Prepare Now to Ensure Your E-Commerce Brand Wins the 2022 Summer Sale Season

April 20, 2022
by Merikay Noah

Have You Made Your Summer E-Commerce Sales Season Marketing Plans?

Got all of your marketing strategy ducks in a row for this summer’s e-commerce sale season? To paraphrase a well-known poet, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” 

How Your 2022 E-Commerce Summer Sales Season May Be Different

Potential uncertainty exists when we look at the 2022 summer sales season.

As of this writing, these outside factors may affect this summer’s e-commerce sales season:

  1. Covid keeps spawning new mutations
  2. The supply chain is still not working
  3. Climate change is creating delivery issues 
  4. Rumors of more increasing inflation persist 
  5. Russia invading Ukraine is creating unexpected impacts 

The good news? These outside factors can be mitigated or even turned to your advantage.

Your E-Commerce Brand Can Win Summer Anyway

Smaller e-commerce companies are nimble and can shift gears much faster than major corporations. That can be a real asset during uncertain times.

Plan your Summer 2022 sales season to consider uncertainties that could affect your sales. Strategize to maximize your brand’s impact and sales results.

In other words, your Plan A and Plan B may need a Plan C and a Plan D.

You probably already have Plan A and Plan B, so let’s look at how to mitigate the factors most likely to cause issues. That way, you can devise the plans you’ll need so you can act quickly.

Factor 1 - Covid

Covid seems determined to mutate for-freaking-ever. Ironically, the only good thing to come out of Covid appears to be that e-commerce growth has mushroomed in the past two years - ballooning to $870.7 billion in 2021, a 14.3 percent YoY increase from $759.6 billion in 2020. The more Covid’s an issue, the more people shop online. That trend is expected to continue. 

What to Do: After two years, you’re pros at this. What can you add to what you’re doing? Maybe place some content on your website letting customers know how much you’ve appreciated their business during the pandemic. You might also say you value their continued orders and you’ll continue to be there for them. 

Factor 2 – Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

Supply chain issues are outside our scope; however, we caution you to set realistic expectations. Customer relationships are all about trust. Ensure you can get products to your customers when they order them. Despite real-world issues with supply chains, customer expectations for fast delivery remain the same.

What to Do: If you suddenly find a supply chain cut off, immediately make that item unavailable and pull all ads for it. A simple thing to write on your product page is, “Not available due to temporary supply chain issues. Expected back in stock soon. Would you like us to email you when it’s back in stock?” 

Factor 3 – Climate Change

Climate change’s most significant effect on e-commerce appears to be weather conditions delaying deliveries. Fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and extreme heatwaves can all affect timely summer deliveries. Although that’s an after-sale issue, it still needs to be addressed to keep customer trust.

What to Do: One solution is to have content on your website, on social media, and in emails/texts to reassure customers. If you go one step further and send out notices when weather affects delivery, you’ll be a hero instead of a villain. 

e-commerce brand summer sale success
Factor 4 - Increasing Inflation

Inflation could be the most impactful of all the factors. Perceived increased inflation is already impacting e-commerce sales. Right now, customers discuss on social media that they’re cutting back. Continuing gas price increases will impact transport costs and increase product costs. As that happens, customers will delay even more buying decisions. That potentially impacts e-commerce summer sales across the board, except possibly for essentials.

“…shoppers are slowly reigning in their spending and changing their priorities. BCG says that out of the customers who noticed price increases in 2021, roughly 44% are seeking out discounts, and 38% have switched to cheaper brands. (The percentages are the average of all three income groups).” Lauren Hall, E-Commerce Predictions for 2022: Key Trends to Expect.

What To Do: Take an objective look at your brand and price points. How essential is your brand, and to whom? Can it be realistically positioned as necessary to one of your customer segments? Start planning how to shift perception in that direction. Can you, for example, bundle offers to help make your price point more attractive? Get creative about rewarding current customers and attracting new ones.

Factor 5 – Political Upheaval

Russia invading Ukraine and how that continues to develop is the wild card for the 2022 e-commerce summer sale season. Will the EU and the U.S. make prospects so tricky for Russia that it pulls back? No one knows. Any result will impact e-commerce because e-commerce is a worldwide system. However, there are a couple of things interesting about this political situation.

“The beginning of the pandemic included wild, frustrating, and over-the-top ‘stockpiling’ of goods. Consumers, worried that supply would be interrupted or that they would not have the ability to make purchases in the future, bought food, toilet paper, medicine, and cleaning products in industrial quantities…As the conflict in Europe continues, this phenomenon may be ripe to repeat itself. Is your company ready for huge sales, and then perhaps a larger dip?” Araceli S., The Russian Invasion of Ukraine Is Seriously Impacting E-Commerce.

What To Do: Only you can assess how this situation could impact your sales. In addition to bulk buying potential, look at your international customer and supplier demographics. Plot strategies for mitigating damage and potential opportunity. European supply chain issues are already occurring. Depending on your e-commerce brand and product line, those may become more attractive to overseas customers because similar Ukraine and Russian products are not available.

Summer Sale Success is Closer Than You Think

Your e-commerce brand can win at the Summer 2022 sales season by ensuring you can pivot on a moment’s notice as outside factors come into play. Then you can shout, “Aha, we’re ready for this! It will not stand in our way!” 

Spot-on marketing planning and strategy are the keys to ensuring nothing stops your summer sales. You can make this a winning e-commerce summer. Contact us if you want assistance to take your e-commerce brand’s 2022 summer sales season to the next level no matter what outside factors get thrown at you.

About the author: Merikay Noah has over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing. She worked with e-commerce B2C and B2B websites of all kinds, from Fortune 100s to small start-ups, at two of the top three search engines and at a Los Angeles ad agency. Her successful e-commerce book publishing website, PopcornReads.com, attracted an international audience of bookaholics for over eight years. She now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she works as a copywriter and loves to hike with her small but fierce doggy protector – Miss Lucy.

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