14 eCommerce Summer Marketing Ideas to Heat Up Your Sales [2020]

eCommerce Summer Marketing Idea

After recent Mother’s Day sales and rush to be GDPR compliant, eCommerce marketers are left to wondering how to generate the next campaign hype. Patience is the name of the game if you’re an eCommerce marketer or owner trying to drum up some extra business with summer promotions or other hot summer marketing ideas. Internet lore holds that people spend less time on the web over the summer months, and consequently, do less shopping. But that may just be a self-induced fallacy to drive an industry-wide break

Turn around the summer slow season

Official internet statistics are hard to find on the summer web eCommerce slowdown. Clearly, millions of people are still spending lots of time on their mobile devices accessing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Netflix, Twitter, Snapchat, and others apps. A recent Pew Internet Research study showed that when it comes to accessing social media, Facebook is still number one with American adults. Nearly 70% of U.S. adults are Facebook users, accessing the massive social site on a daily basis.

Whether or not these adults are purchasing products online during summer remains to be seen. But it’s certainly no time for eCommerce marketers and owners to drop off the internet and take a vacation from summer campaign ideas. Of course, you don’t have to continuously tweak your summer marketing strategy day after day. Rather, spend some time on building some smart automation and let your e-shop do its own marketing, in the form of sending personalized offers and emails/messages to your visitors.

Build Your Summer Marketing Ideas Around the Holidays

There are many upcoming holidays and special times in July and August for online retailers. Use this time now to run targeted, summer-themed campaigns to:

  • find new audiences and customers
  • sell more prior merchandise or
  • promote popular eCommerce items.

So we’ve collected some of the best summer marketing ideas for you below:

July 4th

Get creative on July 4th promotions now. Target your ads to reach mobile users over that week. People will be snapping photos of family and friends over the July 3-5 period, and you can catch these folks on their devices during these days.  This year will be somewhat different, as the actual Independence Day holiday occurs mid-week so there may be less opportunity to pitch a weekend-themed adventure for shoppers.

After the 4th, then it’s time to look ahead one week later to Amazon Prime Day, July 11th.

Amazon Prime Day – July 11th

Unbelievable as it may sound, Amazon Prime Day has become a thing, a major thing to entice mid-summer sales at the biggest shopping site on the web. Last year, the company reported that tens of millions of Prime members bought something on the site, boosting sales up more than 50% over the previous year.

Amazon says in its press release that Prime Day is an opportunity for all online retailers. Maybe your eCommerce site can fashion a Prime-like summer shopping sales campaign to boost your sales on this day.

July / August Viral holidays

Know the fun July dates ahead to connect to your site’s products, whether it’s mobile accessories or summer clothing wear. Depending on your product mix and your promotional prowess, you can target ads for a variety of audiences in July and August. Check out these July holidays  – you might be able to set up a campaign theme around these ‘holidays’ to drive some sales:

  • Jul. 5 National Bikini Day   Fun  U.S.
  • Jul. 6 International Kissing Day  Fun  International
  • Jul. 7 National Strawberry Sundae Day Food  U.S.Pr
  • Jul. 8 National Video Game Day  Technology U.S.
  • Jul. 9 National Sugar Cookie Day  Food  U.S.
  • Jul. 10 National Piña Colada Day  Drinking U.S.

And that’s the just the few days after 4th of July! The national August holidays look pretty similar, with fun dates attached to National Watermelon Day, National Underwear Day and others. Tailor your promotions to tap into the internet zeitgeist for these fun viral holidays, and make your mark with quirky marketing efforts.

Back to School Season

This is actually one of the worst end of summer marketing idea since it means that the summer is gone BUT 2017’s back-to-school spending was expected to reach nearly $84 billion, about a 10% increase over 2016’s $75 billion, so Back to School campaigns are no joke. Keep in mind that ‘back to school’ shopping season can mean many things – back to elementary school, back to middle school, back to high school and back to college. Knowing your own audience and product mix will help you to best determine which products and sales approaches will resonate best.

Labor Day – Sept. 3rd

Labor Day was once viewed as a celebration of achievements for American workers. Now it’s seen more as the last splash of summer for people to relax, have fun and eat too much food before we all head back to our daily work and schedules. To help boost sales, you can try some summer marketing campaigns to tie into work-related themes. Definitely try some social media ads for mobile audiences, as many people will have their devices within arm’s length over Labor Day weekend.

5 eCommerce Summer Marketing Ideas to heat up your sales

Don’t fret, we’ve got some quick and easy creative summer marketing ideas to reignite your sales.

Summer Marketing Idea #1: Run an Instagram / Facebook Contest

Your customers are going to be using Instagram or Facebook this summer. Take advantage of this platform popularity to do a contest. Ask your new and existing customers to send in great summer shots of users with your product in the pic. Use distinct hashtags with a CTA to give out a prize to the best captions, images or uses of your product. This is also a great way to curate user generated content which can help your brand’s visibility down the line. Make it fun!

Summer Marketing Ideas: Wallmart's Facebook Contest to "Caption That"
Summer Marketing Ideas: Wallmart’s Facebook Contest to “Caption This”

Summer Marketing Idea #2: Offer free shipping!

