13 Ways small businesses can increase post Christmas sales

10 min read
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For most small businesses, the Christmas season is a great time to provide the best service and sell your most popular products. Whether you run an e-commerce store or a B2B service platform, you’ll find eager customers around major holidays. The only problem: a ‘post-holiday sales slump’ halting your sales momentum in its tracks. 

Facing a slump after Christmas promotions is common across various industries. With the right strategy, you can use this period to boost sales in the long term. To help you do that, we’ve prepared a list of 13 ways your small business can overcome the sales slump and improve your sales strategy:

  1. Create a long-term sales plan

  2. Pivot to a January sale

  3. Foster customer loyalty

  4. Revamp your marketing

  5. Encourage returns

  6. Refresh your inventory

  7. Launch a new service or product

  8. Research the field

  9. Stay engaged with your customers

  10. Retarget Christmas customers

  11. Improve your mobile presence

  12. Expand your audience

  13. Invest in your own growth

1. Create a long-term sales plan

Instead of planning your strategy by the month or quarter, lay out a long-term business plan, so you can plan around expected slumps and distribute resources accordingly. A good long-term plan should account for an entire year or more. By mapping it out, you can focus on your objectives and more easily iterate on your sales strategy. 

Most entrepreneurs are familiar with writing a business plan because many startups use them to find funding. When writing one for the post-Christmas slump, try to keep your main goal of improving sales in mind. Whether your business relies on tourism or a seasonal product, long-term planning will let you capitalise on every opportunity. When writing your plan, be sure to include:

  • How your business plan achieves a specific goal

  • How it caters to customers’ pain points and objectives

  • Information on what products and services you intend to push

  • Information about your industry

  • Projected costs and earning related to your plan

2. Pivot to a January sale

Most seasonal offers dry up after Christmas has passed, but savvy business owners can use that to their advantage. We’ll look at the December season as an example. New year sales keep the seasonal momentum by offering discounts longer than the competition. Here are some examples of how to achieve this:

  • Clearance sales

  • Buy-one-get-one-free offers

  • Bulk buy discounts

  • Bonus items on purchases over a certain amount

  • Limited time coupons on certain products

Because tightened inventories cut down on the number of after-Christmas sales, you don’t have to cut as much profit for the promotional pricing — instead, focus on advertising the sale to make sure the news reaches your customer base. 

Tip: Keep in mind the different advertising channels customers can find and how the festive season impacts that. For example, websites typically see a lot less website traffic during Christmas so consider strategizing more efforts towards social media and direct marketing.

3. Foster customer loyalty

Another way to boost post Christmas sales is to prepare during a peak sales period. When new clients come in during Christmas, offer your best customer service and fulfilment. That way, even without offering discounts, you can attract customers who like your service enough to return. 

Highlight your customer loyalty program

Many small businesses invest in a customer loyalty program. These programmes let buyers earn points they can redeem for discounts or extra services. Offering bonus points during the festive season will bring in more customers after Christmas sales end. 

Leverage past Christmas deals

Some businesses offer time-sensitive deals after Christmas. These give benefits to Christmas shoppers that they can only redeem after the new year. They include: 

  • Limited time offers

  • Coupons on select items

  • Early pre-orders on upcoming products

  • Free services related to products bought at Christmas

Whichever option you choose, the point is to make seasonal interest last well into the new year.

4. Revamp your marketing

While Christmas marketing is straightforward, drawing customers outside the busy season takes more research. Instead of advertising your Christmas deals and seasonal items, you have to find your audience’s goals and pain points. By marketing to their objectives and obstacles, you can reach a new audience or expand your current one.

Evaluate different periods (month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, year-over-year) when evaluating performance for improvements — seasonality and other factors may be at play, so look at different time frames to compare.

Review customer testimonials, changes in the field, and data from your CRM to plan new strategies. Then, implement different outreach methods at once and compare their success. Assessing and revamping marketing based on last year’s or last season’s data is one of the best ways to improve customer reach and make for more successful post-Christmas sales.

5. Encourage returns

At first, increasing returns after Christmas sounds counterintuitive. However, Christmas returns are a great way to bring customers back to your shop. There, you wow them with your products and service. In addition, customers prefer a no-questions-asked return policy, so providing this can give you an extra edge.

The best ways to capitalise on returns include:

  • Offering bonus gift vouchers if customers forgo cash returns

  • Providing discounts on other items when processing returns

  • Streamlining returns by sending customers packing for their unwanted item

6. Refresh your inventory

Lighting is an essential component of a shopfront display. Add some twinkle fairy lights that change colour throughout the day or get fairy lights that have adjustable brightness depending on the mood you’re going for. 

In addition to fairy lights, you can also consider light-up signage with your brand name for some extra attention.

