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Jingle Bell Jingle Bell, Set Up Your Shop (for the Holidays)!

September 29, 2020

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After months of quarantine, most of us are feeling a little stir crazy. So naturally, everyone is pining after a cup of holiday cheer! With that being said, your customers might likely decide to start holiday shopping earlier than usual. And, of course, we want you to be ready when they are. That’s why in today’s episode, we’re dishing out our best tips on how you can turn your shop into a winter wonderland. We’re covering everything from festive visuals and assets to nailing your policies and shipping deadlines. 

Let’s be friends! Find us on Instagram @bizbirthdaybash.

Start Preparing — It’s never too early! 

Identify Trends 

Cami (5:15)

Okay, so with trends, Etsy sends out this awesome trade report for their holiday 2020 trend report. I love going through that with a fine tooth comb and just like seeing because they give you the predictions already, it’s like the greatest thing ever. I want this for like every month honestly. 

Do your research now for what products are popular this year if you’re having a hard time coming up with what to sell during the holiday season. Don’t forget, people will buy your year-round items as gifts for other people, so your shop doesn’t have to have holiday-themed items, though those items could help drive traffic! 

Etsy sent out a great email featuring some of the trending products of 2020. Here’s a few:

  • Handmade feel: As shoppers increasingly tap into their own creativity, expect the artfully imperfect look of DIY decor and gifts to have growing appeal.

  • Retro holiday: A key callout in recent years, throwback styles continue to pique shoppers’ interest with nostalgic motifs, patterns, and palettes.

  • Cheerful citrus: Zesty lemons, cute kumquats, and bold blood oranges lead this fresh trend. Favorite seasonal fruits add a deliciously perfect pop of sunshine to holiday decor.

  • Indigo: We’ve been calling out the tie-dye trend for some time, and shoppers have been wild about it recently, so expect this natural, often earth-friendly version to make a holiday appearance.

Research Keywords

Keywords for Timing

Cami 11:45

When I say keywords, I mean this in two ways. So utilizing Google keywords to basically see when things start to trend, like looking at Christmas cards on Google. So you can see like, oh, the start peaking in November. So I have to be ready at this time to have all these put out and like now, like my cutoff date for shipping here or like maybe stockings will start trending in October. So you want to have that ready to go by then. So just like looking at those things for timing, just understanding, you know, what, how the ebb and flow of the Google search trends start to work. 

Keywords for Product Descriptions and Etsy Tags

Google search trends can give you ideas to for other keywords and other ways that you could tag your products with like different long tail and short tail keywords, which is basically just like a short phrase or a long phrase to categorize things on your website, SEO, and also keywords on the back half is thinking of it as like Etsy keywords. 

So when it comes to Etsy keywords consider things like, how are you going to change your product listings to have things that shoppers are looking for? So maybe you have like a really cute Notepad, maybe during the Christmas season, you know, you go through all your Etsy listings and add stocking stuffer, Christmas gift for mom, Christmas gift for dog lover, you know, gift for husband, those types of things that are only relevant during the Christmas month that you probably want to have year round. So just looking at smart ways to tag things with keywords. 

Elisabeth (13:05)

Yeah, that is really clever. But I honestly think if you put something like Christmas gift for Mom, I think it would be like this tag is too long, because they have a character limit there.

Cami (13:24)

Yeah, long tail keywords might  be too long for the tags at the bottom. But in your title, you’d insert your keywords or you’d add them to the description itself to like, because that will pull into SEO as well.

Elisabeth (13:30)

 I see what you’re saying. Oh, that’s good to clarify. Okay, perfect.

Visuals and Assets

Holiday Vibe for Your Website and Social Media Feed 

I want you to think of giving your shop a full Santa suit. I think this year those comforting holiday images are going to be more important than ever. Come up with ways to spruce up your shop and make it look holiday-esque! This can be your website or your Etsy shop.

Cami (16:26)

Yeah, this year my theme is just festive AF because I just want to be so festive and like nail the holiday images. Like I wanted to look like Santa’s workshop on my website. I don’t know how I’m gonna do that because I suck at taking pictures but I really wanted to look like that. And I do feel like this year more than ever, people are gonna just really gravitate towards those like cozy, comfy, festive, happy images. You know, like, it’s gonna make a huge difference to look like hey, I’m participating in Christmas and when you shop here, you’re gonna get a big dose of Christmas goodness versus just like not doing anything. Even on social media. I want my feed to be like a Christmas explosion too. 

