Remember when you were a kid and winter seemed to last forever? Fast-forward a few decades, and many small business owners may be feeling the same way.
With the mania of holiday splurge shopping over and the sobering reality of credit card bills arriving in the mail daily, customers are inclined during the winter months to hunker down and hold off on new purchases. Unfortunately, this usually leaves online merchants with declining website traffic, depressed sales, and few good ideas.
But just as your parents had plenty of strategies to shake you from your seasonal stupor, so too can small business owners take steps to inspire those cocooning customers and get them buying again.
Here are some of our favorite tips to help reverse your sales slump and bring your profits back in the black.
1. Ramp up your paid digital marketing
When desperate times call for desperate measures and you’re looking to bust a sales slump, it’s a good time to consider boosting your search engine marketing or social media marketing. Even a small investment to get your business better visibility can generate the ROI you need.
2. Go for a giveaway
Consumers may be tired of shopping in the immediate post-holiday months, but they never get tired of free stuff. Whether your giveaway is a buy one/get one deal or a free gift with purchase offer, you’ll not only inspire your customers to start shopping again, you’ll also show how much you appreciate their loyalty.
3. Stir up your social media
Go off-script from your usual social media strategy and engage your customers with a social media contest – something interactive that encourages them to reach out to their contacts and rack up connections in pursuit of a prize. You’ll generate far more buzz – and more sales – than sticking with the same ol’ same ol’.
4. Pump up your product descriptions
When things are really humming, it’s easy to lose sight of something as common (yet vital) as the product descriptions on your website. When was the last time you gave that copy a good edit? It’s not just housekeeping, either. Done well, those refreshed descriptions can drive more traffic to your site which can drive more sales down the road.
5. Do some early spring cleaning – on your email list
Speaking of important things that you’ve perhaps put off for longer than you care to admit … an email list that has been growing rapidly may seem like a good thing, but if you aren’t paying attention to your list, you’ll run into problems eventually. Take the time now to weed out old, incorrect or disengaged contacts. Consider new ways to segment your list. Then craft a great, targeted message to one of those new segments. The opportunity to break out of your sales rut may have been under your nose all along!
BONUS TIP: Keep an eye on your cash
One of the best ways to survive a sales slump is to keep a close eye on your cash flow to make sure you have enough to get through the slow periods. A good fraud management system can be extremely helpful, allowing you to verify that the sales coming in are legitimate and helping you preserve cash flow by preventing unnecessary chargeback fees.
Need help with this last step? Contact Clearsale to learn what we can offer as your trusted fraud protection partner!