With the change in seasons, retailers in Australia may need to adjust their strategy and marketing to best adapt to the changes in consumer behaviour.

Understanding how customers spend their money in autumn and winter should help business owners develop a retail strategytargeted towards individuals shopping during the cooler months.

What will consumers be buying?

As the temperature drops and the weather turns, consumers’ shopping lists will begin to transform. Demand for warmer clothing and hearty meals will increase while outdoor entertainment, swimwear and ice cream may tumble in popularity.

Research has shown consumers often attempt to cope with lower levels on sunlight by purchasing copious amounts of alcohol, coffee and cigarette. It could therefore be beneficial to target psychological behaviours when creating a retail strategy for the winter months.

Adapting retail marketing and branding to embrace these changing trends is an inevitable necessity for most Australian business owners.

How will consumer behaviour change?

In addition to the evolving shopping list, consumer habits are also expected to adjust to the cooler months. Bricks and mortar stores may experience a fall in spending as the cold weather influences people to stay indoors and shop online instead.

This will also result in window displays getting less attention as consumers rush from store to store. While this could make it more difficult to draw customers into your store, once you get them in the door, they are likely to spend more time browsing in an effort to delay heading back out into the cold.

Re-branding for the seasons

While most retailers are already aware of the effects of seasonal influences on consumer behaviour, there are some stores and items that struggle to re-brand during these transitioning periods.

Businesses that carry only season-specific products such as ice cream, swimwear or certain sporting equipment may have to work hard to keep consumers visiting their store.

Strategies can involve offering attractive sales during the ‘off-season’, or stocking alternative products that complement the season. An example of this could be an ice cream parlour selling warm desserts, such as apple crumble or chocolate brownies – served with a scoop of ice cream, of course.

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Author Pippa Kulmar

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