How Indie Beauty Brands Heat Up Sales During Summer’s Slow Months

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 10 brand founders and executives: Is there such a thing as a summer slump when it comes to sales?  If so, how do you confront it?

Nina Zilka CEO and Co-Founder, Alder New York

Yes, there is absolutely a summer slump when it comes to sales. Because we anticipate it, we're prepared to engage our customer during the period of time with in-person events. Especially when the weather is warm, people want to be out and about, so events are a good way for them to experience our products when they might not otherwise be shopping. 

We also use the quiet summer period to get super prepared for the holidays. We get our photos done, inventory ready, even start contacting press, since print gets started so early. It means that when things become crazy again in Q3, we're ready to go.

Jessica Parker Founder and CEO, Kusshi

While I’m sure we don’t want to admit it, there definitely is a summer sales slump. We take advantage of the slump to go into planning mode for the holidays. We also try to make up some of the lost revenue during that period with wholesale sales. We know that in June to August, we need to keep expenses down to a minimum and really focus on getting the team reenergized for a strong holiday season.

Dave Wongk Founder and CEO, Pure Tropix

I'm blessed that I haven't run into that yet! If you have all of your bases covered, you shouldn't really run into that issue because, if Instagram sales slow, then Facebook, Pinterest or Youtube should pick up in sales. Truthfully, I think that the summer slump comes from back when we were in grade school and kind of picked up that vacation mentality, and tended to slack a little more or spend more time with our family, so we're not as tuned-in to our business as we should be.

Now, how do you get out of the summer slump? Double down on everything you do! While everyone else is on vacation, it’s time to start trying out seasonal products. Make travel kits, do product giveaways. Something I’ve been thinking of doing is a trip giveaway! Summer is the best time to be creative and think outside the box.

Stephy Kim Co-Founder and CEO, Moonlit Skincare

Summer is when we lay down the groundwork for the fall and winter season, which are our power months. This summer, we're revamping the website, getting ready to launch with big channels and experimenting with other retail platforms like Gravy that captures a different audience.

SIMA MOSTAFAVI Founder and CEO, Pistache Skincare

Without the urgency of the holiday season, we've seen various versions of the summer slump over the years. Products that lend themselves to the summertime will maintain sales, but those designed for colder months will see a slump. We like to take this time to really highlight products that work for the summer via email marketing, while talking about creative uses for other products in our social media content.

Amanda McIntosh Founder, Take My Face Off

Yes, there is a summer slump for us. We use the time to plan for holidays and to work on creative. We’ve also got some email campaigns about summer skincare, which might help drive increased sales. We’ll test them and see.

We get the impression that people are out doing things more than shopping. The good part is that they’re still tied to their phones, so we’re actually working harder on social media during this season to build awareness to help drive fall and winter sales.

Cherie Hoeger Co-Founder, Saalt

Periods don't slow down in the summer, and it turns out menstrual cups are really great for swimming! So, we haven't seen a big slump in summer sales. We will be running a special promo at Target the week of July 7: buy any two Saalt products and get a $5 gift card.

Amy Carr CRO and Co-Founder, PYT Beauty

Yes, the summer is cyclical, but you can control it. We have not yet gone through a full summer, so I am curious to see how our trends will happen this year.

I can tell you from my previous experience, summer is up and down, and there are marketing tactics to affect those cycles. Back-to-school time (August) always drives up retail sales, even on those purchases that have nothing to do with going back to school! This summer, we will continue to focus on products that are waterproof—Primed + Ready Mascara that stays on even in the pool and a hot, sweaty day—and products that are easy to travel with like our No BS Eyeshadow palette.

Lorri Mansker Founder and CEO, Sweet Cheeks Organic Konjac Skincare

We love summer! People seem more relaxed and willing to try new products, especially those that help prep skin for the sun. We like to do more in-store events. Shoppers on vacation usually have an extra minute to squeeze their first Konjac Skin Polisher or ask how Hyaluronic Acid retains moisture. It’s a good time to introduce new products or offer gifts with purchase. 

Nasimeh Yazdani Founder, Seaside Medical Technologies

When we hit a slow month or week, it just makes the challenge ever more appealing to work harder, reach out to vendors, hit the ads, get more creative with email campaigns. Slow months give us more time to get creative.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to editor@beautyindependent.com.