6 E-commerce Tips to Survive the Dark Days of January

By Sarah Chase

2020-01-08

Christmas has passed its crescendo, and a large boost in shopping is swapped with returns, strained wallets and sporadic purchases. So, how can you transform the notoriously gloomy January days into a bright Q1? We'll shine some light on three common problems and six slam-dunk marketing solutions.

Shopping cart in dark space with a shadow

Poor Presents Result in Returns

Did you receive a bad gift for Christmas? You’re far from alone. As a matter of fact, January generally has the highest rate of product returns. In essence, this means that the upswing in profit during December is more or less a loan until the first weeks of January.

Solution 1: Transparency Decreases the Expectation Gap
An easy way to cut back on your returns is through clear and informative product descriptions. Why? Simply because it decreases the gap between expectation and reality. So, make sure to provide your customers with handy product information such as product dimensions, material, customer reviews and size guides that depict your products in a transparent and truthful way.
 
Solution 2: Personalised Product Recommendations
We understand that it’s easy to feel defeated as returns pile up. However, this doesn’t automatically translate into a dislike for your entire product range. So, how can you turn it around? With the help of personalised product recommendations. As customers search for your return policy, they might stumble across a product that catches their interest. The effect is that you might swap a draining return for a profitable purchase.
 
Check out our expert's six tips on how to ace your product recommendations!

Slimmed Down Wallets

January is regarded the poorest month of the year. After the Christmas frenzy and post-Christmas sales, wallets tend to whither down. However, this doesn’t mean your customers' shopping urges slow down.
 
Person reaches for a credit card


Solution 1: Retargeting Cures Abandoned Carts 
Even though abandoned carts are feared, the phenomenon far too reoccurring to turn a blind eye. But first, let's ease your mind: abandoned carts aren’t synonymous with a lack of interest. Rather, it might be caused by a plethora of reasons such as lack of time, delivery cost or that the customer wanted to create a wish list for a future purchase. The last reason is particularly relevant in regards to the massive economical hangover caused by Christmas and New Year.

The trick? On-site tracking and automated flows for e-commerce enable you to send action-based emails that remind the customer of the products in his or her basket – in real-time. This gives the customer a quick and easy way to return to your shop when the January salary arrives.

Solution 2: Bump Your Average Order Value
Another method to survive the January sales dip is to increase your average order value. This can be done with upselling (recommendation of a product upgrade) or cross-selling (recommendation of related or complementary products). If you want to further increase the effectiveness and relevance of your recommendations, you should tailor them to the individual’s customer profile.

Sporadic Christmas Shoppers

January follows an intense consumption period with Black Friday, Christmas shopping and sales in the rearview mirror. However, you have most likely noticed an influx of new customers and that your seemingly long-lost customers have awakened from their hibernation.
 
Girl with computer

Solution 1: New Customers? Strike While the Iron is Hot
Want to promote your webshop to your new customers? Draw insights from your customer data. As a matter of fact, you increase the probability of another purchase if you strike within 60 days after the initial purchase. So, if you want to turn a one-time buyer into a loyal customer, you should uphold contact with personalised product recommendations, price offers or post-purchase emails.
 

Solution 2: Retain Interest From Your Reactivated Customers
Once you awaken a slumbering customer, it’s important to keep the momentum. Maintain interest by continuously nourishing the customer with product recommendations based on the individual’s customer profile and use triggered emails based on behaviour – or lack thereof. This way, there’s a greater chance that the customer will remain active.
 

With the help of valuable customer data and marketing automation, you’ll kick open doors to a new world of digital marketing. So, even though January generally is considered a slow month, there are a lot of ways to steer towards a Q1 that ends in success.
 

Ready to take your business to the next level? Take the first step here!