How to maintain the holiday momentum after the new year

For the vast majority of consumer-facing businesses, the holiday season means one thing: All systems go. It can be easy to get completely caught up in preparing your company for banner shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, the last weekend before Christmas and Christmas Eve, but it’s also important to have a strategy in mind for what to do after this hectic time period has passed.

Presumably, you’re upping your orders of stock in preparation for an influx of shoppers, but what happens if you overestimate how much you’ll need and are left with unsold product after the time for gift-giving has passed?

Two words: January sales. It might sound unbelievable, but many consumers look forward to January sales even more than the actual holiday season itself. Why? The items they’ve long had their eye on but didn’t receive as presents, despite their not-so-subtle hints to family and friends, will be available for purchase at vastly discounted prices.

Plan for the New Year, now

Although there are still a few weeks to go before the ball drops and it’s time to hang a new calendar, it isn’t too early to start planning your sales for the new year. Provided you’re quick off the mark right now, you’ll be able to segue into promoting what your customers have to look forward to in January as soon as the holiday shopping season is over.

So, what can you do ahead of time to avoid falling victim to a last-minute panicked rush in 2015? Get your cross-media marketing outreach in order! Don’t wait until next year to plan your direct mail, email and social media promotions.

New Year checklist
Own a restaurant? Send an email promoting the specials you have for hungry, post-holiday shoppers. Manage an auto repair shop? Promote service specials on social media so car troubles don’t keep your followers from hitting the sales. Have your own retail store or boutique? Plan a direct mail campaign now that offers a deal on extra inventory or announce flash sales via email and give your subscribers a reason to use up their gift cards.

It might seem premature or unrealistic to devote time toward planning your post-new year strategy when some people haven’t even started decorating for the holidays yet. However, chances are you’ll thank yourself for being so organized when you attract customers away from businesses that are slower on the uptick. The old adage “The early bird catches the worm” certainly rings true when it comes to prolonging the holiday shopping momentum into the new year, so get planning and bag that wiggly creature for yourself.

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