We’re not sure how summer flew by so quickly around here, but the end is definitely in sight! In light of that, it’s time to start planning for the upcoming seasons. Autumn will be here before you know it and for many Etsy sellers, it brings with it the holiday season. We know you are about to gear up for the craziness to come with holiday collection planning/prepping and we want to help you strategize. Having a solid strategy will help you greatly with attaining Etsy shop success throughout the holidays!
August is the ideal time to start thinking about your plan of action for the next few months. We always suggest that you prepare your shop for upcoming holidays at least three months in advance. With this in mind, 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! Remember what our friend Dave from WoodlandZen said in our last Jam, “a positive seller equals a positive and happy shop” and we couldn’t agree more.
Getting down to business
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 a simple reminder of what’s to come. Who knows, we might just have some tips that will be new to you as well!
With the reminder that you’re about to head into holiday mode, it’s time to think about specifics. September through November are when pumpkin-themed decor really spikes. Halloween is in this time frame, so don’t forget to spook things up a bit if you can! If you plan on releasing any sort of pumpkin/Halloween collections, you need to begin to look ahead right now at creating those. Right on the heels of Halloween, you have Thanksgiving (more pumpkins) and Christmas (hit the brakes on the pumpkins)!
A great way to keep track of what and when you’ll need to plan for and release new collections is having a list of notable events and upcoming holidays. If you’re struggling to create this because (after all) it’s just one more thing to do…then be sure to subscribe to our blog where we will be creating a list of holidays for our subscribers! The list will be sent out the beginning of September!
So you’ve started thinking about your new holiday collections…great! You’re off to an awesome start. Next, strategize little “teasers” of your upcoming releases. What do we mean by this? As you’re beginning to make your new collections, share tidbits with your followers to get them interested in what’s to come. This is also a fantastic way to make use of your shop updates! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it many more times: It’s always important to show your followers and Etsy that you have an active and up to date shop. This is one way you’ll build trust with your customers and keep things moving along. Take pictures and short behind the scenes video clips to post. This will build up curiosity for the awesome things coming their way from your shop.
Hear ye, hear ye
Along with creating teasers for your customers, make sure you utilize your established network of old customers or your social media network if you’re a new seller. Creating an email marketing campaign via a newsletter or just through social media is a fantastic way to get the word out on what you’re doing! If you’re trying to build up an email list, this is also a great way to get started on that. Another thing to consider is reaching out to bloggers you love whom you think would be interested in featuring one or more of your products on their blog. Also, affiliate marketing is awesome for Etsy sellers! If you don’t know much about it, we’ve got a post and Jam you’ll want to check out on how to get started.
Prepare your old and new listings
If you’ve got older listings that can be tweaked to sell during the holidays, start doing that now. Refresh your listing tags and titles to maximize relevant seasonal themes and keywords. Our keyword storm tool should definitely be put to use in order to help brainstorm holiday keywords and give those older listings a little holiday facelift. If you have listings you sold during the last Holiday season and want to make changes to those, do that now.
Prepare your visuals
Something else to consider is the photos and shop banners you’ll use during the holidays. If your products are pumpkin themed, what background will you create that won’t compete with your product? If you’ve got a gorgeous Christmas collection being released, how will you get well-lit pictures during the darker winter months? Start planning now for the pictures you’ll need and how you’ll create and take them. The more you get done ahead of time, the less the rush of the holiday season will catch you off guard! Also, now is the time (if applicable) to create several shop banners that correlate with your collections and listings. Your banner is the billboard for your shop! Utilize it to show customers that you’re active in your shop and to entice them to view your listings.
Inventory is key
Remember, if you’ve used your time creating teasers and really built up excitement for your upcoming listings or collections, inventory is something you MUST think about. Hopefully, your customers can’t WAIT to get their hands on what you’ve created for them. But, if you haven’t taken into account that a sudden increase in sales volume is possible, you could be setting yourself up for failure. There is nothing more stressful than running out of product smack in the middle of a holiday rush. Don’t let that happen. Before allowing the dam to break, make sure your inventory is where it needs to be…and don’t forget to stock up on all your shipping needs.
Above all else, remember…
…Time is your biggest tool for attaining holiday success for your Etsy shop! If you begin working on the above reminders now and don’t procrastinate, you’ll remove a ton of stress, and hopefully feel confident heading into the holiday season. As always, stay positive in your thoughts! If you go into it thinking things will be stressful, they will be. Instead, make a concerted effort to dwell on all the positive things that will happen for you! Visualize yourself having the best holiday season you’ve ever had! Or if you’re a new seller, the best first holiday season imaginable! One more time for old time’s sake…A positive seller equals a happy and successful shop and we believe this is exactly what you’ll be!
Happy selling, everyone!