Holiday Packaging 

Cami (15:00)

Also, think about how you’re going to change up your holiday packaging. I like to put holiday stickers on my boxes. So maybe this year I might even do like red and green tissue paper you know, maybe just like dark green I think would be pretty. Something that still feels on brand for you. But maybe just add a little something for the holiday season.

Elisabeth (15:30)

 I think you need like little I don’t know I just see something with candy canes for your brand and I don’t know why. So I see like Sage green tissue paper wrapped around with like, red and white like twine. Because with deep green, I don’t know I don’t think of Cami Monet as much but I was like if you stuck with the sage but then you added like the red and white stripe or like ribbon or something that went around it. That would just be like the perfect little picture perfectly. 

Cami (16:00)

And I already have this perfect ribbon picked out for this other thing that I might be doing this kind of like this random white stripe, but it’s not like super red and white stripe like candy cane. It’s more like a canvas II color with a red red eye on it. I don’t know if I told you about all this one. But I’ll tell you about it in a minute. But anyway, that ribbon was Sage and it would look so cute. And I was just about to order a bunch of it. 

Elisabeth (16:25)

Oh, yes, I love it. Hmm.

Or you can make custom tissue paper with little candy canes on it, because that would be really cute. Oh my goodness, that would be adorable. 

Cami (16:30)

Yeah. And this is also a great time you guys to think about like your little inserts for like, if someone’s doing a gift message or something to someone, maybe you can make it like extra holiday and festive rather than your normal like gift message. Or whatever you do. Maybe it’s like putting it into a little Christmas card. And you can use that and be like, everything comes with its own card and it’s printed out right on it or something like that, if you want to just like switch up the game even more, because I think that’s gonna make a huge difference to right. 

Elisabeth (17:00)

One of the things I’ve thought about is like, as a product not even packaging is like tissue paper as a product, like making a cute festive tissue paper for other people to use for gifting. Because I think that would be really fun and adorable. And now I really want you to sell candy cane tissue paper. tissue paper seems way more achievable than doing wrapping papers. 


So maybe that’s like dipping your toes in and seeing how that goes. You know? 

Yeah, it’s way easier to make than and easier to ship because it doesn’t have to be all wrapped up. So yeah, exactly. Oh, awesome. 

Cami (17:30)

Exciting news, guys, I did find another amazing vendor for wrapping paper. And it’s way cheaper than all the other ones i’ve seen. I’m putting in the directory today. They’re really easy to work with and I’m ordering some samples just for myself just to test it out for you guys. It’s so much cheaper that It’s gonna blow everyone’s mind. So join the A-Z directory and then you can get that.

Holiday Marketing Strategy 

Organize Your Holiday Email Campaign

Start organizing an email campaign now! Challenge yourself to send one email a week for six weeks, starting the beginning of October, to feature your Holiday collection or holiday items.

Try pairing up with a blog or influencer to feature one of your products 

Elisabeth (20:00)

So then for marketing other ideas besides just doing email campaigns and such and, and don’t panic if you don’t have email campaign capabilities, or you don’t have an email list or whatever, because there are plenty of other ways to market. 

Another thing you can do for funsies is try pairing up with a blog or an influencer to get one of your products featured. So yes, you might need to pay for this to some degree. But if you can get your product featured somewhere, that would be really cool. That was just an idea. I don’t even really know how you would go about it. But it was something I wrote down. 

Cami (20:48)

Yeah, I’ve been hearing more and more shop owners talk about like, paying influencers to market their products. But honestly, I’m not really sure how you go about that. If you just like reach out directly. Or if there’s like, companies you go through or whatnot, I think I would just try the old reach out directly and email them not dm them, obviously, because they’re probably getting a bajillion DMS. And I would do that ASAP. Because I would imagine they’re planning their content for the end of the year, just like any other type of publication, probably not as early as other publications. But it’s always good to be in there first. So start doing that as soon as possible, and reaching out to just blogs, because a lot of bloggers are always looking for gift guides, like stuff to put in their gift guides that’s new and unique.

I’ve reached out to blogs in the past and said, like, Hey, I’ll send you this for free if you want to include it with your gift guide and whatnot. So that’s been kind of cool. Right now I have my VA doing that kind of stuff. So reaching out to bigger publications for Gift Guide inclusion and blogs and all that stuff. So she’s just kind of been taking over that morning, which has been a huge, huge help. And like we already got like, we definitely got Southern Living that has been confirmed today. So I’m really excited about that!

