The holiday season is one of the best times of the year for many store owners.
‘Tis the season for retail sales — after all, the National Retail Federation shows that holiday sales increased 3% (to $626.1 billion) in 2014. And this is the time of year when sales help many retailers move their accounts back to black.
But what about when it’s over? How can you continue to drive sales when everyone has finished their holiday spending sprees?
After spending significant sums in the months leading up to the holidays, some shoppers have the blues after receiving their credit card bills in January. The months of January and February are some of the lowest spending months of the year for the average U.S. consumer according to Gallup data — but that doesn’t mean shopping grinds to a complete halt.
Image Credit: Gallup
The question is: How can you stay in touch with your audience and motivate them to come back and spend again? In this post, we’ll look at some tactics for driving sales even in the post-holiday spending slump.
1. Leverage Automation for Ongoing Customer Journeys
By building personalized customer journeys that are time or action triggered, you can keep in touch with your audience and stay top-of-mind with customers new and old. And guess what? It works. Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers who leverage automation see conversion rates as high as 50%.
From subscription renewal reminders to custom product recommendations built based on past purchases, you can integrate a wide number of tools to create extremely relevant messages that drive sales. As you keep your subscribers up-to-date on promotions, sales, and loyalty rewards, they’ll have another reason to buy from you again and again.
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Take a look at how beauty brand Sephora puts marketing automation to work with its VIP program:
Image Credit: Campaign Monitor
In this journey, an email is sent once a customer reaches VIP status — and then follow-up messages are sent with product recommendations based on past spending habits.
These personalized email campaigns feel tailor-made for the subscriber and can help keep sales rolling in (even after the holidays.) Check out nine more inspiring examples here.
2. Use a Multi-Channel Approach
When the post-holiday slump hits, you should also consider deploying a multi-channel marketing approach.
Rather than sticking to one or two marketing channels to reach your target persona, you can build campaigns that work together across several different platforms — like social media, email, PPC, etc. By building out campaign assets that complement each other, you can speak directly to your ideal customer with a cohesive message no matter where they happen to encounter your brand.
Brands like Burberry are expertly deploying multi-channel strategies around the globe. Along with traditional marketing initiatives, they have incorporated various messaging apps into their approach with live-streaming for real-time engagement with customers. This allows them to continue the conversation with customers across many different platforms.
In a world of modern consumers who are constantly checking email, various apps, and browsing online, the multi-channel approach can help you stay on-message with your audience, and at the same time, can make it easier than ever before for shoppers to browse your store and eventually make a purchase.
3. Create a New Year Promotion
Many people like to start the new year with a clean-slate mentality — and that’s something you can capitalize on with a promotion that targets those “creating a new me” shoppers. A number of industries already see a natural lift in sales thanks to common New Year’s resolutions,
From health-related goods to technology, organization, and beyond, there are so many different angles you can promote during the beginning of 2017.
Image Credit: Full Tech Tricks
This is an opportunity for you to talk up the benefits of the offerings you have in store — and how they can make 2017 simpler, easier, and overall — better. Pair it with a sale or discount, and you’ve just hit the sweet spot for your shoppers who are ready to spend on a new mentality for the year ahead.
4. Experiment With Selling at Events
The post-holiday season is also a great time to put together a strategy for selling at in-person events. Transforming the online experience to a face-to-face setting is a great way to reach brand new audiences you may not have had the opportunity to connect with otherwise.
Image Credit: Steel Petal press
And with tools like Shopify POS, you can accept any form of payment from anywhere — all while keeping your inventory, orders, and customer data up-t- date in real-time.
If January and February are slower for your store, this is the time to start researching relevant events you’d like to participate in during the coming year and to gather your materials that will make these events a worthwhile experience.
The season following the holidays doesn’t have to be a slow one. With these tactics, you can keep driving sales and stay in touch with your audience to strengthen relationships new and old.
Just remember: It’s important to stay active and to not let your marketing efforts go dark after the holidays wrap up. You’ve likely brought in many new customers over the holidays, so keep the conversation going.
About the Author
Jason Dent is Director of Integrated Marketing at Campaign Monitor. His focus is on demand generation revolving around content, social media and inbound marketing activities for growing companies. Outside of the tech world, he enjoys bay area sports teams, travel and a good round of terrible golf.