Q3 Selling Season Quick Guide
With a new quarter comes a new sales approach. It’s the perfect time to reflect on past wins and challenges, to prep for what’s ahead, and take advantage of opportunities to attract new customers and re-engage old relationships. It’s not just what they buy, but how, when and where they buy, too. In order to get the most impact out of each selling season going into the second half of 2019, we’ve created a month-by-month guide to foster Q3 sales success for your brand.
Summer is officially in full swing! Backyard BBQs, pool parties, and family vacations are on everybody’s mind, so you’ll want to put together a marketing campaign that adds to that overall feeling of anticipation and excitement. July is a great time to plan a corporate or team training to get employees pumped up for the second half of 2019, and plan seasonal sales strategies for the next six months. The 4th of July is a particularly notable opportunity to drive sales, and a great way to add a little patriotic pizzazz to your retail displays. Take advantage of people buying new clothes, grills, and patio furniture to gear up for the big day. Even though this year’s holiday falls in the middle of the week, that’s no reason to slow down your sales strategy. According to a National Retail Federation survey from 2018, more than 216 million Americans (87%) celebrate the 4th of July, and they spend $6.9 billion on the food involved alone. Hear that sound? It’s opportunity knocking.
July 2019 Holidays To Note:
- Thursday, July 4: Independence Day
- Sunday, July 28: Parent’s Day
While the month of August is lacking in national holidays, it more than makes up for it in preparing for the First Day of School. It has become increasingly the norm for schools to start in August vs. September, so you’ll want to get ahead of this trend with a savvy back-to-school sales strategy. There are 132,853 K-12 schools in the United States, and according to the National Retail Federation, an average household with elementary, middle, and high school children will spend $685 (or $27.5 billion nationwide) on new school supplies including notebooks, pencils, folders, calculators, backpacks, lunch boxes…the list goes on. And that’s just for K-12! If you throw college into the mix, there’s a whole new segment of sales opportunities, from dorm room essentials, “adult-life” wardrobe updates, and the need for new laptops and other electronics for incoming freshmen. It’s also a great time to test campus brand ambassador programs and refine your existing approach to targeting college-age kids at retail. After all, they’ll be entering the workforce within a few years, and will ultimately become your next generation of shoppers.
August 2019 Holidays To Note: N/A
Labor Day is another opportunity to take advantage of outdoor parties and extra time off work. As the summer comes to an end, start focusing on all things fall – that means fashion, football, and food. The perfect chilly-weather trifecta! Another thing to think about: End of Summer sales. Put together a compelling strategy to get rid of leftover inventory and make way for new product to hit the shelves in Q4. Smart shoppers will be lined up, already preparing for next summer’s adventures in this year’s clearance section. Launching an Assisted Sales blitz around this time is helpful too, as you can start building brand loyalty on the weekends. As we all know, building long-lasting brand loyalty is a marathon, not a sprint, and now’s a great time to begin.
September 2019 Holidays To Note:
- Monday, September 2: Labor Day
- Sunday, September 8: Grandparent’s Day
- Wednesday, September 11: Patriot Day
- Monday, September 16: Stepfamily Day
- Tuesday, September 17: Citizenship Day
- Friday, September 27: Native American Day
If you haven’t already planned for Q4’s holiday marketing strategy, now’s your chance. Q3 is a great time to test, refine, and optimize marketing strategies for maximum effectiveness in Q4. Try testing a few digital campaigns – such as a targeted PPC landing page – to capture online traffic and drive in-store visits. Or activate a quick Assisted Sales pilot to get your retail bearings and establish relationships in stores. It’s also a great time to do training with store associates as some retailers block out brands from training the holidays. Even better? Test it all! Capturing customer information online and testing out sales strategies in store prior to the holiday chaos will allow you to better tailor your sales plan to your customer come Q4.