After a very busy Christmas in 2016 where I dealt with nearly 100 orders, I have learnt a few things that are going to prepare me for Christmas 2017 that I thought I should pass on so everyone can have a successful Christmas this year.
First – Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
I made over 60 cat bums in just under two months and while a few were custom makes, the majority were chosen from the variations menu and so due to this I am planning to ensure I have a few of each choice ready for Christmas 2017. I also plan to do this wherever possible with other items of the shop because there’s always chance to sell them in the future, either online or at craft fairs.
An important part of preparing for Christmas when you’re an online seller is to check your packaging materials so, work out how many sales you’re expecting and then double it! Your packaging can always be used throughout the year also. I ran out of one size of my packaging boxes when I still had 20 orders to post and despite ordering them as soon as I realised this would happen there was a slight delay while I waited for the boxes to arrive because my supplier was also experiencing a Christmas rush.
Next – Christmasfy your store!
Put up a new store banner or profile picture with some Christmas pictures on, perhaps use this area to make customers aware of when you or if you will be closing your store for Christmas. I also included a free Christmas gift this year which seemed to be received well and is something I plan on repeating next year.
It is also worth making customers aware of your last posting dates for Christmas, Depending on where in the world you are and where you will be sending to this will differ so ask your postal service for their suggestions.
Don’t forget – Organise yourself!
This is where I learnt my biggest lesson! My items have different lead times so organising can be difficult sometimes, it is vitally important that you make a system that you can follow and that you keep yourself aware of how many items you can make in one day, once you’ve reached that quota it is OK to extend your lead times to make sure that you are not giving your customers unrealistic expectations for the delivery of their orders.
Final Tip – Communication is key!
I had a couple of items which unfortunately took longer than I expected to create and ship. Worried that it would upset my customer I buried my head in the sand and just kept working in the hope I would get it done. Eventually I managed to kick myself up the bum and contact the customer, remaining professional as well as apologetic I gave my customer a few options, one of which was to post the item next day delivery at my cost and it turned out I had nothing to worry about. My customer was lovely and understood that sometimes things don’t go as you plan, he asked for it to be sent next day and he loves the item and appreciated me reaching out so next time you have a problem, tell them, you can work it out.
Once my final order was sent out, I took a week off to enjoy Christmas and this was the most valuable thing I did as I was then ready to make 2017 a success!
I hope you found the blog useful and, as ever, I invite you to drop into the website!