With sub-zero temperatures and several feet of snow outside, no one wants to go outside unless they need to. Naturally, this can mean bad news for retailers who rely on in-person customers for most of their sales, especially for stores that don’t sell winter items.
Even if you sell Obermeyer ski jackets for menor hot coffee or anything else that people want to buy in the winter, the harsh season can still have a negative impact on your sales, especially considering that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. However, the exact opposite can also be true. With the right strategy, retail stores can not only maintain their sales but in fact, boost them entirely despite the dreary weather outside.
Here are several strategies that can help you do that.
In the winter, days are shorter and grayer than usual. Attract people’s lines of vision towards your store by increasing your lighting both on the interiors and exteriors. Bring in more lamps, spotlights, or string lights to highlight your products and make your interior look brighter from the outside. At the same time, install more lights outside your store to make it stand out in the gloomy weather.
Offer special promos, discounts
The cold weather won’t change the fact that consumers are always looking for good deals. Assess the kind of products you have and figure out what kind of promo or discount will attract buyers best. For instance, if you carry phone warmers and are situated in an area that experiences very cold winters, hold a promotional sale on those items before winter rolls around. This way, customers are already aware that you are having a sale on those products before they even realize the need for it.
Another great example is partnering with a local coffee shop to reward customers with a hot beverage for their purchase at your store. People constantly seek comfort against the cold during winter, and a hot beverage is an effective incentive to get them to buy something.
Winter-proof your store
Before the temperature starts to drop, make sure that your store is well-insulated to keep it warm and more energy-efficient. Customers will want to feel warm when they enter an establishment, and having a warm store will encourage them to stay longer and browse your products. Apart from that, winter-proofing your store will help keep the precious heat inside, thereby keeping your energy bill from shooting up in the cold months.
Have “impulse purchase” items on your counter
Browsing items on the counter gives customers’ eyes something to do while waiting for the check-out process to complete. When they see something that piques their interest (which is not necessarily something they need). They are likely to make the impulse decision to add it to their purchases.
That said, use your counter space to capitalize on impulse purchases–but modify it for the winter. Display items like hand warmers, hot cocoa packets, cold medicine, socks, and other things that people would want to buy during the coldest season of the year.
Start an online store
When the weather is bad, people prefer to stay at home and do their shopping online. And with the pandemic, in-person visits to retail stores are likely to dwindle even further.
The best way to adapt to this change is by setting up an online counterpart for your physical store. The website doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it does need to look professional to establish legitimacy. Then, upload your inventory to the store to allow customers to shop without going to your physical store. This might take a lot of time, depending on the amount of inventory you have, so be sure to do this in advance so that your website is all set up before winter.
However, setting up an online store is not enough. You also have to market it to both existing and potential customers. To do that, display signage to let your customers know that they can now shop online. At the same time, advertise your online store on social media platforms to reach more customers and ultimately boost your winter sales.
Winter can bring either increased or decreased sales for retail stores. Regardless of what the winter season has in store for your business, employ strategies that can boost your sales despite the gloomy weather, the decreased foot traffic, and the overall lethargic pace that everything seems to move in during winter. Even if you always experience increased sales in this season. The coronavirus pandemic is a new factor that you have to consider, too.