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Maximizing Memorial Day & Summer Sales

E-Commerce Marketing Guide

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Ultimate E-Commerce Marketing Guide to Maximizing Memorial Day and Summer Sales

In the e-commerce world, summer tends to be a slower season of sales compared to some of the peak performance periods of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the winter holidays.

Still, plenty of opportunities exist during the summer season. In addition to major summer holidays—Memorial Day, July Fourth, and Labor Day—it’s a great time to:

  • Nurture your existing customers
  • Encourage customer retention
  • Promote attractive deals to keep sales going

Plus, you get to do all this by capturing the feelings of summer through bright design and content that reflects the fun and warmth of the season.

This guide will answer your questions about how to maximize sales throughout the summer and take advantage of summer holidays, especially Memorial Day, to increase sales.

This guide will answer your questions about how to maximize sales throughout the summer and take advantage of summer holidays, especially Memorial Day, to increase sales

The E-Commerce Landscape in 2023

2022 wasn’t exactly the most “chill” year for businesses. The U.S. entered what many are considering a recession, and although inflation is easing and U.S. retail has made a major comeback, prices in most categories are still high. 

For e-commerce businesses, the news is better. E-commerce sales spiked during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to do so well into 2021. Although sales have slowed, the sector continues to grow. According to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce:

  • In Q3, e-commerce grew 10.8 percent compared to the same time last year
  • More than 20 percent of consumer spending from July to September happened online

With any growing industry, there’s strong competition as well. As we enter the summer sales season, developing multi-channel sales efforts, retaining customers, and promoting summer-themed content and products are crucial strategies to remain a competitive figure in the field.

Dive into the Summer Theme

Your journey into the summer sales season begins with preparing your products. Even if your company doesn’t necessarily provide a summer-specific product, with a bit of clever ideation around design and copy, you can make your product relevant to the season.

Here are a few ways you can create the summer theme in your products: 

Summer-Themed Collections

Offer customers a curated collection of items that are perfect for summer such as swimwear, beach accessories, and grilling equipment. For example, you could create a "Summer Essentials" collection.

Have fun with these collections and offer them throughout the season. Start promoting them toward the middle of spring to create awareness. By the end of spring, make sure you’re creating a feeling of time sensitivity so that they don’t miss out.

Summer-Themed Packaging

Summer is a season for celebrating, especially for people who live in wintry climates. Really take advantage of the bright colors and feeling of warmth that comes from summer to promote a sense of happiness and celebration.

Summer-themed product and shipping packaging can add a fun and festive touch to your e-commerce products and unboxing experience to help your brand stand out. Consider the following ideas:

  • Beach-themed shipping boxes: Use shipping boxes that feature beach-themed designs (e.g., images of sun, sand, and sea) to add a touch of summer to the unboxing experience.
  • Patriotic shipping boxes: For a patriotic summer look, consider using shipping boxes that feature imagery and colors associated with the Fourth of July, such as the American flag, stars, and stripes.

Summer-Themed Subscription Box

Offer a summer-themed subscription box that delivers summer essentials directly to customers’ doorsteps. For a food brand, it might be a summer snack box, or for a beauty brand, a collection of summer beauty and skincare products.

Summer Gift Guides 

A gift guide is a curated selection of products specifically curated as gift ideas for a certain occasion or recipient. E-commerce gift guides typically feature a range of products in different categories and price points, making it easy for shoppers to find the perfect gift for their loved ones.

Summer Lifestyle Content

In 2023, all types of brands are leveling up their game with lifestyle content. After all, if a brand bombards subscribers with only sales and product drops, the customer doesn’t walk away with a memorable experience. Offering help, fun content, or education will plant deeper memory triggers in your customers, pushing them to become loyal, repeat customers.

Summer lifestyle content for e-commerce email marketing

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Need help planning lifestyle content and summer events to match your brand? At SmartBug, we do exactly that!

Contact us to connect with a strategist today.

Take Advantage of All Summer Holidays and Cultural Events

Brands can take advantage of more than just Memorial Day. Events and cultural holidays occur throughout the summer, and companies can tie their brand to any number of them.

For example, a health brand might celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21 and offer a free yoga class or techniques on social media and email. This creates excitement, social sharing, and a community of loyal customers who will remember your brand and shop more.

Other fun holidays include National Selfie Day (June 21), World Chocolate Day (July 7), International Cat Day (Aug. 8), and many more. 

For a full list of holidays and cultural events—and strategies to adapt them to your brand—check out our guide and 2023 calendar template download.

love your pet day email example

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day kicks off the summer, so it’s a great time to celebrate. Use this as an opportunity to offer sales discounts on must-have summer products. Run a weekend flash sale leading up to Memorial Day for customers interested in stocking up on summer essentials.

