Prepping for the Holidays: A Guide
CHRISTMAS IS COMING! HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
-The Christmas Rush is real - get ready!
-Drop New Products.
-Christmas "Order Cutoff Day" will be around December 14th.
-Increases in order volume can mean delays from T-Shirt Storm and Delivery services.
-Update your website and social graphics. Warm and cozy colors are best.
-Scroll all the way to the bottom for an EXAMPLE TIMELINE of Sales and Launches.
First of all, the "Holiday Sales Rush" is absolutely real - ESPECIALLY now that online shopping is as easy as it's ever been.
As soon as the clock strikes midnight on Nov 1, It's officially the "Holiday Season." That means it's time to start to implement your plans for taking advantage of the online Holiday Sales Rush that occurs from Nov 1st through the middle of December.
SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
During the Holiday Season, customers are expecting sale prices and discounts - give it to them! Sales are a great way to move product at higher volumes than you typically might during the rest of the year. Even though your profit margins will be lower because of sales, your volume will be higher and the important thing as you grow your brand is simply to have more people out there wearing and being seen in your products!
Sales also create great communication touch-points for you to reach out to your fans and customers via social media posts and email newsletters. During this time of the year, your engaged customers really do want to hear from you! Especially when you have exciting new products, sales and discount codes to share with them.
DROP NEW PRODUCTS
Another important thing you should do is plan to launch new products for the season. Your customers are looking for a reason to buy from you, and you're looking for a reason to stay relevant in their minds, which is key in driving sales. Now is the perfect time to do just that by introducing fresh new designs and products.
So, what types of products/designs should you launch? Well, Holiday specific designs are always a great idea. During festive times of the year, shoppers are looking for products that help them capture the mood and feeling of the season in new, clever and fresh ways. So dropping a collection of Holiday themed products is a great idea in most cases.
However, your new products definitely DON'T have to be Holiday themed. This can simply be an opportunity for you to drop a Winter collection of designs that fit within your standard messaging and themes. The point is, drop new products - simple as that.
Also, one of the absolute best products to launch during the Holiday season is Hoodies! Hoodies are awesome for this time of year because the cold weather means your customers are more likely to be shopping for sweatshirts and hoodies anyway. Also, sweatshirts and hoodies have a much higher perceived value than t-shirts so you can sell them for higher prices. Because you can sell them at higher prices, it means your profit margins are higher, even factoring in the sales and discounts that you're doing during this time of the year as well. During deep sales, Hoodies can be a great way to offset the narrowing of margins on your t-shirt products with higher margins on your hoodies.
"ORDER CUTOFF DAY":
In order to make sure that your customers are receiving their orders in time for December 25th, we suggest that you promote an "Order Cutoff Day." That day is typically around the 14th - 17th of December, depending on where Christmas falls in the week. The "Order Cutoff Day" is the LAST DAY that your customers can place an order with the highest chance of having their order in their hands before December 25th. This year, Christmas falls on a Sunday. So the "Order Cutoff Day" will be on the earlier side of that timeline, and most likely will be December 14th. As we get closer to that time and are gauging our workflow, we will announce to all of our clients what the exact "Order Cutoff Day" will be so you can promote that information to your customers.
INCREASES IN VOLUME CAN MEAN DELAYS
During the Holiday Season, the increase in online shopping (while great for your brand) also means that companies like T-Shirt Storm, UPS, and USPS see exponential increases in workflow. Obviously, we all do everything we possibly can to make sure we're printing and shipping in a timely manner, but the increase in volume means that delays CAN occur, even despite our best efforts. The absolute best way for you to make sure you have happy customers is to do everything YOU can do to manage your customers' expectations regarding fulfillment and shipping times (see our full article about this here.) This is the MOST IMPORTANT season to make sure you're executing well on that aspect of customer service. Be prepared to gracefully respond to customers who might be wondering about the status of their order, and don't be afraid to reach out to us if you need specific information about where an order is in the process.
QUICK GRAPHIC TIPS:
-Warm and cozy graphics work the best to convey the feeling of the Holiday Season. Deep reds, deep greens, golds, fireplaces, etc...
-Updating your website and social media graphics to be Holiday related (hero banners, profile pictures, pinned posts, etc.) is a great idea for conveying the Holiday message and creating a warm and friendly purchasing environment.
EXAMPLE HOLIDAY TIMELINE
We've found this timeline to be very successful for our clients and our own brands:
Nov 1st thru Nov 15th:
-Launch new products and designs.
Nov 15th thru Thanksgiving (Nov 24th):
-Launch a 10% OFF sale on your entire site (We've found that automatic discounts typically get the best response, NOT discount codes)
-Call it a Thanksgiving or Holiday Sale.
Black Friday (Nov 25th):
-Launch a 15-25% OFF sale for either just Black Friday or for the entire weekend (Call it Black Friday Weekend).
Cyber Monday (Nov 28th):
-Launch a 15-25% sale for either just Cyber Monday and/or Cyber Tuesday. We see some of our clients extending this sale through the entire week and calling it their "Cyber Week Sale."
After your Cyber Monday sale
-We suggest running another 10-15% OFF Sale through Christmas in order to continue to drive traffic and sales through the rest of the Holiday Season.
-Call it a Christmas Sale.