The holiday season – a magical time for sales. But then comes the post-Christmas slump pet business owners often dread.
Done right, a well-executed holiday campaign can skyrocket your reach and custom, making up a huge chunk of your annual sales. But when the season starts wrapping up, the trees come down and the last of the chocolate is eaten, you may start to feel it’s all a bit too quiet. If your sales are dropping and you see fewer customers on your site or through your doors – don’t despair!
January may leave you battling the small pet business blues, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. You can absolutely use this time to get those tails wagging and keep those customers you’ve gained over the Christmas period engaged.
Here’s our 6 step plan to beat the post-Christmas slump for your pet business. Let’s kickstart 2022 the right way!
As you dive back into your pet business, you might notice the post-Christmas drop. Whatever you do, don’t panic. Because you aren’t alone.
Most businesses see sales slow after Christmas, and research data backs it up too. It’s natural for some consumers to slow their spending after an indulgent yuletide, so don’t start howling just yet.
However, while tighter spending is the norm, that doesn’t apply to everyone – especially if you have an eCommerce platform. In fact, during 2020 online purchases have increased by 6 to 10 per cent across some product categories, including pets! There has been a phenomenal increase in pet ownership, with the global pet service market projected to grow 5.2% over the next five years.
So keep calm, and carry on reading.
So skip the winter hibernation and harness the power of your industry. Don’t be afraid to spend some of those year-end profits to keep the holiday mojo going. The results could just set you apart from the pack.
But where to invest? Glad you asked…
Start by investing in a New Year refresh. Here’s some sprucing up you could tackle in January:
January really isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, the National Retail Federation found that around 68% of holiday shoppers are still browsing for services and buying products in the post-Christmas period.
And what delights those consumers the most? Sales and promotions. 51% said they actively seek brands offering them a great deal this time of year. So to make the post-Christmas slump a thing of the past for your pet business, it’s time to have some January strategies in place.
Whether something was missed off their list, or they find themselves with a new furry friend, a clever promotion is a great way to ring in the new year
Clever is the operative word here, as you need to be wary of “buyer’s remorse”. What’s that? It’s that feeling you get when you see the item you bought for full price in December is now massively discounted. This might spark some serious returns and some even more seriously annoyed customers. So stay on their good side, and use your nose to sniff out a way to connect with these sales shoppers.
In fact, January and February is a prime time to launch any new products and services you have lined up – especially to nip that buyer’s remorse in the bud. Launching a new product or service can help to reignite excitement around your brand and be a key point of attraction for further custom – rather than purely returns. You can even consider launching at an initial discount to attract those customers back to your store!
Likewise, reconnect with your existing Christmas customers with a cute thank you note for their custom and include a little bonus gift. It could be as simple as a 10% discount, or you can get more creative.
Consider a gift card promotion, as studies show consumers often spend more when they buy with a gift card – around 20% more! Or try Cross-selling, which means promoting complementary products to those already purchased. Have they bought a puppy kit? Suggest the items they might need when their pooch gets a little bigger.
Get curious, and target different demographics of customers with personalised emails that make sense to them. Products or services that are most likely already on their mind, making their life that little bit easier. Who doesn’t love that?
Social media is all about added value.
While it’s clever to target the pet parents in your demographic who are still looking to spend, January is also the perfect time to reach consumers who might be feeling the squeeze.
So use this time to utilise your social media for added value. To not only connect you with customers who can spend now, but also build a relationship with those who will spend later. In other words, beat the post-Christmas blues by supercharging loyalty and good feeling towards your brand.
So how do you actually add value? By not only offering your products, but offering original and creative content that enriches their life. Share advice, knowledge and solutions that address their pain points. Solve their biggest problems, show them you care and appeal to their niche interests. For example:
Your customers will feel appreciated and acknowledged. Even if they aren’t spending just yet, they’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling for your furry brand. And when it comes to the point that they do spend? Then you’ll be at the forefront of their mind.
After the magical madness of your Christmas sales, you might have many customers returning or exchanging the gifts that weren’t quite right. This is where you can really stand head and shoulders above competitors, by ensuring the process is quick, easy and friendly.
Why? Well, research shows that if you make the returns process positive, around 1/4 of those customers would trust a retailer more, and 60% said it would encourage them to keep more items. Helping build a relationship with new customers and secure long-term loyalty!
So remain flexible, fun and efficient to create a really positive experience to brighten their gloomy January day. They won’t forget it.
With these 6 steps, we hope you can turn the pet business post-Christmas slump around, and turn January into a productive powerhouse instead!
And if you need a helping hand, or are unsure how to create loyal customers with your content, then don’t despair. Our team of creative genies can help you stand out from the pack. Just book in for a free consultation and we’ll help you keep your eye on the ball in 2022.