Holiday Gift-Giving Trends for Handmade Businesses (in 2020)


Obviously, 2020 has been a year unlike the rest. So, as business owners, we should be preparing for the 2020 Holidays a little different this year.


Call it a new trend, a shift in consumerism, or a new way of life, these are ways typical holiday traditions may be changing this holiday season (based on research and my opinion).


There are some product ideas at the end of this article. But first, a few new shopping habits to consider and prepare your business for:





Although some craft shows seem to be preparing for their holiday events as usual, most will be canceled.


Whether malls, boutiques, and craft shows are open, many consumers won’t feel comfortable shopping in-person and will be taking their shopping online to play it safe and stay healthy.


Pandemic aside, online shopping has been a growing trend over the years and researchers predict that growth will continue (Covid is just accelerating that growth).


So it’s important to start planning and prepping now to get your online shop ready for all the online holiday shoppers.






Many people will be looking for ways to save, so be prepared for any big “sale” shopping events.


Cyber Monday has always been an online shopping event, with online businesses offering their greatest discounts of the year. However, Black Friday was always the big in-store shopping event that preceded Cyber Monday.


This year, many big retailers will have to adjust by moving their discount shopping events online for the Friday after American Thanksgiving.


If your profits allow, plan to run a promotion over Black Friday / Cyber Monday to capitalize on the influx of people shopping during that time.  


Pre-Covid, brick and mortar retailers would see huge sales numbers on Black Friday, not only because of the discounts, but because shoppers would head to a store to buy one item at a discount, notice several other items on sale, and end up buying more than they planned.


You can apply this idea online by implementing a “you may also like” technique.


If your website allows, add a “recommended” section on each listing to show off your other discounted products.


You could also add a banner to the top of your website, which would appear on every page, and could highlight your bestsellers or best deals. That way, no matter which page your shoppers land on, they’ll see your other items.


If you’re selling on a marketplace like Etsy, you can update an existing listing. Add an additional photo that showcases another product (preferably one that compliments or works with the product they’re looking at), and update the product description to recommend the additional product the shopper may be interested in.


For example, let’s say I have a cutting board listed in my Etsy shop and it’s 20% off for Black Friday / Cyber Monday. If I have 5 photos of the cutting board, I may add a 6th photo showcasing the cutting board next to a matching charcuterie board and knife block.


In the description, I would link to those other items and explain that they’re also 20% off for this short period of time. I would also use the description to help the shopper imagine the set on their kitchen counters by pointing out how great they look together and how they add the warmth of wood to a kitchen space.


It’s important you take a look at your numbers before simply slashing prices on your products.


Unless your business is in a dire situation, you should only offer discounts if you’re still able to profit from the sale price.


THE SUCCESS PLANNER will help you understand the number side of your business and determine how much you can afford to discount your products.




When shopping at malls, it’s easy to duck in and out of stores and pick up several items.


Each store makes gift-giving easy by grouping items together, displaying stocking stuffers at the cash desk, and having sales associates help you with your shopping.


Online shopping, in general, tends to be less impulsive.


People take their time to research, compare between websites, and think about their purchases without the pressure of salespeople, crowds of shoppers, or checkout lines getting longer by the minute.


With more time to think about gifts, new budgets to work with, and shipping to consider, people may decide to buy fewer gifts, but perhaps focus on more meaningful gifts (i.e. spend more on one big gift rather than lots of little gifts).


Consider your target market and the types of thoughtful gifts they may want to buy or put on their wishlist this year.




Many people won’t be traveling like they normally would during the holidays, which means more gifts will be shipped across the country and beyond.


Encourage your shoppers to get their orders in early to work with the inevitable shipping delays.


You can also offer add-ons that allow them to have an item gift wrapped and shipped straight to the recipient.


You may offer greeting cards (and allow customers to add a personal message), gift boxes, and even gift wrapping.


Make sure you charge for those add-ons, or work them into your product prices.


For more on using add-ons in your business, check out: HOW TO USE ADD-ONS TO SELL MORE HANDMADE.




Many reports (e.g. Etsy, Pinterest, consumer reports, etc.) have stated they’re seeing an increase in holiday searches much earlier this year (more on that in 3 STEPS TO PREPARE YOUR HANDMADE BUSINESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS IN 2020).


People want something to look forward to and may even be worried about shortages during the holidays (just like the toilet paper shortage as people panicked at the start of quarantine, yeast shortage as people started baking more, wood shortage as homeowners worked on projects this summer, etc.).