Use customer fulfilment to your advantage

Keep customer fulfilment in mind when restocking your shelves. Undamaged returns can go back into your inventory at no added cost. You can also empty abandoned shopping carts and remove holds on unwanted items. Recirculating these products will save money when refreshing your stock. Learning how to manage your inventory will help you always know what’s in stock and what’s on order.

7. Launch a new service or product

New product launches are one of the best ways to attract attention without offering a discount. You'll put the item on your customers' radar by marketing a new product during a sales peak. Then, when the slump hits, your clients have an excuse to return. 

Avoid rushing an unfinished product out the door to avoid the post-Christmas slump. While great timing for your product launch is crucial, faulty releases can push customers away instead of bringing them back.

8. Research the field

Use the post-Christmas period as a chance to conduct research and reconsider your strategy. Looking into the field will help you stay one step ahead of your competitors and anticipate your customers’ needs. Ask yourself these questions about your field:

  • What products were the most popular last year?

  • What strategy changes did your competitors reveal?

  • How have consumer demographics changed?

  • What do you believe customers' biggest goals and pain points will be this year?

Customer segmentation improves research

Customer segmentation helps keep your finger on the pulse of audience interest. Businesses segment their customers by grouping clients into distinct groups. You can find the best way to reach every demographic by studying them one at a time. 

Segmenting customers after Christmas comes with a few advantages. First, you can draw data from the broadest possible sample size because the festive season is busy. Additionally, the new year's slump provides extra time to study your data and improve personalisation.

9. Stay engaged with your customers

Once the busy season ends, it's easy for clients to forget about your brand. To avoid this, find ways to engage with your customers after the Christmas season. For example, you can reach out to them with special offers, send them a survey, or thank them for their Christmas purchases.

However you choose to do it, staying on your customers' radar increases the chance of them returning soon.

Omnichannel communication

There's more than one way you can reach out to clients. The most successful businesses keep in touch with their customers via different channels at once. The most popular ones include:

  • Social media: A low-cost way to advertise new products and services to followers with daily posts or weekly newsletters.

  • Email: The best medium for sharing coupons and sales opportunities.

  • SMS: A means of sharing order updates and reminders.

In-app communication: A method of reaching your most dedicated customers. People who have downloaded your app can use it to check prices, see new offerings, and engage with your brand.

10. Retarget seasonal customers

Customer retargeting can turn one-time clients into regulars. Collect as many email addresses as possible when serving customers over the Christmas season. Get their consent to receive marketing offers from you.  Once the new year rolls in, use these addresses to reach out about future sales, new products, and unique offerings. 

Someone who shops at your shop once shows an interest in your product or service. Customer retargeting uses that interest to generate repeat sales. For the best results, try A/B testing to see which targeting efforts work better than others. After a while, your outreach will improve and retain more customers.

11. Improve your mobile presence

Across e-commerce sectors, conversion rates are three times higher on mobile apps than on mobile web pages. On top of that, two-thirds of e-commerce traffic comes from mobile devices. With all that in mind, it’s easy to see how a strong mobile presence can improve sales. After the Christmas sales peak, businesses should reinvest their earnings in an improved mobile online shopfront. You can streamline purchases, develop an app for loyal customers, or optimise your current website. Each of these options can lead to a dramatic increase in ROI.

12. Expand your audience

Odds are, your most dedicated customers came to you during the festive season. Consider growing your audience and bringing in new customers during the post-Christmas slump. Learn what groups have the same goals and pain points outside your target demographic. From there, you can focus on marketing to them.

Go global if it makes sense for your business

Sixty-seven percent of online shoppers have made cross-border purchases. While online-only businesses have the easiest transition, most businesses benefit from going global. Some small businesses may have to rework their shipping and billing practices to sell abroad. Despite the upfront cost, this expansion could increase income if rolled out responsibly. QuickBooks payments can help by providing a range of payment options with fast deposits and automatic bookkeeping.

Redefine your target audience

Some businesses have the products and services needed to branch out on hand. All they need to do is find the right market. If you already performed customer segmentation, reuse your research to find new demographics for outreach. 

Specifically, you want to find customers who share your current clients’ goals and problems. Check your competitors and see what new demographics they’re reaching out to. Additionally, you can survey current customers on who they think would benefit from your company. Using these resources, you can cut a lot of the trial and error out of growing your customer base.

13. Invest in your own growth

Businesses need to evolve if they want to provide the best possible service. So, assess your greatest strengths and weaknesses in the post-Christmas sales period. From there, make short and long-term investments that capitalise on strengths and compensate for weaknesses. You can automate core processes, partner with other businesses, and expand your line-up of services.

Although the new year slump gets many small businesses down, making January sales is far from impossible. Implementing these tips can bring in new customers and improve your cash flow. Beyond that, they can strengthen your business and sustain growth for years to come.

Whether you’re coming out of a sales surge or preparing for a slump, QuickBooks accounting software will ensure your most popular products are available to customers.


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