While the holiday shopping season is a goldmine for retailers, the month or two after can feel like a dead-zone. The momentum built during the peak of holiday shopping doesn’t over flow to the New Year as easily as retailers would like. January is without a doubt, a much slower month than the previous couple in the retail industry. With that being the case, the dip in store activity can seem like a negative but it can actually be a good thing for retailers and here are a five reasons why:
- Debrief on Operational Successes and Failures from the Past Year: The New Year is a great time to reflect on the past year and think about everything that went great and the things that could have been better whether that involves operations, promotions or staffing. If you can, think back to specific incidents and how it all played out and where things could have been done better or differently. Then go over what went right and how to continue that in the New Year for similar situations that may arise. Always trying to improve year over year is the name of the game.
- Time to Promote Creative Ways to Increase Store Traffic: Using the down time from slow store traffic makes for a good time to create and brainstorm new fresh promotional ideas to help your business in the future. This could include finding ways to entice customers to your store during the slow winter months. This time could also be used to rev up your e-commerce and online deals like flash sales to generate revenue since most consumers have spent a large amount for the holidays and do not want to venture out in the cold to physically go to stores. Trying to stay ahead of the curve is important!
- Creating the Optimal Store Experience for The Customer: Reinforcing your stores visual merchandising efforts along with a strong store image is important after the holiday rush since stores can look like a tornado whipped through them. Taking this time to clean up and reorganize your store in either the same order or in a better fashion can make it easy to optimize the store experience for your customers.
- Time to Evaluate & Implement a New or Better Approach to Backroom Procedures: During the holiday season it can be difficult to keep up with demand as well as with inventory. After the holiday shopping season storm has passed, it is important to stay on top of what is going on behind sales floor doors. Take a look and see if there are any backroom processes that could be optimized for better product exposure or better guideline situations down the road.
- Keeping Attention to Detail & Customer Safety: After being on high alert for three months to an entire quarter, it is difficult to maintain that same diligence into the New Year for several reasons. However, the new rush of returns and increased fraud in January should make retailers want to stay on top of customers trying to pull fast ones and increase their stores shrink. Retailers must remain as alert as they were during the holiday rush.
By keeping these tips and ideas in mind for the early part of 2016, it will help your business continue to grow and help avoid the lull that is typically seen after a busy and rushed holiday season. Looking to improve year over year is what separates the good from the best.