Friday, June 11, 2010

Preparing for the Holidays: Response to Anna Marie

5 Comments

Christmas has always been my busiest time for my business. I know it’s still a ways away, but is there anything I can do now to make this Christmas more successful and easier for me? Or is it still too early?


Thanks in advance.
Anne Marie.



Anne Marie,

In business, it is never too early to prepare for the holiday season. That thought scares may people, but there’s no reason to dread the holidays, especially because it is the most profitable time for many businesses. With some advice from our team, I’ve put together a short list of ways to prepare for the holiday season to both avoid last-minute stress and make the season better for artisan sellers.

Top Ways to Prepare for the Fourth Quarter Shopping Season:

-Make Product. You should already be researching new trends and ideas for holiday items. It’s important you have a wide variety of pieces to choose from, so make sure to set some time aside from making new product before the holiday shopping season begins (and remember, this can begin as early as September). Also take into account what sold well last year, and try to expand upon those themes.

-Do Some SEO Testing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be very tricky, but luckily you don’t need in-depth knowledge to test which keywords work best for you. First, research some common keywords for your products using the tools outlined in this guide. Next, do some A/B testing on these keywords. Try changing around the keywords in one of your item’s titles and noting any change you see over the following weeks. You can also try changing a paragraph in your description, or running tests on similar items. More ideas for SEO testing are outlined at the end of this SEO Roundup. The goal in doing these tests is to find the best arrangement of keywords to get your items the most exposure possible in time for the holidays.

Start Brainstorming Deals and Sales You Plan to Offer. It’s a good idea to have any special deals or sales already in place at the beginning of November. Even if it’s a Black Friday or Christmas sale, it’s can’t hurt to have it already going on ahead of time to beat the rush. Brainstorm how you can promote your sale too—it wouldn’t do any good to have a coupon sale or shopping discount if no one has heard of it!

Check Your Packaging Supplies. Make sure you have plenty of shipping goods ready to go before the holiday season begins. Buying them in bloke now will help reduce costs later. Also make sure you have plenty of holiday gift wrap available to offer as an extra bonus to your customers.

Sara
Sell Handmade Crafts Online
Do you have a question for me to answer on this blog? Email me: Sara@ArtFire.com.





Do you have any other suggestions for preparing for the holidays? Add them in a comment below.

5 comments:

Katie Jeans Jewelry June 12, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Sara you have some great idea's. Sometimes its difficult to think about the holiday shopping season in summer but your correct we need to. Any thoughts on SEO for the holidays?

Kirameku June 14, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Great article ! Thanks for the tips !

Sara of Sell Handmade Crafts Online June 14, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Holiday SEO is another important thing to consider. Luckily, we have a guide for that on ArtFire: http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=forums&op=view_topic&tid=1541

You'll want to make sure your items are showing up in the holiday gift guides (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Hanukkah, etc) on ArtFire, and be sure to include what holiday your item goes best as a gift for in it's description.

Hope that helps!

Angie June 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Great article! I know I've had Christmas cards purchased as early as August.

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