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Retail Reboot: Winning Strategies for Early Year Success

Blog title design that reads: Retail Reboot
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Maximize Momentum for Retail Revenue

Peak season is a mad dash of customer activity and revenue, but the months that follow are often a slowdown period. Customers make resolutions to spend less money, and there’s no longer a built-in reason to shop for that next holiday party.

While seeing lower revenue in January and February may be the norm for retailers, it’s certainly not inevitable. If retail marketers know the trends and have the right strategies in place, they can use the momentum of peak season to launch retention success in Q1.

The Post-Holiday Landscape

Despite more than half of consumers resolving to lower their spending habits, 41% of consumers still say that they’ll continue spending long past the holiday rush. This leaves an open door for retailers to captivate customers with marketing that encourages retention.

But customers’ desire to shop isn’t the only factor retailers need to keep in mind: there are key global consumer trends that marketers must keep top of mind in 2024:

Retailers’ Influx of New Buyers

  • Whether it was due to a specific product or a tempting sale, retailers everywhere saw a rush of new faces, especially during Cyber Week. Marketers have a window of opportunity to re-engage these one-time buyers and lead them to brand advocacy.

It’s the Little Things for Customers

  • The post-holiday blues are real, making it all the more important to celebrate the everyday. As Q1 is filled with smaller commemorative moments (National Hobby month, Black History month, or—of course—Valentine’s Day), retailers can use these calendar moments to make every brand interaction feel extra special.

The Gift Cards That Keep on Giving

  • Gift cards were the go-to for 68% of customers during peak season, giving even the most cost-conscious of shoppers a guilt-free way to spend. As this will inevitably bring in yet another wave of new customers, retailers should maximize the opportunity with retention-focused communication.

The Rise of Returns

  • Clearly, some present-givers should have stuck with gift cards. Holiday return rates usually skyrocket at the start of the year, and retail marketers shouldn’t expect any different in 2024. Retailers must institute convenient return policies, leaving customers with a favorable impression that invites them to return.

Continued Consumer Caution

  • While inflation rates have made meaningful progress, customers know they aren’t out of the woods yet when it comes to global financial woes. As a result, many consumers will remain cost-conscious, making it crucial for retailers to highlight their unique value and offer various payment options.

Investigate Your Inventory

  • Clearance sales are a hallmark of the post-peak season experience, but acquiring new arrivals may be a challenge with looming supply chain issues. Retailers should keep close tabs on their inventory to prepare for every supply scenario. 

Seasonal Confusions

  • Weather at this time of year means that one customer is searching for a parka while the other is blasting the AC. Especially when serving an international customer base, retailers should be strategic when serving up seasonally relevant products.

Supercharge Your Q1 Strategies

Make every moment special for customers using the Q1 Guide.

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The Post-Peak Season Game Plan

With the right strategies on hand, retail marketers can use any global trend to their advantage. Here are four practical ways to retain customers year-round and drive peak season-worthy numbers through Q1.

Brand Loyalty and Community

Peak season brings in an influx of new buyers, but if marketers don’t act fast, these customers will be out the door long before the end of Q1.

To motivate new customers to stick around, craft messages that highlight the value they can derive from your brand—just like Barnes & Nobles does with this dynamic banner. Here, the bookish brand uses time targeting to display all of the different benefits their premium members enjoy, from exclusive discounts to free shipping with no minimum purchase.

Rotating banner from Barnes and Noble

Being a member is one thing, but being a part of a thriving community reinforces a new level of loyalty. This retailer highlights their follow-through for ESG values, and calls out how their customers made a difference in their environmental footprint.

Plastic saved infographic

Competitive Pricing and Promotions

After peak spending, customers are on the hunt for dollar-saving deals. This means that retailers will need to offer prices and promotions that suit newly cost-conscious customers.

But that doesn’t mean retailers are stuck in a “how low can you go” scenario. Instead, couple great pricing with creative messaging that showcases loyalty offers, product scarcity, or on-brand “dupes.”

Hibbet Sports

Take Hibbett Sports’ automated approach, where they display both the original and sale prices. Paired with their competitive pricing, the brand showcases up-to-date pricing and inventory levels to drive quick action.

Convenient Marketing Experiences

A seamless marketing experience makes the difference between a loyal brand advocate and a customer that’s never seen again. Whether it’s connecting your mobile app to the in-store experience for a quick check-out process or looping in product information to cut down customers’ research time, it’s crucial that retailers make purchasing as easy as possible.

Video for modelling a dress

Take this formalwear retailer—just by adding in a video instead of a static image, they succeed in replicating the in-store experience so that online shoppers can stay in the comfort of their homes. It’s details like these that lead to lasting retention.

Diverse Product Selection

Retailers know that not all products are made equal. Because this is the case, it’s critical that retailers showcase their unique, comprehensive product selection.

This retailer does just that in this curated product-focused email. With a cohesive summer theme, the brand succeeds in showcasing their products efficiently and easily using the power of automation.

Curation isn’t the only way to customers’ hearts. By leaning on AI-powered personalization, marketers can also automate fresh product recommendations that are geared towards specific customers.

Get Your Attention on Retention

With these key facts and strategies in your arsenal, you’ll be able to turn peak season into your peak year. It’s time to drive retention and loyalty every single quarter.

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