10 Ways to Prepare Your Online Store For the Holiday Shopping Season

It seems like the holiday season starts earlier and earlier each year (and if we’re judging by how early department stores swap the pumpkins for the string lights and ornaments, it does!) But when it comes to starting to prepare your online store for the holiday shopping season, the earlier the better. This is a HUGE season for the retail world, and it pays (literally) for you to be ready to make the most of it and make some sales! Here are 10 ways to prepare your online store for the holiday shopping season (plus some added tips). Grab some hot cocoa and read on.

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Create a custom holiday-branded Shop header

For Halloween this year, artist Ego Rodriguez got creative with his Artist Shop’s cover photo (above) by decking his usual image out with spider illustrations. Use your Shop’s cover imageboth on your homepage and in your collections – to get festive! You don’t have to sacrifice the look of your Shop and your brand; try adding some festive elements to your existing cover photo, or swap it out and replace it with a seasonal/holiday-relevant photo, illustration, etc.! 

Make a holiday/seasonal collection

Creating a collection is a great way of directing people to your best designs for the holiday season, whether those be limited-time designs, holiday- or season-specific designs, your best-sellers, or a collection featuring your best designs on the most giftable products

Run a giveaway on social to boost your following before the holidays

Running a giveaway* is a great way of boosting your follower count. Try making it a requirement that, in order to be eligible for the prize, people must follow you and tag a friend or two. This can build your following and put your work in front of more eyes just in time for the gift-buying season. Order your own products to give away at the base cost with free shipping on orders at least $25 US/$50 international (excludes international wall art & international shoes.).

*Be warned! there are rules on every social platform regarding giveaways! Find out more.

Use holiday/season-relevant photos in your homepage collection

If you have seasonal lifestyle photos that are holiday-centric (featuring cozy/warmer products, holiday imagery, giftable items, etc.), be sure to feature them on your homepage collection! And if you don’t have time to take new photos, try using Placeit or our templates. You can also feature only seasonal and holiday-relevant products in your collections, on your homepage, and on social! Here are a few products you might want to highlight:

  • Hoodies, sweatshirts, & zip-up hoodies (have you added super soft sponge fleece yet?)
  • Giftable stocking stuffers like mugs, stickers (NEW!), zip pouches, notebooks, and phone cases
  • Blankets (sherpa & fleece) 
  • Leggings (NEW!)
  • Shoes (NEW!)

Add new products

Adding new products to your Shop (or adding your best-selling designs to products you haven’t added them to yet) is a great way to create some buzz on social and to appear in various sections of Discover on Threadless. Adding giftable stocking stuffer items – especially accessories – is a good idea, too. In case you haven’t heard, we added a full lineup of exciting new products to the Artist Shops lineup! Here are a few new products you can add to your Shop if you haven’t already:

Schedule, schedule, schedule

Being organized is key to having a successful holiday sale season. Plan out exactly when you want to start/end your promos, what kinds of promos you’re running (what percentage off are you going with? Are you promoting free shipping? Is there a code you need to share?), what assets you need for them, etc. Create a social media calendar for the season for extra organization and to keep track of hashtags to jump on. 

Figure out when the last ship date is 

This is where you as a Shop owner and holiday shoppers both benefit from planning ahead of time. There’s always a final date where shoppers who are late to the game can order their items and actually receive them in time for Christmas. Find out when that date is (check your inbox, Artist Shop owners! We’ll send you those dates a little later down the line!) and let your customers know! (Pro tip: that date and the days leading up to it provide a great chance for a “last call!” sale to drive some serious urgency for shoppers.)

Work on your SEO

Have you filled out your About Page yet? Your product descriptions? Added tags to your products? Your meta description? Doing all of these things will make it easier for your audience & niche to find the types of designs you’re offering. It will also make it easier for customers searching in Discover to find your designs, but only if your design titles are SEO-friendly (for example, if you have a black cat design, having “Black Cat” in the title will help direct searchers to your design). Read more about how to use keywords and SEO to your benefit here and here.

Work with influencers/bloggers

It pays to team up with someone who has an audience you want to have your designs in front of! Find interesting bloggers, micro-influencers, mega influencers (it’s worth trying!) who might want to collab with you. This can come in many different forms. You can team up on a blog post, ask if they’d be willing to feature your product if you sent it to them for free, perhaps you can team up on an illustration, do an interview with them – get creative with it! For example, Threadless worked with Foxtail and Moss on a gallery wall post using our prints. Just be sure that you’re working with someone who’s relevant to you and your designs. It won’t do you any good to connect with a fantasy football audience, for example, when your designs are all witchcraft-themed. Here’s a handy guide to refer to when reaching out!

Talk about free shipping!

This year, we’re running free shipping in Artist Shops through 11/26 at 11:59 PM CT (aka Cyber Monday)! Be sure to tell people about this deal in addition to any promos you run. Free shipping is the cherry on top of any good promo! 

BONUS NOTES! 

  • Facebook and Instagram ads: if you wanted to try dabbling in the world of paid ads, now’s a great time! Budget a little money to put towards running ads for your Shop. Here’s our guide.
  • Get an email newsletter going: If you don’t have one already, leverage the emails you have from customers who have purchased from your Shop, fans, etc. and start up an email newsletter to spread the word about your promos, new products, and to send fun content. Find out how to build your list and how to run an email marketing campaign.

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Illustrations by Katie Lukes.

Want to start an online business? Try Artist Shops for free!

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2 responses to 10 Ways to Prepare Your Online Store For the Holiday Shopping Season

  1. dana says:

    I have used the leggings template in Photoshop, followed instructions. When I uploaded to my site I do not get the button to see the product. It is grayed out and there are no sizing buttons either. What am I doing wrong????

    I really want to get some legging ordered….

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