Many of us have the mindset that December 26th begins the time to sit back and relax after the rush of the holiday season. As a small business owner, you know that is not an option. Once the excitement, cheer, and spending is over you can almost guarantee that your sales are going to take a big hit during the chilly month of January. Just because this dip in sales is expected, however, it doesn’t mean that you just have to sit back and accept it! Here are 6 suggestions for how you can carry on the holiday cheer into the New Year and continue to build momentum into 2016.
1. Start now by asking for referrals & return visits
Take advantage of the heavy traffic and good cheer in December by offering your customers a reason to come again. Announce specials or discounts for those who return in January and bring a friend, or consider “buy now, get something later” deals. These can work to your advantage in both December (buy a gift now, get something for yourself in January), and January (buy something in January, get something special later in the year).
2. Plan (& market) a January sale
Customers will be expecting you to have a sale early in the New Year, especially if you’re in retail. Therefore you should be sure to have at least some items on special promotion during the month of January. Be unique with your offers or the items you choose to promote and consider what your customers are thinking about this time of year (organizing, health, fitness, and winter activities). Announce the sale in December by creative use of store signing, customer emails, and adding flyers to their shopping bags.
3. Promote Gift Cards
Shoppers love gift cards and retailers love them as well. 72% of shoppers who redeem gift cards spend more than the card value (often up to 20% more!). Gift cards purchased in December will most likely be redeemed in January or February – right when you need it most. Consider a BOGO (buy one, get one) offer or have the card be worth more to those who redeem before the end of February.
4. Don’t be tempted to cut back on marketing!
There is a tendency for small business owners to think about cutting back on marketing activities during slow periods. In fact, the post-January slump is one time of year in which you should consider shouting the loudest about your company. With consumer spending down, business owners need to fight even harder for every dollar spent.
5. Introduce new products or services
A great way to entice customers into making a purchase during an off period is to offer them something new or unexpected. It could be something completely different or just an amended product or service that you already offer.
6. Up Sell!
Offer the customer an additional or complimentary product or service just before they make a purchase. Take a look at the products that you offer and come up with a few additional items that you could promote to someone just before you complete the sale.
A little planning and marketing savvy now can bring big rewards in January. Spend some time now thinking about innovative new ways to market your business in January and beyond to ensure a successful 2016.
Contact TMM and let us help you build momentum for 2016!
(statistics source: giftcards.com)