If You Listen to One Holiday Episode Let It Be This

The Holidays are fast approaching. Is your shop ready? Join Gordon and Richie as they follow a fresh Facebook holiday guide and make it relevant to Etsy sellers. Get a better understanding of timing, audience, engagement and delivery so that you can prepare your shop for success.

What it’s geared towards

Keep in mind this holiday guide was made for Facebook. It’s no surprise that it will try and push you towards Facebook ads. The content, however, is relevant to all kinds of Ecommerce platforms. If you’d like to take a look at this guide for yourself or follow as we go along, you can do that by clicking here.

Influence and results

“49% of global surveyed shoppers say Facebook is influential

in their holiday shopping.”

Shocking!;) Even though you might not be going onto Facebook specifically to find a gift, Facebook can definitely influence your buying habits. As a seller be aware of how you’re presenting yourself on Facebook. Are you posting a lot from your shop hoping to “influence” people into buying your products? If so, this may not be enough. Make sure that influence can translate into something tangible and doesn’t fizzle into something someone saw this one time on a Facebook ad. Have a strong call to action, whatever that may be. This will help ensure that your influence drives buyers to your shop and ultimately gives you a direct result in sales.

Jump on the train 

“During the holiday season, people turn to their News Feed for gift ideas. This is an opportunity to promote your business on Facebook and grow sales during the holiday season.”

Obviously, they’re angling this by Facebook ads. As an Etsy seller you can still take advantage of this by showing up in other people’s newsfeed without buying ads. Take a simple photo of something you’re working on or a product you have available right now. Share this on your Facebook page!

Alissa, Gordon’s wife, just happened to see some ornaments that a friend made on her Facebook feed. Her friend wasn’t planning on selling these, but Alissa loved them so much she reached out and asked if she could purchase some. This is a perfect example of how sharing products on your Facebook page can lead to sales you never saw coming.

Another way Facebook can help you as a seller is to make sure you’re observing what other people are posting. What’s popular right now as far as gifts go? What are people talking/sharing about? Is this a wave you can jump on? If you think it might be hop over to Marmalead and see if the keywords associated with whatever it is are good. Then, see if it’s something you can integrate into your shop. If so, do it! If someone else is going to spend the money (i.e. an ad on Facebook) to show a product and this is also a good fit for you, take advantage of it.

Breaking it down

So the next thing the Facebook Holiday guide does is break down what each month looks like. In October, activity on Facebook really increases and continues that momentum, peaking around New Years. A couple things to think about as an Etsy seller concerning this: remember activity is growing through Christmas, so keep up your activity as well with posting your products. Also, if you’re not a Facebook user and not on there a whole lot, October and November are a great time to jump on Facebook and refresh what you have. Get active now!

A tip Facebook gives is this: “Refresh your ads creative during the holiday season. When your audience sees your ad multiple times your desired results become more expensive to achieve.” We know they’re using the word “ad” here, but if you think about this as an Etsy seller the word “ad” can translate to the word “listing.” Your listings really are your ads on Etsy and they can be on Facebook as well. Don’t use only one listing either. Mix it up! Keep it fresh and new for your audience. This will continue to grab their attention and won’t allow them to get bored with your posts.

If you’re overwhelmed with the thought of having to post too often, a great idea would be to promote a certain listing for different months. Choose one for October, one for November and one for December.

Christmas on my mind 

“47% of consumers start thinking about holiday gifts before November.”

You might think October is too early for people to be thinking about gifts, but according to Facebook it definitely isn’t. If you think about how early large chain stores start advertising for Christmas, it’s a good indication that beginning early is never a bad idea when it comes to sales.

Remember November

It’s kinda crazy, but according to Facebook, Singles’ Day on November 11th has become the world’s biggest shopping day. Now, if like Gordon you really don’t think this is true, even if November 11th is just in the top ten largest shopping days, you don’t want to ignore it. We’ve already passed this day for 2017, but if you have products that you can advertise for this day be sure to remember this for next year. This is also a great reminder that people are not always gifting to others. A lot of times buyers are shopping for themselves. Make sure that your keywords aren’t always focused around gifting only. If people are shopping for themselves new keywords might apply! #treatyourself #giftforme 😉

All those deals 

According to Facebook, Black Friday is now celebrated by 1 in 3 people in the world, up from 1 in 4 last year. That’s a big increase! Might not sound like a lot, but in terms of percentage that’s a jump from 25% to 33%. Again, large companies are paying to advertise for this! So ride the coat tails of their advertising and take advantage of promoting your products. 

