The Basics: January Flash Sales
The run-up to Christmas is, obviously, the busiest time of the year when it comes to retail. If you’re completely new to the idea of January sales you’d be forgiven for thinking that people want to take their foot off the gas, and forget about buying stuff for just a little while. But the reality is actually the opposite: people love finding deals in January.
Mini sales events are the perfect way to take advantage of that by drawing in anyone who wants money off normal prices. Mini flash sales are also an easy way to reward your customers or social media fans with anything from free delivery to extra discounts or even exclusive free gifts. Gifts are uniquely powerful at this time of year, because even the least savvy customers turn into bargain-hunting machines in the run-up to Christmas and January sales, so you’re bringing in both new and old customers. They’re already on the lookout for deals, and you should take advantage of that.
Build Curiosity With Email Campaigns...
So it’s one thing to offer flash sales, but everyone offers sales in January. So how can you get any attention as an online shop, when high street stores bombard people with adverts on TV and even online? Well, it’s all about using what you have. If you’re a small business, you’re never going to afford the eyeballs that a high street store can get through TV ads and huge PPC campaigns. So use the customer base you already have to your maximum advantage.
One way to do just that is with targeted email campaigns. You’re going to want to maximise the number of previous customers you can bring in over the course of January, so make sure to engage as much as possible with everyone on your email list. Advertise your sales, ask them questions (What did you get for Christmas?) do anything to get their attention and bring them back.
...And Make Sure To Schedule Them Right
The sales begin the day after Christmas. Your sales should last from Boxing Day through into January. But there’s no use emailing people on Boxing Day morning, because everyone’s already decided where they’re going by then! Maybe the whole family go to Debenhams, or maybe they know that Amazon have a sale on this/that/the other. They didn’t make those decisions at 11am on December 26th, so you have to grab people’s attention long before Christmas
As a rule of thumb, you’re going to want to make people aware of your Boxing Day/January sales at the same time as you’re telling them about your final shipping dates for Christmas. So all the time that you’re building up your Christmas sale, you’re also prepping your existing customers for your January sales.
Build On Returning Customers With Loyalty Schemes
There are a few ways to build rewards into your January/Boxing Day sales. First, you could reward customers who buy anything from your store with special points to use in post-Christmas sales; obviously, the closer you are to Christmas, the more effective this is going to be. This is going to bring customers in all through the build-up and post-Christmas period, and help you really build a lasting impression. If they like what they bought, they’ll be much more likely to come back next year.
You also want to offer points for actually buying stuff in post-Christmas sales. Of course, you should be offering points on purchases all year round; but offering double/triple/quadruple points is a great way to build up hype and, to be frank, make it look like you’re giving an incredible offer when you’re actually offering relatively little. Think Clubcards or Nectar Points: double points are the difference between .50p and £1 effective cashback. But damn if it doesn’t feel like more! So Boxing Day/January sales are the perfect time to offer extra points on purchases, and encourage customers to fill their basket.
Classic Tactics: Emphasise Your Time Limit
Last but not least, let’s talk about a classic sales technique. Everything must go! Closing down sale! Only ‘til Friday! First come first served! That’s not idle sales patter, it’s purposeful: it’s tapping into the customer’s fear of missing out by emphasising that your sale won’t be there forever. If they don’t grab what they can now, well, tomorrow it’ll be double the price. It’s a sales tactic as old as time.
Boxing Day/January sales are a great example of this in action. When you market your sale, make a big point of telling people when it’s going to be over. Is it only on Boxing Day? Is it only until January 1st? Either way, put your time limit front and centre in all your advertising- and if you’ve followed each one of these tips, you should be building on last year’s takings in no time.