Multiply your Etsy Sales with this Holiday Season Checklist!
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After a long wait, the festive season is finally here! Things are about to get pretty hectic for online sellers. The third & the final quarters, or the holiday season, is the busiest time of the year for Etsy merchants. As online selling gains momentum this year, the anticipation for a significant boost in festive season sales in 2023 grows. So, the question arises: How can you seize this opportunity? What strategies can you employ to maximize your sales on Etsy during the upcoming holiday season? Is there any Etsy Holiday Season Checklist that can help you prepare for the Etsy Holiday Season 2023?
Well, you will get answers to all your questions and a full-fledged checklist to prepare for the most important sales season of the year on Etsy.
Speaking of festive sales, the last year’s festive season proved a massive hit. 2K+ checkouts per minute were recorded on Etsy during last year’s Cyber Week, with a Double-digit increase (YoY) in Sellers participating in Etsy Cyber sales events. And so far, in 2023, Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and antique goods, has welcomed many new merchants and shoppers. The platform’s revenue and sales have surpassed all previous milestones this year. The early forecasts predict that this Etsy Holiday Season will see even more people shopping compared to last year. So without any further ado, let’s move on to the Etsy Holiday Checklist that’ll help you make the most of the Festive Season 2023.
The Etsy Holiday Checklist for Sellers:
- Understand Buyer’s Intent – Why do buyers come to Etsy?
- Mark the significant holiday dates on your calendar
- Perform Listing optimization
- Perform Store Optimization
- Perform Trend Analysis – What to expect this Holiday season
- Plan & Run a Full-fledged Promotion Campaign
Now to gain a broader understanding, let’s discuss the specifics of each item in our Etsy Holiday checklist:
Understand Etsy Buyer’s Intent – Why do buyers come to Etsy?
Etsy’s vision of e-commerce has always been to connect people. The platform takes pride in the fact that it is solely community-driven. About 80% of Etsy sellers run a small-scale business single-handedly. It’s difficult to find the kind of creativity and uniqueness that Etsy holds anywhere else.
Etsy attributed its success this year to the creativeness and agility of its sellers. One notable example is the introduction of on-site features like ‘Seller Spotlights’ to highlight close connections with creative entrepreneurs worldwide. From a customer’s perspective, Unique Halloween costumes and a wonderful experience for their loved ones are among the top reasons buyers shop on Etsy during the holiday season, in addition to items purchased for their personal use. Etsy’s products stand out because they promise a human touch and uniqueness.
During the festive season, buyers begin looking for decorative items, party essentials, and gifts for their loved ones. This year, the opportunity for online sellers is even bigger, as shoppers might start preparing early to avoid any delay in deliveries.
This pretty much clarifies the buyers’ intent on Etsy during the festive season.
Moving forward, the next item in our Etsy Holiday Season checklist is –
Mark the significant Etsy Sales Dates on your calendar
The next and an important item in your Etsy Holiday Checklist is to mark the following Sales Dates on your calendar to prepare your shop and promotions better.
- 9 October: Canadian Thanksgiving (CA)
- 1 November: All Saints (FR)
- 11 November: Singles Day (CH)
- 11 November: Armistice (FR)
- 12 November: Diwali (IN)
- 23 November: Thanksgiving
- 24 November: Black Friday
- 25 November: Small Business Saturday
- 27 November: Cyber Monday
- 28 November: Giving Tuesday
- 6 December: St. Nicholas Day (Europe)
- 7–15 December: Hanukkah
- 8 December: Christmas Jumper Day (UK)
- 3–24 December: Advent
- 21 December: Winter Solstice
- 24 December: Christmas Eve
- 25 December: Christmas Day
- 26 December – 1 January: Kwanzaa
- 26 December: Boxing Day (UK, CA, AU)
- 31 December: New Year’s Eve
Etsy plans various sales throughout the festive season. It promotes Etsy shops and products through its various channels and via apt advertising over the web. These Etsy Sales Dates are the opportunities to multiply your Etsy sales this Holiday season!