At Marmalead we’re not huge fans of discounts. We feel like it cheapens your products and encourages buyers to simply wait for a specific time to buy. However, you can’t always avoid giving discounts. We totally understand this. We like to look at the way Apple tends to handle this. Apple doesn’t slash their prices. Ever. Instead they give buyers a bonus. For example, they might say that on Black Friday if you buy an iPad (which is the same price as always) you’ll get $100.00 to use in the iTunes store. Or you might get some kind of accessory.

Instead of a discount, you might want to think about a bonus item or upgrade. Some sellers who offer digital downloads might offer upgrades. Something like offering a better background if you upgrade to a higher priced item. This is a value ad. You can also offer an upgrade/bonus to your own shop. If a buyer purchases a certain amount or item, they get a “fill in the blank” to spend in your shop. This is a great way to help you have repeat business and secure a sale without giving a discount. In turn making you do less work for more money. You’re getting what you’re worth.

Deck the halls 

Another Facebook fact is that an average of 62% of surveyed people report doing most of their holiday shopping in December. Among these people, 1 in 4 make their purchases between December 11–20. Most of us at Marmalead are in this category. We definitely think about holiday shopping before this because of all the stores promoting it, but in general we wait.

Every holiday without fail there has to be a cut off. This is a concern in the Etsy community concerning shipping and getting products to buyers in a timely fashion. It’s true that if a buyer purchases a product on the 20th of December, unless you’re shipping it FedEx or UPS, it’s not getting there on time. This is only going to make the buyer upset, which is always a concern for a seller.

What you want to do is set them up for success. After a certain point, let’s say December 10th for example, take away any shipping option but next day. Will it be more expensive? Yes. But, if your buyer has waited this long, paying more for shipping and having it arrive on time is worth it. Also, it’s important that buyers understand if they waited until the last second it will simply be more expensive to have it arrive on time.

Make sure you’re saving up extra time in case last minute orders come in and you have things you have to put together for those orders. Having a buffer for last minute shoppers before the holidays is always a good idea. If you’re going to target the last minute crowd shopping December 11th-20th, be aware that unless you have inventory ready to go you’ll need time to get everything ready and sent out. Letting buyers know that after a certain date normal shipping will stop and specialized shipping will begin is always a great idea. Inform your buyers so no one is caught off guard.

You deserve it

In general, it’s a far better idea to not sacrifice your standards and policies around the holidays. Instead do even more to protect them. Why? Because you deserve to have a wonderful holiday season as well. Do whatever you can to put less stress on yourself. This doesn’t mean you should cut corners whatsoever. Do what allows you to give the same quality in your products and customer service that you give all year round. Do what it takes to be able to look back and know that you are 100% happy with how your holiday season was handled.

And the beat goes on

Surprise, surprise! According to Facebook, 65% of shoppers plan to keep shopping after Christmas. This makes a lot of sense. Usually gift cards or cash are given and suddenly buyers are looking for something nice for themselves…after Christmas. Cause they got the gift card or cash ON Christmas.

Think of things that could be used as accessories in your shop. Inevitably, someone will be gifted an iPhone without a case. Suddenly, accessory shopping is through the roof! Maybe someone was given a camera and now need a quality camera strap. If there is something you offer that you never thought of as being an accessory before, this might be a fantastic way to up sales after the holidays are over. Promoting listings you have as accessory items are a no brainer! 

Happy New Year!

If you think a slump is coming in January, think again. 46% of global surveyed shoppers say they shop in January to take advantage of additional holiday sales. This takes us back to the whole Black Friday bonus idea. This is once again the perfect time to do something similar to that pre-holiday give away!

A tip Facebook recommends for January is to use special offers and make sure you highlight your new product lines for the new year. Again, everyone is refreshing their products. You see this in huge retail stores, cars, whatever it may be. This is a great time to do a “refresh” of your products as well. This doesn’t mean you have to do huge changes, but just small changes here and there can really liven up your shop for the new year.

Rolling in returns

Facebook does say that 37% of surveyed mobile-first shoppers find themselves making impulse purchases on their mobile phones and returning them later. However, they also say that people keep shopping even when making returns, so don’t stop promoting your products and services after the holiday season. Often, when an item is returned the buyer will end up buying more products than the one thing they’re returning. This is a huge bonus for sellers in the long run.

