Now that the rush of online holiday shopping is coming to a halt, it’s time to consider how to lessen the blow of the January lull. It happens every year. While November and December are typically the biggest revenue-generating months, a vast decline in traffic and sales is common for January.
If you have not yet created a plan (or if it’s not a complete plan), consider some of these methods of trying to stay ahead of the game in the coming couple of months.
Plan for Returns and Exchanges
January is a good time to utilize online chat so you can not only provide quick answers, but also help guide customers to an alternate product versus a complete refund.
It’s also helpful to have an internal policy for handling customer requests, like offering free shipping if one opts to go with another item rather than a credit card refund. Or offering a bonus gift card to accompany a store credit.
Determine Sales and Clearance Items
Everyone expects to find holiday décor, wrapping paper, and other like items on sale starting now, and in January, but consider adding additional items (including gifts) to the mix. Not only will some be looking for deals on gifts for the following year, integrating neutral products can help increase average sale amounts, especially if you offer a threshold for free shipping.
Also consider offering sales on accessories for popular gift items. Think protective cases, refill packages and other popular add-ons.
Address Shoppers’ Needs Up Front
This is logical for certain product lines. For example, if you sell tablet computers, people may need accessories like cases and portable keyboards. Items that require supplies and accessories provide opportunity to cater to long-term customers. These items should also be advertised throughout the website in the coming weeks to take advantage of post-holiday needs.
Keep Distractions Away
You’ll also want to make sure your checkout process is streamlined to minimize cart abandonment, (things like; making sure only the available shipping methods are displayed, eliminate the use of CAPTCHA, simplifying credit card processes, and limiting distractions), because obviously you’ll be competing with many other online retailers also vying to create a steady flow of income during the month. Making the process easier & quicker will definitely help!
Sell gift cards? Make it easy for the recipients of the cards to check balances and redeem cards during checkout. (Now’s the perfect time to place a few test orders in this regard, incidentally.)
Regardless of what you sell, getting a jumpstart can help pave the way for the following months in the new year. While the January lull is certainly expected, some retailers have found ways to benefit. It’s an ideal time to try a few changes and see what works for your line of products.