November 29, 2013

Last Minute Prepping for Online Holiday Sales

If you own an online shop I'm sure you've been preparing for a while for the holiday rush. Here are a few tips to give your shop a once over to make sure your shop shines and sparkles.

1. Give your shop or website a quick holiday makeover
  • Add a little holiday charm to your banner, logos and graphics on your homepage.
On my website this graphic links directly to my holiday collection.

I love Picmonkey and added some greenery and snowflakes to my banners in minutes.  Here is a before and after snapshot of my Etsy shop banners with a little holiday cheer.   I think less is more when it comes to adding a festive touch.  I kept with the same color scheme and graphics that related to my logos.  Picmonkey makes it super easy to update your logo for the holidays. 

My Etsy shops: Humblebeads & Humblebeads Jewelry

2. Make it easy to shop!
  • Have any sales promotions on the homepage of your website or top of your banner.
  • Include your holiday shipping schedule and deadlines for delivery by Christmas.
  • Create categories like Gifts Under $30, Stocking Stuffers, etc. that will help with those who are quickly browsing your shop. (And isn't that everybody!)
  • Rearrange your shop to merchandise your designs.  Shop owners spend a lot of time creating displays and store windows for a reason! Group complimentary items together encourage more sales, like earrings and bracelets that match a necklace.  
3. Get Creative with Marketing.
Do not bombard your social media and mailing list with only 'buy this, shop now' messages.  Mix up your promotions with creative marketing for best results.

Woodland Folk Outfit

  • Pair your jewelry up with outfits on Polyvore.  If you don't have time or skills to create Polyvore sets, browse the sets already created and write a blog post pairing up your jewelry with someone's styled outfits!
  • Put together gift guides on your blog including your jewelry and picks from other artists that compliment your brand.  Here is a Teen Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide I created last year.
  • Use Instagram to share orders your packaging, collections of items or your creative process - share those photos on Facebook too.  
  • Style a few photos with holiday backgrounds, props or models dressed in holiday outfits. Share them on Pinterest, your blog and social media.
  • Give back - share gift tags, holiday packaging ideas and more with your shoppers on your blog or in a newsletter.  
4. Make customers for life, not just holiday sales!
  • Include a thank you and discount code for future purchases in each order this holiday season.
  • Include extra business cards or postcards that tell a little about your jewelry, these will probably be included in the gift that is given.
  • Send a short email thanking your customer for shopping with you and include a link to sign up for your mailing list or ask if you can add them to your mailing list.  
  • Packaging your holiday items in winter themes that are inclusive.  I like snowflake themes, gold or silver, greenery or red stripes and dots.
  • Reward big shoppers! If someone really splurged at your shop, include a small free gift that compliments their order.  I have a collection of tiny charms that I include in larger orders.  
 5. Think beyond the holidays.
  • Take a cue from the big stores and clear out extra inventory at the end of the year with a sample sale.
  • Promote jewelry to wear at New Year's Eve parties.  
  • Keep your shop open during and after Christmas.  Don't miss out on those shopping with their Christmas money and Etsy gift certificates! If you are traveling or take a few days off for the holidays include a note in your shop and in your thank you email. 
6. Stay sane during the hustle and bustle!
  • Schedule your marketing, blog posts and social media for the rest of the month.  Use Hootsuite to schedule posts to Facebook and Twitter. Write blog posts to schedule for the busy season ahead.
  • Have a shipping schedule and get help if you need it.  Find a student, retired friend or young mom to help you a few hours a week during the busy times.
  • Stock up on your most popular gift items.  A few extra hours of work now will save you some late nights when you will want to merry-making!
  • Create a shipping station in that is stocked with gift boxes, bubble envelopes, tissue paper, ribbons, washi tape, business cards, tape, markers - everything you need to ship orders should be in one place.  Order boxes and envelopes in bulk to save on costs.  
  • Take a few minutes at the end of each day to clean up your work area, the holidays can quickly create chaos and that will lead to extra stress!
  • Take time off! Don't work all day, every day. If you need help, bite the bullet and hire someone.  Everyone is looking for extra work around the holidays.  Be realistic about what can be accomplished in a day and stick with a schedule. 


Kathy Lindemer said...

Great tips Heather! Thank you!

Laurel Hanson said...

I always find your tips, blog entries and newsletters inspiring, Heather! Great information in this post!