Seven Ways to Gear up for the Holiday Rush
Even though the sun is still shining, and the temperatures are still warm outside, smart shop owners and online sellers know to turn their attention to the upcoming winter holiday season. With shipping challenges that are affecting every aspect of the supply chain, this year more than ever it’s important to make sure you’ve got your store or online shop ready to go.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at seven ways you can make sure your holiday season is a success!
Number 1: Plan Your Inventory
Trucking and shipping times will be the number one issue for retail shops and online sellers this holiday season. The combination of a lack of available truck drivers and shipping terminals and ports being backed up is already creating delays throughout the delivery network. This could mean it will be even harder to get last-minute orders from your vendors as the holidays roll around.
Make sure you’re ordering early and often, particularly on your most popular items.
Number 2: Under Promise and Over Deliver
Along with shipping, it’s important to set expectations with your customers this year as far as inventory availability and deliveries. An email and social post now to your customer's letting them know to get their orders in early for holiday delivery can save you headaches and disappointed customers later.
Be sure to keep an eye on the FedEx, UPS, and USPS websites as well. Those sites will have service updates and potential delays, and that’s valuable information to have as you’re communicating with customers about holiday orders.
Number 3: Look for the Hot Items
In addition to your staple products, be on the lookout for new and trendy items. This year, 20oz skinny tumblers for sublimation have been a hot commodity in the personalization market, and that might be an item your customers will be looking for this season.
Another hot item, particularly with the pre-teen and teenage crowd, is customized socks. There are plenty of sock styles that can be personalized with sublimation that make for a great gift option. Add a photo of a beloved pet or team colors for a unique gift that kids and the young at heart will love.
Number 4: Add Value to Stand Out
One way to stand out from the crowd is to offer services others don’t. This is particularly true if you’re primary sales avenue is online, either through your own website or through a site such as Etsy.
One way to do that is to offer gift wrapping as an option for your customers. Many items, such as the popular sublimatable stemless wine glasses, come to you in their own box. You can customize the item for your customer and wrap it for them for an additional fee, saving them time and putting extra money in your pocket.
Item #DW250SS: 20oz Skinny Sublimation Tumbler
Number 6: Give Incentive to Come Back
Getting orders for the holidays is great. Getting those customers to come back after the holiday rush is even better. Don’t forget to give them an incentive to come back for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, or any gift giving occasion by including an exclusive coupon in with their holiday order.
There’s a reason so many companies still use coupons, and that’s because they work. The upfront printing cost for you is minimal, and the potential to earn a long-term customer is well worth the discount you’ll offer on an order. If your e-commerce platform allows, add a coupon code at checkout so you can evaluate which discounts and products are helping to drive customers back to your business. Using “return customer coupons” as a standard business practice might be something you use permanently moving forward.
Number 7: Free Designs Save Time
When it comes to designing items for your customers, there are plenty of resources available that can save you time with free, editable files.
One resource is our Holiday Product Guide, which features free, holiday-themed design files you can download and edit to personalize for your customers. There are also free design files available in our Virtual Trade Show at vts.jpplus.com. And be sure to check our earlier blog posts for fun design files and ideas.
A note of caution, however. Be sure not to use copyrighted images or design files with items you’re selling to avoid any legal issues. All of the design files on jpplus.com have been created by our team of designers and are free for you to change and use.
Get Ready for a Great Holiday
With a little planning and some creativity, you can make the holiday season a success for you and your business. As you’re gearing up for the “most wonderful time of the year”, don’t forget that we have a team of professionals here to help. From equipment questions to product recommendations, we want to make sure you have the answers you need to grow your business. You can reach us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the chat function at jpplus.com.