The holidays are over, and for most consumers that means it’s time to tighten the purse strings. United Press International (UPI) recently reported the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)and Goldman Sachs have found that retail spending dropped during the first two weeks of January. Store owners must be creative and use effective marketing tactics to prevent the post-holiday blues from negatively impacting their businesses.
Fun promotions can make January a massive success and ensure that retailers are starting 2013 off on the right foot. Traditional marketing strategies like promotional products can boost sales. Additionally, owners can capitalize on popular trends to attract business and generate revenue.
Turn returns into a promotional giveaway
While the holiday spending-spree ends at Christmas, customers flock to stores in January to return and exchange gifts. In fact, the weeks following the holidays can be even more hectic than December. Stan Gammons, a store manager at Lowe’s, told ABC’s affiliate in South Carolina that he scheduled additional staff to handle the influx of returns.
“We’d already planned ahead just in case there were any mad rushes, we had extra folks staffed so we could get the customers in and out quickly if they did bring in their returns and making purchases also,” Gammons said.
A special event can help store owners turn returns into sales. Promotional giveaways can motivate consumers to visit establishments and shop rather than leaving after exchanging their holiday presents. Small items like pens and magnets are always appreciated by recipients. Alternatively, businesses could help customers combat the cold winter weather with branded coffee cups.
A giveaway can improve the customer experience while returning gifts. Time Magazine recently reported that a negative interaction with a customer service representative during a return or an exchange causes irrevocable damage to a store’s image. Functional rewards can ensure that shoppers are satisfied and smiling.
Sales and incentives
Discounts are a popular tool to attract budget-conscious consumers. Shoppers are focused on replenishing their personal accounts, so they hunt for the best deals on their favorite goods. The news source writes that discounts are often irresistible to customers because they don’t want to miss out on special prices and assume that they’re receiving a great value for their purchases.
Post-holiday sales are a great opportunity for stores to move seasonal merchandise and clear space for spring stock. By cutting prices, store owners can avoid losses on goods that didn’t sell particularly well during the holidays.
Stores can offer unique promotional products as part of their sales to create interest in the events. A special gift can serve as an incentive for shoppers to make purchases and adds value to the discounts.
Maintaining brand awareness
The Houston Chronicle points out that sales can substantially increase brand awareness. The source reports that these promotional events can motivate shoppers and help stores attract new business. Discounts should be marketed heavily to find the maximum number of customers.
Stores can ensure that heightened levels of brand awareness are maintained after the sales end by distributing promotional marketing products. Customers usually keep promotional gifts or extended periods of time. Owners should choose items that have the longest shelf lives to optimize their brand exposure.
For instance, mugs and travel thermoses are some of the best gifts for consumers. The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) recently reported that recipients keep promotional mugs for 7.1 months. Wall calendars are kept for almost as long at 7 months.
No other forms of advertisements offer comparable longevity, and store owners can benefit in the long run. If customers hold onto the gifts for more than half of the year, they’ll be motivated to shop at the stores that distributed the functional items well into 2013.