Sure, it may just be September, but stores are already parading out their Christmas decorations ahead of Halloween candy and before you know it, the busiest time of the year will be here.
If your business operates anything like Coastal, you begin planning for your holiday rush months in advance. In the personalization industry, timing is everything. Many customers don’t start planning their gift giving soon enough to allow for anything more than a 2-3 day production time, despite the time and attention that personalized products might require. In order to help make your holiday sales more successful, we’ve compiled a list of important dates and products you’ll want to keep in mind as the season creeps up on us.
- Mobile Device Cases: It’s a given that someone is going to get a Kindle or iPad or new iPhone for the holidays. Make sure your customers realize how important (and easy) it is to make those gifts extra special by including personalized cases. Names, photos, quotes – these types of things make a great gift into an unforgettable gift. Plus, Coastal carries a HUGE variety of phone and tablet cases/covers (most are even sold individually), so you can easily make sure you have one or two of everything available so your customers don’t have extended wait times.
- Jewelry: Though television commercials will tell you that women want diamonds or pearls for special holidays, I would bet that most women would prefer accessories from the heart. A gift is going to mean that much more when it’s something that their loved one has actually put thought into instead of just picking up at the local jewelry store. Consider some of our newer jewelry options, like cuff bracelets, tear-drop earrings and necklaces, and even hair clips – these basic accessories become cherished mementos when personalized with photos, initials or more.
- Ornaments: Everybody wants a personalized ornament. Whether it’s “Baby’s First Christmas,” “50th Wedding Anniversary” or a photo of a newly-wedded couple, ornaments commemorate the passing years and add to the sweet memories on Christmas trees everywhere. Help your customers build on these traditions with one of our dozens of types of ornaments to choose from.
- DTG: If you’ve been extra good this year, go ahead and give yourself the most-wanted gift – the Epson SureColor F2000 Direct to Garment printer.
Coastal also offers a Gift Guide to help you discover the best and most popular products for everyone on you (and your customer’s) list!
Now that you have some ideas on what products are the best to offer to your customers to get biggest bang for your buck, here’s a quick list of the dates to keep an eye out for. Most you’re probably familiar with already, but some are new, emerging days that you’ll definitely want to take part in to be on the edge of the holiday shopping trends.
2014 actually only offers 26 day shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas (one day longer than 2013, but still 5 less than 2012). This means you have to get your products, your specials and your name out there quickly.
Thanksgiving (11/27/14): Though this day was completely off-limits for a long time, many retail and online companies have started offering their specials right after the turkey has been served. If you want to get your name out there early, this is the time to do it.
Black Friday (11/28/14): Black Friday has always been one of the biggest shopping days, when most retailers open early with ridiculous discounts. Though everyone thinks of Black Friday as THE shopping day, it may not be the best option if you’re a smaller store or only selling online.
Small Business Saturday (11/29/14): This is the day for the smaller, local stores. Small Business Saturday was actually started by American Express in 2010 to remind consumers to check out the local brick and mortar stores instead of just the big box retailers. American Express also provides a massive amount of marketing and promotional materials to help you take part.
Cyber Monday (12/1/14): Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year and is beginning to give Black Friday a run for its money. Make sure your website is stocked and ready to sell!
Green Monday (12/8/14): This day is a little more subtle than the other big shopping days. Green Monday is usually the second Monday in December, most often when you’ll see cyber sales start soaring again.
Free shipping day (12/18/14): Free Shipping Day (something Coastal takes part in nearly every year) is still a relatively new shopping day celebration, but, for the past two years, Free Shipping Day has actually BEAT Black Friday’s online spending. Simply sign up (http://www.freeshippingday.com/), offer a deal that includes free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve (though the free shipping offer can require a minimum purchase). If you’re a smaller business, this is a great way to get your name out there to customers who may not necessarily know who you are yet.
Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas): Super Saturday marks the end of the shopping season and is the last chance for all of those shoppers who have been putting off finding the perfect gifts. This is the day for any last-minute super one-day sales that you can offer (also a great time to offer gift certificates!).
Don’t forget that more and more consumers are using smartphones and tablets to research and purchase products during the holiday season – having a site that is highly visible on a mobile device is extremely important.
What do you think? Any important dates I’ve left out or products you’ve seen that have been best sellers over the last holiday season? Enter a comment by 10/1 and be entered for a chance to win a holiday sublimation blanks gift basket worth $50!