How to Use Shopping Behaviour Analysis to Win the January Sales

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How to Use Shopping Behaviour Analysis to Win the January Sales

The January sales are huge for retailers big and small. Using shopper research techniques regarding promotions and colour, SBXL gives you some tips on maximising your January sales turnover.

After the huge sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the January sales have declined in popularity in recent years. By the time the New Year rolls in, shoppers now have less money and less desire to buy new things.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for retailers. Using the latest shopper behaviour analysis and SBXL’s expert shopper research techniques, the January sales could become a haven once more.

infographic showing how to maximise sales in the january sales

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The Psychology of Sales

Choosing the right level of discount is a complicated matter. Firstly, you need to decide on the level of profit you desire from each product. This could be incredibly low for some stores who wish to make a high volume of sales in order to clear old stock or simply attract passing trade.

Secondly, consider the findings of shopping behaviour analysis. If your product has been discounted from £500 to £400, you could either say ‘£100 off or 20% off’. The method that implies the greatest saving will be most appealing to customers – and this is often a simple case of which number is largest. This is something to consider on a case-by-case basis, so there are no hard and fast rules for promotional pricing.

Another thing to consider is the power of the number ‘9’. Simply changing your prices to end in a nine rather than a zero can have a huge effect. In fact, one study showed that more customers opted for a product costing $39 over the same product costing $34.

As well as the size of the discount, you should also factor in the length of the sale. For example, limited-time offers take advantage of the principle of urgency. If a product is labelled ‘50% off – today only!’, we are encouraged to act quickly, otherwise we risk missing out. Running a sale for several weeks could backfire, as people will become less anxious about missing the discount. Whether those shoppers ever come back is uncertain, so it’s best to get them the first time around.

The Effect of Colour on Retail Shopper Behaviour

Certain colours are perfect for attracting sales-hungry customers. As humans, we’re programmed to be alarmed by certain colours, including red and orange. While these may have traditionally be seen as warning signs, nowadays they provoke a different reaction. Browse any of the major national supermarkets and you’ll see red discount signs – and with good reason.

Red is a wonderful colour to get your customersí attention, so use it to highlight your most impressive discounts. Yellow is similarly striking, but is considered friendlier. For that reason, it’s ideal for the kids section in your store. Understanding retail shopper behaviour means being able to target different groups within the same store. Supermarkets and department stores have sections that almost every age group will be drawn to, so your use of colour should reflect that.

How to Court Full-Price Customers

Not everyone is looking for a 70% discount. Some shoppers are happy with a regular shopping experience without the chaos of stampeding bargain hunters. So how can you attract those who are willing to pay full price in the midst of the January sales?

Going back to our shopping behaviour analysis on colour, there are certain hues that imply a high-quality shopping experience. Using black or dark brown and green will give your store an air of luxury. The effect is that big discount crowds won’t be drawn in, letting your full price shoppers browse in relative peace.

This can be a risky move for certain retailers, so it works best for those who have a target customer with more disposable income and a traditional attitude to shopping. Premium jewellery shops and suit makers are two examples of retailers who could benefit from bypassing the January sales completely.

Coping With Large Volumes of Customers

With many shoppers getting time off work, and others ready to spend Christmas gift vouchers, the post-Christmas period can be the make or break season for retailers. On Boxing Day of 2015, department store Selfridges recorded sales of over £2 million by 10am, showing the effect that discounts can have on sales figures.

But not every shop has the facilities to deal with such a huge level of sales. Smaller stores may have to resist going all out on their discounts to avoid the chaos that comes with the biggest sales.

While increasing staff numbers and hiring security to deal with any skirmishes covers most eventualities, it’s also necessary to stay on top of potential hazards. In the melee, items may obstruct walkways and become dangerous. The last thing you want from the January sales is a lawsuit, so task your employees with keeping the store in a safe condition.

The post-Christmas sales are a stressful time for consumers and retailers alike. However, using a scientifically-tested promotions strategy, it could be a bountiful time for the latter. With SBXL’s shopper research techniques, your Christmas might come late this year.

Phillip Adcock is the founder and Managing Director of research agency Shopping Behaviour Xplained Ltd: a shopping research organisation that uses shopping behaviour analysis to explain and predict how consumers will behave. SBXL operates in seventeen countries for hundreds of clients including Mars, Tesco and B&Q.