Consumers have already started planning and looking for holiday items and if your shop isn’t offering them now, your shoppers will turn to a business that is.


It’s not too early to have holiday products and themes in your online shop.


Although many people groan and roll their eyes at holiday marketing starting earlier and earlier each year, this year has unique circumstances.


Most of us are forced to shop online and shipping delays are only going to get longer, so now is the time for your customers to start thinking about and placing orders…if they want to be guaranteed to get them on time.


There are lots of ideas in this article for how to prepare your online shop for the holidays, plan your holiday products, and make your shop feel festive.




We don’t know what the future holds but it’s almost certain that more people will be spending more time at home in the coming months as the weather gets colder.


With fewer office Christmas parties, dinners out, big family gatherings, etc. people will be finding new ways to be entertained and feel festive at home.


Shift your thinking towards smaller intimate dinner parties and the games smaller groups might play, as well as décor that will make a home feel festive.


There are a few product ideas in the next section.




I looked through several Christmas 2020 Gift Guides to find common themes that can be applied to handmade products.


For example, if a Harry Potter Lego set is popular, you can’t create Harry Potter products (that would be copyright infringement…more on that here), but you could create products that are inspired by the colors of Harry Potter and that have a wizard theme.


Here are a few themes that may influence your holiday products:



With the world having to slow down, people are appreciating the little things more. Many gift ideas are less about being extravagant, and more about being meaningful.


Personalization is a great way to add more meaning to a gift, as the recipient knows it was made specifically for them.


Anything can be personalized from:

    • Painted family portraits
    • Household items
    • Sports items
    • Christmas ornaments and decor




With travel restrictions, people are exploring local attractions and celebrating what makes their hometown great. Products that incorporate your hometown landmarks, maps, streets, etc. fit into this theme.


Camping has also become more popular this year, so camping products and items for weekend getaways would also fit into this theme.




With fewer people going out, entertainment is happing at home. Think of games smaller groups of adults can play at dinner parties.

    • Crib boards
    • Scrabble
    • Artists or digital designers can turn their art into playing cards, puzzles, etc.




Gardening has become more popular, partly due to necessity and partly due to people looking for new hobbies to keep them busy.

    • Kits to start growing plants indoors
    • Seed packets to plant something in the backyard (in spring)
    • Garden tools and accessories




More and more people are becoming increasingly concerned about our environment. Anything that helps reduce waste fits within this theme.


    • Reusable items:
      • Straws
      • Wax wraps
      • Sandwich bags
      • Paper towels
      • Cotton pads (for removing makeup)
      • Water bottles
      • Produce bags
    • Zero-waste packaging – items that don’t have packaging, have reusable or recyclable packaging, or compostable packaging.
    • Environmentally friendly cleaning products




Self-care has always been important, but more and more people are expressing just how important it is during stressful times like these.


Any items that help someone relax, unwind, de-stress, etc. fit into this theme. Think about the overlooked target markets, women have always had several products to choose from in this category so you may find a profitable niche by looking at specific needs of women.


Or try exploring self-care products for men, teenagers, kids, or even pets. What would self-care look like for them and what type of products might they need for it?

    • Diffusers / candles
    • Journaling
    • Coloring books
    • Teas / coffees and their accessories (mugs, tea diffusers, etc.)
    • Meditation products
    • Bath and skincare products
    • Hair care
    • Beard care
    • At-home spa treatments (e.g. products for manicures, facials, massages, etc.)
    • Sleep enhancing products




With people spending more time at home, they want to be comfortable.

    • Oversized blanket scarves
    • Loungewear
    • Pajamas (and matching pajama sets…don’t forget about the family dog;)
    • Socks / slippers
    • Throw blankets and pillows




Of course, holiday décor will be popular in the coming months as people decorate their homes for the holidays. Many reports suggest people will be going over the top with their holiday décor this year.

    • Outdoor lights
    • Lawn ornaments
    • Door hangers/wreaths (*Pinterest suggests door décor will be big this year)
    • Tree decorations
    • Stockings
    • Table décor
    • Festive pillows/blankets
    • Pet accessories
    • Festive face masks




Classic Blue is the color of 2020 and that’s carrying into the holidays. This was actually a trend for the holidays last year; check those out here for more ideas.



You can also take a look at the other trends for 2020 as there are many that will apply to the holidays:







Finally understand why your hard work isn't resulting in more sales

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