Beating those post-holiday blues can be challenging enough without having to run your business at the same time! With a positive mindset, the beginning of a New Year doesn’t have to be hard work and it can even become a rewarding time once you get into the swing of things. The days are lengthening and the mince pies are all gone. Focus on change. Look forward to an exciting year ahead.
Sales, Sales and Sales!
You have been bombarded with sales, promotions and deals all throughout the holiday season, the last thing you would expect right now is to launch yet another one. Why would you not launch another sale? Customers wallet’s are going to be bursting with gift vouchers and Christmas cash just waiting to be spent in your store.
It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t just have to promote leftover Christmas stock, add some diversity to your New Year sale and offer some non-seasonal products/services. A great way to help customers find that new year bargain they have been searching for is by creating a dedicated ‘clearance’ category to your store. A singular, convenient place with all the deals you are currently offering for an easy, straight to the point customer experience.
Making the most of the New Year mindset
New Year, new me? With New Year’s resolutions being made left, right and centre it’s time to take advantage of this mindset and promote the whole ‘self improvement’ mentality. This is situational depending on the type of products or services that your store offers but when considering what to promote see if there are any that are relatable to the New Year’s resolutions that your customers may have made.
Making new friends and getting in touch with old
It’s vital you follow up with a courtesy email after the sale is completed. We cannot emphasise enough how important this can be. The entire purpose of your campaign is too not just provide an excellent service for existing customers but to build new relationships with customers that will hopefully bring back their business for the future. Simple touches such as, providing a discount code for future use just to say thank you for your custom can go along way when building new relationships.
Prepare for seasonal returns
Returns are something that are inevitable, whether you like it or not – especially after the holiday season. Unwanted, damaged or wrong sized products, regardless of the issue it is going to happen so it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Returns can be expensive so putting measures in place to counter this beforehand will go a long way to reduce the overall cost of the January return period.
Rather than just immediately offering a refund to the unhappy customer, it can often pay off by encouraging the customer to try out an alternative product which may satisfy what they are looking for. This way you can still resolve the customer’s issue without losing out on business. A win, win for both parties involved.
In order to ensure that the number of returns are kept to a minimum, it is worth reviewing how your products, services or merchandise are displayed to the customer on your website. Are the products displayed as accurately as possible? Are the images of a good, clear quality? Are there any customer reviews about my products? If you can do all of these things then the customer is getting a clear image of what they are spending their precious money on and in turn will lower the chance that the item will be returned.
Another factor to take into account when dealing with returns is finding out why the customer is returning their merchandise. This could be critical in finding a potential common fault with a product or allowing you to resolve this product and improve customer experiences in the future.
Plan for the coming year
After reflecting on the events of the past year and holiday season you can see what worked well for your store and what you feel should be improved upon next time around. This will allow for you to plan the coming year ahead. Now is the time you can start planning marketing campaigns and promotions around important holiday dates throughout the year. The key is to be consistent and try to stick to your plan. Obstacles will pop-up from time to time but it’s how you manage these obstacles that will determine how successful your store will be.
We’re well into January now but it’s never too late to make a New Year’s resolution for your business. It doesn’t even have to be anything major, just simple little things that help give your store some direction for the coming year. A good example of this would be creating a small, bullet-pointed list containing some aspirations for your business. Time spent improving your store is never time wasted. Hopefully our tips will help you make your store stronger and better prepared for the year ahead.