The highest single-day sales on Etsy have been recorded on Cyber Monday for many consecutive years now. The Friday following Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, also marks the year’s biggest shopping festival. The last quarter holds many such opportunities for sellers to shine on; you’ll find out later in the blog.
Based on your target audience and your product catalog, you’ll have to shortlist the events that align best with your interests.
Apart from participating in seasonal sales and trying to feature on Etsy’s channel, there is a series of things that all sellers should add to their Etsy Holiday checklist to prepare for the big holiday season.
Work on Product Listing Optimization
The points mentioned below will help your listings reach a more relevant audience by increasing your products’ visibility on the Etsy search results and on the web.
To better understand how working on your listing will increase your products’ visibility, check out the detailed blog, and find some super useful Etsy SEO tips. We have discussed the same in brief here.
Etsy search is based on Query matching and Ranking. And these two are what you need to be focused on the most to attract organic, unpaid traffic.
While Query Matching is a direct process that filters products with similar search terms as the buyers’ query, your product’s Ranking is indirectly affected by many other factors, including relevance, listing quality score, recency, customer and market experience score, and shipping prices.
Let’s dive into what you can do to influence your product rankings and get more sales on Etsy!
Check for Relevance
The extent to which a product’s titles, tags, categories, and attributes match a buyer’s query plays a considerable role in determining a product’s rank. If you have an exact match keyword in your listing, the product will rank higher. Since the festive season is when people search for a predictable set of items, it’s an excellent opportunity to add trending keywords to your titles and tags to improve relevance. Use a keyword research tool to find the best term for your product. You can try typing in the search box to see some of the most search keyword ideas well.
Implement the Right Keywords in the Right Place:
It’s essential to ensure that the correct keywords are incorporated into your product categories, attributes, and titles. Here’s how to do it effectively:
- Categories: The holiday season is the best time to review your product categories. It would be best if you were trying to add subcategories of your products. Go for the most specific, also called the root category. By doing so, you will ensure that your work is easily fetched in search results. Etsy recommends that sellers add different terms in tags and categories as they both serve similar purposes. It will save your tags for other terms that you think your product can rank for.
- Attributes: Just as categories, you can also add product attributes when you add a product. These are extra details about your product. Some are more general, such as color and material, while others are specific to the category you choose, such as pattern for clothing or room for home decor. Skipping these details will not directly affect your listing but will surely decrease the ranking of your product. Since we are preparing our shop for the holiday season, adding attributes should not be missed to ensure the product’s increased visibility. Also, once a term is added in the attribute section, you don’t need to add the same in your tags. However, using the same in a multi-word descriptive tag is recommended.
- Titles: Keywords in titles are crucial. Using short, clear, and descriptive titles will enhance the relevancy of your product. Choose the first term that best describes your product. This is what buyers are most likely to see first. Use punctuation or a symbol to separate phrases in your titles if you are doing so. The idea is to make it clear and easily understandable for the buyer. During the holiday season, most buyers are looking for a set of very similar and predictable items. Invest in research for trending keywords and optimize your listings, as explained above. Have a look at the title for this high-ranking listing.
Implement the Right Tags
Etsy allows sellers to add 13 tags per listing. These tags should describe your unique product. You can add terms you want your product to rank for based on your Holiday Season Plan:
- Use all 13 tags: Why miss!
- Add multi-word phrases: You have a character limit of 20 for each tag; use that smartly.
- For example, using a single tag, ‘christmas wall-art, instead of two tags, ‘christmas’ and ‘wall-art, will save you an extra tag.
- Use occasion-based tags. Add at least one holiday-season-specific tag in your listing, such as handmade gifts or Christmas presents.
- The longer the keyword, the better! Why? Because long keywords are generally specific, which increases the chances of conversion. For example, ‘handpainted T-shirts’ are better than ‘T-shirts.’ Learn more about the tails of keywords in this blog.
