By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Business

Surviving Slow Seasons (What To Do When Retail Sales Drop)

Imagine this: Your sales are skyrocketing in November and December – your business is riding high from the holidays, and you're geared up to maintain that momentum!

But then January arrives, and sales take an unexpected nosedive. You brush it off, thinking it's a minor blip, only to find February shaping up to be more of the same. Suddenly, you find yourself completely discouraged, staring at a lot of sad, empty shopping carts.

You're not alone (welcome to the rollercoaster of retail 😰)! Slow seasons are a completely natural part of the e-commerce business.

Instead of anxiously waiting for your next customer, here are 5 ways to keep yourself busy and set up your business for growth in the months ahead.

What to do when sales are low:

1. Predict and Plan the Year

Use this time to dive deep into your analytics, spanning not only monthly or quarterly but the entire year. I suggest setting aside a "CEO Day" on your calendar. And if numbers aren't your thing, find ways to make it enjoyable! Treat yourself to a fancy coffee, get some new Post-it notes and colored pens, and create a cozy workspace. Lock yourself in your office, pore over analytics, predict sales cycles, set goals, and create a plan. This proactive step will lighten the mental load when busier times roll around.

2. Optimize Your Brand and Website

When was the last time you've taken a look at your website? Whether you need tiny improvements or a complete overhaul, slower seasons provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on your brand identity and website. As the market picks up again, your polished brand and website will be ready for those increased sales.

3. Manage Your Inventory and Develop New Products

Tidy up your inventory during this downtime! Identify products for restocking and analyze sales data for future marketing and promotions. Slow seasons are perfect for product development – experiment with new ideas, formulations, or features like a customer loyalty program. Take advantage of this time to plan for seamless rollouts without the pressures of peak business times.

4. Expand Your Network

Use this slower pace to make some new friends in your industry! Connect with other businesses and influencers on social media, or better yet, attend that in-person event you've been eyeing up. When things pick up, having a strong network sets you up for exciting collaborations, shared audiences, and boosted brand visibility. It's like having a supportive community that propels your business forward!

5. Plan Your Marketing and Batch Content

If you often find yourself falling behind on your marketing content, NOW is the time to plan! Start by setting clear goals and marking down important dates and promotions. Need a hand with planning? Grab our free marketing calendar!

Once you've got your outline, whip up a content calendar covering topics, email campaigns, and more. Here's a little trick I swear by: block out some dedicated time to create content in batches. Trust me – it makes the whole process smoother!

Slow seasons can be a bit nerve-wracking, but guess what? The hustle will pick up again. So, take a deep breath, soak in the white space, and use this downtime to prep for the big comeback!

Whether you're diving into strategic planning, giving your website a glow-up, fine-tuning inventory, getting creative with new products, expanding your network, or cooking up some killer content, these moves will pay off big when those carts start filling up again.

And, who knows? Maybe you'll find yourself ahead of the curve of your competitors who took a back seat in the past few months.

Are you ready to have a brand you can’t wait to show off?

Reach out to us – we're here to turn your dreams into a reality!

We help our clients make more money with their brand and website

Connect with us
Brittany Wong wearing a white shirt, arms crossed, standing against a red-orange background
About the Author

Brittany Wong

Brittany Wong is the Founder and Creative Director of Happyland Creative®, a design studio helping small business owners make more money with their branding.