Fourth of July

This holiday is considered by many brands to be the Christmas of summer. Leverage American independence pastimes—backyard barbecues, pool parties, and beach cookouts—in your campaigns. Offer discounts, sales, free gifts, and the opportunity to earn loyalty points.

Back to School

Although it’s not an official holiday, the end of the summer is a great time to create back-to-school shopping guides geared toward products that kids need. This is also a great opportunity to offer parents self-care products such as skincare, beauty products, and other relaxation items. 

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Mother's Day & Father's Day

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are great times to express gratitude for our parents, and giving thoughtful gifts is one way to do so. The fact that these holidays are back-to-back creates an environment that’s crucial to the success of summer sales.

Labor Day

Some people might be sad about the end of the summer, but you can brighten up the mood by leveraging your inventory to create an overstock campaign that offers heavily discounted items to drive sales. You can also start creating excitement about the fall by emailing subscribers with early discounts or giving them first dibs on your new fall catalog. 

Make Summer-Themed Website Updates

Your website essentially functions as an online business card for your brand. It should say everything that there is to know about your company and offer a seamless experience that guides them through the customer journey

The start of every season is a great time to reevaluate your current website design and make changes to reflect the feelings of the season. Doing so provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Increasing brand exposure
  • Boosting SEO
  • Keeping visitors and customers updated
  • Providing new offerings for the season

A little effort in creating a summer redesign can go a long way both in intriguing the customer and in sales:

Revamp Your Logo

A summer-themed logo is a fun way to bring a sunny look and bright feeling to your brand. It allows you to connect with your audience through the shared spirit of the season. 

Add Holiday-Themed Designs

In addition to bringing a more summery feel to your website, design with holidays in mind such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and other major holidays. Consider every aspect of your website, especially banners, pop-ups, and images. 

Add Functionality

Keep the mindset of your visitors in mind. They’re probably fairly relaxed, in a better mood, or maybe running around wild keeping kids entertained. No one is going to have the patience for dealing with a difficult website, so yours should be easy to use, understand, and navigate.

Consider adding a chat feature that your customers can interact with to get answers whenever questions arise. You can even add summer-themed features to the chat function. Also, make sure other features are functional, such as the search bar, blog search, social media icons, contact form, and knowledge base or FAQ page.

Create Summer Holiday Deals

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the summer when friends and family gather together to barbeque or take a trip to the beach. Although multiple holidays take place during the summer months, Memorial Day is a time when many people seek out a sale. The day—and the days leading up to it—are filled with chances to get a significant boost in revenue through summer-focused sales. 

The best way to motivate visitors to make a purchase is to offer them something they can’t resist. Here are a few ways to motivate your customers to buy:

Time-Sensitive Deals

Create a sense of urgency among buyers by offering deals that will end soon and have limited availability. For example, May 25 only, get 25 percent off all orders if you’re in the first hundred buyers. 

"Happy Hour" Deals

A “happy hour deal” is a lot like a time-sensitive deal, only much more time-sensitive. Offer benefits during a certain period of time. For example, Get an extra 25 percent off your Memorial Day orders if you purchase between 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

VIP Exclusive Deals

These personal recommendations and offers are only for loyalty program participants. Make sure they know you value their business by offering exclusive deals and access to new products before anyone else.

Whisper Code

Whisper codes are referred to as “whispers” because they can only be heard by those who are paying close attention. For instance, publish special discount codes on your social media so that only your followers see them.

whisper code email example

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Military Discount

Offer a special discount to active military members and veterans as a way to honor their service.

Patriotism Discount

Offer a discount to customers who make a purchase of patriotic-themed items such as American flags, t-shirts with patriotic designs, and more.

Memorial Day Weekend Bundle

Offer a bundled deal on items that are perfect for a Memorial Day weekend such as a picnic basket, cooler, or other products that would suit the usual summer kickoff festivities.

Create Summer-Themed Email and SMS Campaigns

You might be wondering at this point about how you’re actually going to connect with customers and potential customers about the deals and sales ideas we’ve listed so far. 

One of the surest ways to promote sales, deliver informative, engaging content, and build brand loyalty is by creating email and SMS marketing strategies that work in tandem

SMS messages are almost never sent without emails. They are usually a complimentary strategy used to inform the recipient of an order confirmation, provide delivery confirmations, and promote time-sensitive deals. Leave emails to the content-heavy messaging. 

Here are some content ideas for your summer-themed email and SMS campaigns: 

Memorial Day Sale Announcement

As we discussed in the previous section, Memorial Day is an important holiday for sales. The best way to promote this sale is by sending an email announcing the sale, highlighting the best deals and discounts on summer-related products.

New Summer Collection Launch

Create an email campaign showcasing your latest summer collection, highlighting the new products and their features.

Summer Gift Guide

At the beginning of the summer, promote summer gift ideas, featuring products for various occasions and recipient types. Gift guides are a great way to take the mental guesswork off of customers’ plates, making their shopping experience effortless. Gift guides can be made for different customer types, for gift-givers, or self-gifters.

summer gift guide email example

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Summer Clearance Sale

Toward the end of summer, send an email promoting a clearance sale of end-of-season summer items such as swimwear, outdoor furniture, and more.

Summer Lifestyle Content

Your email campaigns don’t always have to push products or deals. Instead, they can provide summer-related lifestyle tips related to your brand such as how to make the most use of your brand’s summer products, how to stay cool in the heat, how to plan a summer barbecue, the best places to travel, and anything else your customers would value.

summer lifestyle email campaign example

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Create a Summer-Themed Loyalty Program

Exclusivity is a huge motivator for customers. When many consider a product unattainable, the value is greater. Exclusivity creates a sense of curiosity, urgency, and FOMO (fear of missing out). 

You know your customers better than anyone else, so offer products, discounts, bundles, and the like that would intrigue your loyal customers. If you’re not sure where to start, consider:

  • Establishing a loyalty program that rewards customers for making purchases during the summer season, such as a $10 voucher for every $100 spent during June, July, and August.
  • Creating a Summer Vacation Contest, a loyalty program that encourages customers to make purchases during the summer season and enter for a chance to win a summer vacation.

Host Summer-Themed Events

Whether you choose to host an event online or in person, the importance of these events can’t go unsaid. Getting your customers together is a great way to build a community around your brand. 

Summer-Themed Virtual Events

Host virtual events relevant to your brand, such as a summer cooking class or a virtual beach party, to engage customers and build brand loyalty.

In-Store Events

Host in-store events with good food and drinks to engage customers, build brand loyalty, and help customers and potential customers alike develop positive associations with your brand. 

Pop-Up Events

Even if you don’t have a store, pop-up stores are becoming more and more popular. These are best suited for larger cities where you can throw events that look like block parties or backyard cookouts. 

Develop a Multi-Channel Approach to Selling

Although email and SMS marketing are the cheapest options with some of the best results, you can’t rely on them solely to push your summer sales. Consider the fact that you need to have subscribers to email and SMS for them to be effective.

If you have the funds and minds for an effective multi-channel strategy, take advantage of them. Here are the top channels where you should engage with customers: 

Run a Paid Campaign 

These days, a lot of paid ad campaigns are channeled through Google or a social media platform. These platforms offer the greatest reach and best targeting tools to ensure your ad budget is used as effectively as possible.

Your ads need to stand out, which means harnessing the power of imagery and color. Make sure they’re relevant to the summer season or the holiday that you’re targeting.

Collaborate with Influencers

Collaborating with an influencer in the summer lifestyle space can be a great way to reach a new audience and build brand awareness. Identify the right influencer by looking for someone who aligns with your brand's values, has a large and engaged following, and produces content relevant to your target audience

Create Social Media Strategies

Social media is a great space to create fun, engaging content. Many companies have a lot of success by creating challenges and competitions, and by teasing upcoming products. Consider launching a summer-themed social media challenge, such as a summer selfie contest or product challenge, to engage customers and drive sales.

Maintain Stellar Customer Service

A part of your multi-channel approach requires excellent customer service. If a customer has a bad experience with delivery, receives the wrong product, or goes through anything else that might cause friction, your customer service department needs to be there to mitigate. 

Train customer service representatives to handle summer-themed inquiries and offer recommendations for summer-themed products. You can do so by: 

  • Looking at data from the previous year to develop a summer FAQ
  • Providing product knowledge training for all summer products

Need Help Heating up Your E-Commerce Summer Marketing Strategies?

Our full list growth, email, and SMS strategy has been battle-tested over the years and used time and time again to grow thousands of e-commerce businesses. In a partnership with us, you’ll maximize engagement and sales not just for summer but also every quarter throughout the year.

Request a consultation with one of our expert strategists, and we’ll plan it with you.

Conclusion

Need Help Heating up Your E-Commerce Summer Marketing Strategies?

Our full list growth, email, and SMS strategy has been battle-tested over the years and used time and time again to grow thousands of e-commerce businesses. In a partnership with us, you’ll maximize engagement and sales not just for summer but also every quarter throughout the year.

Request a consultation with one of our expert strategists, and we’ll plan it with you.

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