Staycation: A Retailer’s Guide to Making the Shopper’s Summer a Real Trip

Millions of shoppers and their families embrace the idea of Staycations over the summer. They make their own fun close to home—and smart retailers ought to join in.

This infographic created by Medallion Retail introduces you to the average Staycationer and provides some unique ideas for retail displays that are sure to grab any shopper’s attention.

Infographic was created by Medallion Retail

Infographic was created by Medallion Retail

There are many ways retailers can engage their customers to capitalize on the staycation fever. Here are a few ways you can use the data in this infographic to boost sales and create loyal customers.

1. Participate in local events.

Staycationers want to experience their communities in new ways that take them out of their day to day routine. Getting involved in local events such as festivals, street fairs or block parties offers an opportunity to build great memories and relationships with your customers.

Pro tip: You can further these memories by offering photo opportunities at the event. Check out Pinterest for great photo prop ideas that are affordable to create and great fun for everyone. Ensure the props are branded in some way so that when customers look back on the memories they remember where they were.

2. Make Everyday Activities a Vacation.

Millennials in particular are driven by experiences; as such we are seeing retailers get creative with their stores. For example some grocery stores are hosting auctions to move food products that would otherwise be discarded. and others are trying to give the high end social shopping experience by adding wine bars. These ideas may seem out there or excessive for your shop, but with consumers becoming ever more driven by the hunt for unique experiences it’s worth considering a little creativity.

Pro tip: Most people view vacations or staycations as individual events, but if you can make activities people have to do regularly like grocery shopping feel like vacation you’ll see your repeat business go through the roof!

3. Extend the Stay(cataion).

For the average American vacations are few and far between, but with staycations they can be any time since the cost is minimal and if they make it short enough they don’t even need to take time off work. If offering a special activity make it a series, this will allow your customers to get a mini staycation every time they attend.

Pro tip: Make sure everyone that attends your event or activity signs up for email notifications, that way you can quickly and easily let them know when the next event in the series is coming.

4. Remind them it’s good to be local.

Everyone loves a good inside joke… as long as they are an insider. This is a big advantage for independent retailers; you can build your experience or promotions around things you’ll only “get” if you’re from there. It’s this shared identity and inside jokes that makes content like this piece from Buzzfeed so popular.

Pro tip: Every town has stereotypes or locals only jokes, so there is plenty of opportunity here, just make sure it’s light hearted so it will be received well, and don’t go so local that even your customers miss the joke.

5. Help Employees Bring the Magic.

Disney is iconic for being the “Most Magical Place on Earth”. They spend incredible amounts of money making sure every detail is just right. But at the end of the day the onus is on the employees for being aware of park visitor’s needs and making sure the magic happens. In the hands of a great employee even the most mundane of tasks can become magical. One company that my wife purchases from sells items for kids and offers to draw any animal on the outside of the shipping box if you leave your request in the comments on the order. This came about because one employee who packs and ships boxes thought the plain brown boxes were not fun enough and started drawing fun animals on boxes… the result was pure joy from customers.

Pro tip: Your employees have hidden talents that can be used to delight your customers. They just have to be given the opportunity to use them.

6. Added Suspense Equals Added Fun.

Discounts are always appreciated by customers, but by adding a little chance to your offers it becomes a fun experience as well. As an example a local sub shop took advantage of the Pokemon Go craze by offering a free sub to the first five people that caught a Pokemon in their store. This drew in way more than five people to their shops and most people stayed and ate even if they didn’t get to be one of the free sub recipients.

Pro tip: If you can turn a negative into a positive with this type of promotion it’s an added bonus. For example in the winter months a local jeweler offers a discount equal to the number of inches it snowed in the previous week (as long as it snowed more than a minimum number of inches). Instead of waking up and dreading have to shovel the snow their customers wake up with a smile knowing the more snow they get the more discounts they get.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on your way to becoming a staycation destination. But as you can see with a little creativity the options are limitless. Let us know about your ideas in the comments.

Medallion Retail is a boutique retail marketing agency that plans, creates, produces and supports signage and displays for major retailers and brands at retail. With over 50 years in business, we bring sound strategy, break-through design plus efficient manufacturing, production, inventory control and fulfillment to best in class retail nationwide. We also offer proven expertise in pop-up shop design and implementation. "Customer-ization" is our specialty and we apply it to everything we do!