January and February have been universally accepted as slow sales months—and for a good reason. After a holiday season ramp-up that sees consumers making their most significant purchases of the year, the coldest months of the year tend to serve as a financial cool-down period. It's a time when families are either saving to pay off debt or investing in more meaningful purchases, such as gym memberships.
However, this doesn't have to be the case. For example, with e-commerce sales reaching approximately $109 billion in 2022 and projected to increase roughly 11% in 2023, it's clear there are more ways than ever for a business to succeed—even during seasonal foot traffic fluctuation.
With Statistics Canada reporting January 2022 retail trade nationwide was up roughly 12% over 2021 (a year that saw retail numbers across the country returning to relative pre-Covid normalcy), there is more reason than ever to be optimistic.
Below are some steps businesses of all sizes can take to help maximize sales and overcome the off-season blues.
Use Seasonal Emotions to Your Advantage
People usually feel reflective by the time the ball drops, whether they're trying to lose weight or set new benchmarks. Harvard research shows that 95% of buying decisions are based on subconscious, emotional factors, so this is a chance for your business to play up the idea of self-love.
How does that look?
Start by building mini-campaigns around products that can help customers improve their lives.
Whether it's about getting a new car, treatments, or aesthetic procedures, buying a new line of cosmetics, or starting a new job, marketing language that focuses on improvement can boost sales in any niche. The key is to put yourself in your customers' shoes and position your specific offering in a way that can help them achieve their goals.
Leverage Your Holiday Traffic
During the holiday season, people interact with businesses in all fields more than usual. The slower months are the best time to take advantage of this by remarketing and nurturing in a meaningful way; of course, this can mean many things, depending on your industry. For example, a car dealership might reach out to people who haven't bought from them in a while or are on the fence and offer "lowest price of the season" deals on the last few cars from the previous year, maybe with some extra (cheap) incentives.
Smaller online stores could take advantage of customers who added items to wish lists or looked at a particular item more often than usual during the holidays. By adding a bonus deal, they may be apt to move forward now, especially if they had been anticipating receiving it as a gift or currently have many gift cards to spend.
Consider that, on average, retargeting, combined with other efforts, can increase the chances of making a sale by up to 50%; further, retargeted ads have a 70% higher conversion impact on visitors than standard ads.
Planning Your Marketing Spend Accordingly
Many businesses overlook how great the ROI can be on post-holiday rush advertising. Any digital marketing expert will tell you that advertising costs rise as the year ends. Mostly because small businesses try to make the most of the holiday season, and larger companies try to spend what's left of their Q4 budgets, which drives up costs for everyone.
But after the New Year, there is a massive lull, so intelligent businesses can take advantage of a much lower cost per sale. They will have less competition on ad platforms and a reduced average cost per click (roughly 45% lower than in December).
Offering Financing Options To Customers
Is your business offering accessible financing options to customers? Remarketing and emotionally charged micro-campaigns can bring customers into your store or to your website, but the price tag could still be a deal breaker, even if there is a sale. You can turn people on the fence into decisive buyers if you have a reliable financing partner. 56% of shoppers are more likely to buy in-store (and 73% are more likely to buy online) if easy payment options are available.
At LendCare, we provide a simple, fully online financing process that allows customers to get what they want now and pay us over time. If your business is looking for a financing partner dedicated to helping it grow, reach out to us today.