Seasonal downturns are a problem for companies in most industries, with the possible exception of everyday goods. Here are ways to adapt to a seasonal downturn.
Offer Related or Less Expensive Products
If your company’s products are needed only during the season, and there is almost no demand for the rest of the year, then selling related products at a discount will help smooth out the drop. True, for this you need to segment the database by product category in order to offer suitable options.
So does the online store of garden equipment “Garden Machines”. The company’s marketers compile a matrix of related products for each category and send mailings to customers. Those who bought a lawn mower are offered a blower to clean the gutters. Buyers of power saws are offered a battery, spare parts or oil.
Another option, especially suitable for B2B, is to offer products that can be bought spontaneously without having to budget at the beginning of the financial year. Inexpensive machine tools that are always in stock.
This allows the company not only to increase sales of low-cost machine tools. But it also reminds others about itself.
The idea is to change the assortment according to the season. For example, to sell not only seedlings, but also Christmas trees. There are many such examples in different industries. Fashion brand Finn Flare, known mainly for warm outerwear, has expanded its range with accessories, knitwear and dresses.
Some kindergartens offer a city camp in the summer. The Youth Development Center publishing house, which specializes in textbooks and online simulators for schools, offers programs for supportive learning during the holidays, aimed at parents, not schools.
Ticket operators also took the path of expanding the range when, due to covid, people stopped buying tickets in advance. Summer festivals were already in the portfolio. Atypical products were added to them. Entrance tickets to parks, boats, excursions and offline educational events.
As a consequence, in the summer of 2022 there was no pronounced seasonal decline. For the first time, the company saw a flat schedule for the year. June-August months were comparable to the pre-season – April and September.
Create Pent-Up Demand
You can do this with the help of promotions with deferred points or gifts, through the offer of free products, and by holding events. It is only important not to turn events into selling ones, but to give customers useful content.
The Youth Development Center publishing house, before the start of the dead summer season, holds a conference of education leaders. Methodologists and experienced teachers are invited. At one of the conference events, an online simulator for schoolchildren is presented and an offer is made to pre-order for the next academic year. Until the end of the academic year, the sales department calls those who left the application and issues a subscription. This allows the company to earn enough to get through the dead summer months. The famous Playamo casino has an online platform for New Zealand, a real NZ online casino where you will have access to thousands of games and live games.
Bring Back Lost Customers
During periods of calm, companies free up resources. You can use them to return lost customers – during a period of active demand, there is often no time for this.
Marketers of the UIS/CoMagic marketing and sales platform divide the departed customers into segments and work out the communication chain for each. For example, there are those who worked a little with the company and went to competitors. They are sent emails highlighting the advantages of UIS/CoMagic over competitors and suggesting they return.
It works. In the summer of 2022, this campaign resulted in an above-average conversion rate of 64.5%.
Increase Brand Awareness
In some areas, in the off-season, marketers begin to invest more in contextual advertising, thereby warming up the auctions of advertising systems and raising the cost of attracting customers. In order not to participate in this race, you can not increase the advertising budget at the time of the fall in demand, but use it in advance to increase brand awareness.
Extend the Season With a Discount
The discount allows you to “stretch” the season so that, on the one hand, there is no sharp drop in revenue, and on the other hand, so that the load is distributed more evenly. Ideally, a discount should be given only to those who will not buy without it – for this, you will have to segment the base.
If the client did not use the bonuses or was not included in the first selection, in a few days he will receive a discount offer (it is less than during the seasonal sale). Both bonuses and the discount are valid for a limited period and only for the new collection.
At the same time, there are situations when a discount can be distributed to everyone in a row – the benefit from the lengthening of the season is still more significant.
Sometimes the strategy to lay low and do nothing to wait out the low season works. It makes sense to make such a decision if efforts to stimulate demand do not pay off.
For example, you can stop collaborations with bloggers and influencers during March-April months if ads are the main growth driver for the company. It leaves you only two channels: contextual advertising and CRM marketing to work with the existing database. This allows you to generate new orders without overpaying for them.