spring items, and announce your “Winter Clearance” or “Garage Sale” event!
Get Inventory In Order
One of the major goals of your seasonal sale is to get rid of your old stock, and promote your new items. In order to do that effectively - and avoid embarrassing your brand by processing a payment for a product no longer in stock - you’ll need to make sure your inventory is accurate and well managed.
While it’s technically possible for a store to manage their inventory manually, investing in a management system is the best way to avoid expensive mistakes when it comes to orders, storage, fulfillment, and payments.
Our favorite inventory management tool is StitchLabs, which is specifically designed for high-growth brands. The software is flexible and responsive, which makes it perfect for recurring sales, accelerated scaling, and expansions:
Now that you know exactly how much you have of each product, tell your audience! There are few things that are more effective for inspiring purchases than an inventory countdown. Cultivate your customers’ sense of scarcity and FOMO (fear of missing out) by letting them know when your stock is running low, or the sale is close to ending.
The best way to add a countdown is to integrate it directly into your website code. However, there are a few app options you can try out if you’d rather not commit to a Shopify designer (we won’t take it personally). Our favorite is While Supplies Last, which is a plugin by Ethercycle that requires a $9.95/month investment:
In addition to your low stock alerts, make sure that there’s an end time set on how long your sale will go on. Want to really motivate customers to buy? Install a simple timer app that shows them exactly how long they have until your prices go back to normal.
We love Beeketing’s free Countdown Cart:
Update Your Web Design
We love how our client NOBULL does this for their product launches; a big, bold, homepage takeover of the upcoming product. There’s no way anyone could miss their seasonal sales or launches, which is exactly how it should be. If you’re still unsure whether your site would benefit from a refresh, remember: everything feels more exciting after a good cleaning and updating, especially your Shopify store!
Inspire your customers and get them in the mood for fresh finds by brightening up your site. This can be something simple and easy, such as bringing in new, high quality photographs with seasonal colors and themes, to a total redesign. Remember, your existing customers are all too familiar with your current site - so it’s time to do some sprucing up.
One idea we love is asking customers who bought your products at the beginning of winter to send in their own pictures of themselves enjoying their purchases. While this won’t work for every industry (sorry, software developers), if your product is photogenic, it’s one of the best ways to promote your store, refresh your content, and gain powerful reviews, all in one move.
The most important detail to remember throughout your redesign: make sure your promotions are described the same on your website as they are in your emails and social media posts, and are very easy to find. You wouldn’t want someone clicking through from your marketing, only to think the sale is over (or worse, that it never happened). That includes making sure the discounts are actually applied consistently, and there’s no inconsistencies across your website. If you’re unsure how to do this, check out our guide on how to implement Shopify’s Launchpad tool.
Consistency Is Everything
As with virtually every aspect of e-commerce success, your sale’s effectiveness will largely be determined by how consistent your brand is. Your goal: define an attractive offer to your customers, spread awareness of that promotion to your audience, ensure all marketing channels match, and then deliver those promises to your customers.
Now go turnover that inventory!