5 Ways Retailers Can Beat The January Blues

So it’s 2014 and no matter how you look at it Christmas is well and truly over, hope you’ve taken down those decorations!

The start of the year is a tricky time for retailers across all sectors as a lot of people are feeling the January Blues, but we’re here to show you how you can get your year off to a cracking start.

1. Go Out With A Bang
If Boxing Day sales tell us anything it’s that customers love a bargain. A sale is a great way to start off 2014, especially if you promote yourself cleverly.

Rather than holding a ‘clearance’ sale why not promote ‘the best of 2013’? A celebratory sale is a more positive approach and doesn’t give the impression that you’re desperately trying to clear your stock room.

2. Try Something New
January is usually the month where people give things up, we all know someone who’s trying to cut back on booze or biscuits. Why not turn Dry January on its head and kick off 2014 by trying something new?
Offering a new product or service is an ideal way to attract attention in these quieter months. For example, if you run a traditional high street clothes shop you could look at setting up a website and delivering items online.
Last Christmas saw a record number of people buying gifts online as customers are trusting websites more and more. Receiving goods in secure mailing bags through the post is becoming more commonplace, don’t overlook these potential internet customers.

3. Take Stock
The start of the year is always quiet but this gives you the chance to use your time effectively. Look back on 2013 and see what was popular and what wasn’t. Can you cut out your weak product and promote your best seller more?

4. Plan Ahead
You have more time in January to get to know your customers, this is a brilliant opportunity to hear what they want to buy. Running a poll or simply asking face-to-face could help you shape a marketing plan for 2014.

For example, if you work in a sports shop have you noticed an increased demand for tennis equipment ahead of Wimbledon? You can use this information to make desirable products easier to find or even the focus of a promotion.

5. Provide Unique Retail Therapy
January can be tough for retailers but everyone feels a bit gloomy at the start of the year. When people turn to the shops for some retail therapy you have the opportunity to really make an impression by providing a unique shopping experience.

An imaginative window display or eye catching printed carrier bags can draw customers into your shop. Social media has shown us people love to share unique experiences, use this opportunity to get people talking about your one-of-a-kind shop.

Forever 21 are a good example of how to create an online buzz with custom plastic carrier bags.
The company has printed John 3:16 on the bottom of their bags and it's a little surprise that people love noticing. Customers post a picture of the bag online which spreads the Forever 21 brand to thousands of followers.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Just Rely On Sales
Sales are a fantastic way of getting people into your shop, but they’re not the be-all and end-all. Think of new ways to get people clambering for your products, such as a competition people are entered into when they purchase from you.

January is a chance for retailers to be creative and canny. Listen to your customers, look for ways to be innovative and optimise your shop so it’s as desirable as possible. You’ll wave goodbye to those January Blues in no time.

Until next time,

Dominic
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