Seasonal e-commerce businesses, such as those specializing in holiday decorations or summer clothing, rely heavily on specific seasons or holidays to drive their sales. However, when the off-season rolls around, these businesses can often struggle to maintain their customer base and generate revenue.
Finding ways to attract customers during the off-season can be challenging, but it is essential for the long-term success of these businesses. Below, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members share effective strategies that seasonal e-commerce businesses can use to keep their customers engaged and generate sales throughout the year.
1. Cover Shipping Costs
Offer free shipping. It’s one of the most efficient strategies to attract customers during the off-season. Shipping costs have often been a dealbreaker for many customers when ordering stuff online. So, allowing your customers to get their preferred items at their doorsteps without having to pay an extra amount can help bring traction to your store during the off-season. – Chris Klosowski, Easy Digital Downloads
2. Reframe Your Marketing Strategy
Incentivizing prospects with deep discounts and early-bird specials can be an effective strategy, but convincing them that it’s best to get ahead of their need for the product is also critical. Consider reframing your marketing so that it builds a case for why this is the best time to make a purchase. If you have complementary products, the “off-season” is a great time to cross-sell to customers. – Samuel Saxton, ConsumerRating.org
3. Host A Giveaway
One clever way to improve sales for your business is to host an off-season giveaway. People are always willing to participate in a risk-free contest, even if the product isn’t in season. The key to turning your giveaway into sales is to send everyone who participated but didn’t win a thank-you email with a limited-time discount. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
4. Leverage Your Mailing List
Make use of your database. Peak season is an excellent opportunity to build a mailing list. As the lull of your slow season approaches, a mailing list can pay off as a way to connect with customers about special offers or products. With this, you can stay top of mind with customers throughout the year by offering specials or helpful tips, gaining more word-of-mouth recommendations from delighted patrons. – Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.
5. Create A Loyalty Program
One way to attract customers during the off-season is by creating a loyalty program. By offering a discount or rewards points, you can encourage customers to shop with you even outside of the peak season. Make sure to frame the loyalty program in a way that emphasizes the value for customers in the program exclusively. This makes it more appealing and likely to boost sales during the off-season. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
6. Explore Other Profitable Niches
One of the best ways for a seasonal e-commerce business to attract customers during the off-season is to consider exploring other niches. Since you’re in a seasonal business, any fix you come up with would be temporary. Next year, you’d more likely be facing the same problem. So, think ahead and consider exploring other profitable niches to expand your business and attract new customers. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
7. Offer Special Discounts Or Limited-Edition Products
One way for seasonal e-commerce businesses to attract customers during the off-season is to offer special promotions or discounts on their products. For example, a beach-themed business could offer a discount on sunscreen or beach towels during the winter months when people are less likely to be thinking about their summer vacations. Another strategy could be to offer limited-edition products. – Fritz Colcol, Simply Thalia
8. Collaborate With Other Brands
By partnering with other brands, you can attract more people to your website during the off-season. Guest posts, sponsored posts and collaborative videos are all excellent options that will drive traffic to your site, even if your product or service isn’t in season. If the content is helpful, people who find your company during this time may decide to continue engaging with your brand. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC