2014 Seasonal Retail Guide: Start the Year Right

The New Year is a perfect opportunity to breathe new life into your business and implement new processes. Retailers can start 2014 with a bang by creating detailed marketing campaigns based on seasonal trends and shopping habits.

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People counting systems can be used to determine a retail store’s peak shopping times for each month, holiday or season. Monitoring the amount of people who enter your store during a specific time period can provide valuable insight into your marketing activities. And combining that insight with knowledge of seasonal trends in the retail industry is a recipe for success.

Follow this month-by-month 2014 seasonal retail guide to help you develop a detailed marketing strategy; make peak months even more profi
able and reinvigorate shoppers during slow months.

January – Consumers often see the New Year as a starting point for change, aiming to fulfill their resolutions. For many, weight loss, fitness and smoking cessation items are at the top of their list. Not to mention, retailers who sell sports apparel or merchandise could make a killing in the advent of Super Bowl Sunday.

February – Retailers who don’t offer typical Valentine’s Day gifts can still profit by keeping cute gift ideas near the register, like a gift basket or lotion sets. Clothing retailers should also do their best to incorporate New York Fashion Week runway trends in their store, showing that they are fashion forward. Other opportunities: Mardi Gras, Ground Hog’s Day, President’s Day and Black History Month.

March – The first day of spring usually makes people start itching for summer. In preparation for spring breaks, consumers will start to purchase summer items. In preparation for summer weddings, many brides will start their registries in the spring. Retailers can take advantage of those with spring fever by offering earlybird sales on these purchases. Other opportunities: St. Patrick’s Day, Passover, Easter, March Madness and the Academy Awards.

April – By this time, spring fashions have been on the shelves for a while and consumers will expect sales. To reinvigorate shoppers during this slow month, you could do something fun or funny – for example, emailing them a coupon that congratulates them for filing their taxes. Other opportunities: Baseball Opening Day, Good Friday, April Fool’s Day, Earth Day and prom season.

May – This month has a plethora of smaller marketing opportunities. People are planning their vacations, buying gifts for Mother’s Day, graduating and moving. Choose the one that makes the most sense for your market and inspire customers to accomplish these tasks with your products. Other opportunities: Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, TV season finales and Teacher Appreciation Week.

June and July – In these months, people are concentrated on fun: attending weddings, barbecuing, having outdoor parties, lighting off fireworks, etc. Whatever your market, offer promotions on your products that are the most fun and exciting – items that encourage them to continue to have fun. Other opportunities: Father’s Day, Flag Day, first day of summer and Independence Day.

August – By and large, August is about back-to-school shopping. This means everything from clothes, shoes, supplies, appliances and furniture. Recent studies show that back-to-school shoppers are most interested in getting more for less. They’re shopping more AND saving more. That’s why it’s important to launch your best sales and promotions during this time – especially on your new fall trends.

September and October – These months are all about themes. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so do whatever you can to incorporate the color pink in your items, advertisements and displays. Of course, Halloween items reign supreme at the end of the month, so incorporating spooky imagery and colors is a must. Other opportunities: Labor Day, New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer collections, first day of fall, Columbus Day and National Book Month.

November – Studies show that many shoppers are starting their holiday shopping extremely early. November is often spent brainstorming gift ideas, looking up prices, comparing brands and collecting coupons in preparation for Black Friday. The sooner you promote your holiday sales, the better. Other opportunities: Election Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and November television sweeps.

December – December is all about the holidays, too, except now shoppers have moved out of the planning phase and into more of a panic phase. Last-minute shoppers are looking for quick fixes. Also, studies show that people are beginning to become disinterested in Black Friday sales. Retailers can benefit from continuing sales in the weeks leading up to Christmas, offering last-minute shipping warnings and opportunities. Other opportunities: First day of winter, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s resolutions.

So, when is your store’s time to shine?