Spring is beginning to show itself around the country, and for a lot of people, that signals the start of the outdoor recreation season.
For online storeowners, the arrival of spring has just as much excitement. Spring is a time when customers are anxious to emerge from the winter months, and are oftentimes more eager and willing to buy.
There's just one question - how can ecommerce storeowners harness spring euphoria to increase sales?
Why does spring spur buying?
Before discussing specific plans for harnessing spring euphoria to increase sales, you need to first understand why the season of spring can send customers into a spending frenzy.
According to a Worldcrunch article from 2014, there are a few scientific reasons behind why spring puts people into good moods. (The following points and data are all from the Worldcrunch article linked above.)
- It's psychological: The Worldcrunch article cites research from a psychologist that states human beings "react massively to light." That reaction kicks off a series of events that put us all in better moods. Suddenly birds are singing, the days are longer and warmer, and even the sight of couples going on walks together can subconsciously motivate us to leave the house and go outside. That puts many in a naturally great mood.
- It's hormonal. According to Helmut Schatz, a spokesman for the German Society of Endocrinology, the rays of the sun actually change our body's hormone balance. Sunlight causes our bodies to produce more serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happy. The sunnier it is outside, the more serotonin we have in the bloodstream, which contributes to great spring moods as well.
- It's genetic. Medical meteorologist Gerhard Lux of the DWD weather service says that positive reactions to sunlight and warmer days is "ancient" and embedded in our genes. The sun's rays and the rhythm of spring itself combine to wake up our ancient genes that make us more active and happy to be outside.
There you have it, a couple of very legitimate scientific reasons why it’s easier to wake up with a smile on your face during spring as opposed to winter.
Does spring really cause increased buying?
It's all fine and dandy to know the science behind why you feel better during the spring - but does that good mood really translate to more online sales?
This results page from Google Trends should answer that question for you.
The peaks occur regularly from February - April, and coincide with Spring Break, and the start of spring in general. So yes, the change of seasons actually does influence how many people are looking for spring sales, and then buying items when they find what they want.
This begs the question - why are people staying inside to buy things when they could be outside instead? Well, that can be explained by our shopping habits. Instead of going out to shop, we spend an increasingly large amount of time and money buying products online. This is why, even with the spring euphoria driving people outside, you can still count on a sales spike if you correctly position your store.
How can I get a slice of that pie?
Now that you can see spring really does spur more buying, how should you position your online store to take advantage of "spring euphoria" and entice shoppers into buying what you're selling?
That depends entirely on what products you stock in your online store.
An article from last spring on Ecomdash recommends creating content based around spring and the products your store offers:
- If you sell garden tools or any type of household appliance, this is easy. Discuss gardening tips, how to compost, easy household DIY projects, etc.
- If you sell craft supplies, consider what ways your products could be used to decorate dyed eggs or create a festive spring scene for a mantelpiece. Could your items double as party favors at a spring garden party?
- Maybe you sell kitchen supplies, and you have a killer recipe for Easter treats? Share what you know!
- If you sell fashion and accessories, discuss the latest trends to watch, or how to pull off a high-end spring look with your items.
This approach taps into the power of content, social media, and spring fever all at once.
Spring is also an incredibly opportune time for apparel sellers. According to eMarketer, in July of 2015 stores selling apparel online made up 17.2% of the total US retail ecommerce revenue.
If you sell any kind of apparel in your store, spring is the time to liquidate your old inventory (from Fall/Winter) and introduce a few new products for your customers. Again, I'm taking this same approach with the Colorado-based apparel startup I'm working for. We realized that we had a shortage of Spring-style apparel, so after a few meetings we settled on new designs for shirts and marketing campaigns to accompany their release.
You can also harness spring euphoria by doing a "Spring Fever" sale if your store doesn't sell items that lend themselves directly to spring-related content.
For example, take a look at this trends chart for the term, "Spring Break Sales."
Once again, even if your store doesn't sell items that necessarily lend themselves to spring-related content or social campaigns, you can still have a "spring break sale" due to the simple fact that people actively search for spring break sales during this time of year.
With the science and trend research to back up just how powerful the spring shopping season can be, hopefully you've learned a bit more about this phenomenon and found some ideas to implement in your online store to take advantage of this unique time of year.