TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 12 Holiday Prep in Bite-sized Pieces

Welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.  

If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!


Then, be sure to check out:
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 1 How to Open an Etsy Shop
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 2 Branding & Shop Banners
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 3 Shop Profiles Bios and Photos
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 4 Make Listings Tempting
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 5 About Pages

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 6 Shop Policies
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 7 Communication
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 8 Shipping and Packaging
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 9 Social Media
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 10 The Dark Art of Pricing

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 11 Shop Stats
Looking for something just right for Hallowe'en?
Check out "An Edgar Allan Poe Tale" by IAM67
So far, we've covered opening your shop, making it look its best, making it easy to find, easy to interact with and practical skills like pricing your items appropriately, how to get products to customers and how to monitor who visits your shop. Today, though our thoughts might be with Hallowe'en, costumes, candy and spooky celebrations for the end of October, as  Etsy shop owners we need to be thinking about being prepared for the holiday rush. If this is your first winter* as an Etsy seller, you won't really know what to expect but by breaking the preparations into manageable pieces, you can be ready for anything (*with apologies to readers in the southern hemisphere, who may find it extra strange to see since most Etsy buyers are still in North America, the build up to the holidays not only come early, but with the opposite seasonal connotations).

We planned our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp in what we hope are bite-sized weekly pieces, so that all our Newbies can tackle -or at least investigate- one thing per week. But, we do have people joining all the time, and trying to play catch up. Also, we've been visiting your shops regularly. We've seen a lot of our Newbies improving by leaps and bounds and making more and more of those tweaks which can make a shop look its best and make for the best buyer experience. Nonetheless, we find that most shops haven't had the time to tackle all the topics we've covered, so let's start off with a check-list of things you can do to increase sales and better handle those sales as the holidays approach. We want you to read through this list and check off anything you've already done. Already you should see that you've done a lot of work, and are well on your way! Then, every time you have an hour to spare, try to check off one more item. Preserve your sanity, and do one thing at a time!

Putting The Best Face on Your Etsy Shop Holiday Prep Check-List

Open that Etsy shop! Here's the good news: if you're reading this, chances are good that you have already done the most important thing. You've opened a shop and listed something. If not, never fear! We'll walk you through it in Class 1 How to Open an Etsy Shop

Set up your Shop Banner and consider giving it a Holiday Make-over! Most of our Newbies have indeed set the tone for their shop with a great banner which identifies them, their shop and what they have on offer. As the holidays approach, you may want to create a special banner to set a festive spirit, include information about any special sales or services (like gift wrapping or cards included with gifts) or tips about getting expedited shipping or meeting shipping deadlines. See Class 2 Branding & Shop Banners for details on how to make and upload a shop banner and find tips and useful links for your shipping strategy in Class 8 Shipping and Packaging

Let buyers know who you are! If you haven't done so, now is the time to complete your Shop Bio and Profile and to make a fabulous multimedia About page. With the update in Etsy Policies, your About page is more important than ever. Remember: Transparency is the name of the game. Let the world know what it is you do and how! You've got something special on offer; letting buyers know is one of the most important things you can do to make your listings enticing. See Class 3 Shop Profiles Bios and Photos and Class 5 About Pages for all the information you need to get your Shop Bio and Profile and About page up and running.

Let buyers know what to expect with clear, thorough and fair Shop Policies. Chances are good that the next two months will be your busiest all year. Make things easy for yourself and your potential buyers by letting them know upfront what to expect, especially in terms of shipping, exchanges and return policies, as well as rules about payment. People are busy this time of year. If you make them search for answers, rather than clearly spelling things out, they may just visit one of your competitors instead. Though, on the flip side, because buyers may be rushed, expect to get increased questions regardless of whether you made information available. See Class 6 Shop Policies and Class 7 Communication for tips and details. Then, visit your shop as if you were the buyer (or ask a friend to do so for you) and take a critical look. Is anything unclear? Could a policy be improved to enhance your buyers' experience? Would anything make you hesitate? Remember: Make it easy for your buyers!

Make listings look their best! Does every single listing use: all 5 photos; all 13 tags; have clear, accurate titles starting with the most pertinent words; have a clear accurate description beginning with the vital information; include dimensions; include reasonable pricing and shipping options; put tags and keywords to their best use? Does your shop have a coherent look? Are there listings you can improve? Take the time to polish these! See Class 4 Make Listings Tempting for tips on making listings look and work their best. See Class 10 The Dark Art of Pricing for tips on pricing and Class 8 Shipping and Packaging 

Have a shipping strategy ready to go! Make sure you have plenty of supplies for packaging and things like business cards for branding to include with packages. Consider ways you can appeal to customers by making their life easier. Do you offer Expedited Shipping? Gift-wrapping? Cards? Is a shipping address different than the buyer's address? You might inquire if it is a gift, be sure to avoid including receipts and make sure your buyers have reasonable expectations of feasible delivery times. See Class 8 Shipping and Packaging 

