Hopefully, you've spent the last few months preparing for the Holiday season on Etsy. You've created new products, updated your photos, and marketed your fabulous business all over the internet!
However, there may be some details within your shop that you've overlooked. Taking care of each little thing can make the difference between spending hours on conversations each day and feeling overwhelmed versus bringing in loads of last-minute customers and serving them with ease.
In addition, these little changes can make the difference between a customer who pushes the easy button because your gift-wrapping and descriptions told them everything they needed to know versus someone who moves on to another shop because they don't have time to wait for your answers. Make it easy on yourself and your customers this Christmas season.
10 Ways to Make your Etsy Shop Holiday-Ready
1.) Add a gift-wrapping option. As Christmas nears closer, more and more of your customers will want to have their items shipped directly to the recipient. They'd rather it didn't show up looking like it spent some time at the side of the road. Add a gift-wrapping option so they can purchase with confidence – knowing their gift will have a beautiful presentation and a hand-written note to go with it. Dana Kalatsky of AppleWhiteHandmade does a great job at this.
2.) Add an announcement at the top of your shop header stating what date your customers should order by. Unless you own your own shipping company, do not guarantee a delivery date for orders. Rather, say something along these lines: “For US orders: If you order by December 18th, I will ship your order on December 20th.”
3.) Add an express shipping option. This can simply be a separate listing in your shop with an extra dollar amount tied to it. Know how much more your products would cost to ship express. Add pertinent details as given to you by your shipping service, such as “Per X Shipping service, this item will arrive overnight. Prior to shipping, our turn-around time will be 2 business days.
4.) Know how many custom orders you can handle, and set a firm date for receiving them. Many Etsy sellers who create custom orders set a cut-off date in late November or early December. The last thing you want to do is commit to too much and then disappoint your customers later.
5.) Create canned message responses for the most commonly asked questions you receive. If people are always asking if a certain shirt comes in a certain size, or always asking why you don't ship outside the U.S., create a Word document with all of your responses right there ready to go. Then, make an appointment just once per day to head into your messages and respond to everyone. Again, you can start each message by thanking the person for their interest in your shop, but don't be afraid to say no to something that you simply can't do at the moment. There's no reason to drop 50 customers who were perfectly happy to order something already in your shop for that one particular customer who may consume all of your time. (Melissa learned this first-hand! Hear about her experience.) If they love your items, they'll come back during the slow season and try again
6.) Give ideas about who the gift is for. Is your item perfect for teachers? Say so both in the product title, tags, and description. Use your description to tell a story about someone who would be thrilled to receive your item this year. There are general categories like gifts for men, women, or children, but feel free to create a more specific persona such as a gift for organizing fanatics, science nerds, or adoptive parents. When you frame your products in this way, it's that much easier for your customers to picture the recipient enjoying and loving their gift. If some of your products are perfect for more than one group of people, consider creating multiple listings, and using each one to tell a particular story about that one, unique recipient.
7.) Organize your products according to price. Popular price categories are $25 and under, $50 and under, and $100 and under. Don't forget about stocking stuffers or the $10 and Under category either. Again, these categories make it that much easier for potential customers to narrow your offerings by price range and make a choice that fits their budget. If all of your items are over $100 or under $10, consider expanding your line to include items in varying price ranges to meet more customers' needs.
8.) Use Holiday and Winter-themed props and backgrounds to set the tone. This make seem like a lot of work, but even just changing up a few listing cover photos to make them more seasonal can make a big difference. Everyone who visits your shop should immediately think, “Christmas gifts!” Every holiday hint you can offer (photos, gift-wrapping, product descriptions) adds up to confident customers who know that your items make fabulous gifts.
9.) Make your return policy clear. If your policy is especially strict or you don't offer returns, make sure you specify this in each listing description, along with placing it in your shop policies and header section. Consider offering a longer return window during the holidays so that customers can shop for gifts early without worrying about the recipient changing their mind too late. Most people won't go to the trouble of returning an item, but they like having that security, just in case.
10.) Make your most popular items ahead of time. Stock up so that your last week of sales before Christmas, you're ready for the downpour! Look at your sales for past Christmas seasons and make a healthy prediction for what will sell best. Even if you don't sell out of everything you make, creating and packaging now will just make your job of fulfilling orders that much easier all year long. It never hurts to stock up and be prepared. (Unless of course, it breaks the bank! Stock up, but make sure it's within your business budget.)
Are you ready for the influx of Holiday Sales this year? What will you work on this week to earn more customers?
~ Beth Anne
Happy Holidays! Read these posts to holiday-prep your business: