Digital Retail, Not Digital Detail

January is a tough month all around for everyone; its rubbish for both the buyer and retailer. The consumer is stuck with just browsing after blowing their budgets on Christmas and the retailer is feeling the come down after sales plummet after the shopping festive frenzy. Basically we’re all skint and we’re waiting for that magical paycheck/sale that will make us all forget the January blues.

Your traffic though may well stay the same – internet browsing is the “window shopping” alternative to spending money as we create pay day wish lists in the comfort of home (or at your work desk if you’re a little bit naughty).

Now let’s be realistic, your sales aren’t going to completely drop off the face of the earth but you’re bound to see a drop in transactions. That’s why the big retailers will have an online and in store sale running from approximately the 24th to the end of January with extra incentives such as free delivery and extra percentage off deals. It means if you don’t have a sale on your website then those January bargain hunters will instantly be turned off, even if they are loyal customers.

So, what can you do?

First off, don’t panic. It’s just part of the ups and downs of seasonal trading. Your website isn’t broken – it’s your customers that are broke. But it should give you a bit of breathing space in which to think pro-actively how to bounce back those sales in the next couple of months.

You’re still getting valuable traffic – these users are still actively searching for your products so turn your attention on capturing them and converting them down less direct conversion funnels. It’s not all about the there and now…


Become the brand that everyone wants to “like” on Facebook, be active every day and don’t just focus on selling, focus on creating a loyal following instead. You should be doing this all year around of course, but January is an ideal time to re-double your efforts.
It means that when February comes around, you can drop a well-funded killer post on Facebook to drive those sales again. If you’ve not been running a sale in January, commercial opportunities like Valentines days offer sales incentives to get them reaching for their freshly re-balanced bank cards.

Your “have you got checklist”…

• Open Graph Metas
• Facebook Tracking Pixels


Make it clear that those who sign up to your emails will be rewarded. We all hate spam and with everyone and their dog offering email newsletter subscriptions make sure that yours comes off attractive. But do actually think about how this is presented in terms of the wording and the location of the sign up box. Give them a compelling reason to add their email – “Skint this month? Then add your email and get exclusive super-duper money off offers”

Your “have you got checklist”…

• An email marketing strategy!
• Prominent sign up box
• A compelling reason to sign up
• Integrated email API’s to auto list additions.


People that are browsing this month, may well come and spend next month if only the remembered too. That’s what retargeting was made for – those “follow you around the internet” adverts that get in front of people who are likely to come back and spend some money.

If you can time a push on retargeting with a killer offer, then it’s a great way to get milk January’s browsers back as February’s pay check.

Your “have you got checklist”…

• A PPC campaign
• Retargeting banners


Every business will have ups and downs throughout a year so don’t sweat it when it happens. Certainly don’t waste time and energy on panicking about what may have gone wrong and nit picking at the small details that won’t give you the same ROI as preparing well for when the upswing naturally comes in.  The key is to prepare for the next big push when consumers are more ready to part with their cash and doing the hard work all year around so that every channel is primed to jump into action for you when conversions are most needed.