Key marketing trends in January 2020

ecommerce new year | Orderwise

Each season of the year has its own set of ideas and themes that are important to your customers.

To make the most of your start to 2020, you need to ensure you identify what those themes are, and determine how best to make use of them in your marketing.

Abstention – Giving something up to gain even more

Phenomena like ‘Dry January’ and ‘Veganuary’ are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the theme of abstention in customer’s minds at the beginning of the year. Key to marketing to those focused on saving or abstention is the need to show how you and your products add value.

According to data from, when people were making New Year’s Resolutions at the start of 2019, 71% of those involved abstaining from unhealthy foods and dieting. Other vices people planned to cut down or eliminate included alcohol (15%) and cigarettes (21%).

The theme of abstention doesn’t just extend to things you consume. The data showed that 32% of resolution-makers were looking to save more and spend less in the New Year.

Marketing to savers goes beyond demonstrating inexpensiveness or providing discount offers. In 2020 a valuable next step is arranging for flexible payment options. These enable customers to take a greater sense of control over their outgoings, allowing them to be comfortable and confident about their purchases.

In terms of marketing to those abstaining, the key is demonstrating yourself as a partner in their quest for betterment. You could offer something that fits the space created by the abstention, or if your products are what people abstain from, consider the ‘accomplishment’s reward/worth waiting for’ angle. All these are valuable components of the abstention narrative. Components that your marketing plans can be oriented around.

Novelty – Try something new today!

In the New Year, people want what is new. Yet even something obvious requires some second-hand item is new to the person purchasing it, and it could be just the stylistic choice that sends their home décor in a new direction.

The taste for novelty in the New Year should make you reconsider your strategies. Markets and audiences that you may have thought tangential to your customer base previously, could be more receptive in this season than you realise. The key in January is to approach them in a different way.

A great example of this in action is the popular plastic shoes, Crocs. In the most basic sense, these are sandals. Beaches, boardwalks, and boats are the places you would wear them. Yet by targeting an entirely separate audience, and highlighting benefits and considerations their regular customers would ignore, Crocs have managed an amazing marketing breakthrough success. Penetrating markets that would never have been thought of by more conventional minds, and achieving a household name status that this kind of more niche product could normally never dream of.

As the New Year arrives, look at the products and services through different eyes. With some slight adjustments, just the way Crocs turned the holes in the front into spaces for widget decorations to help reach an entirely different market, you might find a new audience and new angle just a few short clicks away.

Renewal – New Year, New You!

Embracing the new year often means casting off the old one. The phrase ‘New Year, New You!’ is a marketing cliché of the highest order. The trouble with stepping away from clichés entirely, however, is that you run the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Somewhere at the centre of that cliché is a kernel of truth, or else it wouldn’t have become clichéd in the first place.

Marketing towards those in search of renewal often ironically involves reflecting on where things were previously. By contrasting the past and the present, you make the case that the new has surpassed and supplanted the old.

The last thing people want to be is left behind by moving trends and new patterns. Keep it clear that you are the same way. With fresh developments ongoing and upcoming, the newness of what you provide is keenly linked to its desirability. Especially as the new year arrives.

Aspiration – Reach for the Stars

The New Year’s season leaves a lot of people with a strong desire to make new accomplishments for themselves. Achieving new heights. Reaching new goals. The fireworks of the beginning of the season marking the starting gun on a new race of self-improvement.

For 54% of New Year’s Resolution drafters, this aspiration was weight loss. 65% wanted to exercise more, 26% wanted to learn a new skill or hobby, 17% wanted to read more, and 16% wanted to find another job.

When it comes to marketing based on aspiration, there are two potential paths involved. One far riskier than the other.

The first is to orient what you offer as an aid on the path towards improvement. This is much easier for some products than others, but all can have a part to play. Even leisure-related pursuits have a place in terms of looking for a new job. Board games play into strategic thinking, model kits are good exercises in systematic processes, and if you can co-ordinate clothing, shoes, and accessories into an outfit, your creative skills are more than up to par. If you can demonstrate how your products are valuable partners in an aspirational journey, January can be made a prosperous month.

The other direction is far riskier but has the potential to be equally rewarding, if not more so. You can attempt to market your products as something to be aspired towards, something that makes the goals of self-improvement worthwhile. The obvious line here is with clothing, as you can see how the aspiration of weight loss can be oriented with the aim of wearing certain types of clothes.

The danger with this strategy is aloofness and a haughty tone. You need to balance the worthiness and reachability of a goal. This can be a difficult balance to strike, and you may need to angle other aspects of your brand accordingly. However, the mindshare end result can be extraordinarily potent.

While the financial year may be some months from beginning anew, the new calendar year launches an entirely new set of marketing seasons for so many different sectors. Make sure this opening season has the kind of success you really need. With 2020 foresight, you can make this year count for your business.

To find out about OrderWise eCommerce software as well as all the other services we provide, call us on 01522 704083, or view our resources online.

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