Many Etsy shop owners experience a huge sales increase during the holidays as shoppers rush to buy gifts. Preparation is key when it comes to staying organized during the last few months of the year. Here are some tips to avoid frustration and maximize holiday sales in your online store.
1. Create Inventory
Before the last two months of the year, do a quick check of inventory levels. Stock up on popular items and supplies that you will need (extra chain, glue, etc.) so you don’t run out. A great way to assess how much finished inventory you will need is by reviewing what sold well last year (if your Etsy shop was open then). Create more of these best-sellers, and perhaps even try new variations on these items if you have time. And don’t forget those holiday-themed products! Tree ornaments, DIY craft kits, wreaths, and other festive items will help expand your product line and attract seasonal shoppers.
2. Stock Up on Shipping Supplies
There’s nothing worse than running out of bubble wrap, padded mailers, or tape with a pile of holiday orders to ship out the next day. Pre-plan by stocking up on all of these supplies ahead of time (and in large quantities). If you include business cards, samples, and/or freebies with your orders, prepare these well in advance. Stopping to put these together is the last thing you want to be doing when packing a customer’s purchase. Also make sure you have plenty of office paper and ink so you can print labels and packing slips!
3. Adjust Your Listings
The two biggest shopping days in the US are in November- “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” Etsy has created unique tags for these holidays, so once they’re announced by admin in the forums you can use these listing tags if you are having a store sale. This allows your products to be found by savvy shoppers looking for a great deal! Also consider tags like “Hanukkah,” “Christmas,” “gift under 20,” etc. if they apply to your listing.
4. Set a Shipping Deadline
Do yourself a big favor and post a deadline for holiday shipping and custom orders. This will keep you from panicking when that last-minute rush order still hasn’t arrived at a destination. Using a calendar, determine the latest you can possibly ship while providing a little leeway for possible holiday postal delays. At the top of your Etsy shop announcement, lay out in clear terms the cut-off dates for placing domestic, international, and custom orders so they arrive before Christmas or another major holiday. These dates are for both you and the customer to have the best experience, so don’t feel guilty about informing them about your shipping deadlines. You may also want to include a message about shipping cut-off dates in your item listings to make sure it is seen.
Despite all the chaos and long nights, the holiday sales rush is a credit to how amazing your online store has become! Embrace the sales and consider every customer a possible repeat buyer. Applying these tips will help you make the most of the holiday shopping season on Etsy!
How do you prepare for the holiday rush?
By Rebecca George (Purple and Lime)