At a time where retail remain volatile, retailers must make the most of every opportunity that they have to capture sales. Much of the focus in the retail industry is on the lead up to Christmas, but the post-holiday period can be an important time to pay close attention to what customers will be buying.
Recent research from Software Advice surveyed over 1,400 consumers about their holiday spending habits in a bid to understand more about this post-Christmas time period. 32% of respondents said that they were planning on spending between Christmas and New Year, and as many as 45% said that they planned to shop in January.
Growing sales past Christmas means dialling in to what customers are actually looking for at this traditionally tricky time in retail. The study showed that 57% cited anticipated discounts as their reason to shop, 50% plan to use gift cards, and 38% of respondents said they’ll be shopping for themselves.
Gift cards grow in popularity
This holiday season has been characterised by shortages and shipping delays caused by global supply chain disruption as a result of the pandemic. Due in part, no doubt, to the stresses involved in getting the right gift at the right time, gift card sales were up in 2021. With many delays to couriers and the postal service, it’s not surprising that digital gift card sales were also up, accounting for 30% of gift card sales as opposed to 20% in 2020.
These additional sales of gift cards are a golden opportunity for retailers to grow their post holiday sales, as 87% of gift card recipients said they are somewhat and very likely to spend more than the value of their gift cards on redemption.
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The survey showed that about one in five said they would spend an additional $41-50 on redemption, while nearly one in seven said $51-60.
Combining the trend towards gift cards with the desire of the customer to self purchase should enable retailers to look at the products and deals that they are offering and target them at the self gifting market specifically at this time of year.
Amazon tops the shopping list
The study also looked at where the customers will be searching for deals and self-purchases in the post-holiday time period. The most common channel that people intended to browse was Amazon, with 58% of customers intending to visit the platform as part of their post-holiday shopping. 42% intended to visit stores, and 36% planned to visit brands and retailers own websites.
The continued dominance of Amazon in the customer’s minds may encourage some retailers and brands to consider whether to implement or grow a presence on that platform, as a way of capturing customers who might not otherwise find them.
It may be tempting for retailers to take a break after the holiday rush, but not planning out and executing a carefully thought out post-Christmas sales and marketing strategy is a missed opportunity.
Instead, they should identify which promotions and marketing campaigns they can put together to both maximise any sales opportunities presented uniquely at this time of year, as well as manage any excess stock. Doing so allows them to maximise cash flow and start the year on the best possible financial footing.