Once the New Year hits, a customer’s mindset changes drastically. Right until December 31st, they are busy enjoying good food and drinks, buying gifts, spending money and shopping for expensive stuff. But something magical happens on 1st January. Everything comes spiraling downwards. Shoppers transform and instantly possess high levels of self-control. They suddenly stop buying. Worse, people return products. For Amazon sellers, this is the most unpleasant time of the year.
Is there a way to avoid it? This is the question most Amazon sellers ask me. Thankfully, there is. Every seller will experience a slump, but by following these 6 tips, you can recover and get back into big-time sales mode in this not-so-wonderful time of the year.
#1: LEVERAGE YOUR Q4 PROFITS FOR A SUCCESSFUL Q1
If you have done everything right by following the Q4 tips, then the holiday season will have been the most successful quarter of 2019. To keep the momentum building, smart sellers will reinvest the profits of Q4 in Q1. It might be tempting to put that account into your savings account, but while you should be putting some money there, you should also keep aside some profits for the upcoming quarter as well.
Most sellers are living with a myth that after Q4 has ended, the first two months of the New Year will mint no sales. But this is wrong. There will be shoppers who want to start super early; there will be shoppers who missed the boat on 2019 holiday discounts; there will be shoppers who are looking forward to redeem their holiday gift cards they got as presents. You should be getting ready for those sales.
#2: DON’T BE QUITE
After the holiday season is over, sellers get exhausted. They think customers are too. Here’s where they go wrong. Customers are still there, still listening, still keeping an eye on discounts, still shopping. Going into hibernation means you are missing out on some easy-peasy and competition-free sales opportunities. The key here is to be loud when everyone else is quiet. Just after you are done offering discounts, promo codes, coupons and free shipping, it’s time to do it all over again.
You may be tired of discounts and promotions, but your customers are not. If you continue to give offers, you may be able to win your customers for the second round of bargain. It doesn’t need to be the same level of discounts as you gave during the holiday season, but even a few discount offers and promotional offers can help you get back on track. Here are a few discount offers you can give to your customers:
- Winter clearance sales
- Free shipping (this one always works)
- Bulk-buy discounts
- Free gift offers
#3: FOCUS ON THE PRODUCT THAT FITS IN THE NEW YEAR ATTITUDE
The “New Year New Me” attitude floats around in the masses. During the holiday season, clothes, toys, watches, kitchen items would sell like hotcakes, but there is no point focusing on these items after Q4. Their mindset completely changes. Once the holiday season is over; they instantly resolve to be a “better person.” People won’t buy junk food, pricey dresses, or indulge in expensive wardrobe purchases. But they will definitely buy items that help them fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. Here’s what people will spend their money on:
- Fitness Product: Everyone knows that the biggest chunk of sales in the Q1 goes to health supplements, exercise equipment and anything that enhances fitness. If you fall under or near any of these niches, get ready for a New Year’s windfall.
- Product Helps Them Stay Organized & Productive: In the New Year, people are looking for several ways to fix their life up. Anything from pens, journals to caddies and organizers can be pitched with a New Year attitude.
- Hygiene & Cleanliness Products: When the Christmas spirit is over, cleanliness spirit sparks. Customers want to clean their homes and besides, there is also a post-party mess to clean and put away.
- Winter Essentials: For most buyers, winter lasts even after Christmas is over. So this is an excellent opportunity to market your Christmas products as winter products. Things like sweater, jackets, snow boots, snowboards are highly bought during the holiday season, but they still have use through January and February (and even March and April in some regions).
#4: START EARLY
The biggest holiday season of the year might be over, but this is not the end. New Year comes with new holidays and customers expect great discount offers. It’s never too early to start, make a plan, mark the important dates in the calendar and start preparing for the upcoming holiday seasons. Right now will be a good time to start the prep and jump ahead from the competition. Here is a list of upcoming holidays and important days for every Amazon seller:
January 24-30 – Chinese New Year (Spring Festival)
February 14 – Valentine’s Day
February 17 – President’s Day
This is the perfect month to start preparing for Prime Day (July).
March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
March 23-25 – Prosper Show (conference)
April 4-6 – Qingming Festival (Tomb-Sweeping Day, China)
April 12 – Easter Sunday
April is the right time to prepare for the back-to-school season (August).
May 1-5 – Labor Day (China)
May 10 – Mother’s Day
June 25-27 – Dragon Boat Festival (China)
July 4 – U.S. Independence Day
Any two days in mid-July will be Amazon Prime Day
July is the perfect time to start preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Back-to-school and start of the autumn shopping season
September 15 – Last day to order inventory for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday shopping season
October 1-8 – Golden Week (China)
October 31 – Last day to order inventory before Chinese New Year
October 31 – Halloween
November 1 – Last day to get inventory to Amazon warehouse for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the holiday season
November 11 – Singles Day (China/Alibaba)
November 26 – U.S. Thanksgiving
November 27 – Black Friday
November 30 – Cyber Monday
December 10-18 – Hanukkah
December 24 – Christmas Eve
December 25 – Christmas
December 31 – New Year’s Eve
#5: DEAL WITH RETURNS SMARTLY
Just when sellers take a breath after the holiday rush, there is a great horror of returns waiting for them. Although a 10% to 15% return is normal, it does not have to be the ordeal you think. First of all, you need to expect that returns are inevitable. When you have got returned items in your warehouse, you need to clear out the items that aren’t used or damaged in order to avoid long term storage fees. Also, how you manage your returns reflects you and your brand. Nurturing good customer relationships is crucial to the growth of your business. Dealing with returns efficiently can help you create loyal repeat customers.
#6: KEEP YOUR EXPECTATIONS REALISTIC
Lastly, sellers should never compare their Q4 sales with their Q1 sales. Q4 is a huge quarter and it’s difficult to match those numbers even if you are a fortune 500 company. It’s normal to have “slow sale days” and also one or two “no sale” days. Don’t fret; just focus on creating an action plan to increase sales in the year 2020. And instead of comparing your Q1 with Q4, compare your Q1 2020 to Q1 2019. This will help you keep a check on your expectations.
START THE NEW YEAR WITH A BANG!
This year, rather than succumbing to the January slump, you can use these tips to revamp things up and kick start sales with a bang. Think about the impact it will have on the rest of the year! If you want to stable sales in these bleak months, you can hire expert eCommerce consultants from eStore Factory. We can help you out craft right action plans and tactics that can help get through the sales decline after the holiday spending spree ends.