Summer has officially arrived! People are getting ready to jet off on a well-earned vacation, and holidays like Father’s Day and Independence Day are around the corner. Therefore, there are excellent opportunities for merchants to scoop up cash. Spending habits for summer 2023 will be unlike previous years. So in this article, we’ll get you up to speed with summer spending insights so you can prepare your store for successful summer sales.
How will consumers shop and spend in Summer 2023?
Albeit a straightforward question, the answers aren’t so straightforward. Consumers like to keep us on our toes, so their spending habits will be pretty complex over the summer period.
Economies around the world are in the middle of a bumpy ride. Cost of living worries are at the top of European and Australian minds, and layoffs are dominating US headlines. This is causing consumers to worry about job security, and 47% of them have less confidence in the economy. Now here comes the complex parts.
Typically, you’d expect consumers to take a big step back on spending in these situations, but it’s quite the contrary. 64% plan to spend the same or more than they did in Summer 2022. And in the past year, retail spending has continued to rise yet slowly.
Consumers are willing to spend over the summer, but it will be with caution. In fact, a whopping 80% plan to trade down their usual, more expensive brand for cheaper alternatives. They’re also keen to alter the quantities of what they buy to get the cheapest possible price. Moreover, quality will be a huge motivator for purchases over the summer.
So, what are these cautious summer spenders planning to buy? It’s a delightfully mixed bag with top items, including clothing, swimwear, home goods, and beauty products.
Shoppers are ready to begin their summer shopping right now and have their sights set on summer sales. 56% will start shopping for summer goods as early as May or June, while 51% say a sale will likely motivate them to buy. These consumers will also be switching between online and offline shopping with 79% checking online prices when shopping in-store.
What should you do?
You’ll need to emphasize quality, value, and trust to grab hold of customers over the summer.
Shoppers’ readiness to trade down means you could lose some of your loyal customers if you don’t play your cards right. When you’re creating your summer sales strategy, include exclusive discounts, offers, and early access for your long-term customers. Remind them of the positive experiences they’ve had with your brand in the past and the value it brings to them in tailored marketing communications.
You should also build sales bundles for each top summer purchase category. Trading down also means shoppers will buy more if it results in a better deal. On top of this, ensure that finding sale items is a breeze with summer shopping guides and collections based on vacations, festivals, and garden essentials. If you haven’t started promoting your summer sales, get on with that now! These shoppers are already on the lookout for bargains.
Omnichannel experiences will be crucial to online merchants with a physical store. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, make sure you strengthen your omnichannel capabilities. Make it easy and seamless for shoppers to go from online to offline and vice versa.
Sephora’s mobile app (Source: Sail Thru)
Sephora provides some great inspiration. The mobile app uses location data to spot when a customer is in their store and present them with current deals and even the store map. In their online store, the brand uses visitors’ locations to show them the nearest store and its available in-store services.
Insights Into The Top Holidays & Sales Events In Summer 2023
The summer season is jam-packed with holidays and opportunities to hold sales events. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest ones and discover how consumers plan to shop.
On June 18, people in the US, UK, and Canada will celebrate Father’s Day. It’s also observed by consumers in France, Greece, India, Singapore, and South Africa, to name a few.
In the US alone, 75% of consumers will hold some sort of celebration and spend a record-breaking $22.9 billion collectively. This cash will primarily be spent online on gifts like clothing, gift cards, special outings, and personal care products.
What you should do
With shoppers spending more than ever, Father’s Day is an excellent opportunity to rack up some cash. Give your premium products the spotlight, and emphasize how special fathers are to encourage customers to splash out. You could even create limited edition products or gift bundles to build a buzz around your store and Father’s Day. Wines Online has a whole collection dedicated to its gift sets that would work well as a Father’s Day gift.
For Father’s Day sales events, focus on the top-performing categories and consider making Father’s Day shopping guides that include these products to inspire your customers and help them find the perfect gift in one place.
35-44-year-olds will spend the most this year, so invest heavily in traditional marketing communications like emails and website banners. Social media will also play a key role in sourcing Father’s Day gifts, so promote your gift guides and items here with a Father’s Day hashtag.
The 4th of July is big business in the US, with 87% planning to celebrate this holiday in 2023. Most people will spend $50 or less, but a fair amount are willing to fork out more. 31% of shoppers will spend $50-$100, while 24% plan to spend more than $100.
The top items for Independence Day celebrations will be food and alcohol, but American-themed apparel and decorations also carry favor. Shopping for this holiday typically begins quite early. Consumers start searching for July 4th-related content around mid-June and peak between July 1st and July 8th.
Independence Day searches (Source: Convert Flow)
Consumers also seem to have quite the appetite for sales over Independence Day. In 2022, almost 2 in 3 shoppers searched specifically for sale items.