Free shipping is a no-brainer for many eCommerce sites. Free shipping can entice even the most hardened bargain shopper to click the purchase button. Particularly one who is fairly new to your shop, and require that extra “convincing”.

A good way to run this offer can be via an abandoned cart exit intent. As a visitor is about to leave your site with a cart full of products, trigger a message with a “Free Shipping” offer to entice the visitor to complete his purchase. You can further add a conditional check on whether the visitor cart has exceeded a certain value amount before the offer is generated.

Summer Marketing Ideas - Abandoned Cart Popup
Summer Marketing Ideas – Abandoned Cart Popup

Summer Marketing Idea #3: VIP Customer Coupons

You want to keep your best (read: loyal) customers happy. Here’s a way to run a summer email marketing campaign for your VIPs. Via email, offer them a coupon for a free product, a discount, or a price cut to add more products to their next existing order. Maybe you can do this for a week straight, offering discounts on five different categories for each day of the work week.

Summer Marketing Idea #4: Partner up!

Reach out to your industry comrades! Summer is a quieter time of year for online retailers and the best period of the year for some experimentation. So use this time to reach out to non-competing partners to toss some ideas around, and see if there are opportunities for a mutually beneficial business partnership.

Summer Marketing Idea #5: Create a Summer-themed Exit Intent Pop

Exit intent pops can help turn around your abandonment customers with a pop-up to subscribe or get offered a discount or special deal to look again at your products. Exit intent prompts a user right at the precise moment of site abandonment. Try using ContactPigeon’s marketing automation software for an intent pop-up to redirect your site viewer to secret summer deals. This tactic can definitely help increase your site conversions.

Summer Marketing Ideas - Personalized Offers
Summer Marketing Ideas – Personalized Offers for VIPs

Summer Marketing Idea #6: Offer Summer Freebies to every order

People love freebies even if their are really simple ones! Create a Summer freebie and include it to every online or instore transaction you make. Promote it with a newsletter, a pop up or an instore signage and see your conversions and customer retention going up. (eg. stickers are a good idea for freebies)

Summer Marketing Idea #7: Create a new SUMMER section or category

This is one of the best tactics to promote & showcase existing products that remain hidden or hot new arrivals! Create a new category on your online store or a new section in your stores with summer selections of old and new products, which are ideal for summer vacation, activities or leisure! Don’t forget to let your customers know about it as well.

Summer Marketing Idea #8: Run a VIBER Summer promotional campaign

Messaging is hot and has great open rate as well so if you have the budget you could and should try running a VIBER campaign featuring your hottest new arrivals or news!

Summer Marketing Idea #9: Write a SUMMER shopping guide for the beach

People love reading summer content since mood is at its best. The best way for indirect selling is of course content marketing. Do your best and write a summer shopping guide featuring out-of-the-box ideas and, of course, your products !

Summer Marketing Idea #10: Create Summer product bundles

One of the best ways to increase your Average Order Value (AoV) is by using product bundles. Put some effort and try to create some summer packs which will be a “win-win” for you and your customers

Summer Marketing Idea #11: Reskin your sites Home Page (& newsletter template)

Summer lasts for 3 months, that’s 25% of the year so refreshing your home page with some light, sunny graphics will totally help in looking more up-to-date and responsive as a brand. Of course, this will also contribute to your revenue.

Summer Marketing Idea #12: Send Summer Postcards to your best B2B customers

One of the best customer retention tactics is to send some gifts to your VIP clients/customers. Most companies tend to do b2b marketing mainly during Christmas. Surprise them with a summer postcard and watch their loyalty reaching new standards.
(Post cards and offline gifts are ideal because they will work brilliantly when especially when they are back from their vacation.)

Summer Marketing Idea #13: Offer Weather-Based Incentives or Discounts

Being creative can turn very profitable for your business so why not gamifying the weather as well? You could announce some weather-specific discounts for eg. -10% coupons for the rainy days of the summer, to try to contribute to the mood of our customers. (Btw, this can be replicated for your physical stores as well!).
Tip: If you want to test this tactic, just send a newsletter 1-day coupon code on a rainy day and measure the results.

Summer Marketing Idea #14: Update your remarketing campaigns with summer-themed graphics & copy

You will be amazed to see your ROAS (return on ad spending) rising by just updating your copy and your graphics on your remarketing campaigns. The more updated they seem, the more conversions they will bring!

Plan, Automate, Rest

Once you spend some time to organize your summer marketing ideas and you finally have your summer marketing strategy ready and scheduled, the best thing to do is to take some days off. Remember, taking time off will greatly help your body and mind to rest, In doing so, you’ll start to see through the forest for creative new ideas for advancing your eCommerce business, one step at a time. The important here is to execute and test things, either through some fun summer sale marketing ideas you may have, through some awesome summer event ideas or through an amazing summer promotion to boost your new arrivals!


If you need some extra guidance, drop a note to ContactPigeon. We are a marketing software leader that was recently named a Rising Star 2018 for our ContactPigeon marketing automation platform. Find out more at our website.

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