How to Boost Your Retail Sales Into the New Year





If you’re putting all your focus on the holiday sales season, you’re neglecting a huge opportunity — the chance to boost your retail sales after the new year, which is typically a slower time of the year for many.

Plenty of people will be heading into stores in January to exchange unwanted items, cash in gift cards or spend gifted money. With the right approach and some advance planning, you can continue to capture their attention, and their dollars, well into the new year.



6 Ways to Boost Your Retail Sales Into the New Year

Lure Them Back With Limited-Time Offers Good Only in January

Personally, I’m a sucker for “Kohl’s cash.” The national chain periodically rewards shoppers with $10 to spend for every $50 in purchases. The catch: Kohl’s cash can only be spent during a certain window of time.

Since it feels like free money, I almost always end up checking out the store before my Kohl’s cash expires and spending a lot more than I received in “free money.” You can reward customers with store “cash,” gift cards or percentage/dollar-off deals. Whatever you choose, the key is to focus on getting your customers back into your store in January, a frequently slow sales month.

Sell Gift Cards

Gift cards were the number one most popular gift last year. So if your store sells them, you have built-in sales in January (and even later). Even if customers never redeem their cards, you’ve gotten paid for the face value. But if you can get them to come into your store in January, all the better, since they’ll usually spend more than the amount of the card.

Follow Up With Holiday Shoppers

Make sure you capture email addresses from people who shop at your store over the next four weeks. If you do that, you can then reach out again in January with an email marketing message. You can do a soft sell with a digital “Happy New Year” eCard and a gentle reminder to come in and take advantage of year-end clearance items, or sweeten the pot with a discount offer.

Use Loss Leaders

January is the perfect time to get rid of slow-moving items that didn’t sell well. Discount them to rock-bottom prices to get people into your store. And then entice those customers with well-merchandised displays for full-priced items.

Try a Fun Promo

Consumers are likely to feel a letdown as they head back to work and open their credit card statements that reflect high balances from all of their recent spending.

Put them back in a good mood with fun contests, giveaways or challenges. Give away a free gift with purchases. Hold a drawing in the store for a prize such as a $100 gift card or a desirable product. Or have customers bring in the biggest “white elephant” gift they got this year to receive a $10 gift card in exchange.

Look to the Future

The new year is a time when people are ready for change. Try marketing that emphasizes how your business can help them usher in “the new.” Whether it’s by purchasing snazzy new workout wear from your boutique to motivate a fitness regimen, overhauling the home entertainment center with surround sound speakers from your electronics store, or redecorating the living room for spring, there are plenty of ways to get customers energized about new projects — and into your store to get those projects going.

What ideas will you use to boost your retail sales in January?

Retail Sale Photo via Shutterstock

4 Comments ▼

Rieva Lesonsky


Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow her on Google+ and visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.

4 Reactions

  1. I love gift cards, especially when the amount corresponds with more than 1 visit. If you know your average customer spends $20, then offer $25 gift cards. They’ll come back a 2nd time to get the balance to $0 and you have 2 chances to make them a regular customer.

  2. Aira Bongco

    Great tips you have here. I love how you included some limited time offers. I think that it will work in this season of rush.

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