Local businesses have been shaking off the snow, cleaning their gutters and updating their inventory and displays to prepare for spring. Does that include you? Ensure your business is ready as well. Here are a few key trends local businesses should keep in mind for spring.
1. They’re spending more time outside.
With the weather warming up, people want to spend more time outside soaking up that sun. This has obvious implications, like increased sales of outdoor and sports equipment, but other implications may be a little less obvious.
For example, more time outside also implies a more social atmosphere. (Think – cell phones around patios and pools.) Since “social” also includes an online component, more customers expect integration between the in-store experience and the online experience. While a full-blown omnichannel approach might be cost prohibitive for a local business, it’s important to think of ways to make both the in-store and online experiences as user-friendly as possible. For example, does your storefront feature the address of your website? Does your website make it easy to find your storefront? It’s worth some thought.
2. We’re working with warmer weather.
During the colder months, many customers only want to go into a store, get what they want and get out. But spring’s warmer weather allows for a more relaxed, leisurely experience. This is the time to try special promotions like sidewalk sales. Local businesses can also use social media to run contests that encourage online engagement or coming into the storefront. (Also see a recent blog of ours on this very topic: Dust Off Your Advertising Plan in Time for Spring.)
With spring having a natural theme of renewal, local businesses can incorporate this theme into their promotions. A good question to ask is, “How can customers find renewal with my product or service?” Some ideas to get you started:
- Get that spring back in your step! Get a free massage when you book a chiropractic adjustment.
- Renew and revitalize today – get 25% off our special spring facial!
- Refresh that worn-out wardrobe. Take 15% off in stores this week.
3. Other businesses are releasing new products.
Spring is when many retailers and manufacturers announce or release their newest products. In many cases, the products can be tied to the warmer weather. For example, new camera models are typically released on an annual cycle. Camera manufacturers Canon, Nikon and Sony have all announced new cameras and lenses, which just so happen to be perfect for photographing springtime flowers and landscapes. Coincidence? We think not.
Also, for industries like fashion and beauty that always change with the seasons, spring marks the latest releases for their products. It’s important for local businesses that carry these products to feature them prominently for customers who want the latest and greatest.
4. There are higher fuel prices in the spring.
You may already know that gas prices tend to rise with the temperatures, but do you know why? It’s tempting to think petroleum companies are raising prices simply because they can, but that isn’t the case. Gasoline has winter and summer blends. The summer blend is made to evaporate less easily – yay! On the flip side, it’s more expensive to produce, which is why you see higher prices at the pump. Boo.
What this means for your small business: your suppliers face increased transportation costs during this season. So, if your suppliers have suddenly raised their prices, they could just be passing on their own higher costs.
5. Everyone’s planning for summer.
It might seem too early to think about summertime, but many people use the spring season to plan for events that will take place during the summer, like weddings and vacations. For weddings, it’s recommended clients book service providers such as florists, caterers and photographers a few months in advance, at minimum. For businesses providing these services, spring is when you want to get the word out to potential clients for a slice of the peak summer season business. (You thought we were going for a “slice of wedding cake” pun there, didn’t you? Sorry to disappoint.)
For travel-related services, booking well in advance can often yield the best discounts. Again, announce specials in the springtime for goods and services related to summer vacations and activities, and watch the crowds pile in.
Want to know more?
If what you learned here inspires you to take your local business to the next level, why not see what we can do to help you? From social media management to comprehensive business management software, we can take care of all the things that can distract you from your core business.