January Sales: Are they worth it?

by Alistair Clarkson on 20-Jan-2018 12:11:00

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We are in the midst of another January sales storm. Can you be bothered to weather it? You wouldn’t be alone if you didn’t want to buy anything this time round. But is it really worth selling in these January sales?

The closing down signs in the windows of shops that never actually close down, the discount codes that arrive in your inbox, or nabbing store discount from a friend of a friend. There seem to be price reductions on the things you actually need all the time. So why should you wait to buy in January?

Do customers still shop in the sales?

A study by Toluna for Campaign found that only 37% of customers actually get excited by the January sales. In some cases, January sales can have the reverse effect on a brand when 64% of customers say they think ill of a brand when they find a product they have bought full price gets discounted only days later.

Whether January sales overall have a bad impact on business is up for interpretation. 66% of people surveyed said they did shop in the January sales. If you take a look at the statistics for purchases made in January they look almost positive.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the January 2017 figures look like they have dropped, but overall they are up on January 2016. The volume of sales have dropped on December figures, but you have to factor in people buying stuff for Christmas. But even then the figures haven’t dropped below March 2016. So the January sales are prompting customers to get their wallets out, just not at the same level as the excitement that Christmas brings.

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The threat of Black Friday

Let’s not forget Black Friday, seen by many retailers as their most successful day of the year. John Lewis recorded their busiest ever single hour of online trading on a Black Friday. The record breaking signs are a clear indicator that shoppers are keen to bag themselves a bargain in the run-up to Christmas. By the end of the day online shoppers were up 3% on the previous year. All this indicates that customers are able to source the bargains before the January sales come around.

Should my business hold a January sale?

Not providing January sales, however, could be a sin if you are a retail business. Whilst stats show that customers shop the bargains on both the internet and in store, a business could be missing out on easy footfall if they don’t at least attempt a January sale. On the Boxing Day just gone shoppers were queuing outside Next at 12:30am! Whilst they wait they could be visiting your store...

All of this is great news for the customer! You can grab a bargain throughout the year with discount codes and the like, and still wait for the January sales to watch stores fight over your custom. And it’s good news for the retailer, January sales do attract customers. The biggest “promotion incentive” is still massive savings. Just don’t reduce the price so much you can’t afford it.

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This post was written by Alistair Clarkson

Alistair is Katapult's Marketing Graduate. The marketing arm of the Growth Team, responsible for promoting Katapult as a business.