3 Steps to Boost Sales for the Holidays

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…




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…





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.


For example:


  • 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.


For example:


  • 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.






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.




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.





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 🙂



3 Steps to Boost Sales for the Holidays

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  1. Tonya Hall says:

    Such great advice! I already began making gift sets and using Christmas wrapping paper to wrap some grab bags. I love the idea of using words to help steer people into gift giving mode. I may have to update some signage this week! And I sell magnets so loved that suggestion lol!

    1. I make a variety of Christmas quilling,ordiments,crosses,and globes with a Christmas designs inside each.I also sell handmade jewelry,and several other christmas themed items! But added a Christmas tree to the center of the display.what else can I Do to my display???I have too much display to sell,and my table always looks crowded. Will thinning down the variety,make it look more desirable?

  2. Bev Furnell says:

    I am so appreciative of your suggestions throughout the year. Even though we live on opposite sides of the world – I am in South Africa – the opportunities are very similar, and I have used many of your ideas to my advantage.
    One thing I will be doing regarding this newsletter and suggestions, is to include a section whereby children can buy gifts for mum or granny at a very reasonable price. Much like your Stocking Filler ideas, these will be for children to afford.
    I make up-cycled small wooden houses and harbours, and children seem to have a fascination for them, which warms my heart no end!!
    So thanks for the help, and I look forward to more sales this season!!

  3. Joyce Rosselli says:

    Good Day Erin; Thanks for the suggestions on how to boost sales for the holiday gift giving. I did design some of my garden artwork with colors for an event at a Valentine’s Festival and have a few left. I like the idea of adding some holiday touches around them. I actually have a small sign I use suggesting gifts ideas. My beautiful red and white artworks displayed did get me a photo in a local newspaper…but not a lot of sales. I didn’t emphasize verbally my newsletter at a recent event where I was a speaker but had a sign up sheet so I know I should have mentioned it to everyone instead of just the few that walked up to see my display. Very few signed from the over 30 attendees. I am still trying to feel comfortable marketing myself. I have concentrated on Garden Clubs. Thanks for adding more to your newsletters within the last year that I have been receiving it. Always helpful. Joyce

  4. Robyn Griffiths says:

    Thank you Erin for sharing such great advice. I especially liked the helpful wording around cat products.

  5. Maraion Wheatland says:

    Such great suggestions! My product (knitting yarn made from Pet Fur) is a little different since the people who commission me are the owners of the Pet. That means that the yarn I make is specific to that client, so they do not want a “generic” pet fur yarn – they want their own! That is no reason to not package the product in a thoughtful way, though – I particularly like the gift box idea.
    Whether my client has a living pet, a deceased pet or a future pet, the suggestions you have here has certainly given me food for thought. I am due at about 8 market/pet events now, prior Christmas – so I will be thinking FAST!l

  6. Made Urban says:

    Tonya – I thought you might like the cat suggestion too 😉 Good luck at your holiday craft shows!

    Bev – thanks for reading! I know, it’s hard to coordinate seasons for all hemispheres but I figured although the advice may not be applicable now for some countries, it will come in handy at some point 😉 That’s a great idea having gifts kids can give. Yours sound like gifts parents actually want to receive…not like the grocery store candles and moustache wax I used to pick out for my parents 😉

    Joyce – Garden artwork makes a great gift! I know several people who love to garden and I’m sure most shoppers do too. But it’s not a product that is top of mind when we think of gift-giving (in the way jewelry or bath products are) so a little nudge with the suggestions here will be helpful. In regards to your newsletter, remember, the average conversion rate of a signup form is around 2% so getting a few out of 30 signed up is pretty good! Thanks for reading! So glad you’re finding everything helpful.

    Robyn – Thanks for reading! Yes, hopefully these ideas come in handy for your awesome cat hammocks…what cat owner wouldn’t want that as a gift?! 🙂

    Maraion – Wow, what a unique product! I certainly have a ton of cat hair floating around my home and in my dryer lint trap 😉 My friends once gave me a commissioned painting of my cat. The gift was a card explaining what they had purchased for me and then I had to get in contact with the painter to send in my favorite pic of him. That might be another idea to up the gift-giving factor during the holidays; make it easy for people to give your services as a gift since it’s a bit harder to have ready made products.

  7. Great advice . I am giving out gift cards and adding the holiday vibes in the social media posts. Thanks for sharing

  8. Thank you, Erin!!! Following your advice, I just ordered the most lovely gift boxes and bags, which will double as decoration and sign holders at the Christmas markets. They perfectly match the vintage, clean, deluxe style of my booth. My seasonal products are wreaths wrapped with carded wool and crocheted tree decorations in uncommon shapes. I will also introduce something new: a collection of antique linen dowry textiles. 🙂

  9. Nancy Chilcott says:

    Erin, you are always on point with your suggestions. I look forward to seeing you in my inbox! I make watercolor and ink prints and cards. Focusing on local scenes of province of B.C.
    Recently I bundled my prints for 2/$50 at the local craft shows and have added magnetic frames to complete their gift. This has been a big hit.
    Your suggestion of signs “great for cat lover” is brilliant. That will be tip I will use next week. 🙂 Thank you for this!!

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