Introduce and feature any Holiday items! Christmas is the single biggest driver of sales, so if you would like to offer anything related to Christmas (or which buyers might particularly like to buy for Christmas) put those things where everyone can see them: in your Featured Listings).  Check out Etsy's advice for launching a new product line. You can hardly do this too early: magazines looking for holiday content might be working as much as 6 months in advance! Though, don't worry - it's still early enough to catch most buyers. Etsy sellers are all over the world, and have all sorts of different traditions of course - but don't assume that the holiday rush is limited to though who celebrate Christmas or have items directly related (like cards, gift wrap, ornaments and more). Any item might make a great gift, and you should take a look at your shop pretending to be a Christmas shopper. You'll need to be prepared for buyers who want items delivered pronto (and perhaps even those with unrealistic ideas, who think that like Santa, Etsy sellers can deliver packages anywhere, overnight, as if by magic reindeer-pulled sleds, dashing through spacetime at relativistic speeds). There are also other holidays and events towards the end of the year which can drive sales. These include Hanukkah (November 27 through December 5), US Thanksgiving (November 28th), Black Friday (November 29th, when Americans 'officially' start their holiday shopping and the inspiration for many sales), Cyber Monday (December 2, the online equivalent),  Kwanzaa (December 26 to January 1), Boxing Day (December 26th, which is HUGE here in Canada and other Commonwealth countries, and often extends throughout January), and New Year's Eve (December 31). Don't forget that while most people who celebrate Christmas want to give gifts on or before December 25th, some traditions don't celebrate until January 6 or 7. There are also several other religious and cultural celebrations and holidays during this time, so you may need to plan ahead how you'll balance your time, or consider how this may delay shipping to and from certain places.  Remember: In most of the world, mail delivery will be greatly affected in November and December. Be sure you're aware, and make your customers aware of Shipping Deadlines. Review Class 8 Shipping and Packaging and  Class 7 Communication 

  Let buyers know about any special holiday enticements you may offer! These include things like Holiday Sales, Discounts, Expedited Shipping, and any extras like gift wrapping, cards or freebies.

It's still a good time for featuring spooky, autumn and Hallowe'en
flavoured listings, like the Telegraph Pole art print by TheKittenAndTheCrow
but by November, we move onto the build up to the holidays
The longer you run your shop, you'll see there are certain rhythms to the year and you'll get used to working a good season in advance. You'll start to take advance of many different holidays, seasons and events, and feature appropriate listings. Even if buyers are looking for masks and costumes for Hallowe'en, fine art like we're featuring today will be extra tempting for people making treasuries or blog posts. So the trick is to have your Christmas items ready to feature November 1, but feature your Hallowe'en items until then (and similarly for other holidays).

Tip: Things can get hectic this time of year, so a good calendar and check list is really useful.

Tip: You'll want to keep careful track of inventory! If you are making a lot of sales you can run out of items you sell or shipping supplies unless you're monitoring them carefully. You never want to get caught out, not being able to deliver something your customer requires as soon as humanly possible.

Next, here's a checklist of specific tweaks you can make to optimize your shop for holiday shoppers. Each item is something you can do in a small amount of time. Plus, you can pick and choose items which appeal and might work well for you. The trick is not to get overwhelmed and to do things in small steps.

Tweaking Your Etsy Shop to Tempt Holiday Shoppers Check-List

Use Shop Sections and Tags in your  Etsy which match the way holiday shoppers think. You can sort your listings by gift categories (think 
  • Decor and Entertaining
  • Gadgets and Games
  • Useful and Utilitarian
  • Personalization
  • Keepsakes
  • Novelty and Stocking Stuffers
  • Favours and Thank Yous
according to the Etsy blog article Holiday Merchandising Guide: Winter Trends and Tips. You can also create new Shop Sections by price range as holiday shoppers often have a budget in mind. Remember: this does not mean you should under-price! Sometimes a gift might not seem 'good enough' unless it costs a certain minimum. Also having a variety of price points is always a good idea!

  Use your tags to suggest a gift recipient. People buy gifts for: Men, Women, Kids, Babies, Teens, Friends, Coworkers, Parents, Grandparents and more. If you think your listing would make a great hostess gift, point it out!

Highlight other big trends, like winter decor/fashion or weddings. Etsy predicts these will be important holiday trends:
  • Personalization
  • Glitz and Shimmer
  • Pictures, Photos and Portraits
  • Greeting Cards and 2014 Calendars
  • Gadget Cases and Accessories
  • Seasonal and Holiday Home Decor
  • Hostess and Entertaining Solutions
  • Wine & Spirits Carriers and Accessories
  • Holiday Fashion and Accessories
  • Winter Fashion Accessories
  • Cocktail and Statement Jewelry
  • Stocking Stuffers, Gag Gifts and Novelties
  • Bath, Beauty and Edible Gift Sets
  • Woodland Animals
  • DIY Kits
If you have items in your shop which match these trends, consider making them Featured Listings, tagging them appropriately and making an extra effort to promote them during this holiday lead-up time.

Time any planned sales and promotions to go with events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day

  Consider shooting some extra holiday-themed listing photos, with festive props. Want people to consider your item as a stocking-suffer? Show it in a Christmas stocking.  Evergreen foliage, wrapped gift boxes and wintry scenes can also rapidly get the idea across.

  Offer personalization and custom orders. If a buyer is on the fence about your item the idea that it can become a personalized gift might convince them!

  Place groups of items together to make gift set listings. 

Get that cozy for winter feeling with Waysofwoodfolk's Icelandic Wool Sweater
So, do you feel ready for the holidays? Nervous, excited, working on a plan? Have any questions, ideas or tips to share? Let us know what you think! Comment below or drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you.

Remember: If you already have a shop, or you open one today, please let us know how to find it! We will be featuring some of our favorite newbie items right here. 

 The Toronto Etsy Street Team loves Newbie shops! You can find some of our favorite listings from talented Newbie sellers, including those featured in this class in our new TEST ♥ Newbies section. Be sure to stop by often to see what's new in this evolving, curated treasury of amazing Newbie finds!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails