After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season winds down, the start of a new year can be a slow time in the retail world. Without the momentum of holiday promotions and gifting purchases carrying over into January, the first month of the year is often one of the slowest in terms of sales for retailers everywhere, from big-box chains to local shops.
Despite the inevitable post-holiday lull, January does not have to be all gloom & doom for your retail shop. Read on for five practical tips you can put in place now to reverse the January sales slump and set your business up for success in 2022:
- Set your New Year’s Business Resolutions: The new year is always a time for reflecting back on the prior year, looking at past failures and successes, and for setting forward-thinking goals. Apply these principles to your business this month: this slow period is an opportunity to hit pause on the daily grind of being a small business owner, reflect on the past year’s wins and losses, and to really set your business up to achieve bigger and better things in 2022.
2. Connect With Your Customers: January is a great time to reconnect with your past customers, and remind them of why they love shopping locally. Take advantage of the slower month to really listen to your customers needs and wants. This can be done in-store by providing attentive customer service and online by connecting through social media or email marketing communications.
3. Incentivize Shoppers with Special Promotions: Particularly after the uptick in spending during November and December, now is the time that shoppers are looking for a bargain. Whether you theme a sale around “starting fresh” in the New Year, or simply aim to reduce your winter merchandise with clearance sales, hosting special promotions and discounts this month helps to give people a reason to shop again.
4. Tidy Up: Your store shelves and aisles may be a bit more bare than they were just a few weeks ago, but that also makes January the perfect time to reorganize and clean up your retail space. Now more than ever, your guests will prioritize store cleanliness in order to feel safe shopping in-person. Use this time to clean up aisles of clutter to allow for easier social distancing, do a thorough sanitization of all high-touch surfaces like shelving and counters, and retrain your staff on daily cleaning and health protocols and procedures.
5. Make Shopping Fun: People like to shop in-person because it allows you to see, touch, and interact with products before making a purchase. Local shops can also provide a more personalized shopping experience and level of customer service that online shopping simply can’t match. With this in mind, focus on what you can do to make the shopping experience more fun this month: pass out free samples, put on daily product demonstrations, or host a special in-store event.
January doesn’t have to be slow! With a little creativity, you can use the start of the year to reset your business, bring in new foot traffic, and plan ahead for a successful year.