For the past few months, marketers have been working nonstop with back-to-back marketing campaigns. Having made it through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and Christmas Eve sales, marketers have come to the last major event of the holiday season, after-Christmas sales. Despite the temptation for weary marketers to just phone it in for the last sale of the year, doing so can be a costly mistake for a business. After-Christmas sales are the last chance for businesses to end the year in the black, so it must be taken seriously. Here are four tips to help business owners plan a successful after-Christmas sale.
Begin Planning Early
Even though there are still some shopping days left before Christmas, now is the time for businesses to start planning their after Christmas sales. Like Black Friday sales, there is a limited amount of time to make a good offer to consumers. If a business waits until the day after Christmas to start planning an after-Christmas sale, there won’t be enough time to prepare marketing materials before the competition. Since people are low on disposable income by this time in year, being the second person to reach a customer may be too late. Not all things can be finalized before the end of Christmas. Since many after-Christmas sales try to sell stock remaining from Christmas inventories, Christmas Eve is the earliest marketers can definitively know what inventory they have to work with. However, before the final inventory is set, small business owners should be able to make estimates about what would be left. And they can make backup marketing images featuring other items in case certain items happen to sell out over the next few days. This way, all the marketer has to do on the day after Christmas (or possibly Christmas Day for email marketers) is choose the appropriate marketing package and then send it out to customers.
Use Unique and Aggressive Marketing Techniques
After two months of being bombarded with holiday ads, American consumers have become dulled to most traditional marketing messages. For this final push of the year, marketers need to think of unique, attention-getting promotions that will make consumers pause to look. Big discounts are always eye catching. No matter how advertising weary they are, people always take notice when things are more than 70 percent off. It doesn’t have to just be discounts. Teaming up to link sales to charity donations is a way to appeal to other things people care about besides a good bargain. Toms.com does this yearround. When customers buy a pair of shoes or glasses, they give a pair of the same item to a local charity. It’s important to remember that this it’s a very competitive playing field after Christmas, filled with businesses trying to motivate weary shoppers. Whatever tactics marketers decided to employ, they need to make sure it stands out and moves people to action.
Utilize Social Media Marketing to Get the Word Out
Social media is always a good way to spread the word about events but it is particularly helpful for promoting after-Christmas sales at brick and mortar stores or online shops. People use social media more during the holidays for a variety of factors. Many people are on vacation from work or school so they have time to spend on social media channels. And many people are using social media to keep in touch with their friends and family. In general, just about everyone is on social media but not at the same time. The Christmas season is one of the few times of years when everyone is on social media at about the same time. Another reason why it’s good to use social media is that it allows marketers to tap into the conversation that is already taking place after Christmas. People on social media are talking about their favorite gifts, the things they didn’t get, and so on.
Use the Most Recent Sales Data in Planning
A final thing that marketers need to do when planning their after-Christmas sale is integrate the data they gained from Christmas shopping when planning specials. At this point in the Christmas shopping cycle, marketers know what the most popular items were, what items they really need to get rid or face huge overages, and price ranges worked best for a particular store. This data can be used to create well-planned marketing campaigns that feature a modest discount on a popular item, or offers excess merchandise as free gifts to entice people to come to the store. With so much data available, there should be no guesswork involved in determining what items the customer wants or how much money the customer is willing to spend on a visit to the store.
Small business owners have been working nonstop for the past few months, but they can’t give in at the end of the race. After-Christmas sales are the last major shopping events that many businesses will have for several months, so the opportunity can’t be wasted. Marketers need to plan this final push intelligently, because a small miscalculation in timing, pricing, or marketing can easily send customers into the arms of competitors. But when done correctly, after-Christmas sales are great way to end the year with higher profits.