Phone in hand 

The next subject the Facebook Holiday guide touches on is mobile. This is something that Etsy talks about a lot as well. They say that in the 2016 holiday season, mobile conversions surpassed desktop globally for the first time ever, with 53% of conversions happening through a mobile device. Etsy actually reported that mobile and surpassed desktop even before the 2016 holiday season. On Etsy the percentage is around 60% of purchases made through a mobile device.

With this in mind it’s super important that Etsy sellers make sure their listings are showing up well on a mobile device. Pull out your phone and check the listings in your shop. How does your title, photos, and description look? Do you need to move your description around so the most compelling part of it shows up first? You want to tailor your listings to mobile devices because this is the biggest portion of your audience.

We’re all doin’ it

Facebook also says that nearly 40% of surveyed global shoppers agree that when it comes to Holiday shopping, their mobile device allows them to make a more informed purchase decision. A lot of this change towards mobile is probably because everyone literally has a phone.The majority of people shopping have a smart phone. Whether it’s a teenager or Grandma, across the gamut more age groups have mobile phones than computers.

The tip that Facebook gives sellers is to use a call-to-action button that encourages people to make a purchase such as Shop Now or Book Now. This is the kind of language you want to use when trying to convince shoppers to make a purchase. Another idea is to use the same language that Etsy uses in their app to guide the buyer. You need to be telling your customers what they should be doing each step of the way and what to expect in the buying process. Buyers will be much happier having had you walk them through the process and in a way need to be told to buy.

Facebook’s Holiday Campaign Checklist 

This is the next thing Facebook tackles in our holiday journey. Basically, with everything you’re doing you should be looking for a particular out come or objective. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it. Some examples Facebook gives are: getting more likes, comments and shares. This is obviously very specific to Facebook. On Etsy you would look for things like people favoriting your shop or listings and having a higher traffic flow into your shop.

Let’s say you’re doing some social media pushes and sending out some newsletter emails. Have an objective with this. What do you want people to do when they receive that particular email? Probably something like coming to your shop and purchasing a product. Well, if that’s your objective make sure you make that clear in the email! Understanding what action you want your buyers to take is very important to your success. This is a measurable way to look back and know what worked and what didn’t.

Ready….aim…..bullseye!

The next thing Facebook tackles is targeting. As a seller, it’s very important that you reach the right people. Having an objective is awesome, but if you’re not getting your products in front of the right people, you’re not going to meet that objective. The examples for targeting in the holiday guide book are very specific to Facebook.

As an Etsy seller, you want to make sure you’re using the right keywords. The only way to do this is to try and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Talking with your customers is a great way to find out how they’re searching. There’s a little in the Etsy stats that will show you what keywords buyers are using to find your listings. Attaching the correct keywords to your listings is really THE way you’ll get your product to the right buyer.

If you’re targeting customers off of Etsy, it’s important that you’ve become familiar with your audience. What blogs do they read? What social media platforms do they frequent? These details are important for you to learn in order to continue you’re target marketing on platforms outside of Etsy.

Attention grabber

You want to make your buyers sit up and take notice. Facebook recommends finding holiday-specific imagery and videos and include holiday symbols. You can do this by updating your listing photos. It can be something as simple as having a sprig of holly in the corner of your photo. This makes you look more aware of your holiday shoppers and communicates that you’re present and your shop is updated and active! All fantastic things to do as an Etsy seller!

They also suggest writing copy that delivers your message, is emotionally relevant, and gets people to take action. Create different messaging and ad creative for different audiences. For example, use a fresh, energetic voice instead of generic business language when you speak to millennials.

Final thoughts

Bottom line is, you have to try stuff out and see if it works. If this is your first holiday season as an Etsy seller, remember to measure how well different tactics work. That way, when next year roles around you’ll be ready to go! Don’t feel like you have to do ALL the things mentioned here. Try out a couple things and see how it goes. If you’re an experienced Etsy seller and this isn’t your first holiday season, make sure you’re relevant and that your products are fresh. Now is the time to do those little changes and spruce things up.

As always, please listen to this week’s Jam with the guys! They say I make them sound better on the blog but I promise, they’re always hilarious and you don’t wanna miss all the extra tie bits I didn’t include here.

From our families to yours, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Happy selling, everyone! 

The Holidays are fast approaching. Is your shop ready? Join us as we follow a fresh Facebook holiday guide and make it relevant to Etsy sellers. Get a better understanding of timing, audience, engagement and delivery so that you can prepare your shop for success.

Etsy Jam Scoops

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