Elisabeth (22:24)

So yeah, I guess and with that never would have happened if we hadn’t just reached out and said something. So you know, you just never know what’s gonna happen if you just put yourself out there. So that’s gonna be really helpful for holiday marketing to better than paid campaigns, I think as well just like that natural, more organic type of traffic.

Be contacting your wholesalers now to purchase items for the holiday season and pitch them your new holiday products if you have them! 

Elisabeth (24:50)

We also have a little note about contacting your wholesalers now because that’s another way that you can get even more orders in between now and the start of the holiday season.

Cami (25:00)

 Yes, I mean, at this point, they probably made most of their big purchases for holiday, but they probably still, because they’re still trying to figure out like, Hey, is it gonna be a big holiday season for us, like, if they’re a brick and mortar, they’re still trying to figure out the budget. So if you get in early, you can at least be top of mind when they might come back for a reorder of holiday stuff in November, when they start to like gauge the market a little bit more. So you always just want to be top of mind on that. So like their big buying happens, like, basically, June, July, August, and then there’s like a second buying that happens around like October, November, so so you can still be kind of in there. It’s about reaching out to people like directly, or social media posts, just always about showing up. 

Elisabeth (25:50)

Yep, yep. Showing up over and over. Yeah, it’s a good point too, about like brick and mortars, especially because we just don’t know how their seasons have been this year. I guess. So better now than later, I guess to try to get a read on that situation.

Putting together bundles

Cami (26:30)

So along with my marketing, I’m also going to be putting together way more bundle boxes this year, like that’s going to be huge for me, just like finding out ways to cross promote, and like packaging up my products. 

Recently, my bundle boxes have done really well. I have like six new ones of ideas that I need to list and then I’m gonna have like Christmas specific ones. Anything that makes it easy for your customers to buy gifts and give gifts and not to think about it is great. like think about when you’re trying to buy a gift for you know, someone you don’t know super well, or co workers when you have no idea what to get, you know, when you see those cute little bundles, or gift boxes, or gift baskets or whatever. And they’re beautifully packaged, that come with everything. It’s a little bit of a little bit of everything. It’s like, Oh, that’s an instant, Instant Buy, you know, it’s so easy for you that work has been done.

Setting up sales for Black Friday, etc.

Cami (28:15)

So having these sales and having them well planned out, and not just like 50% off everything because you need to actually make sure you’re still making money with your sales and not just throwing up sales because you know, everyone, their mom’s doing it target’s doing or whatever, and you you aren’t a big box store. So you don’t need to worry about doing 70% off kind of things like that. So just knowing your numbers and what you can actually discount. And like, what’s a good margin of error for your discount amount?

Right? Because you don’t want to be like losing money. Yeah,

you don’t wanna be like the demos done off the whole store with like, something’s 50% off spawn other things. It’s like, no, you’re actually losing money on this item. 

Experiment with Different Types of Promos

Cami (29:00)

So you know, try doing only 50% off, you know, art prints, or you do offer free shipping on this one thing like just experiment with different types of promotions to because some buyers respond really well to free shipping, some respond really, really well to buy one, get one there’s all different types of promotions you can do. So play around with it, and maybe even do a poll with your Instagram followers and say, hey, what what incentivizes you the most to like make the sale? Is it free shipping?Do you want $20 off versus 20%? There are lots of ways to think about it.

Etsy paid ads

Cami (31:15)

So on Etsy paid ads, like, I have $10 a day set aside for advertising for Etsy. So I think I’m gonna ramp it up during the holiday season to like 15 or $20 a day and basically swap out all the ones I have all the products on there that I’m advertising to be all like holiday stuff, like all the ones I know, my best sellers are like, I’m probably going to pick like 10 and just go hard on the Etsy ads for those. etsy ads is something I’ve been experimenting with the past few months, just seeing how it goes, like I started with $5 a day. And I’m up to $10 a day. And I’m just like, been gradually playing with the amounts and which products I’m going to use. So I don’t like advertise my entire shop. Because you don’t get as much bang for your buck. For the cost per click. So I just picked like the ones that like my big big sellers that I can just get like the most traction on those. So I’m going to definitely just be swapping those out for holiday items. Starting in like October, probably. 

