Last year went out with a bang for many UK retailers, especially e-tailers who saw year-on-year sales jump by almost a quarter in December.

With 2020 well underway, retailers will be doing all they can to ensure continued success through January and beyond. Here are four top tips for brands, courtesy of Retail Week:

1. Go heavy on the discounts

January is synonymous with sales, with consumers extra keen to banish the post-Christmas blues by picking up a bargain or two. While heavy discounting doesn’t equate to the healthiest margins, it will allow you to shift old stock and inspire shoppers to purchase items they might not have previously considered.

But you need more than big red posters in your shop windows. Create inspiring window displays to entice people through the door, ensuring stores are kept exciting, clean and organised to prevent them from resembling jumble sales.

Advertising on social media, offering minimum spend incentives and promoting further discounting are other ways to bring shoppers’ attention to your sales.

2. Utilise returns

An influx of post-Christmas returns is to be expected. Rather than simply offering refunds, see if outstanding customer service can inspire shoppers to exchange the item instead, or spend elsewhere in your store.

You might look to offer incentives to shoppers with returns to buy again, such as free gifts, money-off vouchers or invitations to in-store events. Initiatives like these aren’t commonplace, but they could help to mitigate the losses retailers suffer as a result of returns.

Royal Mail found that three in five shoppers would be unlikely to use a retailer again if the returns experience was difficult, so make sure your process is simple and seamless.

3. Offer experiences

There’s a growing trend among shoppers for buying experiences over ‘things’. You might think this doesn’t bode well for a physical store selling products, but quite the opposite – you can offer a unique and exciting in-store experience alongside your usual stock.

The best type of experiences will depend on your brand, target consumers and what you sell. Some examples include product demos and workshops, or more high-end, technology-based experiences such as virtual changing rooms.

4. Jump on seasonal trends

Making the most of seasonal trends is a great way to drive custom, provided those trends are aligned with your brand. For instance, a lot of people have a health and fitness drive come the start of a new year, so this is a good area to focus on.

There are also campaigns like Veganuary and Dry January, the latter driving sales for brands such as M&S which has seen its low-alcohol category experience 89% year-on-year volume growth.

Sustainability is becoming more important for shoppers too, so think about how you can capitalise on this. You could launch a targeted product range, for example, or promote your company’s sustainability credentials across your marketing.

Whatever your retail goals for 2020, success will depend on your delivering an exceptional experience to consumers. If you feel like you need support, get in touch with Delta Group today.