Gearing up for the January sales: your how-to guide

Only a few weeks to go before all hell breaks loose — customers are punching each other in the face to get the best bargains and falling over themselves to give you their money. Making the most of this window of opportunity is all down to careful planning and elite merchandising skills, both online and on the shop floor.

One of the best things about the post-Christmas sales period is that customers are in the mood to shop. We spend all year trying to seduce them into buying and this is one of the only times that they’ve beaten you to the punch. All that’s left is to satisfy the need! Here’s our handy guide to maximising your sales and getting yourself organised…



Make sure the price is right

Don’t beat around the bush —low discounts are not going to win you those monster sales. Reducing stock by as much as 70% is what’s going to see you succeed, especially if your competitors are going large too.  It’s also a good idea to try mixing your slow moving stock with some best sellers to keep your customers interested and engaged with your offering.

Marketing madness

Whether it’s via email or with leaflets, flyers and postcards, marketing your sale is vital to its success. Customers need to know that you’re going to be participating in a seasonal event, as most of them will already be planning where their money is going to go (any experienced shopper will have a detailed game plan).

Your marketing should include all the obvious things you normally use, like the date of the sale, what will be included in the promotion and how long it will last for. Make sure your percentage or offer is the main focus of the mailer/hand out. The key is to tantalise them into dropping by — this means great discounts all round.

Plan for success

If you are an online store, sales preparation can just be a case of de-cluttering the homepage so it focuses entirely on the discount/promotion. Try a large image and simple copy that stands out, with your offer or discount taking centre stage. You can organise all the sale stuff by price and by product to make shopping fast and simple. If nabbing that bargain takes too long, you can bet your boots that customers will go elsewhere.

For shops planning on remerchandising floors, the best approach is to have a detailed list of everything going into the sale — making a floor plan is always a great idea. If possible, you can even brief your staff on it, so they know exactly where they should start when they come back in after Christmas. 

Try to get all your sale stock in your ‘gold space’ (the most prominent piece of floor space you have) and use signage which shows the various price points so customers can shop easily without having to rummage. They should be able to see exactly what they want from the doorway.  It’s also a good idea to make sure that everything is clearly marked down and priced and sale stickers are perfect for achieving this.

Landing on your feet

For online stores looking to use PPC adverts to increase site traffic, landing pages are top banana. Having a simplified, dedicated sale page makes shopping far easier by taking away all distractions and gives huge success rates. Anything that removes additional clicks from the customer journey is good, so bear this in mind when designing your page.

Now you’re ready to tackle those sales in a big way. You may be left battered and bruised afterwards, but your profits will be the healthiest they’ve ever been. Come on January…let’s see what you’re made of!


Alex Wilkie
12 Dec 2013 13:18
sound advice
David Brookes
12 Dec 2013 13:53
Great Ideas. However the Wedding industry goes BOOM in January so I wont be doing a January sale..
Tessa Shearer
31 Dec 2013 12:57
Great advice!!!

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