post holiday slump

Keeping the holiday spirit alive: 9 strategies to avoid the post-holiday slump 

8 MINS
Claire Sy

Your campaign was a resounding success for your business during the holiday season. Your revenue spiked due to your efficient marketing strategy, and your customers were satisfied with their purchases. 

But now that the party is over, the holiday rush will eventually fade along with the customer’s enthusiastic spending, causing your increased profit from the last quarter to decline in the new year. Now, what if we said that you can keep up the momentum and avoid the dreaded post-holiday sales slump? 

We’ll explain why losing your sales rhythm can hurt your company and how you can move past the slowest months of the business year. Keep reading and learn how to prolong the holiday sales magic. 

Post-holiday slump: Why do sales go down after the new year? 

The holiday season brings a large wave of shoppers to businesses in the winter months. In fact, it’s forecasted to garner about 957.3 billion U.S. dollars from retail sales in 2023 with U.S. consumers typically starting their holiday purchases in October, and continuing until December. 

However, consumer spending starts slowing down after New Year’s Day. January is commonly the slowest month for most businesses, just as the fiscal year is starting. Many folks are recovering from their holiday splurge, paying their bills, settling their debts, and returning unwanted gifts or purchases. As a result, the post-holiday season has a significant slump in sales and is the worst month for retailers. 

But while January is one of the slowest months, it doesn’t immediately spell your doom. Being proactive with your sales strategy doesn’t only minimize the loss during the post-holiday blues, it can completely push your business to new heights. Take control of your business’ direction amid the low sales period. 

9 effective ways to avoid a post-holiday sales slump 

The post-holiday season can be disastrous if not properly planned. You might think this is the perfect time to take it easy after three months of hectic marketing and sales. While you certainly earned your rest, letting your guard down can take away your growth’s momentum. 

Luckily, you can turn this unfortunate case into an opportunity if you play your cards right. Take the chance to turn your business’ direction around with these effective tips: 

  1. Review your holiday campaign

Now that the holiday rush is behind you, it’s time to sit down and take a good look at how your sales went during that period. 

Debrief on your successes and determine what worked and what didn’t. Check your inventory. Use the data you collected to elevate your next campaign and avoid the mistakes from your previous experience. If you’re an eCommerce business, use analytics to get accurate data on your performance over the holidays. 

These statistics will be useful when you create your next move and when you start your next holiday campaign. 

  1. Prepare for returns and exchanges

After the holidays, a surge of returns and exchange requests for unwanted, ill-fitting, damaged, and defective merchandise is inevitable. In 2022, returns even reached up to an average of $816 billion in retail products. 

Resolving these requests is expensive, not to mention tedious, so due preparation is needed. You might spend all your money and energy settling your customers’ needs instead of preparing for your business’s next move. 

Keep your customer service specialists ready to take calls and listen to your client’s concerns. Create a standard protocol to keep things moving smoothly. Your team can take this opportunity to upsell alternative products and offer them as exchanges or propose other incentives like discounts and promotions before you hand out full refunds. 

Avoid returns and refunds in the future by keeping an eye on the accuracy of your products’ descriptions. Be clear and stay authentic about what you’re trying to sell. 

  1. Re-engage your customers

Retargeting and remarketing are best done while your brand remains fresh in your customers’ minds. Recent shoppers don’t need any introduction to your products since they’re already familiar with them and are more likely to make another purchase. Focus on earning revenue from return customers since it costs less money and effort than enticing new ones. 

Engage your shoppers through: 

  • Email marketing campaigns. Get in touch with your customers by sending them an email thanking them for their patronage. You can also promote learning resources that would help them grow their businesses. 
  • Social media posts. Create fun and compelling posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Most people online spend their time scrolling through social media sites, so make sure you regularly publish posts that keep them engaged. 
  • Sales and promotions. Deploy deals and discounts to encourage purchases. Sales are one of the most effective ways to spark shoppers’ energy to buy. Make your customers feel that they’re getting their money’s worth when they spend. 
  • Facebook retargeting. Target your ads to people who have shown interest in your products and remind them subtly to encourage purchases. Use Meta Pixel to control your ads and understand your customers’ actions on your website. 
  • Customer surveys. Know your customers’ preferences and opinions by asking them to answer a survey about your business. Use the data you collect to improve your brand. 
  1. Pursue abandoned carts

Online retailers around the globe lose about $4.6 trillion due to abandoned carts. However, abandoned carts can also pose an opportunity to get your shoppers to buy. 

