Wintertime marks a fresh start for many shoppers. They’ve made it through the holidays and resolved to “do better” this year. People everywhere are putting away the credit cards, cinching their belts, and saying no to non-essential purchases.
As customers recover from the holiday shopping season, your store can go from bustling to barren in a matter of weeks. Most retail stores experience and plan for slow sales in the early winter months.
Starting the year off in a sales slump can be frustrating and unnerving for small businesses. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give your business a boost and watch that bottom line grow?
We’ve been working with retail businesses for more than 60 years, and in that time, we’ve seen many stores come and go. The shops that stick around typically have three things in common: a great store layout, excellent customer service, and a solid marketing plan. Today we’re sharing five marketing strategies that can help small businesses survive and even thrive during the dreaded winter slump.
The good news is that these strategies can be implemented in as little as a week! Read on to learn how to boost your bottom line by working with your customers’ needs.
Reach Out With Direct Mail
Direct mail is one of the most inexpensive yet effective ways to connect with current and potential customers. Set up a simple postcard or flyer campaign to remind shoppers that the sales don’t stop just because the new year starts.
With more retailers utilizing email, social media, and other digital platforms to reach customers, direct mail gives your business a unique opportunity to stand out from the competition — this is your chance to get creative!
Help Customers Keep their Resolutions
Everyone wants to be a new person in the new year. Most resolutions focus on diet, fitness, or finances. You don’t have to be a health food store or fitness center to make the most of those resolutions. Set up a promotional display to showcase products and services that help customers achieve that “new year, new me” goal.
Thank Your Loyal Shoppers
While holiday shoppers may feel “maxed out” when the post-holiday credit card bill arrives, they still appreciate being recognized. Follow up with holiday shoppers and let them know you appreciate their business. A simple email or direct mail campaign with a coupon attached can help you gather valuable information about your customer base and encourage shoppers to come back to your store.
Give Back to the Community
This is a great time to continue the giving spirit that permeates the November & December holidays. Partner with a local charity to raise support for a great cause while boosting sales. One option is to donate a percentage of every sale to charity.
You can also give customers a discount in exchange for donations. Many people clean out their homes in January/February for a fresh start. Consider hosting a coat, toy, or canned goods drive — this will help your customers and those in need.
Switch Up Sales Goals
Slower foot traffic means employees have more downtime. Take advantage of the lull to focus on employee training. Add in additional sales training, set new goals for the winter months, and find ways to celebrate success. The positive morale and fresh approach can help improve customer service and improve sales.
By following these simple marketing strategies, you won’t have to let winter sales predictions get you down. Use this time to reconnect with customers, refresh your floor plan and displays, and make a difference in your community. With the right plan of action in place, you can make winter a winning season in the sales ledger.