Seasonal Shift: Transforming Your Summer Business for Winter Sales
Have you ever thought about diversifying your business to take advantage of the winter season? If you traditionally offer summer or warm-weather activities, you might be wondering what you can do to capitalize on the winter months.
Even year-round operators seek additional opportunities in the winter. After all, your activities have to be truly impressive to get customers to brave the cold.
In addition to making the most of the holidays, we encourage you to get creative when it comes to extending your season or otherwise generating revenue in the winter.
Here are some ideas to get you started, plus effective ways to highlight your winter activities to attract customers.
Dream Up Holiday-Themed Offerings
The sky’s the limit when it comes to the holidays! After all, they can be a total goldmine for tour and activity operators, helping you attract new customers, convert existing customers into a sale, and generate revenue in your off-season.
How can your business cater to holiday demand? Start by examining your “bread and butter” experience and think about how you could transform it into a holiday activity.
For example, your trolley tour could become a caroling tour with holiday-themed decor and Christmas songs playing on the trolley. Similarly, your zoo could attract winter visitors by stringing up holiday lights and displays and offering Santa photo sessions.
A crafting workshop or paint and sip business can surely offer whimsical holiday-themed projects, such as making ornaments or wreaths.
Consider researching top holiday attractions and activities in your area for some inspiration to apply at your own business.
From Summer to Winter: Creative Ways to Adapt Your Business
How you adapt your offerings to the winter season comes down to what kind of activities you sell. Think about the most popular part of your activities and if it could work during the winter season. Here are some examples to get you started.
Seasonal Gear Rentals: If you primarily rent equipment like kayaks or paddle boards during the summer, consider offering winter gear like skis, snowshoes, or snowmobiles during the winter months.
Indoor Versions of Outdoor Activities: Can your outdoor rock climbing facility expand to include an indoor climbing gym? This way enthusiasts can climb year-round.
Alternatively, modify your outdoor attractions or tours by adding covered or heated spaces, making them accessible even in cold weather.
Winter-Themed Escape Rooms: Create winter-themed escape rooms with puzzles related to holiday folklore or winter sports.
Culinary Experiences: Offer food tours featuring seasonal treats like hot chocolate, mulled wine, or holiday-themed cuisine. Cooking classes can teach visitors how to make winter delicacies, such as gingerbread cookies or traditional holiday dishes.
Hiking Tours: Organize guided snowshoe hikes through picturesque winter landscapes.
Photography Workshops & Tours: Teach photography classes for capturing the beauty of winter landscapes, from icy lakes to snow-coated cityscapes.
Fishing Tours: Arrange ice fishing experiences with all the necessary equipment and instruction for novices.
Walking Tours: Encourage guests to bundle up (and plan several indoor stops!). Share the local history, folklore, and cultural traditions associated with the winter season.
Something for Everyone – Gift Card Sales: Whether you don’t want to adapt your activities to the winter season or don’t have the resources to do so, selling gift cards is a viable option to keep some revenue trickling in. Focus your marketing efforts on gift cards and consider creating a page on your website to highlight gift cards and special offers.
Tips for Highlighting Your Winter Activities
If you’re going all out with winter activities, you have to make sure to get customers through the door!
Showcase the Experience with Photos
Especially if you are adapting a warm-weather activity to a winter one, make sure to update your imagery to show the activity in action.
Across your website, Dashboard item listings, marketing and social media, use high-quality photos that show people participating in your winter activity.
During the winter months, your website should reflect the season, with your summer imagery swapped out for winter scenes.
Take Advantage of Custom Content
Your FareHarbor Dashboard is rife with opportunities to customize content to reflect the winter season and your new offerings. In all of these areas, you can change the copy, images, and other details to match your winter offering:
- Canned messages: Update copy in your confirmation, reminder, and follow-up emails to reflect your winter offering.
- Listings: Write winter-themed copy to make your activity description more enticing.
- Photos: Just like the above recommendations, include photos that show your activity during the winter.
Pro Tip: Consider using public headlines to provide added information and details about the experience during the booking process. This is a great way to highlight a special experience that is only available during certain tours.
Create Winter-Specific Booking Flows
Booking flows are a collection of one or more items that is usually connected to the “book now” button or directly integrated in your website. They allow you to organize your items into categories or groups, which can be used to help customers navigate through among your offerings.
When you have winter activities to advertise, your booking flow is the perfect place to group these offerings and make them really stand out.
We recommend customizing a winter booking flow that only features your seasonal offerings, or at least makes the winter activity block larger than your year-round or summer activities.
When customers click “book now” on your website, they will see these winter activities featured front and center, which will guide them through the booking process.
The winter season presents a wealth of opportunities for operators to diversify their offerings and thrive year-round.
Whether you’re adapting your core experiences to the holiday season, introducing seasonal gear rentals, creating holiday-themed activities, or transforming your business for the colder months, the possibilities are endless.