November and December are two of the busiest shopping months of the year, thanks to all the gift-giving opportunities. Many businesses earn the majority of their revenue in the last quarter of the year. Are you ready to make the most of holiday sales?
By the end of October, there’s not a lot of time to get fancy with sales and marketing…you really should be prepared by now and ready to focus on filling orders.
But not to worry, you can make the most of sales in the next two months with little effort.
It’s all about getting your shoppers into a gift-giving state of mind.
They’ll not only think:
I love this necklace/candle/art/etc.
They’ll also think:
It would make a great gift too. I should get one for __________
I’m sharing 3 steps you can easily implement to get your products under more Christmas trees this season and boost. those. sales!
But first, let me explain why it’s more than just gifts purchased…
GIFT-GIVING PURCHASES…THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
Do you ever:
- Head into the grocery store for one thing and walk out with five?
- Walk into a store for a top and walk out with the top and a pair of earrings?
- Meet for “one glass of wine” with a friend but end up splitting an entire bottle?
Just because we’re not planning to buy an item doesn’t mean it’s off the table.
Most shoppers will be shopping for someone else during the holidays but you can still dazzle them with your products and increase your sales per transaction.
Shoppers won’t completely ignore that stunning necklace / lotion that’s perfect for their skin type / scarf that will turn heads, etc. just because they’re not in the market for it.
And shoppers of handmade know there’s urgency to buy a coveted item NOW. Or it may be gone tomorrow.
Making your products more gift worthy attracts shoppers who might not typically shop with you. Once you get them to your table or website, you have an opportunity to sell 2 (or more) items:
- one for the gift-receiver
- one for the gift-giver
And if the gift-giver doesn’t end up buying for themselves that day, don’t forget to get them on your newsletter! It’s muy important.
Okay, you get it.
Encouraging people to buy your products as gifts is an all-around good move.
Now let’s figure out how to do it…
STEP 1 – SPRINKLE HOLIDAY CHEER
A simple update of website colors, styling of photos, props on a craft show table, etc. can instantly add a holiday vibe to your business and products.
There are lots of little places to add a sprinkle of gift giving cheer; just think about the areas you communicate your brand.
- You inject your brand into a website through colors, text, images, etc.
- Instagram communicates your brand through style of images, captions and hashtags
- The design of tags and packaging help carry branding into your products
Where you add a touch of branding, you can also add a splash of holiday.
- Website – you may update the color of text, add a few “gift-giving” or holiday keywords, add a few new photos that have a holiday feel, etc.
- Instagram – instead of your products photographed on a plain white background, try adding a sprig of evergreen and a couple pine cones, or a gift-wrapped box and Christmas ornament next to your item. Add holiday hashtags such as: #GiftsForMom #ChristmasIsComing or #StockingStuffer
- Tags and packaging – they may get a little refresh by switching up the color or adding a holiday themed stickers/stamps.
HOW TO SELL HANDMADE BEYOND FRIENDS & FAMILY has many more examples of marketing channels, sales channels and where to add branding.
STEP 2 – GIVE YOUR PRODUCTS A MAKEOVER
What do you think of when you see green, white, red, pink, orange and blue together?
Now what about green, silver and a deep red shown together?
The second gives off a holiday or Christmas vibe right?
What about when you think of the scents cinnamon, floral, almond and grapefruit VS. cinnamon, gingerbread and white chocolate?
The first scent combination just makes you think of soap or candle scents while the second makes you think of Christmas soaps or candles.
Do soaps make you think of Christmas and gift giving? Meh
Do “Christmas scented soaps” make you think of Christmas and gift giving? Totally!
Instead of buying a variety of yarn colors, gems for jewelry, soap dye/scents, etc. focus on winter or Christmas themes. You’re not redesigning products, you’re simply swapping in new colors or scents your ideal customer (or ideal gift buying customer) might prefer this time of year.
BUT MY STOCK IS ALREADY MADE!
If you’ve already purchased your materials and made your stock, try grouping colors, styles or scents together to make holiday-themed collections.
For example, green, white, red, pink, orange and blue could turn into 2 holiday-ish collections:
- Green, orange and red (Orange might not scream “holidays!” on its own but can read as gold when this color combo is placed in a holiday setting)
- Soft pink, soft blue and white (I think of a pastel winter wonderland; I love the look of soft colors against white snow)
Remember to think about the different price points people shop when it comes to gifts.
- Stocking stuffers may be around $10 and under
- Secret Santa or office colleague gifts may be around $20
- Close friend or extended family – $50
- Husband or immediate family member may get higher priced gifts around $100
If you can plan your products and even product groupings around these price points, you’ll make it easy for people to shop.
STEP 3 – CHANGE THE CONTEXT
A simple suggestion can change the context of an item.
Orange juice in a regular glass makes you think of juice with breakfast.
Pour that orange juice into a champagne glass and now you’re thinking about mimosas with brunch.
Pair your products with a gift box and all of a sudden they look like a great gift!
You can take the same products you’ve been offering all year and change the context of them with:
Imagine a sign next to cat products that reads: “I’m a great gift for cat lovers…come on, we all know one”. Now people who aren’t cat owners are thinking about buying your products.
Try putting new words next to your products and see what it can do. Instead of “Fridge Magnets” a listing can be re-named to: “Fridge Magnet Stocking Stuffers” to put them in a different light.
Display a couple products gift-wrapped or with a bow on top. You could also offer gift wrapping as an add-on or complimentary service during the holidays. A sign or website text that reads “Add gift-wrapping to any purchase” reminds a shopper your products will make a great gift. (Check out: HOW TO USE ADD-ONS TO SELL MORE HANDMADE)
Group a few items together in nice packaging…instant gift. Instead of a gingerbread scented bar of soap and a gingerbread scented bottle of lotion sitting on opposite sides of the craft show table (or website), group them together in a box with red tissue paper and you have a Secret Santa gift (while the soap sold on its own makes a great stocking stuffer).
*Remember to offer a newsletter signup during this gift-giving season. Your business is going to encounter hundreds of shoppers, many of whom aren’t shopping for themselves.
The best way to keep in touch and remind them of the items they were admiring before Christmas, is through a newsletter.
Not sure how to set one up….here ya go!
You’ve taken care of your sales channels and ensured shoppers are thinking of gift-giving once they make it there.
But, you still must put the work in to drive people to those sales channels. Check out 5 WAYS TO MARKET HANDMADE HOLIDAY PRODUCTS to ensure all that gift-giving work doesn’t go to waste!
What are you making for the holidays that will make the perfect gift? Please share in the comments! I love hearing about your work 🙂
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!