After the holiday spending spree, even an average month can seem slow and most retailers have come to expect sales to take a dive in January. But this isn’t written in stone…
While it can be a great month to catch up on the things you could never seem to get to during the holiday rush, it can still be a great sales month, too. This article will cover several ways to keep the momentum from December going. Depending on what you sell, you could mix and match a few of these ideas or even implement them all fairly quickly.
1. Loosen your return policy.
Return policies are important but as anyone with big December sales knows, January is a month of returns. But as much as it stings to take those sales back, it gives you an opportunity to make a great impression on a potential new customer or even get a greater sale. The gift they got might not have worked out, but something else you sell may be just what they’re looking for. In fact, if you issue them store credit, they’re likely to browse your site until they find something they do want – and it just might be more expensive than the original item. The more lenient you are with someone who wants to return an item, the more likely they will have a favorable impression of you. It’s true that they might not buy something else that day, but they could buy something later or at least, never say anything bad about your business.
2. Create a special after-holiday sale.
You might not sell Christmas decorations but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the after holiday sales bandwagon. Most big chain retailers immediately set up a clearance section right after the holidays – and the majority of consumers plan to shop these sales. According to a survey by RetailmeNot.com…
81% of consumers surveyed said they planned to shop the year-end clearance sales and 63% of those consumers planned to shop for themselves.
For brick and mortar stores, retailers usually put these clearance sales in a prominent place so customers can’t miss them. You should think the same way for your website – highlight your clearance sale on your homepage with a banner or obvious link to those items.
3. Create a “resolution” category.
It’s the new year and everyone’s thinking about ways they want to make this year better than their last – it’s resolution time. If you sell any products that can help people reach their goals, why not highlight them with a special “resolution” category? Anything related to weight loss, fitness and eating healthier comes to mind but people have all sorts of resolutions. Think about your products and how they might help someone have a better year and market them that way.
4. Highlight accessories.
Just about any gift can use additional items to make it complete. Video game systems need games, skis need cold weather clothing, crockpots need cookbooks, bikes need bike locks…the list goes on and on. Your customers might have their big-ticket items but they’ll be on the lookout for accessories in January. Think about the ways your products could compliment other products and highlight that on your site. Just like the resolution category, you could create a special “accessories” category or sale for these type of “add-on” items.
5. Boost your PPC and PLA spending.
If you’re anticipating a low sales month, one of the easiest ways to help boost your traffic and sales is with paid search advertising. If you’re already using paid search, consider spending a little more in January to make up for the dip in post-holiday traffic. If you’re not using paid search, this would be a great time to try it and see what kind of difference it makes for you.
6. Add a “Wish List” or “Buy it Later” feature.
For a lot of consumers, December stretched their budget to the limit and they can’t really afford to spend their disposable income in January – but that doesn’t stop them from looking, especially online. This opens up a perfect opportunity to capture email addresses and find out what your customers want to buy and email them special promotions or reminders about those items in the future. Not only does this help you grow your email marketing list, it also helps increase the odds that those customers will return to your site when they can make a purchase. Maybe you won’t get the sale in January – but you could get it in February.