Getting your 2018 retail sales off to the right start
After another splurge in holiday shopping during November and December, it’s common for retailers to feel a drop-off in sales in January, with shoppers looking to tighten their belts for the new year. When the urgency of purchasing during that holiday season are at its most earnest, there’s a natural inclination for customers to feel reluctant to spend as much in the following months.
Thought it’s easy for retailers to become content with diminished sales if their holiday returns were significant, prudent businesses will undoubtedly be searching for ways in which to reacquaint themselves with customers, new and old, and maintain their strong level of commerce even during expected lean periods.
On this page we’ll go through just what some of those methods can be, and how you can keep sales running well after the holiday season ends.
Discounted prices for the new year
The easiest way to entice customers back (or even for the first time) into your store is by providing discounts on a range of in-store and online products. It’s a tactic that will generally garner interest regardless of the time of year, but can be especially useful right at the start of a year, where customers can feel like their shopping for a fresh start.
A new year also means new resolutions, and so dressing up certain products with discounts in lieu of a customer achieving their said resolution, can be an effective way of attracting that customer. For example, if your store sells a range of health/lifestyle products designed to get customers fit, marketing them as a ‘New Year Resolutions Discounts’ can be just the incentive shoppers need to purchase from your store.
Work out the various approaches you can take to promote your line of goods, and pair the products with discounts, emphasised for your customers that would like to start the new year on a great note.
The holiday season brings with it a swath of new customers, which means a whole new group of people in which to market to. This is especially true if you’re using a robust point of sale system that can record a customer’s email address, with every new transaction.
Use this to your advantage by sending emails to your customers filled with marketing content that builds upon their first experience with your store. This can help cultivate a sense of ‘journey’ between the two parties, that attaches both store and customer to the hip.
Think also of the time window you have from when a customer first shops in your store before you lose their interest or lose them to a competitor. Whether you’re emails consist of product recommendations (that you have gleamed from past transactions) or new discounts and in-store promotions, follow-up marketing can help solidify the relationship.
Get rid of redundant stock
Whilst the holiday season should move a great deal of stock, for most businesses there will be certain items and product lines that simply do not sell well. Once that festive rush ends, it might be worthwhile to conduct inventory counts, even if just partial, to get an overview of what you have still lying around.
You would then take these items and sell with heavily reduced prices, to get them in your customer’s hands and turn them into cash as quickly as possible. Holding on to slow-moving stock is restricting, as it limits your capacity to sell more of the items that are popular with your clients.
To make things easier, ensure that you’re using a point of sale solution that enables for seamless inventory counting, and let’s you and your staff set customisable discounts, even on-the-spot.
In 2018, the platforms in which you’re able to market your business are endless. Consider an approach where you utilise many different methods to get your name out there into the public’s eye.
Whether you’re taking Instagram snaps of your most ‘chic’ products or posting new store announcements on Facebook, your customers can learn a lot about your business if you deliver a consistent message through various channels.
And with new media there are even more opportunities to present yourselves in a decidedly more ‘modern’ way. Broadcast live from your store on streaming apps (Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram) where your staff can engage with customers in real-time. Perform demonstrations of products, or answer any customer questions as they come in.
In a technologically advanced society, with smartphones and ‘always-on’ connectivity with the internet, it becomes prevalent to market directly to those consumers by using those channels. These methods are not just simply
Take your store on the road
As a retailer, you should always be on the look out for avenues in which to find and attract new customers, and taking your business on the road might just be answer.
If your experiencing slow sale traffic in the early months of the year, then setting up a mobile POS solution, where you travel to a new and specific location in which to sell your wares, is a marketing activity that would be worthwhile. The retail industry in general in moving towards the pop-up store as a necessary part of business management, and it just so happens that it’s simple to do and doesn’t have lingering costs associated with.
Taking advantage of this can be a way in which you expand your customer base and perhaps even get a gauge of a new location to set-up a second store or start your first one, if you’re an online retailer. Also consider taking your store into trade-shows and expos, and introducing your products to wholesalers and keen buyers, using a sophisticated point-of-sale system to conduct sales at big ticket events.
Your post-holiday season sales are often a difficult to navigate through, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be! Customer and business relationships are an important one, and retailers that take the time to invest capital into that, will find themselves better off. Take a more assertive approach to your marketing efforts and launch yourself into new initiatives that are designed to keep that traffic juice flowing.