Shoppers search for deals on Independence Day (Source: Numerator)
What you should do
You should definitely run an Independence Day sale and begin crafting it now to catch the early shoppers. It’s a good idea to trickle your sales and offers from mid-June to early July. As the holiday approaches, aim to create a sense of urgency by emphasizing last-minute deals or including a countdown timer. Stir up pride by brandishing your site in red, white, and blue, and use USA-themed discount codes.
Old Navy Independence Day email (Source: Smartr Mail)
Similarly to Father’s Day, Gen X will be the biggest spenders during this holiday. You can grab their attention with banner ads and emails promoting your premium products. Millennials are the most interested in online deals. As they rely heavily on social media for shopping, use it to draw attention to your sales and discounts with hashtags and shoppable posts.
With food and beverages being the most sought-after items, food-focused blog posts such as recipe ideas that weave in your products will work a treat. You can also tie in USA-themed apparel and decorations with blog posts suggesting different activities. Alternatively, create a collection filled with these products.
Amazon Prime Day
You’d be mistaken if you think Amazon Prime Day is just for the eCommerce giant and sellers on its marketplace. E-merchants benefit from the halo effect Prime Day emits as shoppers flock online to find deals. In fact, 47% of consumers expect other retailers to be running sales during Prime Day, and many make purchases from other retailers. In 2022, 38% of Prime Day shoppers also bought items from other stores.
Although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, we can expect Amazon Prime Day to land around mid-July.
During Prime Day, shoppers are typically on the lookout for consumer electronics, household items, clothing, and beauty products. In 2022, some of the most searched-for terms included wedding guest outfits, fall outfits, and maternity fashion.
What you should do
Shoppers are intently hunting for deals when Prime Day comes around, so ensure you have a sale that can go toe-to-toe with the retailer.
Provide a variety of flash deals for electronic products, clothing, and home decor. Select products from these categories that are seasonal and likely to be used during or immediately after the summer period. This could include garden furniture, travel items, wedding guest outfits, and laptops for students. You could even create unique bundles based on what your customers frequently buy together to give yourself the edge over Amazon.
Pay extra attention to your loyal customers, as they’ll be a lot easier to convert. Offer them exclusive deals on products similar to what they’ve shown interest in before.
Find out more: How To Take Advantage of Amazon Prime Day’s Halo Effect
Back to school
While it may feel like school has only just finished, back-to-school shoppers will begin purchasing as early as July. These consumers are more likely to head online as they’re on the hunt for the best deals.
School-related product prices have significantly increased over the past year. This has caused consumers to cut back on spending in other areas and place even greater reliance on back-to-school sales events. Moreover, in a bid to save money, 46% purchase bundled school supplies kits.
Social media will be hugely influential in back-to-school shopping. Most kids now are extremely socially savvy, and parents often turn to their children for direction on what to buy for them. Plus, there are more Millennial parents out there who use social media as a shopping tool.
Mental health is fast becoming a worry for parents. The mental well-being of their children post-pandemic is a concern of 50% of parents. This is causing parents to direct their cash towards products encouraging mental wellness. The story is the same when it comes to environmental concerns. 50% of parents choose environmentally-friendly products and will even spend more on such products.
What you should do
Sales should play a significant role in your back-to-school campaigns. Begin introducing your back-to-school sales in July and capture tardy shoppers with another burst in late August to mid-September. Be sure to include discounted bundles on school supplies and create back-to-school shopping guides to help parents find everything they need instantly.
You should also aim to bring additional value with your back-to-school campaigns that aren’t just monetary. Try to think of initiatives that will help children’s mental well-being and promote sustainability.
Gap’s back-to-school campaign (Source: PR Newswire)
Gap’s Everyone Belongs campaign focused on celebrating every child’s differences and showing that kids feel the most themselves in its products. Nature Valley promoted sustainability in its back-to-school campaign by rewarding families that made sustainable choices with free school items.
Social media needs to be the bread and butter of your back-to-school marketing communications and promotions. You’ll want to focus your attention on TikTok to capture Gen Z and Gen Alpha.
You can appeal to younger kids and middle schoolers by keeping tabs on popular TV show characters and sourcing products that include them. These can then be showcased in TikTok videos.
You’ll need to be a little more creative for Gen Z. #LifeHack and #collegelife are super popular hashtags with billions of views each.
Popular school-related hashtags on TikTok (Source: TikTok)
Try to create engaging content with your products that align with these hashtags or partner with influencers. You could also get students to do the heavy lifting for you by creating a branded hashtag challenge. Gen Z is also treating TikTok like a search engine, so ensure any content you post is easily discoverable by including keywords in addition to popular hashtags.
Millennial parents are more likely to use Instagram for back-to-school inspiration and purchases. Promote your sales and campaigns on Instagram and ensure posts that include products are shoppable.
Summer 2023 is filled with promises for e-merchants. Holidays like Independence Day and Father’s Day could be real money-makers, while Amazon Prime Day and back-to-school are great times to lure shoppers with irresistible sales. With these insights and tips, you can make the most of the summer season.