Top tips to move stock left over from the festive season so that it positively feeds into January’s cashflow.
We’re just heading into the festive season and spirits are high, but it’s worth preparing for what happens in January as well.
With luck and a bit of planning, this will be your best month of the year, so let’s make sure you’re prepared for what happens next. We’re all too familiar with the January slump: Excess stock gathering dust on shelves, slow sales and even slower foot traffic.
In December, retail margins have never looked better but then… you’re stuck with stock you were hoping would move faster than it did. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be bad news for your business.
Even though the period after the holidays is usually slow, you can keep driving sales and stay in touch with your customers to strengthen relationships new and old, says Jason Dent, Director of Integrated Marketing at Campaign Monitor.
“Just remember: It’s important to stay active and to not let your marketing efforts go dark after the holidays wrap up,” says Dent, add that you’re likely to bring in many new customers over the holidays, so you need to keep the conversation going.
Incentivise your December holiday shoppers to give you their contact details, so that you can keep the conversation going in the new year. Create competitions for shoppers to follow you on social media as well, which will also give you an opportunity to let them know about the January specials you’re running.
Here are 5 Ways to keep that Christmas stock moving
Use these five smart tactics to boost your post-holiday sales and make January 2020 your best month yet.
- Loosen purse strings with charitable sales
Your goal is to move excess stock during a month where everyone has overspent and is on a tight budget, which means you need to get a little creative.
“Some of our most successful days were during the worst sales periods of the year. We accomplished this by partnering with a local charity and creating an event in our store,” says Matthew Hudson, Master sales trainer and president and general manager at @hudsonhead.
“We gave a 20% discount for every donation and we did this discount when they brought their donation into the store and not as a ‘bounce back’ coupon for later.”
- Have a clearance sale
Excess stock will cost your business money and tying up your cash flow if it isn’t moving off your shelves. While discounts aren’t always the best idea (particularly if you don’t want to train your customers to only shop during sale periods), a January clearance sale is different. It’s great for price sensitive shoppers who have potentially over-spent during December with the added bonus that you get your inventory moving to make way for new products.
“Consider giving shoppers bigger discounts if they purchase more items. And if you have data on shoppers’ preferences, this is a great time to send them personalized product recommendations,” suggests Scott Davis, co-founder of Dog Threads. “Take advantage of email and social media to advertise your post-holiday sales and drive traffic to your store.”
A clearance sale not only attracts new customers, but it's a brilliant way to retain regulars during slow sales periods, like the beginning of the year.
- Keep your energy up for the post-holiday crowd
The post-holiday period is often pretty quiet after the ‘silly season’ boom, so you’re going to need a focused team if you want to clear your shelves.
“Also, there will undoubtedly be returns and things of that nature to deal with, so you need to make sure that the quality of your customer service does not decrease during this period,” says Humanity’s David Galic.
You and your staff members will already be tired after the holiday rush, but toughing it out and staying focused for the first few weeks of the new year will have a lasting impact on your customers. Find some exciting ways to incentivise your staff and get them excited about January.
- Keep your store exciting to customers
Combat the slow start to the retail year by researching relevant events you’d like to take part in during January and February.
“Events are a great way to reach brand new audiences you may not have had the opportunity to connect with otherwise.” - Shopify
Start gathering your resources in December to make these events a worthwhile experience for your customers, right after the festive rush and just before they’re due back at work and school. Make your event memorable or create a lasting experience, resulting in repeat customers to grow your sales.
- Use loyalty data to draw shoppers
The end of the year isn’t really the best time to analyse and reflect on customer and product trends in your shop, but January is. Use the slower period to look at the detailed reports and analytics from your POS system that you’ll be collecting during this period.
This will help you to strategise for the upcoming year, figure out techniques that worked well over the festive period, and determine what you should abandon and what you should keep moving forward.
“With a large number of sales comes valuable data. It’s important that this data is broken down in a meaningful way through your retail point of sale, allowing you to take the action required to improve your sales during the post-holiday season and throughout the rest of the year.” - Michael Chalberg, Content Strategist at KORONA.
“You might benefit from repackaging one product, altering your retail floor layout or shelving, or adjust your inventory ordering and fulfilment,” he concludes.
DO YOU WANT TO BOOST CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND DRIVE LOYALTY?
Talk to Sureswipe about a cost-effective Loyalty programme. We can assist in customer retention through a platform that helps you communicate directly with customers through email and SMS. Call 0860 200 111 or fill in your details here and we’ll call you.