Beat the Blues

How Your Pet Business Can Conquer The Post-Christmas Slump

Olivia, Copywriter


Creative Copywriter

The holiday season – a magical time for pet business sales.

Done right, a well-executed holiday campaign can skyrocket your reach and custom, making up a huge chunk of your annual sales. But when the season starts wrapping up, the trees come down and the last of the chocolate is eaten, you may start to feel it’s all a bit too quiet. If your sales are dropping and you see fewer customers on your site or through your doors – don’t despair!

January may leave you battling the small pet business blues, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. You can absolutely use this time to get those tails wagging and keep those customers you’ve gained over the Christmas period engaged.

Here’s our 6 step plan for pet businesses to conquer the post-Christmas slump, and kickstart 2021 the right way.

6 steps to beat the post-Christmas slump

Step One: Don't Panic

The food coma has come and gone, and you’ve remembered what day of the week it is (ah calendar, I missed you.) As you dive back into your pet business, you might notice the post-Christmas drop. Whatever you do, don’t panic. Because you aren’t alone. 

Most businesses see sales slow after Christmas, and research data backs it up too. It’s natural for some consumers to slow their spending after an indulgent yuletide, so don’t start howling just yet.  

However, while tighter spending is the norm, that doesn’t apply to everyone – especially if you have an eCommerce platform. In fact, during 2020 online purchases have increased by 6 to 10 per cent across some product categories, including pets! COVID-19 has seen a huge increase in pet ownership, with the global pet service market projected to grow 5.2% over the next five years. 

So keep calm, and carry on reading.

Step Two: Don't Press Pause

In this ever-growing sector, Christmas blues could be a thing of the past for your pet business if January is done right. Investment in this time is key. 

So skip the winter hibernation and harness the power of your industry. Don’t be afraid to spend some of those year-end profits to keep the holiday mojo going. The results could just set you apart from the pack.

But where to invest? Glad you asked…

Step Three: Get Organised

Start by investing in a New Year refresh. Here’s some sprucing up you could tackle in January: 

  • Conduct reviews – Analyze the information you gained from the current year, like what deals produced the greatest return on investment?
  • Set goals & targets for 2021 – what is it you want to achieve and why? If you need a helping hand check out our free 2021 Goal Planner.  
  • Connect with your workforce – maybe invest in training or skills-building to help them start the year motivated. 
  • Learn from mistakes – work out where your issues lay last year and how to iron them out. For example, if you ran out of top-selling goods, put a plan in place to help better manage your inventory.  
  • Plan your 2021 festive holiday campaign – it’s never too early, after all…
  • Make marketing your priority – with trends, technology, and tactics that are ever-changing, it’s important to keep up. Moving with your consumer, being there for when they need you, means having a strong and streamlined digital presence.

We often find January is the perfect time for a DAHA moment (said kinda like ‘tada!’). Our Digital Asset Health Assessment is the marketing health check your business may very well be in desperate need of.

We will dive into you and your pet business and look at all your digital assets with our expert eyes. Through this complete sweep, we will help you identify exactly what you’re doing right, and what you may need some further assistance with.

Tailored to offer you heaps of value and to help you get your business to where you want it to be – in the most productive way possible. It’s a great way to start 2021!

Step Four: Get Sale Savvy

January really isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, the National Retail Federation found that around 68% of holiday shoppers are still browsing for services and buying products in the post-Christmas period. And what delights those consumers the most? Sales and promotions. 51% said they actively seek brands offering them a great deal this time of year. Whether something was missed off their list, or they find themselves with a new furry friend, a clever promotion is a great way to ring in the new year. 

Clever is the operative word here, as you need to be wary of “buyer’s remorse”. What’s that? It’s that feeling you get when you see the item you bought for full price in December is now massively discounted. This might spark some serious returns and some even more seriously annoyed customers. So stay on their good side, and use your nose to sniff out a way to connect with these sales shoppers. 

In fact, January and February is a prime time to launch any new products and services you have lined up – especially to nip that buyer’s remorse in the bud. Launching a new product or service can help to reignite excitement around your brand and be a key point of attraction for further custom – rather than purely returns. You can even consider launching at an initial discount to attract those customers back to your store!

Likewise, reconnect with your existing Christmas customers with a cute thank you note for their custom and include a little bonus gift. It could be as simple as a 10% discount, or you can get more creative. 

Consider a gift card promotion, as studies show consumers often spend more when they buy with a gift card – around 20% more! Or try Cross-selling, which means promoting complementary products to those already purchased. Have they bought a puppy kit? Suggest the items they might need when their pooch gets a little bigger. 

Get curious, and target different demographics of customers with personalised emails that make sense to them. Products or services that are most likely already on their mind, making their life that little bit easier. Who doesn’t love that?

6 steps to beating the post-Christmas slump

Step Five: Get Social

Social media is all about added value. 

While it’s clever to target the pet parents in your demographic who are still looking to spend, January is also the perfect time to reach consumers who might be feeling the squeeze. 

So use this time to utilise your social media for added value. To not only connect you with customers who can spend now, but also build a relationship with those who will spend later. In other words, beat the post-Christmas blues by supercharging loyalty and good feeling towards your brand.

So how do you actually add value? By not only offering your products, but offering original and creative content that enriches their life. Share advice, knowledge and solutions that address their pain points. Solve their biggest problems, show them you care and appeal to their niche interests. For example:

  • Create informative lead magnets that offer support and advice. If you need a hand look at our free email marketing guide
  • Find reasons to celebrate and inspire, like Walk Your Dog Month in January
  • Do some good and share a donation you made to a local shelter
  • Give them gifts, like a free, themed, printable wall calendar

Your customers will feel appreciated and acknowledged. Even if they aren’t spending just yet, they’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling for your furry brand. And when it comes to the point that they do spend? Then you’ll be at the forefront of their mind.

Step Six: Stay Fantastic

After the magical madness of your Christmas sales, you might have many customers returning or exchanging the gifts that weren’t quite right. This is where you can really stand head and shoulders above competitors, by ensuring the process is quick, easy and friendly.

Why? Well, studies show around three-quarters of consumers are likely to make additional purchases at a retailer or brand while they’re processing a return. So if you get it right, it could pay off further down the line.

Remember that these could be potential new customers, who might never have come across your company before. So remain flexible, fun and efficient to create a really positive experience to brighten their gloomy January day. They won’t forget it.

6 steps to beat the post-Christmas slump

With these 6 steps, we hope you can turn the January slump into a productive powerhouse of a New Year for your pet business. And if you need a helping hand with a digital health assessment or are unsure how to create loyal customers with your content, then don’t despair. 

Our team of creative genies can help you stand out from the pack in 2021. Just drop us a line, and we’ll help you keep your eye on the ball in 2021.