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5 Ways eCommerce Can Get Creative With Summer

Written by: Shirsten Alm, Graphic Designer

Trees have finally started to sprout tiny buds and Easter candy’s half off. Unfortunately, for us New Englanders this means our 3 weeks of spring are almost over – but on the bright side – we have the long, sunny days of summer ahead of us.

Kids and college students are already in countdown mode to summer vacation – and that means advertisers should be, too.  The season of less clothes/more R & R presents an excellent opportunity for eCommerce marketers and travel companies to showcase warmer weather clothes, accessories, and destinations.

Ready to launch a summer-themed campaign? Here are five ways you can incorporate the activities and feelings that summer evokes into your social media advertising.

Summer ads

1. Tie the season in with your product line

In these examples, LL Bean makes summer all about their seersucker collection, while Lord & Taylor creates a laid-back mood with copy written about their printed paradise intimates collection (something that definitely wouldn’t fly in winter). Note that both ads feature sunny lighting to evoke warmer temperatures.

Holiday ads

2. Take advantage of the holidays

Summer is one of the sparsest times of the year for holidays, so smart brands will make the most of date-related promotions. Above, Nasty Gal gives a sly nod to the Fourth of July, while ProFlowers gets sentimental with a May Mother’s Day bouquet. Other upcoming holidays include Memorial Day (May 26) and Father’s Day (June 15). And don’t forget Labor Day weekend (August 30-September 1), which brings an unofficial end to summer! For brands that shy away from “Shop now!” or “3 hours left!” CTAs, activating customers via limited-time holiday windows is a natural way to increase urgency.

Outdoors eCommerce ads

3. Inspire seasonal activities

How will your customers be tuning in to nature this summer? Channeling their inner caveman (or woman) with grilling and/or s’mores-roasting over an open campfire? Boosting vitamin D intake with jogging, tennis, golfing, or biking? Getting un-landlocked by swimming, kayaking, surfing, or boating?  These ads from eBay and LL Bean accomplish two goals: inspiring those who haven’t thought about summer outdoor activities just yet, and giving purchase guidance to outdoor enthusiasts.

Summer travel

4. Make it all about summer vacation

People spend all winter yearning for spring, and dreaming about summer. When it comes to flights,  July is the busiest month in the travel industry. You can take advantage of the mass migration by running ads a month earlier that will assist with travelers’ vacation-packing needs — or get them out of town entirely.

Summer weddings


5. Embrace wedding season

June, August and September are the biggest months in the wedding industry. Just because you don’t sell bridal gowns doesn’t mean you can’t get in the game. Bridal showers, bachelor/ette parties, ceremonies, receptions, honeymoons – a vast amount of services and purchases for the bridal party and guests are required, from floral to travel arrangements. A great example above: Flint is a card reading service for small businesses, and their ad brilliantly connects a generic product to a specific user — in this case, a wedding photographer. In the other two, Etsy delivers a lot of whimsy and fun in an ad highlighting one of their wedding-related shops, and Vistaprint showcases their customization services in terms of wedding mementos.

Have fun with it!

As you can see, seasonal advertising opens up a wealth of creative possibilities for evergreen services, eCommerce and travel companies. The end of spring is the perfect time to start building out and testing summer-themed ads — particularly in the case of mobile, since people tend to be outdoors and on-the-go when it’s nice outside. While winter is still in everyone’s rear-view mirror, your ads can bring the promise of summer and a smile to the faces of your customers.

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