5 Techniques to Keep Sales High After the Holiday Spike 
UPDATED January 26, 2021
You might be exhausted from the rush of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the overall holiday shopping season (or let’s face it, 2020 in general), but you can’t afford to slow down. While your sales likely peaked during November and December, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for the months ahead.
What comes next after the major holiday spike? For many brands, it’s a major drop in both sales and overall engagement. With proper planning, however, you can actually keep sales high and customers engaged even after the major holiday season.
Here are 5 techniques that will help you do just that.
1. Capitalize on Rewards Points and Gift Cards
During the holiday season, people typically accumulate two things: Rewards points from the stores they shop at buying gifts for everyone, and gift cards they receive themselves as gifts. For ecommerce stores that run rewards programs and offer gift cards (which we highly recommend you do) remind your customers of what they have!
Plenty of rewards programs are set up so that you get a lot of points on purchases made during the holiday season which can be redeemed on new purchases made after the holiday season. Whether your program is set up exactly like this or not, be sure to remind your customers that they’ve got points to spend!
GHOST is a company, for example, that allows their customers to shop for items using dollars or points. Their website (pictured above) clearly labels what items cost in dollars and in points, a great way to remind users of the program and to incentivize accumulating points to use for future purchases.
For gift cards, a simple campaign reminding users to treat themselves and put those gift cards to good use is perfect. The holiday season is a whirlwind for everyone- not just marketers! Your customers may have gotten a gift card to your store and simply forgotten. A reminder can be just the thing they need!
While you’ve already made your profit from the sale of the gift card, having the customer come to your store to use it keeps them happy and engaged with your site and (hopefully) well on their way towards becoming a repeat customer, something that every store wants more of.
Cross-selling is an excellent sales tactic at any time of year, and that includes during this post-holiday lull. In fact, it may be one of the best times. You likely received a large volume of orders during the holidays and with that data in mind you can cross-sell to your audience based on what they purchased over the holidays.
Did they splurge on a new laptop? Why not recommend some accessories like a keyboard or a mouse. Yoga mat? Recommend some additional workout equipment. The above example from Pottery Barn Kids is a perfect example of this. Post-purchase, this email is sent to the customer along with personalized product recommendations based on what they already purchased.
This is a great way to engage your customers with relevant offers that they are more likely to respond to. The more relevant and personalized your message is, the better results you are likely to achieve.
3. Release a New Product
Another problem you may run into during the post-holiday season is that your customers have been shopping with you all season long. They know what products you have to offer and already bought what they wanted during the holiday rush. Solve that problem by launching a new product or product line!
The new year is synonymous with a new start and with it comes the mindset to purchase new items that will help you achieve your goals or resolutions. Be sure to maximize your sales by timing your product launch in January! Consider coupling your launch with a slight discount in order to inspire people to shop. Consider limiting the time of the sale as well in order to create a sense of urgency.
It’s the new year and people want a fresh start- help them make that happen with new products for them to purchase and try out! Craft plenty of smart social media posts that highlight the value of the new product that will hopefully inspire your audience to shop.
The holidays may have been all about focusing on others, but now the new year is about being a little selfish and focusing on yourself and starting the year off right. Make sure your campaigns and product releases reflect that!
4. Analyze Feedback
After the busy holiday season is a great time to look at any feedback you received and to analyze the shopping season as a whole. Reflect on what went well and what didn’t go well during this time. Was there a common complaint from your customers? Did certain products run out of stock? Were there shipping issues? Use these insights to make necessary improvements that will benefit your sales over time.
In terms of customer complaints, make sure that every instance is handled in an appropriate manner. Not only can you gain valuable insights into your company, you also have the opportunity to win a particular customer back or lose them for good.
In fact, according to the service recovery paradox (as seen above) you can actually increase customer loyalty based on how you recover after a mistake. Especially in a hectic year like 2020, it is important to keep in mind that it is okay for your business to make a mistake. What matters the most is how you recover from it. Make it right for the customer, and apply the logic to your business as a whole when necessary. Over time, you will find yourself with more loyal customers that will result in more sales for your business.
5. Retarget Your Customers
Finally, hopefully you already know the power of retargeting your audience via web push. It is especially important during the post-holiday season and one of your most powerful tools for keeping sales high. In fact, research shows that retargeting can lead to 147% higher conversion rates! Retarget your best customers who shopped with you during the holidays asking them to come back and shop- but make sure you’ve given them a good reason to.
So, what’s the reason? Keep in mind everything we mentioned earlier! It could be something targeting your entire audience, such as announcing a new product, or better yet, we recommend segmenting your subscribers and sending something a bit more personalized, like mentioning rewards points or recommending products based on how your subscribers shopped over the holidays.
In addition to web push, be sure to retarget your audience in other ways as well! You likely gained a lot of new email addresses over the busy shopping season- consider retargeting those new shoppers with a specific email campaign that encourages them to keep exploring your products. Or, you can always retarget via social media, and even consider making it easy for them to complete their purchase all on social by getting started with things like your Facebook Store or Shopping On Instagram.
Here’s a quick bonus tip that doesn’t directly impact your sales, but that’s important to consider. Of course you don’t want returns to your store, but they are bound to happen. Making it easy for your customers to return any unwanted items gives them a positive experience with your brand. They may not have wanted the item they are returning, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to shop from your store. A positive return experience gives them more incentive to shop with you again in the future.
Don’t believe this can actually impact your sales? Think again! Research shows that a convenient return policy can boost sales up to 25%. Additionally, over 95% of shoppers say they would shop with a store again if they have an easy return policy.
It’s worth spending some time checking out your policy and seeing about making any tweaks- even if just during the holiday season. An extended time period for returns can make all the difference this time of year. Especially after a tumultuous 2020, a lenient return policy can make all the difference as your customers sort through their gifts and decide what to keep and what to return.
While the holiday season might be your top earning period, there is no reason to fall victim to a major sales crash once the season has ended. Instead, plan ahead so that you can keep sales high all year long. Launch new products, make some personalized product recommendations, retarget your best customers, remind them of their rewards points and gift cards, and always analyze your feedback and adjust accordingly.
What is your go-to marketing tactic after the holidays? Let us know! Looking to get started with web push notifications? Get started for free with Aimtell, or learn more about web push by reading our Beginner’s Guide.