January is just as important as December for retailers
December 18, 2013

For small and medium-sized retailers that offer gift card programs and loyalty programs to their customers, the holiday season is just the beginning of a substantial increase in revenue that can extend well into the new year. While most stores focus their attention on gift shoppers, year-end discounts and deals pose lucrative opportunities for brands even after Christmas.

The digital coupon provider RetailMeNot recently released a survey in partnership with the Omnibus Company that found nearly 80 percent of 1,022 U.S. adults interviewed said they have plans to take advantage of promotional offers in the aftermath of the holiday shopping rush.

"Holiday gifts have been wrapped and delivered, but the shopping is far from over," Trae Bodge, senior editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot, stated in a press release. "The days following Christmas are some of the busiest for retailers as shoppers take to the stores to use their gift cards and, in many cases, make exchanges or returns."

What makes the days after Christmas so important for retailers?
Gift buyers often put a lot of effort into finding the products their friends and family members will enjoy. However, shoppers don't always end up purchasing the right items. According to the survey, 42 percent of consumers said they usually return at least some of the gifts they receive throughout the holiday season. After so many weeks devoted to shopping for other people, a large number of Americans said they also look forward to the days after Christmas as an opportunity to buy things for themselves.

Retailers around the country are well aware of these trends, and many even attempt to entice more visitors by offering seasonal discounts and promotions in late December and early January. An article in the Spokesman-Review, a news publication based in Spokane, Wash., said both online and brick-and-mortar stores have a tendency to reduce the prices for certain goods such as furniture, fitness gear and winter clothing immediately following the holiday shopping rush.

Aside from limited-time deals, small and midsized businesses can also target more customers by offering gift card programs and loyalty programs. Because so many people are likely to return gifts during this time, retailers can use these tools as reliable alternatives that lead to greater customer satisfaction. An engaging rewards system can also retain shoppers and encourage them to continue visiting well into the new year.

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