January can be a period of concern for retailers, you’ve seen a spike in sales before Christmas, and now everyone’s purse strings are tightening.
Does the spike have to end though? We aren’t saying you’ll increase your sales past the Christmas total (unless you’re an exercise or dieting company). Still, there are specific tactics you can use to generate more sales.
But firstly, let’s look at when the sales start and end, so you know how much time you’ve got to make the most of the January sales.
While the clue should come from the name, the January sales are a bit of a grey area.
There are the Boxing Day sales and the period leading up to the New Year, so you should consider the best time to advertise your goods.
Look at what your competitors are doing because that will play a factor in when you start your sales.
Again, it all depends on the retailer and what type of sale they’re running. For example, clothing brands like Boohoo like to run flash sales, whereas other retailers plan a month-long sales campaigns.
For example, on January 6th 2019, Curry’s announced a 100-hour sale on Apple products. Keep watching your competition and see what they’re planning and whether they’ve attached any specific dates to their sale.
We’re going to run through our top January sales ideas for online and brick-and-mortar stores, so you can boost your sales and get off to the best start in 2020.
Email is a proven marketing technique, and your retail company should be utilising it. If you are, make it easy to sign-up for emails on your website. And if you can, add a simple checkbox during the checkout process.
If you’re in-store, you could use e-receipts to collect email addresses. However, you need a clear policy which all members of staff adhere to. For example, you need to show consent, and you need your staff to ask people in a way that isn’t intrusive because there’s some uncertainty about how retailers are using consumer information.
Be active with this around Christmas and offer an incentive such as special January sales offers. A successful campaign could drive more sales.
Product reviews are the currency of high-sales, whether you shop online or in-store. Most people do at least some product research whether they’re out at the shops or at home, and consumers will usually check out the site with the most reviews of their potential purchase. One small disclaimer, if you have poor products, you’ll get bad reviews.
It’s tricky upselling in-store because it’s what people expect Sales Assistants to do. But if you do it right, you could increase your sales.
Ensure all of your staff have proper sales training, and ensure they all do the following:
To maximise sales, you need to make your policies clear to consumers. For example, when’s your shipping cut off point for same-day delivery? What’s the returns policy? Can you take it in-store?
If a consumer has no questions to ask, you’ve done an excellent job. Because if they know the answers to all the pressing questions, they’re more likely to trust you and buy your goods.
Sales can get hectic, there are hundreds of shoppers passing through your store every day, and it’s a struggle to keep on top of your cleaning. However, it’s crucial shoppers can peruse around a clean and tidy store. Plus, it’s a hazard to leave items all over the floor.
Clean and tidy stores = more shoppers = more customers!
If you want to maximise sales, respond to requests quickly online and in-store. The quicker you get to people, the happier they’ll be. In fact, high customer service speeds are more likely to win repeat custom.
Obviously, you can’t overstretch yourself and talk to everyone at once. But if you’re in-store, make your body language welcoming and ask shoppers if they have any requests. If you’re online, use live chat, email and phones to respond to all enquiries.
Timing is everything in retail, and if you release the right products, you’ll see an increase in sales. Piggyback on the New Year festivities and think about how you can angle your offering to suit the time of the year.
For example, you may not sell many sweets or chocolate in the New Year, but you could find ways to increase your sales by encouraging gift card spends by giving them an extra 5% off.
Everyone likes rewards, so why not make them a theme in your post-Christmas sale. You could make a specific reward based on the time the person has been a customer, or you could base it on how much they’ve spent with you in the year. Ensure the deal is worth buying, and use customer data to determine what that deal should be.
You can do this online and in-store. You could display some of your 2020 collection in one of your windows to entice customers into the store. You’ll need to be aware of overriding your sales promotions though because that’s the main reason people come in.
Everyone stocks up at New Year: party supplies, food and gift card purchases. There’s also the other side of the New Year, which is fitness and diet products. Ensure you’re prepared for the sudden change of mindset that most consumers experience overnight!
Poor products, every retailer has them. They linger around like a bad smell, and nobody seems to want to buy them.
However, most people can usually see some good in a product that isn’t going to cost them much. So even though you’ll be lowering your margins, you should sell some.
Boohoo are a prime example of a retailer that knows how to use voucher codes – they never seem to end! Voucher codes are ideal for online sales because they’re easy for the user to type into their phone, tablet or computer.
You could experiment with email marketing and voucher codes, sending consumers codes they can use if they visit your store (usually with a little extra discount).
This sales technique is useful for those shoppers that like to plan ahead. We wouldn’t start with this promo offer at the beginning of January, though. Give it a couple of weeks and let the hype of the sales die down, then introduce your offer.
As well as offering savings to your customers, your suppliers should be offering savings to you. Check your bestsellers from 2019, what didn’t sell so well and what’s predicted to be on-trend in 2020. Set yourself a budget and buy the items you know you can make a decent markup on.
Deal sites are a great way to get your products in front of deal-hungry shoppers – think websites like Groupon and Wowcher.
These sites are useful for attracting traffic to your website, developing brand awareness and making a profit on high volume sales (although some businesses don’t).
Sales Assistants sell more when they’re motivated to do so. Offer them better reward schemes and incentives in the January period, so they push for more sales.
You could team up with a local charity and give some of your unwanted or damaged goods away. You could also encourage others to donate rather than throw away used goods, or create an upcycling group.
However, this shouldn’t be a primary driver of sales, you have to do this type of activity because you want to. If you get more sales, it’s merely a bonus.
If there are events in your industry in January, consider getting a stall. If people are attending an event in January, there’s clearly some intent to buy something. If you’re there, you’ve got more chance of being that sale. Events are also a marketing tool – you’ll create brand awareness and leads in the process.
Energetic and bright stores are a magnet for customers, so experiment with your visual merchandising and try to ignite the senses of those who walk by your store.
We don’t expect you to implement every tactic in this blog, but paying attention to a few will help impact your sales.
Pick the January sales ideas you can use and see how you get on. If you want to stock up your supply line, visit our shop to see the 2020 range.