How to Beat the Post-Holiday Sales Slump
Written by: Morgan Ballard-Wheeler
One misconception many businesses have about the year’s first quarter is that shoppers have spent all their disposable income on holiday expenditures such as gifts, travel expenses, seasonal food and drink, etc. This is not the case for everyone however, and keep in mind that many people receive cash as a holiday gift and need a reason to spend it! Even though discounts abound during the holidays, some people may have missed the opportunity to find a good deal and are eager to find what appears to be a bargain. It’s therefore important to maintain your marketing output to profit from this simmering demand. However, unlike the holidays when everyone buys because there is a high expectation to do so, your marketing must have a strong message to create an impression of need and capitalize on impulse buys.
Here are some Q1 sales strategies:
1. Market to the New Year’s Resolutions
People are now setting their minds to new exercise routines, diets, and mindfulness practices. It’s straightforward to market to these desires if you sell activewear or protein bars, but even if you don't, you can still emphasize how your product helps people become their best selves. Start at the source and branch outward; e.g., people need a journal to set goals and self reflect, but as a consequence need pens, then a case to hold them, etc. This is just a basic example: figure out how your products fits into the big picture of self improvement and work the angle!
2. Cater to “Savvy Shoppers” and Validate Self Indulgence
During the end of year holidays, people mostly focus on getting gifts for others. With that expectation gone, market potential customers with an emphasis that they deserve to treat themselves for a change. Also, some shoppers believe the best deals happen after Black Friday and New Year’s: capitalize on this perception and have a winter stock clearing sale. This has the added benefit of clearing shelf space for spring and summer items. Offer free shipping for a price 20% higher than your average order or “buy one get one half off” deals. Make sure you POS offers pay over time options like Klarna or PayPal Credit!
3. Focus on building customer loyalty
It’s a new year and people are open to trying new things. The holiday surge should have given your marketing campaigns productive metrics on what works best to acquire new customers. You can now apply those tactics during this time when people are open to identifying with a new brand that reinforces their New Year’s resolutions. If they received a gift card to your business over the holidays, incentivize them to sign up for emails when they redeem it. Also, if you emphasize that a promotion is an “annual new year’s sale,” enthusiastic customers will prepare themselves to buy again this time next year. This will build brand loyalty and guaranteed income during Q1.
4. Build Email Sign-Ups via Social Media
Social media is especially useful to leverage just after the holidays as people are posting more frequently and staying up to date with their friends' celebrations. Also, lots of young people will have received their first smartphone to sign up for social accounts, so there is a new pool of disposable income waiting to be tapped. However, it’s ideal to require as little interaction on socials as possible as people want to keep scrolling. Rather than try to sell a product right away, just show that your brand is enticing and people will sign up for emails to stay in the know. This way people have already agreed that they want to receive product info from you and as a result will respond with enthusiasm to your email campaigns. Over time you can convince subscribers your product is indispensable to their lifestyle. Remember that a participant today is a customer tomorrow.I hope you gained some insight for marketing strategies in the coming months. If you’re interested to learn more about effective email marketing, read more about our growth approach in our “about” section here.