Use Incentives to Get Your Customers to Spend Like It’s Christmas in July


shutterstock_87693331 newI’ve written posts on the blog before about the summer slowdown. Warm weather and kids on vacation is a classic combination that leads to stagnant sales — and wistful shopkeepers’ glances out the window at wraparound lines at the ice cream parlor down the street.

I feel your pain! But the trick is never letting ’em see you sweat. Combating the summer slowdown just takes a little out-of-the-box thinking.

Create Christmas in July by making summer an exciting time for your business. Here are three ideas for using incentives and other special offers to boost sales or upsell during an ordinarily slow summer.

Pair a new product with a special incentive

Creating bundles, which pair existing favorite products or services with new, lesser-known or less-popular ones, can be a great way to boost sales in those areas, but adding an incentive “for nothing” could be even more effective.

For example, consider offering a Gift Certificate with a new line of clothing or a new spa service — or whatever your business offers — for a “Night on the Town” special offer!

Of course, don’t forget to spread the word about your incentive bundle through your e-mail blasts or social media. Sales and special offers tend to travel pretty well by word of mouth, but you need to get the word out in the first place!

Offer a month of double loyalty points

Already have a loyalty or incentive program in place? Up the ante by offering double reward points or extra incentives for shopping or visiting in July.

If you’re using Gift Certificates to entice your customers to visit your business more often or spend more in your store, consider doubling the value of the gift certificates you offer — or offer one certificate for your customer and one for a friend on their qualifying purchase — during the summer.

However you do it, the idea here is to find some way to make your customers’ loyalty even more valuable as an incentive to spend time and money with you.


Create a special event

Finally, regardless of the time of year, people are always looking for an excuse to put their party hats on! So put together a special event and give your customers the best reason of the summer to bring themselves (and their party hats!) to you.

It doesn’t have to be an elaborate shindig: Summery drinks like lemonade, iced tea and punch (perhaps a boozy concoction, if that’s up your customers’ alley) and light snacks are often all you need to draw folks in the door.

Add door prizes or a raffle — Gift Certificates are a fantastic prize, by the way — to the mix and people might be breaking down the door for a chance to enter.

Most importantly, of course, use that special summer event to show off an enticing display of new products or educate people (in a fun way) about a service you’re looking to interest them in. Make it easy for them to act on it that day — or in the future.

How do you entice your customers to keep their business coming during the hot summer months? Do you make your business’s incentives even sweeter during the summer? We want to know how you create Christmas in July at your business.Leave your ideas in the comments section below!