Summer is here, and people are gearing up to enjoy the longer days, warmer weather and seasonal activities for as long as the season lasts. If you manage a multi-location retail business, summer can mean many things, such as changes in hours, increases in consumer activity and a shift in demand for certain seasonal items.

These changes in the status quo can yield increased profits, as consumers are more willing and able to visit stores and make purchases. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), U.S. imports will see a rise this summer as retail sales are projected to remain strong. 

With all of this in mind, is your multi-location brand prepared for the warmer weather and the increased sales it may bring? To help out, we have a four-point customer engagement marketing checklist for you to consider this summer.

1. Update All of Your Listings for Summer

As a multi-location enterprise, you have numerous locations to manage on a regular basis. When one of your locations closes, moves or changes in some significant way, you must immediately update your local listings to reflect these changes. Otherwise, you will struggle to engage with your customers, and they will struggle to find your business or contact you.

During the summer, many business share one significant change: their hours of operation. After all, the warmer weather and longer days encourage more foot traffic and in-store sales. If some or all of your locations will see a change in their hours, be sure to update your listings all at once. This can be done with the help of Rio SEO’s online listing management service.

2. Make Mobile Optimization a Priority

Smartphones have become a driving force for retail sales. A 2017 survey by the NRF reveals that 30% of online sales and 47% of online traffic came from smartphone users. These numbers have only risen in the past two years.

This summer, as consumer activity naturally increases, your multi-location brand should leverage this trend and optimize your online presence and local marketing strategy for mobile. Smartphone users have access to so much information on the go, and 41% of them comparison shop in real-time. By supporting the customer journey through mobile optimization, you can engage with your customers, bring in more foot traffic, and increase sales this summer.

3. Think “Back to School”

When summer rolls around, most teachers and students want to avoid thinking about school at all costs. But the truth is, a new school year is just around the corner, giving retailers the prime local marketing opportunity to run sales on back-to-school supplies, clothes, accessories and more.

Many students and parents will start their school shopping search early to beat the crowds and snag the best deals. In fact, according to the NRF, about 80% of back-to-school and college shoppers will begin this hunting for deals as early as July 16.

If your multi-location retail brand sells school supplies, electronics and/or accessories, meet the consumer where they are and market to their demands. The summer months may yield you the most sales as a result of this back-to-school rush.

4. Create Personalized Content

Even if your brand caters to one demographic more than another, every one of your customers is unique, with their own wants, needs and expectations. A major component of customer engagement marketing, then, is creating content that appeals to various types of customer or personas.

Determining what these personas look like and what they entail requires some research, but this effort is well-spent, as 74% of online consumers dislike when content fails to touch upon their interests. You may not be able to please everyone, but the wider variety of personalized content you can create, the better.

Also, keep in mind that during the summer most customers, regardless of personal interests, will enjoy seeing content that relates to the season. This summer, check off these four boxes to better engage your customers and boost your seasonal sales.