Trends come and go just as often as the seasons come and go, which is why seasonal trends such as fall marketing trends will never get old. If you are looking for new ways to get your customers interested in your small business this year, understanding the seasonal marketing trends over the years could jumpstart your next big marketing trend for this year and the future!
The Documedia Group will be talking about businesses that tend to thrive more during the fall, along with fall marketing trends that were trending back then and could still trend now. From activities that trended in 2016 to promotional campaigns that proved to be beneficial for small businesses in 2018 to the use of technology in 2020 — we are covering it all!
Small Businesses That Thrive In Fall
MyCorporation, a platform dedicated to entrepreneurship, highlights the top businesses that benefit during the latter half of the year (even if we Californians tend to experience more hot and sunny days compared to cool, gloomy days). Keep in mind that this list covers a wide spectrum of industries and businesses, not just print and marketing-related businesses.
🍁 Landscaping businesses thrive in the fall! We are talking about a multi-billion dollar industry that rakes in its revenue primarily in the latter half of the year. Residential properties make up a whopping 73.6 percent of the clients followed by commercial properties at 21.5 percent and government properties making up the final 4.6 percent of landscaping clients. But what is it about the fall season that makes landscaping so popular? The link between the autumn season and landscaping starts with the science of leaves. The chlorophyll in leaves and plants breaks down in the fall, leaving behind a variety of other colors such as shades of red. At the same time, these reddened leaves shed from these trees and plants and fall right onto the ground. So, you know what this means? The demand for dead leaves to be cleaned from the grounds grows during the fall.
🎃 Pumpkin patches are as trendy as fall marketing trends get! From pumpkin spice lattes to websites dedicated to pumpkins, this slightly ribbed winter squash is popular for various reasons. U.S. growers produce more than 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin annually, and most pumpkin purchases are made during the fall season. And guess what state produces the most amount of pumpkin each year? Illinois, producing 4.97 million pumpkin pounds! California is in not-so-close second 1.6 million and Ohio and Pennsylvania at a little over 1.3 million pounds.
☕ Hot beverages are a hot topic during the winter months for obvious reasons. Businesses that specialize in hot beverages such as tea and coffee see an increase in sales because, face it, you would not opt for hot coffee when it is 90 degrees compared to 50 degrees, would you? We already talked about how pumpkins are a staple when it comes to fall marketing trends, and that has spilled into this category of hot beverages. Specifically, pumpkin spice lattes experience an astonishing 70 percent of sales during the fall, with sales making up 80 million dollars in sales annually!
Fall Marketing Trends From 2016
Before the pandemic, there was this thing called going outdoors, and 2016 saw an opportunity for small businesses to increase sales by taking advantage of the outdoors. Many businesses benefitted from the fall market trend of moving activities from the indoors out by hosting charity events, festivals, or tailgate parties. Let us dive more into these outdoor activities and why they trended then and could trend now for small businesses:
Having your business host an event outside lends to more interactive experiences for customers (because of the change of scene) while allowing people to practice social distancing with more ease! With fresh air and face masks, this fall market trend of hosting events outdoors from over 4 years ago could easily be reignited this year thanks to people’s interest in socializing from a distance! Let us consider some events people took advantage of this season, four years ago?
A huge trend that took place in 2016 was charity events. Small businesses can easily get their name out there (and in a good way) by hosting a charity fund-raising event for a nonprofit that is dear to your or your customers’ hearts (if you are the nonprofit organization, that is even more advantageous). Similar to the recommendation above, charity events tend to receive support closer to the holidays by default.
This also goes hand-in-hand with having a food drive! Collect cans and nonperishable food items for a local nonprofit that’s feeding the homeless or having a food drive for the holidays. Offer customers who contribute a coupon or discount.
Decorate the outdoor space with hanging lights, a fire pit, hot chocolate or mulled cider, and host fall giveaways like a kit to make smores. In 2020, there might need to be some tweaking. For example, your small business could give away a goodie bag filled with some of the services or products you offer in addition to COVID-friendly treats like face masks and hand sanitizer (rare yet high-demand commodities these days).
trivia/game night ● movie night
live music with local singers and musicians ● tailgate party
fashion show ● cooking contest ● poetry reading
We recognize that not all of these outdoor activities are practical now; however, if you find yourself itching to do some of these activities, remember that a virtual experience could sometimes still be better than no experience at all.
Tips for the 2016 fall market trend revamp: Do not be afraid to reach out to and partner with neighboring businesses! Also, remember to offer discounts on new fall merchandise, too, for those who support.
Fall Marketing Trends From 2018
Now, we are getting into the business side of things. Business 2 Community curated a list of 6 important online trends that businesses took advantage of in 2018 that helped with sales. The list forces small businesses to understand the importance of deciding on what deals to offer customers. How does your small business intend to attract shoppers this fall? Making customers an offer they simply can not refuse is a start. We pulled our favorite 4 customer-friendly, money-making campaigns from the list.:
- Small Business Saturday (10/24/18): Consumers spend billions of dollars each year so American Express has created an advantage for small business owners. The key to increasing sales on Small Business Saturday is to ensure shoppers know that you are a small business. Highlight this fact everywhere, from the window of your storefront to the actual entrance of your store to graphics for social media and more.
- Cyber Monday: The reality is that shoppers are looking for exceptional deals on Cyber Monday in addition to an outstanding mobile experience. As much as consumers are trying to take advantage of the special day, your small business should be preparing to do just the same!
- Free Shipping Day: While there is an argument to be made for offering free shipping as a part of your seasonal strategy as a whole, you can also take part in Free Shipping Day regardless. Use the hashtag #freeshippingday and promote this deal heavily through all your normal avenues.
Fall Marketing Trends: 2020 and the Future
Business News Daily compiled a list of business trends and predictions to help businesses increase their success. These ideas should be on every small business owner’s radar:
- Adapting to the “modern” customer. Large companies start to fall behind smaller startups who offer better user experiences. Customers today have more choices than ever, and they have shown they will gravitate toward those who prioritize the delivery of fast, seamless, and personalized service. This is true whether they are ordering lunch, getting their car repaired, or making a financial transaction! The reality is that while technology runs our lives more than ever, relationships are what drive business and commerce, so people will find more ways to connect in-person (or virtually) to build trust and strengthen connections.
- A trend toward easy-to-use analytic applications will grow, enabling data scientists to produce data analytics by making applications more broadly interactive, accessible, and usable by business analysts, IT, and others in the organization.
- Today, customer reviews influence more than 95 percent of online customers before they decide to purchase! In fact, more than 90 percent of people admit to having stepped back from a purchase based on reviews, good or bad, or lack of. What we can expect in the coming years is for customer reviews to be the greatest influencer of any business, with most businesses opening their review forums and displaying positive customer opinions for others to access and analyze.
Things to Come…Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
COVID-19 has already forced the world to experience a huge shift in how we communicate — from humanlike technological forms of communication (think those pop-up boxes on websites that welcome your arrival and ask if you need any help) to remote work and the rise of telecommunications.
We saw outdoor activities have their shine in 2016 and small businesses began to take advantage of promotional campaigns in 2018. And this year, 2020 has taken all of these past fall marketing trends and revamped them to fit the unique pandemic. Hopefully, this article made it easier to digest whether a fall marketing trend is suitable for your business. Do you think your small business could benefit from any of these fall marketing trends this year? Whatever trend you decide to use, start preparing now!