How the changing seasons impact shopper behavior…
As Labor Day signals the change in season and traditionalists pack up their white shoes, many a shopper starts to think about the time ahead. Fall is an interesting time of year when shoppers are returning to routine (work or school or both) and also beginning a slow burn that will ramp up to the holidays. How does all of this impact their shopping behavior and how can you use that in your store?
Back to School
In America, we often think of fall as the back to school time. While that may not specifically impact your store products—gift shops don’t carry a lot of calculators and college ruled notebooks—it does impact your shopper’s behavior. They are often toning down their shopping from summer. Staying in at home more. Focusing on working longer hours at work (vacation season has ended) and often returning to making more meals at home.
What does this mean to you? Think about how you can engage shoppers who are parents in the back to school process (what about bringing in an expert to talk about packing healthy lunches, or a fun parent/child class to decorate back to school items). Consider hosting a book drive for low income children which can have a huge impact on later school performance.
Excitement for Fall
As the weather starts to turn (is it colder this week or is it just us?) shoppers pivot from summer decorations to fall. Flavor preferences also change with pumpkin, apple and spice dominating the scene and, of course, fall colors take over in seasonal décor.
What does this mean to you? Your shoppers want to sample fall. If you offer seasonal gourmet items, host a Welcome Fall sampling party. Otherwise, consider lighting an apple scented candle and putting out some apple spice dusted popcorn to get your shoppers in the fall mood. Also, remember to switch your store music from summer, beach inspired tunes, to a more seasonally appropriate mix.
Building for Holiday
For some consumers, the time between back to school and Thanksgiving is training grounds for the Marathon between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The parties, the presents, the decorations. Just like you feel it in your shop; consumers feel it in their lives. And as the weather turns the planning for holiday starts.
What does this mean to you? When building fall displays consider any holiday items that can be added to help those who want to check things off their list early. Consider any services you can offer to make fall and holiday easier for shoppers (layaway, gift guides, checklists). Or, go rogue, and make your store an escape from holiday pressure with $1 a minute chair massages, wine and other stress busters.
After Labor Day, shoppers transition back to school and routine, start to celebrate fall and look to the holiday’s ahead—and their behavior changes. They put lazy summer days behind them in favor of routine, they look to explore seasonal flavor and color and they considered how to get organized for the whirlwind of the holiday season. With this in mind, a smart gift shop owner will take advantage of these behavior changes to provide shoppers with routine related products, changes to explore fall and ways to get ahead for holiday.
How do you transition fall into your store? Do you agree that holiday pressure can start as early as back to school? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.