Send them reminders about the items on their carts. Include customers who still need to complete their checkout. All they need is a little push since they have already shown interest in your product. This tactic lets you stay relevant in your shoppers’ minds. 

Send them an email about all the cool stuff they missed out on, deploy ad campaigns, and offer them special discount codes. Angle it as a ‘wasted opportunity to encourage impulse purchases. 

Take advantage of your customers’ existing brand awareness and renew interest to drive up sales. 

  1. Encourage impulse purchases

Speaking of impulse buying, U.S. consumers reportedly make 155 annual impulse purchases which can reach up to $5,400. 

Here are some ideas to help spark the customers’ urge to buy: 

  • Use targeted ads. Pay-per-click ads are effective in spreading brand awareness, allowing a more targeted and controlled way of advertising. It also helps drive more traffic to your site. Keep your brand visible while your customers browse online. 
  • Offer sales and discounts. Make limited-time offer sales and products. Provide conditional promos and encourage discounts with minimum spending. Bring in eye-catching deals to hook your customers into buying your products. 
  • Make your CTA buttons accessible. Ensure that your CTAs are easy to read and accessible. Your customers should be able to check out with the shortest route possible. They will have more time to change their mind the longer it takes to check out. 
  • Optimize your site on mobile. Global smartphone users are estimated to reach 4.74 billion in 2024. Make your store streamlined and convenient to use on mobile for easier access. You can use a website builder to build a responsive site if you don’t have experience in coding or professional web design. 
  • Improve your site’s searchability. Use robust SEO tools to improve your site’s searchability online. Ranking higher on search engines lets customers see your brand easily. Let the right keywords set a quick impression on your customers and put them in a buying mood. 
  • Upsell alternative products. Before your customers check out, promote your other merchandise. Offer them deals and discounts that come with buying more products. 
  1. Start a clearance sale

It’s always better to start the year with a new slate. Clear out unsold items and excess inventory from the holiday campaign while promoting your brand by running a clearance sale. Offer bulk discounts, giveaways, conditional free shipping, and special coupons. If you’re an eCommerce business, you can boost your online sales by sending out digital coupons and promo codes through email. 

Drive further conversions by inviting first-time customers from the holidays into a loyalty program that provides them with incentives and benefits. Be creative with how you go about it. Just keep your customers in a post-holiday shopping mood. 

  1. Plan for the coming year

A successful and profitable year comes with good preparation. Start your business’ marketing plans early in the year. Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday, Back to School Day — the next months are filled with different opportunities for growth and seasons to be careful of. Just as January needs serious preparation, the summer months generate low sales with everyone going on vacation. 

Create a marketing calendar and iron out your goals this year. Figure out the best steps to achieve them. Use the data collected from your previous campaign as benchmarks. 

  1. Make the most of the New Year season

Customers are also trying to start the new year with a clean slate. Ride on the New Year mentality and take this opportunity to connect with your audience. Relate to customers by assisting them with their New Year’s resolutions. 

Showcase products aligned with your customers’ new year goals. Entice them by helping customers improve themselves or start new hobbies. Understand the minds of your audiences and market your business in a way that aligns with their New Year values. 

  1. Launch a new product

January is the ideal time to launch a new product. The new year atmosphere is still fresh in your customers’ minds, making it the perfect time to revamp your catalogs. 

Push your brand’s competitiveness by launching something new from your business and riding the sales momentum you started during the holidays. Grab your customers’ attention and take the spotlight. 

Shoppers are always looking forward to novel products. New products launched at the beginning of the fiscal year can be a good revenue base for the first quarter and the rest of the year. 

Keep your business competitive in the new year 

Many businesses struggle with the start of the year. January to February is the slowest time for sales and letting your guard down during this critical period can be disastrous to your business. Don’t let the post-holiday slump get to you. 

Give your customers time to recover from the holiday fatigue but keep up the flow of activities to increase your brand’s chatter among your audience. Keep these tips in mind and apply them appropriately with Web.com’s reliable online solutions to turn this threat into an opportunity. 

  • Claire Sy

    Claire is a Content Marketing Writer at Web.com. Although she’s just started her content marketing journey, she’s eager to write compelling articles while learning more about the SEO and marketing world. Growing up, Claire had always loved reading, but she started taking an interest in writing through poetry and stories. She also likes playing chess in her spare time.

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