We are just two weeks away from Halloween, which signifies the start of the holiday season. People are getting ready, they are making their lists, and they are looking for your unique items! The personalization and custom crafts industries are on the rise, as well as online sales. There was a 12% increase from 2015 to 2016, and CNBC estimates e-commerce sales to jump 22% this year over 2017!
From parties to picking out the perfect gift complete with gift wrap and tags, consumers want your goods. We put together a quick guide for making this year your best year yet!
First, it’s important to plan, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Here are some key questions to help you get started:
● What holidays are you going to participate in?
● What merchandise will you be offering?
● How will you advertise your merchandise?
● What are your shipping cut-off dates?
● Are you going to run any promotions?
● For physical goods, what is your return policy?
Remember ALL the Holidays:
● Veteran’s Day (November 11)
● Thanksgiving (November 22)
● Black Friday (November 23)
● Cyber Monday (November 26)
● Winter Starts (December 21)
● Hanukkah (December 2-December 10)
● Christmas (December 25)
● Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1)
● New Year’s Eve (December 31)
● New Year’s Day (January 1)
First, choose your most popular items and most profitable items that you want to promote. Your promotions should be a mix of paid advertising and social posts. Take advantage of Etsy promotional listings, use targeted Facebook ads, and work your current customer list. You don’t need to spend a lot; you just need to be focused in your efforts.
Use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to pre-set your social media posts, and yes, these both have free versions and tracking. And remember to take advantage of Pinterest, just as much as Instagram.
Create promotions that have a sense of urgency. Use expiration dates and advertise limited quantities if it’s appropriate.
Being strategic and planning allows you to create cost-effective campaigns with a high return on your investment.
Create a Promotional Calendar
Don’t get up on Thanksgiving and decide to do a Black Friday blitz of all your best-selling items; instead, set-up your campaigns now by creating an integrated promotional calendar. Take the list of items you want to sell and/promote. Create a calendar that integrates the channels you want to use with the listings. This could be a mix of social posts and engagements, in addition to paid advertising. Detailing it in a physical calendar or setting up a spreadsheet will give you a global view of the next two months.
Calendars help you actively organize your promotions, and on your busiest of days, you will know exactly what needs to be done to keep your business on track, and your sanity!
Your calendar should be more detailed, but this layout works well for some people. Another option is to populate a physical or electronic calendar.
Your customers are your business. Be sure to respond as quickly as possible, but also remember to thank them for their business. Invite them to share their experience. Give them coupons or freebies.
How much do people spend?
Do you ever wonder how much people spend and when? Be sure to align your promotions and spend around these days, and you should see a good return on your spend.
2016 E-Commerce sales
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