Published on December 21st, 2016 | by Guest0
Five Simple Tips for Avoiding the January Sales Slump
Giving gifts to loved ones is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the holiday season. Sometimes, though, the exuberance of the season causes some people to overspend. When the season is over and the larger credit card bills come in, the people who overspent during the holiday season often decide to cut their spending for a while. If you’re a company owner or CMO, your natural tendency might be to follow seasonal buying habits. During the holiday buying season, you may increase your ad spending on Google and Facebook — only to sever the budget in January when spending declines. Unsurprisingly, you probably also fear the inevitable decline in revenues when the holiday season ends.
So, how can you maintain a robust sales pace when most of your customers are doing everything they can to spend less money? That takes a bit of creative marketing.
Hold a Promotion
Did your company offer discounts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? If you did, the discounts were probably some of the largest that you offered during the entire year. Holding a promotion during January can be a good way to keep sales numbers strong. You may have to be creative, though, because a discount that’s smaller than what you offered during the holiday buying season may not be enough to draw customers in.
What can you do to market your business creatively when the holiday buying season ends? If you sell a product that requires accessories to operate properly — ink cartridges for a printer, for example — offer a steep discount on those accessories. January is also a great time to create product bundles. A notebook computer, for example, becomes a much more attractive product when it includes a carrying case and USB backup drive.
Start a Loyalty Program
According to the 2016 Bond Loyalty Report, 81 percent of consumers report that they are more likely to become repeat buyers of brands that offer loyalty programs. Running a loyalty program is an excellent way to encourage repeat business and keep sales steady after the holiday season. If your business doesn’t have a loyalty program, January is the perfect time to start one.
When you launch your loyalty program, stave off the post-holiday sales slump by offering better loyalty program terms during January only. For example, suppose that your business is a pizza company. Your standard loyalty program gives customers a free pizza for every 10 that they buy at menu price. During January, offer a free pizza for every five full-price pizzas instead.
Increase Your Advertising Budget
Many businesses expect to make most of their sales for the year during the holiday shopping season. As a result, they up their advertising budgets greatly to take advantage of the increased buying. You can expect many of your competitors to dial their ad spending down after the holidays, though — so capitalize on that by maintaining a higher budget. With less competition, you’ll probably pay less when bidding on your most important keywords.
If you have an especially creative mind — or someone in your company does — January is the perfect time to concoct an unusual advertising campaign. Do something unexpected to engage your customers online or get them to come to your store. If most of your business takes place online, engage your Facebook followers with an online scavenger hunt. If most of your customers shop in a physical store, place a sticker under a product label and offer a $1,000 gift certificate to the customer who finds and buys the product. Alternatively, hold a promotion in which you ask customers to bring the Christmas gifts that they hate the most — and auction them off. Have the attendees vote on the worst gift, and give the gift’s owner a special prize. If you manage to get people in the door, they’ll spend money.
Capitalize on Gift Cards
Gift cards are among the most popular gifts given every holiday season — gift givers spend more than $100 billion on them each year. To make matters even better for businesses, 72 percent of those who buy products with gift cards spend more than the value of the cards. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you can give gift card recipients an incentive to spend their cards on your products by offering a substantial discount in January to anyone who pays for their purchase with a gift card.
Selling gift cards is a great deal for businesses, too; about one third of the people who receive gift cards don’t actually use them. If you sell gift cards during December, you can expect that about one third of the sales will end up as pure profit that can help to sustain your business in January.
Stephen Twomey is an Entrepreneur and the founder of MasterMindSEO. When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons. His house is full of testosterone, so he calls it “Dude Life”. Connect with him on Twitter- @stephentwomey