The Jam

Etsy Holiday Planning for 2020

As an Etsy seller, it’s almost never too early to start doing your holiday planning!  Sales begin ramping up in October, so it’s smart to have your listings teed up in September, and your materials stocked up even before that! Today we cover some key things you’ll want to know about Holiday prep for your shop! 

Today we’re tackling…

Holiday planning! Normally we recommend thinking ahead at least three months for not just the Holidays, but anything big you might have coming up in your shop. It could be that your busy time of year is wedding season and so you might be planning ahead in January or February for that! But in general, the Holiday season is when the busyness really starts to amp up for Etsy sellers. 

Now is the time to start thinking about the Holidays and what that will look like for you and your shop. We want to chat through some recommendations for prepping for the Holidays and making sure you have a solid strategy in place. We want you to feel prepared and confident to tackle the craziness of the Holidays head on! 

A specific month to plan

Is there a specific time when you should really start to think about the Holidays? Yes! Right now! August should be your month of thinking ahead so you’ll be ready to make some moves when September rolls around. By September, you should have a plan in place to prepare your shop for an awesome holiday season, and bonus, the plan will also alleviate stress because, well, you planned ahead! So August is your time to make a plan and September is when you should implement the plan you came up with. 

A few reminders

There are several points we’d like to remind you of in order to start the strategizing process. If you’re a new seller to Etsy and haven’t experienced selling during the holidays yet, buckle up! This is your checklist of things to think about before you’re thrown into the deep end. If you’re a seasoned pro on Etsy, these points are some great reminders of what’s to come. 

When it all begins

September – November pumpkin themed decor spikes. Also, don’t forget that Halloween is coming so make sure your keywords are ready to go for that. Go ahead and start brainstorming some keywords for Halloween and Thanksgiving that you’ll want to use. The time of Pumpkin Spice is coming, so be ready! 

Autumn in general kinda changes everything around. If you’re in that Autumn crowd, it’s important to remember that buyers do get genuinely excited about this whole season in general! This is really clear when you check out your social media feeds come the beginning of September. People are all flanneled up even though it’s 72 degrees outside while drinking their pumpkin spice latte! Autumn tends to be in and of itself it’s own little trend. So if you have any kind of product that you can bend towards autumn, don’t miss out on that! 

Have a list of events

It really feels like once back to school hits and Halloween rolls around, it’s the blink of an eye and the holidays are over. Having a list of up coming holidays is a great way to keep track of when you’ll need to plan for new keywords and switching them over. Also, you want to remember and keep track of when it’s time to remove the autumn keywords because New Years is almost here. 

When to apply your keywords

Something to keep in mind with timing is at some point Etsy is going to start advertising for upcoming holidays. They’ll send out emails trying to get shoppers to start thinking ahead for whatever holiday is coming up, which will probably be anywhere between 2-4 weeks before the actual holiday or event. You really want to make sure your listings are ready to go before Etsy starts advertising and pushing for a holiday. While you don’t have to get too far ahead of this (don’t put Christmas keywords on your listings in August), you do want to make sure you’re ready to go at least by the time if not a little before when Etsy is teeing up to push for the holidays. 

Engagement over time tool

This is an area where the engagement over time tool that we have in Marmalead, can be really helpful for you! You can go back and look at keywords and see when that engagement really picked up for a keyword and use that as a measurement for when a good time is to transition into that particular keyword. 

Advertise on your own

As Etsy starts to advertise for up coming holidays, do not forget to do this in your own way.  Release teasers for upcoming holiday collections you’re planning and begin to drip those to your audience. This is also a great opportunity to make use of your shop updates. Show behind the scenes pics on insta and in your shop updates of collections being made and new inventory! This is the perfect opportunity to connect with your buyers by showing them the behind the scenes of your shop and who you are as a seller. 

Don’t forget your social media accounts 

Make sure you don’t forget about making use of your social media network if you’re a new seller or a seasoned seller. If you connect with buyers on your social media platforms and have your shop linked there, buyers will easily click over and want to see what you’re selling. 

Keep it moving forward

Don’t forget once the holiday has past, to take down your holidays images and shop banner, or switch these out for the next upcoming holiday. Even if you’re taking a break after the holiday, you want to make sure you’re switching out any shop policies that covered shipping times because of the holidays and anything have to do with what is past. Always make sure that it looks like your shop is moving forward and occupied. 

Brainstorm your visuals

Now is the perfect time to start brainstorming a shop banner for each upcoming holiday so you’re ready to go and not rushing to create this at the last minute. Also, you’ll want to think about the backgrounds for your product photography and remember to not let the background compete with your actual product. If you have friends and family you can show your imagery to before the holidays and see what resonates with them, that’s a great way to flush out what you should use. The more of this you get done ahead of time, the more you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when the orders start coming in!

Don’t forget your inventory needs

This can happen especially with new sellers, but don’t forget to look ahead and try to anticipate your inventory needs through the holidays. You don’t want to be caught off guard when the holidays hit! Try to take into account an increase in sales volume and what you’ll need to handle that increase. If you sell out early, make note of that so you can try and plan even better for next year. 

A different year

This year is probably going to be way different than any holiday season before it with so many people now shopping online instead of going to stores because of COVID-19. We have no idea what to expect or to tell you how to plan for this, but if you’re selling something that isn’t specific to the holiday season and can be used throughout the year, loading up on your supplies will not hurt you because you’ll eventually use them and it won’t be a waste. If you’re selling something that is super holiday-related, you will probably want to be more careful about how you purchase, so you don’t end up with a ton of stuff on clearance once the holidays are over. 

Stock up on your shipping supplies 

This can also be a newer seller issue, but especially this year when shipping is already different, you’ll want to be sure you’re stocked up on your supplies so you have enough to last through the holidays. This might be something you want to go ahead and purchase now. It could be that we hit a time in a couple months when sellers are scrambling to get shipping supplies. Buying a little extra now can’t hurt as you’ll use it eventually no matter what. 

Also, don’t forget to go ahead and get your shipping policies in place. Take into account that there might be delays in shipping. Have a good plan for when you’ll stop orders so that you can get everything fulfilled in time for the upcoming holiday.

Final thoughts

Time is your biggest tool for making sure you’re ready for the holidays. If you begin to plan ahead and work on these reminders now, you’ll remove a TON of stress and hopefully feel confident heading into the holiday season. 

No matter how much we try and plan ahead, we’re not going to get it right all the time or do it all perfectly. So don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned, but instead just head into the holidays knowing that no matter what, you’re going to learn what you should or maybe shouldn’t do next year! Keep moving forward and above all else, stay positive and take care of yourself through the busyness that the holidays bring. 

Happy planning, everyone! 

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