It’s easy for fashion merchants to take advantage of new seasonal products every few months. But what if you sell stationary or modular furniture or anything else that doesn’t easily lend itself to seasonal products and promotions? Just because your product category doesn’t change up every time the temperature goes up or down doesn’t mean that seasonal promos are out of your reach.
Even if your product remains the same 24/7/365, you can still tap into seasonal hype and leverage the relevancy and immediacy of calendar-related events. You, too, can have a little fun (and boost sales) with National Pancake Day or a Summer Solstice promo.
Not only can seasonal promotions help boost your sales and reinforce your brand (when executed well), they can also help you:
- tell better stories by connecting with your audience and their daily life
- develop more strategic promotional content over a 6-12 month schedule to tie in with seasonal peaks
- take advantage of seasonal web traffic spikes and hashtags that can drive traffic to your brand
Creating Seasonal Opportunities for Any Product or Brand
Spring, summer, winter, fall… the actual seasons aren’t the only timely opportunities to promote your product or brand. The opportunities are almost limitless:
- Temperature/Weather Changes: This is a bit different than the seasons. October in Connecticut feels very different from October in Georgia. Tie in to storm seasons, the changing leaves in autumn, or the beginning of beach weather.
- Holidays: Every merchant takes advantage of the Christmas season and Cyber Monday, but consider the less obvious (or more obscure) holidays to reinforce your brand identity. Check out Days of the Year for inspiration, like World Stationery Day (April 25) or chocolate day (July 7th).
- Sports Seasons: From the Superbowl to the Little League World Series, the Olympics to the World Cup, every sport has its season. Connect with the fans using a campaign theme that will carry from the start of the season right through the very end.
- Other Seasonal Opportunities: There’s the school calendar (both for K-12 and college students), the fiscal quarters and year-end, animal mating seasons, blooming seasons for different types of flowers, you-name-it. Don’t forget to celebrate your customers’ birthdays and personal milestones as well.
June is high season for weddings, and Triton Jewelry makes use of this opportunity to promote its most popular wedding bands.
Think about special days and holidays that are relevant to your customers. Almost every day, week, and month celebrates something. The sooner you start planning, the better.
Planning a Seasonal Marketing Campaign for Your Shopify Store
Shopify makes it easy to build a promotional campaign around any theme. Rather than trying to tackle every possible seasonal tie-in, pick a few key seasonal events that reflect your brand and start from there. To make your execution as successful as possible, a seasonal campaign can take two to three months to plan and should be integrated across multiple platforms: website, blog, email, social, paid, etc.
The primary components of any seasonal campaign are your promotional theme, branding, product, and promotions.
- Promotional Theme: Create a theme that will distinguish your seasonal communication from regular brand messaging. This is a great way to let your customers know that something exciting is going on.
- Branding: Create a visual look and messaging for your seasonal campaign. It’s important to stay true to your brand, but feel free to play with the colors, background, and details to create a unique spin on your identity.
- Product: Make a list of products that you’re going to highlight. Base your selections on relevance to your theme, interest for your customers, and potential for promotions. These are the main products that you’re going to show off, so choose wisely. Create curated collections and/or lookbooks to highlight your selected products.
- Promotions: Decide on the promotion(s) you will offer as part of your seasonal campaign. Depending on the products you choose and the campaign theme, you may want to offer a percent discount, free shipping, a BOGO deal, or another promotion. Keep the promotions consistent throughout the campaign.
Executing an Integrated Seasonal E-Commerce
Once your seasonal campaign is planned out, it’s time to partner up with any needed consultants (website developer, designer, writer, social media, etc.) to get all of the pieces created. Make a list of all graphics, ads, and videos you will need, including dimensions, files sizes, and maximum copy length. A typical multi-channel campaign will include your website and blog, email marketing, advertising, and social media.
Launching a seasonal campaign on your website involves banners for both your campaign theme and product promotions, a refresh to the homepage design, product category pages, and landing pages for email and pay-per-click campaigns.
Write a blog post that introduces your seasonal campaign theme, messaging, products, and promotion.
Prepare a campaign email template and messages for different customer segments. Start with an introductory email, then follow up with a promotion or two on hot items. Schedule your emails, and be sure to link to the campaign landing page.
Depending on your strategy, pay-per-click, search, and social ads can all support a seasonal campaign. Create introductory ads, promotional ads, and ads for specific products. Include keywords related to your campaign and direct the ads to your landing page, specific product page, or category page.
Prepare social posts for each of your social channels including a post to introduce the new campaign, celebrate best sellers, announce promotions, share blog posts, and inform about sold-out products. Use seasonal and related hashtags, and change your cover image on each channel. Schedule your posts, and plan to publish Instagram and Facebook stories during the campaign.
Make the Calendar Work for Your Brand
No matter how often you introduce new products or refresh your categories, you can take advantage of seasonal promotions for a great opportunity to refresh your site. When the campaign is over, review your analytics and assess your success. You may just want to make your seasonal campaign an annual event!