Ever noticed how department stores put out their holiday items earlier every year? Besides giving a new meaning to the term “Christmas in July”, from a sales standpoint they’ve got the right idea. Last year, eMarketer reported that by the end of October, “more than half of holiday shoppers have already begun buying gifts.” And according to the National Retail Federation, last year the holiday sale season represented almost 20% of total retail industry sales (!!). This is the time of year that people have their eyes and browsers scanning for killer sales, and it’s crucial to plan your sales ahead of time. So what dates should you mark down on your calendars to prepare for with promotions, posts, and products this year? We got you! Here are some important holiday dates to keep in mind when planning your promos!
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The best way to ensure a stress-free holiday shopping season is to plan ahead! Be sure to plan how much you want to discount your items during promos and your social media posts before these holiday dates; it can mean the difference between smooth sailin’ and stressful scrambling!
October – November
OCTOBER 27TH: iPHONE X PRE-ORDER OPENS
iPhone 8? Never heard of it. If you haven’t added iPhone X cases to your shop yet, now’s the time! The iPhone X sold out in 10 minutes, and that’s just in the UK. That’s a lot of phones that will need cases (because when you drop $1000 on a phone? You want to keep it safe!)
NOVEMBER 1ST: YOUR CUSTOMERS GET FREE SHIPPING!
Starting today and going until December 15th, your Artist Shop customers will get free shipping on their orders! Be sure to spread the word on social media and via email! (Orders must be at least $45 US, $80 intl. for free shipping to apply. Free shipping does not apply to wall art being shipping internationally.)
NOVEMBER 13TH: WORLD KINDNESS DAY
Just because there are some major holidays coming up doesn’t mean you should ignore daily hashtag holidays that pop up! And #WorldKindnessDay is a nice one to post about on social media. If you have a cute or feel-good design, this is a good day to tweet it out (with a subtle link to it in the tweet copy).
NOVEMBER 23RD: THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving always seems to sneak up out of nowhere. Thanksgiving is a good day to post a holiday greeting – a themed drawing, maybe a timelapse shot on your iPhone of you tracing your hand and making some “hand Turkey art”, or hey, maybe just share a Friends GIF.
NOVEMBER 24TH: BLACK FRIDAY
HUZZAH! The first major sale of the season! Black Friday is a holiday you definitely want to plan ahead for. Your customers are already getting Free Shipping on all of their orders until December 15th (share that with them!!), so think about how to sweeten the deal by slashing your prices for awesome Black Friday savings! A few things to consider:
- Use the Global Pricing Tool to lower all of your prices quickly and easily.
- Plan your social media posts ahead of time so you’re not scrambling to create them on the fly (then you have time to have some fun with it, like making a sale announcement GIF!)
- Schedule your social media posts to free up your own schedule!
- Consider making a new cover photo special for Black Friday (that includes free shipping info and info about your sale) ready to swap in.
- Set a specific start and end time for your Black Friday sale, and stick to it. Set a phone alarm to remind yourself!
- Feature your most giftable items and top sellers in your homepage collection photos.
I’d suggest getting your social posts, new cover photo, and plans for how much you want to discount your products ready to go at least a week ahead of time. And pro tip: if you want to avoid getting lost in the Black Friday sea of sales, consider running a pre-Black Friday sale like Threadless did last year the week before Thanksgiving!
NOVEMBER 25TH: SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Small Business Saturday is a solid opportunity to share your story with people. One of the (many) reasons we stress having an About page is that people want to know your story, and it helps you from a sales standpoint if people know who they’re buying from. Talking a bit about who you are, sharing pictures of your studio, showing off a photo of your cat on your keyboard while you’re trying to make a new design, etc. is a solid way of 1: jumping on this trending holiday, but also 2: puts a face to your Artist Shop.
NOVEMBER 27TH: CYBER MONDAY
Black Friday is typically more associated with heading out to the mall at midnight to snag major deals, whereas Cyber Monday is where online stores shine. It’s up to you whether you want to change your sale offering between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but either way, promoting your sale and your shop on this day is crucial. Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day all year. According to Deal News, Adobe reached $3.1 billion in sales in 2015. You’ll want to plan ahead of time for this as well.
Pro tip: plan the promo and social posts for Cyber Monday while you’re planning Black Friday.
NOVEMBER 28TH: GIVING TUESDAY
Are you a nonprofit or charity? Or do you have a design that donates money to a good cause? Giving Tuesday is an amazing time to promote these items! It’d be nice to share a little bit about who you donate money to and why. Or, if you’ve racked up a solid amount of donations from sales, a ‘Thank you!’ on social media as well as posting how much you and your customers have raised is a nice gesture.
DECEMBER 12TH – 20TH: CHANUKAH
Eight days of Chanukah, eight days to get really clever with social media! Christmas has stocking stuffers, Chanukah involves stocking stuffer sized gifts for eight days. Post a “Happy Chanukah!” post on the first night, or get creative with social media and do a Chanukah gift guide featuring a different giftable item on each day!
DECEMBER 13TH: LAST DAY NEW ORDERS WILL BE GUARANTEED BY CHRISTMAS
This is something you’re going to want to give customers a head’s up about in the weeks before and on the day of. As it stands, December 13th is looking like the last day US customers can still order and for sure receive their holiday gifts in time for Christmas. We will make updates if this changes, but for now, keep this date in mind and be sure to let those last minute shoppers know!
DECEMBER 15TH: LAST DAY OF FREE SHIPPING
Tell your customers! Blast this all over social media! Send an email to your fans! This is a great way to create urgency and rack up those last minute sales!
DECEMBER 18TH: BAKE COOKIES DAY
This is equal parts a fun hashtag holiday to share on social media (especially if you have a cookie design) and an excuse to make cookies.
DECEMBER 23RD: FESTIVUS
This Seinfeld holiday is one you can have fun with on social media.
DECEMBER 25TH: CHRISTMAS
A nice ‘Merry Christmas!’ post on social never hurts! And if you want to go a step further, create an email newsletter to send to people who bought items from your store in November and December as a thank you!
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Featured illustration by Katie Lukes
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