The trading period from Black Friday to the end of the Christmas holidays is the busiest time of year for the retail industry, and the perfect time for businesses to get their special promotions underway. Just before the Christmas season starts, retailers roll their sleeves up, ready to take on some serious hard work, which hopefully results in financial rewards that make all the sweat and toil worth it. They’re brainstorming all kinds of ideas about how to maintain sales.
However, post-Christmas sales figures naturally plummet and worse, the returns start to roll in. Revenue slumps, and you can find your business in the midst of a logistical nightmare processing all the returns — especially if you are footing the shipping bills.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to enjoy the usual Christmas boost in sales and then maintain it, setting the stage for a very prosperous 2018?
Wouldn’t you like to sustain a good level of business all year so you don’t have to wait until post-Christmas 2019 to see if 2018 was a success or not? I can think of at least one example of someone who learned how to maintain sales.
An example of how to maintain sales after the holiday boom
An example this year can be seen via the approach taken by Insinkerator, who looked to increase sales of their steaming hot water taps. In the run-up to Christmas and taking advantage of the sales rush due to Black Friday, they launched a number of special offers between the November 22 and 27, culminating in a 50-percent discount off of certain models on Black Friday itself.
From an eCommerce perspective, the promotion was a huge success and sales increased nearly three times over when compared with their usual monthly average. With this new customer base in hand, though, Insinkerator is currently in the process of launching a heavy remarketing campaign, targeting those who purchased hot water taps around the time of Black Friday. By advertising, in particular, the replacement water filters that need to be changed on a hot tap every six to eight months, what was just one purchase will hopefully be turned into many throughout the new year and beyond.
This increase didn’t come about naturally — creating a marketing strategy is fundamental to sales success.
Your business is of course individual, and so your marketing strategy will be uniquely aligned to your business strengths. But we can help identify specific methods for sustainable sales.
Read on for some great techniques, with concrete actions, to help you sustain the momentum of the annual Christmas sales increase.
Tap into New Year’s resolutions
As soon as people wake up with hangovers on New Year's Day, they are already potentially feeling guilty about the weeks of indulgence and excess they have enjoyed in the lead-up to Christmas. As such, they will be looking to buy new products to fit with their change in lifestyle.
You need to utilize this very predictable change in consumer attitude as you consider how to maintain sales.
You can do this by driving your marketing to attract these needs and desires and by putting a method in place for cross-selling your customers to your other products and services.
Products which consumers are often looking to buy post-Christmas include:
- Health, beauty and lifestyle products — Think exercise equipment, new gym clothes and leisure wear, health supplements, diet plans and hair products for that new style.
- Products for the home — After sweeping away all the Christmas tree pine needles and deep cleaning the house, consumers will be looking at their homes critically in the cold light of winter. It’s the prime opportunity to market cleaning products, items that spruce up the home like
curtains and rugs, artwork and the latest vacuum cleaners.
- Products for a holiday or break away — Another thing consumers do to cheer themselves up post-Christmas is book a holiday, a mini-break or a weekend away. Luggage, warm weather clothes, handbags and travel gadgets will all be attractive.
- Products that simplify and organize — From Alexa to iPads, the latest fridge or a new iPhone or fitness gadget, people are looking to looking to put everything in order and whip their lives into shape. The latest tech gadgets or storage solutions will be very appealing.
If any of these items fall into your niche, be sure to highlight them heavily in the new year to key into customers’ looking to purchase post-Christmas.
Appeal to bargain hunters
You might be fed up with the post-Christmas sales — and you probably started the sales season back in November — but the fact is your customers will not be. Win your customers back with a second round of discounts. UK retailers had “sales” active for nearly two-thirds of 2017.
Post-Christmas, your customers will be feeling the financial pinch after all that present buying and socializing, so they will be deliberately looking for bargains. Not only that, but customers will be on the lookout for new products for a fresh start — good things to keep in mind as you look at how to maintain sales.
As the decorations come down, there is a need for refreshment, with a desire for new clothes, new household products and new health and beauty routines — all with limited funds. Take advantage of this by enticing customers already seeking to buy new products at a bargain price.
- Promote a loyalty program with incentives, crucial for those Christmas, first-time buyers.
- Offer a seasonal clearance, a great way to make way for new stock.
- Offer bulk buy discounts.
- Offer free gifts or samples to entice a future buy.
Even if the above listed items don’t typically fall into your wheelhouse, you can still apply these same tactics to promote customer retention and continual sales.
Remarket to your Christmas shoppers. Understanding the importance of the lifetime value of customers can have a radical impact on the way you assess your marketing strategy — and on the way you set about growing your business and learning how to maintain sales.
Here’s why you should consider remarketing:
- Remarketing could result in a high return of investment.
- You can target almost every audience at every stage in the modern sales funnel.
- The advertisements offer more personalised and timely advertising.
Remarketing is proven to increase conversions. Only two percent of your website visitors convert on average. Remarketing goes after that other 98 percent.
Once you have harvested the email addresses of all those Christmas shoppers, make sure you use them immediately so they don’t forget you. Remind them of your good service during your busiest period with some targeted and personal marketing.
Launch a new product
The word “new” is on everyone’s minds, especially your customers’. They will be subconsciously drawn to new products, better ways of doing things, updating, and streamlining. The media will be doing some of your marketing for you — promoting a new month, a new start, a new you and new beginnings. The consumer mindset is that what is coming is better than what has gone.
To launch a new product effectively, you need to put in the planning and preparation before the Christmas holiday — just when you are likely to be at your busiest — so this will need considerable management.
Involve all your key players in your business strategy so no department is overloaded. The devil is always in the details in times of change, so it is important to have a clear action plan.
Start the new year off right
If you rev up your marketing activity while other businesses step back and relax just after the busy Christmas trading period, you will be better heard by consumers who are still looking to make purchases.
Your hard-won Christmas client base is a huge asset for your business. Don’t make the mistake of chasing new customers and — in doing so — forgetting about those Christmas shoppers that you attracted. It’s all about changing the mindset of belief that sales naturally takes a dive after Christmas. They don’t have to. Reserve your energy and get back into the ring, and you will reap the rewards.
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