Holiday Hints for Better Sales: Organize a Holiday Shopping Season Clearance Sale

Take advantage of the seasonal spending spike and increase your small business sales. To maximize holiday transactions, the Sloan brothers offer this series of six key strategies.

Every year, as dependably as diets follow the overindulgence of holiday merrymaking, inventory season arrives for retailers still hung over from the seasonal selling binge. But why wait until after the holidays to clear out that merchandise? Hold a holiday clearance sale to blow out the inventory before the buying spree ends.

People love bargains during the holidays. And with all that extra foot traffic, the holidays can be a good time to get rid of discontinued, damaged or old merchandise weighing down your business. You can launch an across-the-board discount or coupon sale, a buy-one-get-one-free sale or team up with nearby retailers and make it a gala cooperative sales event with a party atmosphere. Use your imagination – it’s well worth the effort. A clearance rack can quickly turn a frugal crowd into paying customers!

Statistics show that today’s customers react positively to these kinds of offers. Just make sure your audience is aware that the sale has a time limit to add a sense of urgency to the words, “Buy Now!”

Believe it or not, what works in the bricks-and-mortar retail world also works online. According to the 2004 Shop.org/BizRate.com Online Holiday Mood Study, one of the most successful web site features for driving sales during the holiday period was a clearance page.

Entrepreneur magazine reported that Jennifer Varner, founder of North Carolina-based BellaBlu Maternity LLC, got great results by adding a clearance section to her site.

Varner added the section in November 2005 after a few customers complained they had to search too hard to find clearance items. With the new section on her business’ web site, visitors can reach clearance items directly through a link on her home page. Updated every day, it includes last season’s items, excess inventory and other discounted products.

The clearance section was very popular during last year’s holiday season, Varner says, and allows her to reach a whole new customer base – discount shoppers.

So, online retailers, set up a dedicated page to promote key post-holiday savings and move the last of the holiday inventory – and whatever’s lingering in back ‑ out the door.

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