Since Black Friday madness hit, the past few weeks have been a complete blur.
With nowhere near enough staff or hours in the day to deal with the endless stream of customers pouring through your doors, you’re probably desperately counting down to the end of the festive season.
But whilst you’re happy enough to daydream about the peace and quiet of the post-Christmas retail slump now, as soon as it arrives you’ll be begging for the manic shoppers to return.
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Because after everyone’s checked their depleted bank accounts in horror, January quickly becomes the bleakest month of all – and it’ll be here before you know it.
This time around, instead of twiddling your thumbs and watching as your sales nosedive, you’re going to put in the prep work now so your business doesn’t come to a standstill.
We’re sharing a three-step plan that’ll help you beat the January slump and keep your customer numbers up.
1. Keep in touch with customers
Although it’s tempting to fire through customers as quickly as possible to keep queues down and everyone’s tempers under control during a hectic sales period, all you’ll actually be doing is missing out on several chances to build valuable relationships.
Set up an account system and train staff to ask customers for details – email addresses or phone numbers especially – after every transaction. The few minutes added onto queue times will be more than worth it once you’ve got a client list in order.
Then, even if no one comes through your door in January, you can still get in touch with customers. Use feedback services to create surveys, start a poll or ask for reviews and find out what’s important to them. You can spend the lull catering your business according to the data you collect.
2. Up your curb appeal with a makeover
Once the tree is down and the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year, you’re suddenly left with a shop that looks empty and boring in comparison.
Take advantage of the quiet spell and subject your premises to a makeover that’ll leave it looking sparkly and attractive again. With fewer customers to worry about, this is the perfect opportunity to finally get all those pesky maintenance jobs completed.
Focus on your exterior. Freshly painted windows, a well-designed display of your newest products and an eye-catching sign could be just the thing to entice customers inside – and once they see your latest range they won’t be able to resist buying themselves a little treat.
3. Be creative with your sales
The usual lacklustre approach to January retail sales – simply discounting leftover Christmas stock and pulling out three-season-old products from your dusty storeroom – isn’t going to do much for boosting business.
To persuade customers to part with their cash you need to get creative with your offers.
Encourage festive shoppers to sign up for point schemes and tempt them with a double-point January, or organise a special sales event related to your business – be it a fashion show or a preview of incoming products – to pique their curiosity.
January probably feels like a million miles away as you battle your way through the Christmas rush, but once the slump takes hold you’ll be glad you followed our three steps and put a plan of action in place to keep your customers interested.