Another quarter has arrived ushering in the start to the holiday season! Brisk days of autumn accompanied by pumpkin spice everything is right around the corner…or maybe already here! We’re excited to share our free holiday calendars with you for this new quarter and hope you love them as much as we do!
By now, you should have a solid plan for the upcoming holiday season! If you’re still feeling a bit lost, you’ve come to the right place. Or maybe you happen to be new around here! Either way, be sure to read on to discover our yearly holiday tips just for you! And be sure to download October’s calendars before you go🧡
1. Build up your inventory
The first step in making sure you’re prepared to offer a sale or promotion is to make sure your inventory is sufficient. What is your most popular item? Whatever it may be, make sure you have enough to supply an increase in orders. The upside to this is, even if you don’t sell all of your inventory, you’ll still have extra for the holidays coming right on the heels of these shopping days. Take a look back at what you sold most throughout the year and this time last year. Then make an educated guess from this for what you’ll need to bulk up.
If you only make custom orders, deciding ahead of time how many orders you can handle will make life much easier. Never decide in the moment to take on a ton of orders that will put you behind schedule. Decide what you can reasonably handle and stick to your decision.
2. Pricing is SO important
By now, we’re sure you know how important it is to be on target with the prices you’ve placed on your products. Slapping a random price on your products, especially during a time when competition is high will not be in your best interest. First, take time to reevaluate where you’re at with what you’ve invested into your product. It is vital that you understand what you’re putting into your products in order to know what you deserve out of them. Be smart as you approach offering a “sale”. Don’t mark your items down so much (if you decide to mark them down at all) that you are not getting what you need to out of them.
Remember, Black Friday in particular was created and designed by big businesses. These huge businesses can afford to discount the heck out of their inventory because they have built-in these discounts into their margins. As an Etsy seller, you often have much smaller margins to work with. If you discount your items too much, you’ll just end up losing money. Instead, set a minimum discount that’s fair for you. And don’t go below whatever your minimum is, because, boundaries!
3. Do what’s right for you.
In this blog post about staying healthy during the holiday season, we talked about learning how to say no. This applies here as well. If you feel you already offer deeply discounted items and dipping lower won’t benefit you in the long run, don’t do it. You might consider not discounting your items, but instead, offer a bonus item. There are many different ways to offer a sale and you can get creative with it. If setting an order minimum and offering a discount after this minimum has been reached serves you best, do that! Create your sales or promotions to benefit your business first. Then, consider what you’d want as a buyer and strategize what that looks like for your target audience. If in the end, you’d rather not run a sale, that is also ok! There are tons of ways to promote during the holidays and you have a fantastic opportunity to maximize this, especially during Small Business Saturday.
4. Speaking of Small Business Saturday…
This day was created by American Express back in 2010 to support local shops and encourage people to shop small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses. According to American Express, the idea caught on and in 2017 and “an estimated 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining in local independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday”. Basically, this day was created for you, so take advantage of it! If you aren’t really into offering a huge sale, promoting your shop and products for this awesome shopping day is a perfect way to capture some of the buzz!
5. Get the word out there
So, how do you promote, no matter what route you choose (sale, bonus item, etc.)? First, utilize social media to the max! Share any sales, discounts, or special offers you have on your social media platforms. Also, if you have a blog or email list, share all these exciting events there as well. And don’t forget to promote in your Shop Announcement! If you want to take it a step further, you can even add a “sale” or “promotions” section to your Shop.
Offering specific deals to specific platforms is another great way to get the word out and also track where your sales are coming from. For example, offering a code like INSTA10 will let you know how many shoppers are coming from Instagram and using what you offered. This can also be a fantastic way to zoom in on where your target audience is hanging out most.
6. Capture while promoting
While you’re creating and sending out all those promotions on social media, offer an incentive to sign up for your email list! A coupon or discount code is a great way to build customer loyalty and to up the chances that they will shop with you again in the future. This also ensures that you will end up in a lot more inboxes!
7. Create a sense of urgency
Remember as you’re doing your promotions to remind your customers how long the fun will last. Creating a window of time where they can take advantage of the offers or promotions lets them know they won’t last forever! So communicate clearly how long they’ll be able to access the incentives you’re offering.
8. The early bird gets the worm
Another great strategy is offering an “early bird special”. Businesses often do this before a huge shopping day and it can be a great way to boost your shop’s exposure ahead of time! Offering an early sale or incentive while promoting for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday will keep things fresh for your audience while also working to keep them engaged and more likely to come back for more.
9. Make sure your policies are in place and clear
We’ve talked about this in past blog posts, but we’ll remind you again. Be sure that your shop policies are in place and clearly communicated. If you need to add anything or make changes that cover the promotions or sales you’re offering, don’t forget to do that! If you don’t accept returns, be SURE this is 100% clear to your buyers and not lost in translation. Use every opportunity you can to remind shoppers where your shop policies are. You honestly can’t say it all enough! Repeating yourself will only save you time in the future. Give your customers EVERY opportunity to read what’s important in your shop!
Happy selling, everyone!
Remember to let us know if you’d like to see any upcoming dates for the next quarter of calendars highlighted. And show us some love in the comments if you like October/November/December’s designs!