f you have started your own business you will be right with me when I say that the best time of year for sales is the holidays. On a personal level, we know that the end of the year brings increased spending, whether it be Christmas presents or the Boxing Day sales. I usually gain my highest profit around Christmas and New Years, but how can I compete with the inevitable post-holiday slump in sales? It can be a tricky time for my business but there are some ideas that you can put in place to help soften the blow of this drop-off. Below are my top 10 tips to combat the post-holiday slump and boost your sales!
#1- Anticipate returns
It happens to all of us. Returns and exchanges are part of Christmas sales, and they certain;y should not be overlooked. If the incoming returns are handled correctly then you can turn a negative into a positive for both you and the customer! This means that, not only do you need to pander to their unique needs, but I also like to offer a discount, a coupon, or even simply free shipping to entice them to want to buy something more suitable. Returns do not need to be a bad thing!
#2- Show your appreciation!
Customers like to feel that they are appreciated. Do you remember a time when a business reached out to you after a purchase to ensure that it was meeting your needs? Send out an email to confirm that they are happy with their purchase. I find that this is a great tool to bring happy customers back to my online store to potentially buy again.
#3- Utilise post-holiday discounts
Customers making more purchases during the holidays gives us as small business owners a unique chance to get more sales after the holidays too! To lure shoppers in to browse my products, I usually offer discounts with holiday purchases that can be used after Christmas or in the New Year. This will bring them back to your online store. I have also obtained a vast amount of new customers during this period which gives me the chance to send discounts and coupons via a mass email.
#4- Put profits to work!
After the holidays I have a lot more profits to work with than any other time of the year. That is when I make them work for me! It is the best time to put money towards marketing to help raise awareness of your business and potentially bring in new clients too.
#5- Run a campaign
With those profits, you could look into running a new campaign. I sometimes include new visuals, new products or services, even current discounts. They can be marketed on your social media pages or even via paid online ads with Facebook or Youtube. These platforms target people who may be interested in your products, so they are some of the most effective places to launch your campaign. You can run it over your social media pages and your website too! Maybe even send out a mass email informing past customers of your new campaign.
#6- Host a contest
A contest is a great way to bring in new followers for social media! I am sure that you have often seen these contests hosted on platforms such as Facebook. Ask your current followers to like and share your post for a chance to win cash or prizes. I like to go with products as this also promotes what I am selling to new people. It is a great way to see new followers pour in and they will be more likely to enter your site and make a purchase themselves, even if they don’t win.
#7- Improve your online reviews
Along with the follow up with my holiday customers, I like to give them a chance to leave a review. I am confident in my product and if anything has not been satisfactory this is the time to make amends and get the customers back on side before they leave a negative review too. Positive reviews from my holiday shoppers have been seen to improve my sales for the remainder of the year. It is an excellent tool to use and an easy one at that.
#8- Launch a new product or service
Do you have something new to bring to the table? The New Year, when sales are inevitably declining, is the time to bring those new products and services to light. Given the fact that sales are surely down, it also gives you more time to work on the marketing for new things in store and launches. Once they are up and running they provide the possibility of new sales too!
#9- Consider New Year’s resolutions
Everyone makes a New Year’s resolution of some sort. Your customers are trying new things and setting goals. I like to imagine how my products and services can benefit any aspirations they may have. Does your product help with motivation? Weight loss? Healthy habits? I find that during this time anything related to fitness and well-being soars in sales. With you, new marketing strategies try to find a way in which you can target New Year’s resolutions and you will see the difference in sales instantly.
#10- Budget for the coming year
I use the end of the year as an opportunity to look back and reflect on my finances and how they could have been better distributed. Could I have used more for marketing campaigns? These adjustments may not increase sales or profits instantaneously, but they are essential to optimise your spending throughout the whole year. You will thank yourself this time next year!