- Remember, you are the master of your product; describe it through your tags.
Check the Listing quality score
A score is given to each listing which is calculated by Etsy depending upon how many people have viewed it and then purchased it. In other words, how well it converts.
So, each time someone clicks on your listing from the search results, your listing quality score gets a boost.
To enhance your score and be shown higher on search results during the holiday season, update the listing photo. And coincidently, that is the next item on our Etsy Holiday Season checklist.
Update Listing photo with a Festive touch
Visually attractive listings have higher chances of being clicked on. On Etsy, your listing’s first photo is shown on the search result pages and in advertisements. Upload high-definition, clear and attractive photos of your products. Since it’s the holiday season, it would be smart to review your product’s photos and add fresh ones with festive details to make your product seem more relevant to holiday shoppers.
Last year Etsy announced that sellers could add product videos too. If you still haven’t tried it, the holiday season can be a great time to start adding videos to your listings. Find some useful tips to make attractive product videos on this blog.
Additionally, listing title, price, and special offers, including sales and free shipping, also contribute to the listing quality score.
Now, Turning our attention to the next item in our Etsy Holiday Season checklist
Perform Store Optimization
The next item in our Etsy Holiday Checklist is Store Optimisation. Since your product listings are perfect, now it is time to make your Store ready to harness the festive benefits. Your store’s reputation serves as a big motivation factor for customers to complete the purchase. Here are the things you must do in order to improve it.
Check for your Customer and market experience score
The first item in Store optimization is to check your store’s experience score. By maintaining a high score, you not only bolster buyer trust but also increase the likelihood of attracting more customers and maximizing sales during this Holiday season.
This score is determined by a shop’s customer service history and considers various factors, including reviews, complete or incomplete sections, shop policies, etc. We will get to each of these in the next few stages.
Make sure your Reviews are Visible
Getting good reviews is one thing, and letting your customers know that you have good reviews is another. This festive season you must try for both.
Although reviews are beyond your control, you can always try to put in extra effort in getting a useful review. Try the following tips to get better reviews:
- Respond to the queries quickly and descriptively.
- Show your product how it actually is.
- Give your customers a surprise with handwritten notes or freebies with the package.
- The holiday season is the best time to offer gift wrap and gift notes with the package.
- Dispatch the orders on time and avoid any delay.
Great, you got the reviews. Now its time to show. Here’s how to do so:
- Display high-rated positive reviews on the Etsy store’s homepage.
- Include great customer testimonials in product descriptions or as separate sections.
- Utilize Etsy’s trust badges or icons to indicate top-rated seller status or other accolades related to positive customer feedback.
- Respond to Reviews graciously, showing appreciation for the feedback.
- Feature products with the most positive reviews or customer favorites, indicating their popularity and customer satisfaction.
- Share snippets of positive reviews on social media platforms, email newsletters, or other marketing materials to enhance the store’s credibility.
Revamp the About section
How does this affect your ranking & store’s reputation? Well, Etsy shops that have a complete about section tend to grab a higher position in the search results.
Sellers can add a shop story in the About section. This can be used to share your story and the message behind your product. Under the shop story, add a video or a few photos of your products and your workplace. Share what makes you unique. It’s advisable to share videos or photos where you team is in festive spirit celebrating an event or festival.
A nicely written & portrayed About section will help you in building a unique relationship with your buyers.
Alter the Shop policies
This is the best way to build trust in buyers and increase visibility on search results. Tell buyers about your processing time, exchange and return policies, etc. The clearer you will be with your buyers, the more confident they’ll feel while making a purchase decision.
Since the holiday season can be pretty hectic, you might get overloaded with questions from buyers. You can use this space to answer the most asked questions about your products and clear up your buyers’ doubts beforehand. This is also a great time to offer a generous exchange and return policy for your products.
It will further boost buyers’ trust and enhance your customers and market experience score.
