Winter Retail – Top tips to increase sales

by | Jul 5, 2021 | Business Building Musts, Marketing Strategies, Sales, Small Business Help

Winter can be a tough time for many retailers, and if we add in these recent lockdowns affecting different areas of some states, it really take a toll for small business retailers who don’t have an online presence.

In my experience from my days owning a kitchenware store in Yarrawonga, I found that in the quieter months, increasing your chances of sales opportunities fell into two categories:

  1. You need to make some changes to your store
  2. Or you already have all the tools (stock and staff) you need to increase those opportunities

Which of the categories does your store fall into?

Because if I ask “Do you want more sales in winter?” I can pretty much guarantee your answer will always be YES PLEASE!

So, here are five tips to help you boost sales opportunities and increase profit over the colder winter months at your “bricks & mortar” retail store!

1.Always make sure your counter has “impulse” purchase items on it for quick add-on sales.

We do it all the time, when buying petrol, going through check-outs and so forth, we see something and make an impulsive decision to buy it – regardless of whether or not we needed that chocolate bar!

Make that same impulsiveness a sales strategy in your store too!

But don’t always base your “impulsive” items on price – sometimes it’s about solving your customer’s most common problem, creating urgency or value or something totally quirky (everyone loves a useless quirky item – look at fidget spinners!).

Counter space might only be 1% of your sales space, but can account for more than 8% of your total sales – use this space wisely!

2. Make sure you have plenty of stock of your best sellers – pay attention!

Firstly, if you don’t know your best sellers – stop reading and go research what they are!

If you do know what they are, now is the time to double check your details – we retailers are often wrong – look at the data, don’t go from memory alone!

Then ensure your top performing items are well stocked – if not, you will certainly be wasting good sales opportunities and losing profit.

3. Clear slow-moving items.

Although I am not for generally “discounting” stock, however discounting slow moving stock works well in the slow months.

Firstly because, it can give your customers a reason to buy. If you have a clearance sale and market it well, it will give you the lift in cash flow you might need.

Secondly, it will clear space for on trend or new items for next season.  Customers will appreciate the bargain, love coming to see all your new stock and your store will look invigorated!

Holding onto old stock hurts your bottom line – so sell and move on!

4. Create an event – either by yourself or align yourself with other complimentary businesses.

Don’t wait for a holiday or special event – create your own!

Some of the most successful sales days come from giving your customers VIP treatment – an event just for them just because!

Aligning yourself with other complimentary (not competition) businesses can give customers even more reasons to shop. Plus – you get to share databases and attract customers into your shop that may not have been a customer before. Now that’s what I call a win/win.

Make sure you offer VIP treatment at your event – like serving some food and beverages and have a good range of discounts or value-added products to help take your customer’s money. This can be things like spend $XX and receive XX% off the purchase, or a discount voucher to use on a next shop when a customer spends $XX amount.

Take time to chat to your suppliers as well about free products for giveaways and prizes on the day/night – most suppliers will be happy to help.

All this not only helps to create an atmosphere your customers will want to be a part of but more importantly helps with cash flow and achieving financial goals!

5. NEVER, EVER stop marketing – even in the quiet times.

This point is a fundamental “golden rule” in retail.

You need to be nurturing your customers through all seasons, not just during peak times.

Sending e-newsletters, being social on social media or whatever you do to keep in contact with customers – never stop, even when things seem a little gloomy!

63% of customers who have a great customer experience in your store in the quiet times, will return during peak trade times despite increased competition.

When marketing, in whatever form or channel, remember 80% about your customer (providing value, tips, hints etc.) and 20% about you and your business and offers – that’s how you nurture.

In summary – don’t let the gloomy winter weather or seasonal slumps get you down!

Instead of sitting around and waiting, be proactive, use this valuable time for marketing and creating raving, loyal customers who will shop with you again and again!

And if you get a chance, spend some time on you, the business owner, expand your learning, take time for education and enjoy having a lunch hour!

How can I help you?

Are you experiencing a seasonal slump in your business – I would LOVE to talk to you about some specific strategy to turn this around for you!

Book in for a Discovery call with me!

If you’d like to book a call – get in touch – send me a message on any of the social platforms or book a call at

There is also my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group which is a fantastic group of small business owners who have a wealth of knowledge to share – please join if you aren’t already a member and become a part of a wonderful community!

Or you can DM me on Instagram or shoot me an email

In this NAIDOC week, I especially wish to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Yorta Yorta People, on which I conduct my business today and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reading this blog post today.


Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.

With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)

Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast.


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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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