Is January still a slow month?

How to beat the retail January blues

January’s traditionally been a tricky month for retailers. Purses are empty after the Christmas buying frenzy. Wallets are bare. Belts are tightened. Or so the story goes. But is it really the case?

If we look at data from this time last year, the stats suggest the opposite, with retail sales bouncing back after a quiet December.

Traditionally a time to bag some serious bargains, January 2019 was no exception, with shoppers indulging in enough retail therapy to beat activity forecasts for the month and generate the biggest year-on-year growth since December 2016.

Will this January’s stats paint as rosy a picture? There’s no denying that 2019 was a volatile year for retail as the country faced the Brexit blues, of which the knock-on effects are still being felt.

For much of 2019 shoppers were cautious to part with their cash, and although the purse strings were loosened in December, official figures for the month were skewed by a late Black Friday. Unsurprisingly, trade body the British Retail Consortium recently announced a slight fall in sales last year. On the plus side, internet shopping activity was up, and sales of non-food goods rose 13% in December.

Why do shoppers spend less in January?

Shoppers tend to feel the pinch for the first month of the year as they wait for their bank balances to recover from the festive indulgence, so it’s little wonder most are reluctant to flash the cash in January than at other times of year.

Activity can be mixed, though – especially if the weather is bad. Remember the cold snap back in January 2018? Shoppers stocked up on winter wear to beat the chill, boosting retailers’ coffers at the same time.

Shopping habits are ever changing, too, and while footfall and purchases in stores may be dropping, activity online is still promising: one in every £5 is now spent via internet shopping and the amount of money spent online has increased six-fold in the last decade.

Keep your tills ringing till spring!

January is prime time for retailers to get creative and branch out to beat the blues. Taking an omni-channel approach to selling provides more opportunities to convert shoppers into buyers – especially online.

Having an online presence and a secure shopping facility can help retailers capitalise on the growing appeal of internet shopping by showcasing the latest discounts and deals, and targeting consumers with well-placed ads.

Meanwhile, giving customers the option to spread the cost of purchases can help in securing those sales – even when money’s tight.

DivideBuy is the finance solution you’re looking for. Our platform integrates seamlessly with your website in a single step and enables your customers to pay for their purchases over several months with interest-free credit.

If you’re ready to beat the blues this January, DivideBuy is expertly designed to satisfy both the needs of you and your customers.

Find out how DivideBuy can keep your tills ringing this spring.

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