Apart from the following factors, cases opened against the shop, and intellectual property infringement issues can hurt a product’s ranking. The only trick to avoid such matters is to be honest, transparent, and nice to your buyers.
Adjust the Shipping prices
The shipping charge is one of the biggest factors that affect a buyer’s decision to purchase your product. Since most online merchants offer free shipping, shoppers hesitate to pay any extra cost for the item price.
For the same reason, Etsy prioritizes those listings on the US search that offer free shipping across the US. These listings are also given priority in Etsy’s advertising program.
Sellers who have just begun their business on Etsy and can not afford to offer free shipping are suggested to lower their shipping charges and add the same amount to their item price. However, offering free shipping around the holiday season can be a win-win deal!
Here is an exclusive (Q & A) session with a successful 6-figure Etsy seller, Anna Beck sharing some crucial insights around the holiday season. Her experiences can be an eye-opener for many existing and aspiring sellers like you. Get the inspiration as you prepare and kickstart your festive season sale 2023.
Now coming back to the next item in our Etsy Holiday Season Checklist.
Perform Trend Analysis – What to expect this Holiday season
When we talk about Etsy, it’s a known fact that buyers are looking for a specific kind of creative, unique, or vintage item.
But creativity is not the only quality mastered by Etsy sellers. They have also proven to be agile in fulfilling the ever-changing demands of the market. Hence, when it comes to beating the competition on Etsy, you must know the latest trends around your product category.
Most of the gift-givers and holiday shoppers will lean on e-commerce this year. Take inspiration from these themes and current lifestyle patterns to upgrade your inventory.
According to Etsy’s Holiday Insights in the seller handbook, the major trends for Holiday Season 2023 include Decor, Gifting, and Style. Read this blog to learn in detail.
Let’s discuss various items that should be cross-checked while analyzing Etsy trends.
Some of the major themes that are anticipated to dominate the festive season 2023 are:
Purpose and meaning:
Buyers will be looking for products with meaning and purpose. This year, practical, versatile, useful items are more likely to be purchased or gifted.
Recently Etsy started a MakeItMeaningful campaign on social media promoting a similar idea where small businesses were asked to share regular updates about their brand to increase their following and traffic on their shop.
Some items that fall under such categories include:
Items that have a lower impact on the planet will continue to be favored over others.
Connection and community:
Social distancing and physical separation from loved ones have caused us craving for a sense of community and connection. The impact may be seen in shopping trends. Shoppers are looking to show kindness and spread warmth through gifts.
Staying at home has changed the fashion sense of the people too. Shoppers are looking for comfortable clothing with soothing colors and a cozy feel.
Don’t forget that we are still in a global pandemic, and the lifestyle of people has changed drastically. According to the data collected in a survey done across the US, many people have found themselves enjoying the following activities. They plan to continue this once things get back to normal.
The stats were as follows:
- 52% of people have started cooking at home
- 50% spending time at home
- 36% exercising at home
- 26% working from home
- 25% gardening
Due to the changing lifestyle patterns, you, as a seller, need to evolve your inventory likewise to attract more sales on Etsy.
Some super cool gifting product ideas for the holiday season are:
- Handmade serving pots and dishes: Buyers would want to change their old boring kitchenware with something special before the holiday get-togethers begin.
- Personalized aprons and chef caps: Yup! For that one new chef in every house. (Certainly, the best thing lockdown has done to us!)
- Planters and gardening supplies: Gardening has therapeutic effects, which is why many people are engaging themselves with the same during these stressful times. Handmade planters or a gardening supply gift hamper will surely be something many people will look for. Check out these listings
- Decorative supplies: Handmade candles and candle holders have been evergreen over Etsy. The uniqueness of each handmade candle makes it a perfect gifting item.
- Self-care products and kits: Since people now have indulged more in self-care than ever before, Etsy sellers can offer mindful self-care kits for gifting purposes or as a treat-to-self product. Handmade soaps are popular on Etsy.
- Personalized planners: Work from home edition. Many people are desperately looking for supplies to balance work and personal life. This would make a thoughtful gift for all the work-from-home-ers. For more insights into best-selling products on Etsy, check out this blog.
Did you know you can easily integrate your existing store to Etsy and sell to a larger audience with just a single click? Learn more.
Now, let’s ascend to the last major item in our Etsy Holiday Checklist for Sellers.
Plan & Run a Full-fledged Promotion Campaign
Investing in marketing is the most efficient way to ensure increased traffic to your store and get more sales through a well-planned marketing and promotional strategy.
Here we have listed some ways that you can teach in your holiday season plan.
Etsy, through its advertising program, promoted listings, showcases your products on different platforms. It is done in two ways
- Promotions on Etsy: Etsy Ads.
- And large-scale promotion throughout the web: Offsite Ads.
Including, search engine results (Google and Bing), Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest
Note that Offsite Ads are offered with no upfront costs to you. You only pay an advertising fee when you make a sale. Learn all about promoted listings here.
Sellers with annual revenue of USD 10,000 or more are automatically enrolled for Offsite Ads. The rest of the sellers, who made less than USD 10,000, can choose not to advertise their products through Offsite Ads. However, one should enroll in the program during the holiday season rush when the demands are higher.
Unlike Offsite Ads, where sellers pay only when they make a sale through one of the placed ads, Etsy ads are based on an auction system, and you specify a daily budget for ad placement.
To get the most promoted listings, you need to keep an eye on the following factors:
- Daily Budget: How much amount you’re willing to pay per click
- Listing Quality: As explained above, this decides how likely buyers are to click on your listing. Those things include upgrading photos and using more descriptive titles and tags.
- Relevance: How closely your listing title and tags match the shoppers’ search terms.
You can get more sales through promoted listings this holiday season by reaching more people, increasing brand awareness, and targeting the right audience. These Ads need to be consistent to improve overall performance. Switching them on a few weeks before the holiday season would fetch significant results during the shopping spree.
Participate in sales
Another thing that will get your product to the front is participating in site-wide Etsy sales. The shopping season will be packed with special deals and discounts on every store. Etsy has reported that 25% of products sold each day are on sale, and the number is a lot higher during the holiday season.
So if your budget allows you to offer discounts, do take part in these sales.
Use the power of social media to benefit your business. Prepare a promotional plan to put up on your social media channels, focusing on sharing your store updates and the upcoming special offers before the holiday season. Learn how to up your social media game for marketing your product.
Share content that promotes your product in a festive setting to make it look more relevant to buyers during the holiday shopping season. Most successful Etsy sellers are actively promoting their products on Instagram and Pinterest. You can directly link your social media account with your Etsy store through the marketing section on your dashboard. It will help you create posts directly from the shop and the app.
Check out Etsy’s Instagram page:
Run Special Holiday Offers
Apart from taking part in sales, you can try using the following tactics to bag more orders.
- Cross-Sell Products: Give discounts on product combos to motivate the buyers to purchase more. Make meaningful combinations and put them at a lower price than usual. In the end, you can offer gift wrap options or freebies to ensure a great customer experience.
- Up-Sell: Simply put, what we do here is to put on discount a higher-end, more expensive version of the product. Suggest shoppers to upgrade their cart with a premium, higher-end version. People tend to purchase when they sense extra benefits compared to the actual order value.
- Call them back!: Always send a thank you message, preferably with a discount coupon during the festive season. This increases the chances of gaining repeat buyers.
- Smart Discount: Tell your shoppers to reach a certain cart amount to avail of a discount offer. This will motivate your buyers to purchase more from your shop. Importantly, it feels more like winning a reward than buying some sale off items. Customers would have much more engaging experiences.
The holiday season is every year’s biggest opportunity for all kinds of sellers. We hope that you benefit from our Etsy Holiday Season Checklist and make the most of this Festive Season. For any help in starting a brand new business on Etsy or scaling your current one with Etsy integration, reach out to us today!