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Guest post: Don’t Forget January!

By Chris Dawson December 16, 2013 - 8:35 am

Matthew OgborneMatt Ogborne from Understanding E has run his own eCommerce business for 3 years, worked with two software companies Marketworks and eSellerPro & sole author of the LastDropofInk site. He has worked with the majority of the UK’s largest marketplace businesses and helped brands such as Tesco Outlet & Office Shoes launch onto eBay UK.

Today, whilst he knows most retailers are run off their feet shipping Christmas orders, he takes a look at how you can maximise sales for January.

Maximising January Sales

If the thoughts of turkey, stuffing & roasters and a break is starting sound attractive you might want to think again and learn from the rookie mistake I made all those years ago.

I took January off and when I came back, to my horror I had found out the hard-way that in January you can sell more than what you can sell in December.

So What happens in January?

Let’s think about this for a few moments, what happens in January?

Two things happen:

  1. The general public are pre-programmed in to take advantage of sales
  2. A fundamental shift has happened, a customer is no longer buying gifts, they are buying for themselves

Every single website and store on the high-street will have huge red & white banners with the word “Sale” on them and we’re pre-programmed to take advantage of them. People will queue for hours, even camp out overnight just to grab a  bargain that they probably didn’t really need, just because it is “on sale”, customers are in “Sale-Mode“.

Also a fundamental change to your customers buying habits has happened, your customers are no longer looking to buy gifts for someone else, they have switched to and are buying for themselves. This could be an accessory for a gadget they’ve had at Christmas or a new dress to go with the boots that their husband bought them for Christmas. The point here is that they are looking for presents to buy for themselves, customers are in “Me-Mode”.

January is a Full Month of Opportunity

Unlike December which gets cut short by a week, January is a full 31 days long.

This means that if you position your business to take advantage of the “Sale-Mode” and “Me-Mode” effectively and maybe started early, say on boxing day you have not only have the full month of January but have a bonus of a few extra days thrown in too.

Doesn’t have to be for End-of-line-Stock

After vowing to never make that mistake again, I learnt an inside secret when it came to January sales. “Buy-to-Sale”.

Buy products in especially to put on sale in-store. This could of course be end-of-line products [for which I’d personally suggest you ring your suppliers right now and see if you can secure first-dibs on what’s left over after Christmas], but also think about what you could buy in especially and putting those products on sale, with “Sale-Mode” & “Me-Mode” in-mind?

January, think of it simply as “Sale-Mode” & “Me-Mode”, customers are buying because they’re pre-programmed to do so and a change has happened, they are now buying for themselves.

I’ll leave you with one question to ponder over Christmas pud:

How can your business satisfy your customers that are “Sale-Mode” and “Me-Mode” this January?

  • Alex
    4 years ago

    Good post and I have to add that for sellers who trade in used items, not only is it a good month for sales but it is also a great month for purchassing stock. Bargains are to be had. Prices are ofton lower than the run-up to Christmas and consequently margins can be significantly greater.

    For myself, looking over the past few years, profits from January have exceeded the run up to Christmas.

    Call me the Grinch but I love January!! Its an important month for my business.

    • 4 years ago

      Howdy Alex,

      Yea that’s what I found, January rocks!

      Matt

  • 4 years ago

    There is another category of sale. That is the person who wanted an X for Christmas and when he or she opened their presents there was no X. So they go and buy it for themselves.

    You mentioned Boxing Day. I have often found Christmas Day to be busy. Why? Well my theory is that they have had the family running around playing with the new toys(or perhaps playing with the boxes that the toys came in) and now want to get away for an hour or two. The Computer is perhaps in a quiet part of the house. So to retreat from the noise they go onto the Computer and check out ebat, Amazon etc.

    Some items I have found go potty Christmas Day and after. One is Calendars. I sell a couple of Railway Calendars and there is a definite spike in sales between Christmas Day and New Years day and then they die fairly quickly so much so that by the end of January we are looking to clear the last of our stock and not re-order.

    • 4 years ago

      Hi Chris,

      Good point, I didn’t even consider that when writing the article.

      Matt

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    sucking eggs?

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