The totals will soon be in for the holiday season of 2009, and whether we’re pleased or not with our sales, it will be time to face the slower winter months.  Now is a good time to give your shoppers a good reason to come back in to your store in January.

The most common way of doing this is a “bounce-back” coupon that offers current shoppers a discount on a future purchase.  Usually the coupon is valid for a very specific time period, such as the month of January. You might offer a percentage off on the customer’s first purchase for 2010 — or you could be creative and entice customers to bounce back in for a special event, or a free gift.

If your store offers gift cards, consider mailing one to each of your best customers close to Christmas, inviting them to visit you soon in the New Year.  A personal thank you note will make them know that you appreciate the fact that they have shopped at a local business.

Increase your January traffic even further by giving customers a “bounce back” coupon or gift card for their own use and one for a friend. That way they can share their enthusiasm about your store.

You can also promote your bounce-back offer on your Facebook page and through Twitter. Mention that anyone making a purchase on a certain day before Christmas will receive a gift card to use in January if they mention the posting. This type of special offer should help you build your Facebook and Twitter following — and increase your sales next month as well.

The last days of the holiday season will hopefully be busy ones for us all, and with some extra effort we can carry some of that success into the early weeks of the new year.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder