Conversion Wednesday – Sales in January?

By Dan G


So here we are, a few days after the Christmas holiday. You might be thinking to yourself, now what do we do? So many ecommerce stores put all of their focus into attracting holiday shoppers during the end of the year that they overlook planning for the month of January. At the very least, planning ahead to handle holiday returns and exchanges can help reduce the burden of providing refunds, or being caught off-guard with an unclear return policy.

Having clearly posted store policies is imperative, and during the holidays they are more important than ever. The prepared merchant will offer a flexible return and exchange policy that will benefit customers and gift recipients as well as the merchant. Giving customers time to return or exchange items can help to build customer confidence and appeal, and providing store credits can help keep money in your pocket.

By offering store credits on returns of holiday purchases, your telling the customer you’ve got their back. You can use coupons or gift certificates to provide the credits, however gift certificates might be more ideal because balances can normally be carried over if the full amount is not used. Make sure you check with your shopping cart provider to find out what options are available to you.

You should also focus on those who receive cash as a gift for the holidays. While the bulk of retail stores look to cut losses by putting holiday items on clearance, you can strive to get some of that holiday cash by putting highly sought items on sale after the holidays, or extend sales on key products throughout January.

To increase the chance that visitors will spend money at your store, keep running with a returns and exchange policy that is appealing. For items that likely will not sell after December, use strike-through pricing to give discounts– after all, it’s better to get a small return on an investment in inventory than no return at all and a bulk of inventory to deal with. Try to remember these key points:

  • People Love to Accessorize

  • Display is Key
  • Avoid the “No-Nos”
  • Find Your Strategy

In today’s video, we’ll go through this list and reveal how you may be able to resolve and prevent these cart abandonments from happening on your site.

So like I said before, People Love to Accessorize!
If you are contemplating what items to put on sale in January, think about accessories that are most likely to sell with this year’s top holiday gifts. For example, if you sell portable electronics, consider discounting cases for Kindles, iPads, iPods, and digital cameras. By offering great January pricing on such accessories, you can increase your chances of getting some post-holiday business.

Display is Key
Grabbing the attention of post-holiday shoppers is a not easy, but it can be done. You will want to use key words on your home page and products pages. Terms like “Save 50%”, “After Holiday Clearance”, and “Post Holiday Sale” can bring in those folks looking for January bargains. Displaying the regular price of an item with a line through it, in addition to the sale price, can also be enticing because everyone likes to know how much he or she is saving.

Avoiding the “No, Nos”
Garnering post-holiday sales can fail miserably if you lose sight of what online shoppers will tolerate. Remember to avoid continuous pop-up ads (if you must use them, use only one on the home page), and be careful about the way you force minimum purchases.
Also, don’t use less-than-honest advertising. Remember that Honesty Is The Best Policy! It’s irritating to open an email boasting an over-the-top sale, only to find out that nothing is in stock and that the remaining items aren’t really on sale at all. Shoppers Hate that! If your sale is time sensitive then make sure to clearly say that to your potential customers.

January is also a good time to update your store policies as well. If you don’t offer rain checks, which grant customers a means to purchase items that go out of stock during a sale at the sale price when the stock is replenished, you should say so. Also note any special conditions for sale items. If an item has been discontinued and you won’t be able to offer a same-item exchange, be clear about that. Keep in mind that the majority of the bad reputation that online stores receive are based on post-order problems, and commonly refer to a lack of customer service or refusal to make good on a promise stated in store policies.

Find YOUR Strategy
Your goal is to get online shoppers to spend more money with you after the holidays. Give them a reason to do just that. Most online stores worry about what their competitors are doing rather than what they are not doing. Copying promotional ideas will only get you so far. You need to find YOUR strategy that, when presented with options from two stores at once, window shoppers will find themselves in your store. Find the strategy that works for you.

So there you have it. Those are some great tips for Driving Sales in January. To help you with your January Sales Strategy. Now that you are aware of these tips. Is there any assistance you might be itching for? Are you overwhelmed, and want to delegate the testing of these strategies so you don’t have to worry about it? If so, please consider utilizing our testing program.