So many of our customers create chainmaille jewelry pieces to sell in online shops through Etsy, ArtFire, IndieMade and many more. The holidays are of course a great time of year to sell your work to folks looking to buy unique handmade gifts, but it can be difficult to turn browsers into buyers and compete against larger retail stores (and their massive blowout sales) when your customers can’t touch and feel you product. That said, there are some things Internet sellers can do even more easily than stores to make holiday sales fun, exciting, and fulfilling for their customers.
Here are 10 things you can do to make your online shop shine for the holidays.
1. Change your shop banner and/or product images to reflect the season. Adding in some holiday spirit to your shop/website banner or your most “gifty” product images is your online shop’s way of decking the halls. Show your model drinking hot chocolate, hanging an ornament or toasting the new year. Have your product being unwrapped by someone in pajamas, or just add in some wintery colors or Christmas lights. It will be totally affective and a heck of a lot easier (and less expensive) than decorating an entire store!
2. Rearrange your merchandise, putting the best gift items at the top. Retailers move their merchandise around all the time to highlight what they think you should buy, so why not do the same thing with your shop. People around the holidays are looking to pick up gifts and you can help them figure out just what the perfect gift is. Don’t make them hunt for something on page 6 of your shop; put the heavy hitters up front!
3. Edit your product categories to be gift-oriented. People love having recommendations and it can be even easier to give them online where people are reading than in a shop where people are “Just looking, thanks.” Create categories like “For Her”, “For Friends”, “For Mom” and/or price point categories “Gifts under $10” and so on. You can also make categories unique to your brand “For Their Inner Rock Star” or “For Glamour Girls” to tailor the shopping experience even more.
Are you fun and funky or elegant and sophisticated? Chances are the people who love your products are a lot like you – what would you feel if you received your product as a gift? Tell them how great it will be.
4. Edit your product descriptions. This can be another great place to sneak in a gift recommendation and paint a picture of what it will be like to give or receive your product. Use language that fits your brand. Are you fun and funky or elegant and sophisticated? Chances are the people who love your products are a lot like you – what would you feel if you received your product as a gift? Tell them how great it will be.
5. Highlight customer feedback and testimonials. Don’t assume your shopper will go looking for your feedback to decide if they want to buy from you and don’t make them leave the product page to be convinced (they might not come back!) The holidays are a great time to attract new customers, but if they are new, they won’t know how great you are yet. Include appropriate feedback and testimonials right in the product descriptions to make them click that buy button right then and there!
6. Offer gift wrapping – and show them what to expect! Make sure to take a picture of what the gift wrapping will look like as well as what the product looks like in the gift box. You can offer this service for free or as an add-on to make a little extra money. Make sure the gift wrapping represents your brand and is not holiday specific (i.e. – Don’t choose Santa wrapping paper, it limits your clients.) Choose paper and other packaging that matches your brand’s colors and style.
The holidays can attract a lot of new customers and it’s a great opportunity to turn them into returning customers during off-times.
7. Offer gift certificates. Make sure to offer them at different price points and make them look nice and represent your brand (put your logo on them!) Come up with a nice way to package them and show the buyer how it will look when it arrives. Make sure to ask the buyer to put the recipient’s name in the notes on their purchase so you can write that in for them and make it look beautiful.
8. Run special discounts/sales that coincide with in-store big shopping days. The number of shoppers that stay in and shop online on big sale days grows every year. Make the most of this fact by offering special discounts or bonuses on those days. Use outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and email to let people know you’ll be running this deal and make sure to tease it on your shop page too!
9. Include a special holiday note in each order with incentives to come back and shop again. This can be as simple as creating a small amount of business cards with your branding and a holiday theme on them, or even buying simple holiday cards or postcards to include with each order. Take the time to write a handwritten note on them, offering a discount code or free shipping on their next order. The holidays can attract a lot of new customers and it’s a great opportunity to turn them into returning customers during off-times.
10. Create a mailing list – start now! Once again, this is a great time of year to collect new customers so make sure you create a way to stay in touch with them during in the year and for the next holiday season. Set up a free account using MailChimp and start collecting email addresses now. After the holidays are over, send them something thanking them for supporting your business and offering them an incentive to come back and shop.