Elisabeth (32:00)

Yeah, yeah, I’ve definitely realized like the Etsy paid ads seem to be working like pretty well, if you’re strategic with what you include on there, like you already said. So I like just made some changes to mine. Yesterday, I think when I was kind of looking at things, and I was like, Oh, these are you know, they’re getting clicks. And I’m paying for the clicks. But none of these like cards have ever sold based off an ad. I’m going to get rid of those. And I’m going to make sure that I only keep the ones on here that are actually like getting people to buy them. 

Cami (32:41)

Yeah, exactly. Like just keeping track of it. Because if you see like, Oh, I got I’m paying for all these clicks, but literally nothing is converting like don’t advertise them anymore because you’re just wasting your paid ad money on that. So I had something else I was gonna say and I totally lost it. Oh, yes. Now remember, um, so for the my advertise listings, too, I always like to do ones that are like a higher amount. Like, I probably wouldn’t do a $5 greeting cards, if it cost 20 cents for them to click on it. Like that’s not that much profit. But if I do like a $40 art print, and I paid 20 cents for their click, like it’s much more bang for your buck. Mm hmm. Exactly. Yes. So like, it’s been really good for my ornament. Because my ornament is $10 instead of like a $4 50 cent greeting card, like even that makes a difference, you know, maybe like $10 or more, I think is like a pretty good area to be in greed.

Ordering Supplies

Get prepared for shipping your packages now so you’re not scrambling for supplies later.

Cami (33:39)

So ordering all of your shipping supplies, all your packing supplies, all your shipping labels, because I always forget about all your products that you might need, especially if things take a little bit longer than normal. Like I’m already trying to get stuff in now. Because some things take like two or three weeks to get done. And especially now with you know, all the COVID delays, like a lot of vendors and manufacturers suppliers are having longer delays like, getting stuff out the door and everything like my drop shipping for mugs takes like twice the amount of time.

Even though it seems scary to order 500 boxes of supplies or 50 or however many you know works for you like it’s gonna be way better in the long run because there’s nothing worse than running out of shipping stuff or something like that on like December 10 and it’s not going to be there till after Christmas and then you’re trying to spend money to overnight stuff or buy at full price. So it’s just a nightmare. Get it now you guys get it

Nail your policies

Shipping Deadline for Christmas 

Cami (35:44)

Yes. So this year, like I was just kind of mentioning and the ordering supplies piece is that shipping and everything’s a little bit more delayed. So I feel like this year, your cutoff time, you might want to cushion it by a few more days. So USPS usually releases, I don’t think they’ve released the shipping times yet for 2020s holiday season looks. I was googling it today. But there wasn’t like an official one for USPS. But it’s usually December 16 for first class mail like December 16 ish. And like December 21 ish for priority mail. So I would definitely bump those back like two or three days, at least, just to have cushion because you don’t want to like be trying to ship something on December 21. And just chaotic. And people are last minute and then get back to you. And that’s just, that’s just no fun. So usually my cutoff is December 14, for guarantee delivery with packages, I might even up that to December 10 this year just to be extra cautious.

Shipping, Return Policies, and More

Cami (36:50)

So having those policies in place on your website, like shipping policy, like what happens if it does get lost? Do you accept returns? What about refunds? Just have those ready to go because I feel like this year it could be chaotic. So make sure you’re really, really clear on those. And if you haven’t written those for your your shop yet, this is a good time to obviously get it done. Yep, get ahead of time so that you don’t have to deal with people being crazy. 

Show up and sell

Online shopping is going to be bigger than ever this year, so get yourself in the headspace for showing up as much as possible. Make a commitment to end this year on a high-note and have an amazing, amazing holiday season! 

Cami (37:50)

I know it has been like really hard to show up on social media and it feels weird. But like, this is like the time to do it. Like this is the time to go hard and just be like, I do not care anymore. I’m just gonna go for it. Because this is just going to be a good, good holiday season. You guys, everyone is just craving some holiday joy and some Christmas spirit and you can be the one that gives it to them. 

So just show up this year and make a commitment to end this year on a high note and have an amazing, amazing holiday season because I know I’m gonna be going crazy. So you guys can join me. It’s gonna be so much fun. I love the holidays. It’s like my Super Bowl. It’s always really fun. It’s always fun to see the sales come in. And I know it’s gonna be bigger than ever this year. I just know, the super gut feeling. So yeah, guys, I want you to be like enthusiasm overload when it comes to your products. Because if you can’t get excited about selling your stuff, and no one else will be excited about buying it. So you just got to do it. Alright, so drink some eggnog, candy canes and your stockings and let’s do this!!

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