Christmas shopping has started already. I had my first Christmas order back in October, so I know that the shoppers are out in force. The question is are you ready for them? What can you do to ensure your craft business capitalises on the biggest retail season of the year?
Here are my tops tips to ensure you don’t miss out on any sales this Holiday Season.
1. Get your online store up and running.
If you’ve been procrastinating about getting your online store up and running, now is the time to bite the bullet and get it done. You can’t expect to sell online, if your not online. And the next few weeks are the perfect time to see whether your products work. If there is any time of year when they will sell, it will be now, so don’t leave to the new year because you will miss out on sales. For a newbie it may take up to four hours to get your store up and running and your first item listed. But if your computer savvy it will be a lot quicker. So block out some time in your diary and sit down and get your first item listed. I recommend starting with Etsy or The Handcrafted Shop in Australia.
2. Get your products listed.
For many crafters the chore of uploading listings, writing copy and taking photos can be overwhelming. And as a result, you may be prolific at creating things to sell, but still haven’t got around to uploading them yet. Set aside some time, maybe one afternoon, where you will get all those made up items listed. Remember the more you have in your store, the more chance you have of sales this holiday season.
3. Update your photos and sales copy.
Are your photos the best they can be? It may be worth spending a couple of hours updating your photos to make sure they represent your work as best as possible. A great photo can be the difference in getting a sale or not. If your unsure, have a look at what other crafters are doing on Etsy and you’ll soon get a feel for whether your photos are up to scratch. They same goes for sales copy. Are you listings really explaining the item? Are you connecting with the customer and sharing your passion with them? Does it motivate them to purchase from you? Sometimes just an extra sentence or two can make all the difference. When in doubt, research! Look at other listings in your category and compare. Is there something else you can add to increase your sales?
4. Manage out of stocks.
As your items sell over the coming weeks, keep an eye on your out of stocks. Make sure your listings always reflect what you have in stock. If you have been preparing and stocking up on items, make sure when something sells, you re-list it immediately. Leaving an item out of stock for a couple of weeks will mean you miss out on sales. If you don’t have the item in stock, only re-list it if you are confident you can make it in a given period of time, and make sure you include that in the listing. e.g.. This item is custom made and will take approximately 3 days to make prior to shipping.
5. Incentives for increased sales.
Are you capitalising on the sales opportunities? Is there a way to incentivise buyers to purchase more than one item from you. e.g. Can you offer buy 2 get one free or a discount if they purchase 3 or more items. This way your buyer will feel like they are getting a deal and you will increase your sales to current customers rather than having to find more new ones.
6. Repeat Customers.
Have you contacted your database of existing customers and let them know the range you have in stock for Christmas. A simple email with a few photos may be just the prompt they need, especially if they are stuck for a gift. These customers have already purchased from you so they are proven buyers that appreciate your style, so make the most of this. You may also want to offer them a special incentive for repurchasing such as a free gift with every purchase, that is not available to new customers.
It’s not too late to do a bit of fine tuning on your store to make sure you make the most of the Holiday buying season. You will be rewarded for any time you put in now.