You’re probably used to your sales slowing down towards the end of December and throughout January, once everyone’s completed their Christmas shopping. It’s a time of year when people are trying to recover from spending a lot on the festive season.
In years gone by, you might have been able to ride out this quiet period without too much concern. But, because 2020 has been so tumultuous and your business might have struggled as a result, a lack of ecommerce sales over the next couple of months could be harder to take.
Fortunately, there are plenty of digital marketing techniques you can employ to boost profits in the slow post-Christmas period.
Plus, with lockdown-related shop closures looking likely in the new year, you may be able to take advantage of increased online shopping activity.
Here, we’re going to give you our top tips for doing just that.
Take advantage of that “new year, new me” feeling
There’s a certain mindset shift that comes with the start of a new year. We all want to make the coming 12 months better than the last, and that’s likely to be particularly true for 2021, as most of our lives have been put on hold for the last year or so.
Consider how your products could be marketed towards those with a “new year, new me” attitude. Most people will make plans to become fitter, more organised, better dressed, or just generally a better person. So, keep this in mind when you’re deciding how to promote your wares towards the end of the year and through January.
Really push products that are going to help people get off on the right foot at the start of the year. These could be diaries, fitness accessories, cookbooks, storage solutions, or even insurance plans that will help to ensure families are better protected this year. If you’re able to show people how your products or services could help them to get the most out of 2021, you’ll be far more likely to bag those sales you’re looking for.
Make the most of your mailing list
The Christmas shopping period can be very valuable when it comes to attracting new customers and collecting their email addresses. And now is the time to take full advantage of your growing mailing list. You don’t want to leave it so long that customers forget they bought from you and subscribed to your newsletters, and they’ll be far more likely to make a purchase if your great customer service and high-quality products are still fresh in their minds.
Whether you’re running a promotion or releasing new items, your mailing list should hear about it. And it’s important that you make your subscribers feel like they’re getting value and that they’re special, so they’re less likely to ignore or unsubscribe from your messages. A great way of doing this is to give them early access to your sales or even provide them with exclusive discounts. You could also give them sneak peeks of new ranges before anyone else, so they feel more connected to your brand. This will help to encourage them to make more purchases both during this quiet period and throughout the rest of the year.
Ensure retargeting is part of your advertising strategy
If you don’t retarget previous site visitors with paid ads during this particularly quiet shopping season, you could end up missing out on a lot of easy wins.
People might have visited your website when putting together their Christmas wish lists, or might have even stopped by for gifts but spotted something they would quite like for themselves. Plus, if someone has previously made a purchase, they will already know what to expect from your business, which means they’ll be more likely to click “buy” if they see an advert for something they’re interested in.
The best thing about retargeting customers or site visitors is that you’ll have some understanding of their shopping behaviours and can target them with this in mind. For instance, you could create a list of frequent buyers who are likely to be particularly interested in new product launches or, if there are people who’ve added items to their baskets and never checked out, you’ll at least have some idea of the types of products they’re interested in. You’ll also be able to see who made a purchase off the back of a particular promotion and therefore who’s going to be tempted by a similar deal.
PPC remarketing involves using the data you’ve collected to target people with ads that are likely to appeal to them. And, when things are quiet and you’re not making as many sales as you would like, it can be the key to getting more people on your site and through your checkout.
Don’t go quiet
Even if someone has spent money with you in the past, they’ll usually need to hit multiple touchpoints with your business before buying again. This is especially true if you sell high-ticket items. So, to give yourself the best chance of continuing to make sales throughout the post-Christmas period, you’ll want to ensure your business and products stay on your customers’ minds.
As I’ve already mentioned, retargeting people with your ads can really help with that, but it’s also important that you keep up your social media and email marketing activity. Don’t just go quiet until things start to pick up again — while there might be fewer people looking to shop than at other times of the year, there will still be some. And you’ll want them to buy from you, rather than your competitors. So, make sure they’re aware that you’re still there, offering fantastic products and shipping them out in a timely manner.
If you already have a rapport with you customers, you won’t want to let this disappear, only to have to rebuild it later in the year. So, keep things going, even if it’s just through scheduled social media posts and the odd email letting people know about your latest collection or offers. This is sure to increase the chances of them buying from you very soon.
Offer post-Christmas discounts
Most people don’t like to spend a lot of money after the festive period, so you’ll want to offer them a deal they can’t refuse.
A January sale section is a great way to draw customers in, and an especially good idea if you have winter inventory hanging around that you’d like to offload. You could even offer freebies if you have low-cost items you’re desperate to part with.
Another option is to provide discounts or free delivery on orders over a certain spend threshold, to encourage people to spend more with you.
If you have a loyalty programme, now is a great time to provide exclusive special offers to those who have shopped with you before. As we explain in our guide to building customer loyalty, it’s far easier to retain customers than attract new ones, so targeting people who know and love your brand is likely to be a very fruitful move.
It’s understandable if you’re worried about the impending post-Christmas period, when a lot of businesses see their sales slow down. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of continuing to bring money in towards the end of December and throughout the rest of the winter. Incorporate these tips into your strategy and you’ll be off to a positive start.
If you’re hoping to make 2021 the most successful year yet for your business, we can help. Our SEO, paid search, and affiliate marketing experts can work with you to improve your online visibility and help you to make more sales, whatever the time of year. Get in touch today if you would like to hear more about what we could do for you.