Topic: Holiday Sales 2010: Tips & Prep for a Successful Selling Season
Host: Lisa Suttora , ecommerce strategist and Founder/CEO of WhatDoISell.com Date: Tuesday, August 17th Time: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. PST (Pacific Standard Time)
Description: Holiday profits come to those who are prepared, and now is the time to gear up! From inventory selection to marketing there’s a lot to do over the next few months to maximize your holiday sales.
Please join Lisa Suttora, Founder & CEO of WhatDoISell, and learn how to showcase your best holiday inventory, how to reposition “everyday” inventory into hot holiday sellers and creative ways to market your merchandise this holiday season!
Visit http://certifiedprovider.ebay.com/ to learn more about eBay Certified Providers and the services and solutions they offer to help an eBay seller grow their business.
I'm Lisa Suttora, Founder and CEO of WhatDoISell.com.
Holiday profits come to those who are prepared, and now is the time to gear up! From inventory selection to marketing there’s a lot to do over the next few months to maximize your holiday sales.
Holiday sales can represent a significant portion of your yearly sales, in other words – it’s showtime!
In today’s workshop, we’ll cover the top tips and prep to get ready for the holiday selling season and sell successfully throughout.
After you read the workshop materials below, I’m here to answer your holiday selling questions, help you with prepping your store, and get you positioned for a successful holiday selling season here on eBay!
For the next hour, this workshop is interactive, so be sure to take this opportunity to ask your questions!
Lisa Suttora whatdoisell.com lisasuttora.com twitter.com/lisasuttora facebook.com/lisasuttora
Even though summer selling is still in full swing, according to the latest research, 44% of shoppers started their holiday shopping in August. 36% have already made holiday purchases online in August. That number will jump to more than 52% in September!
While most people think of the holiday season as spanning only November - December, there are several selling season opportunities over the next few months that you can tap into.
Ignore these selling seasons and you’re leaving money on the table!
Beginning Mid-July and running through the end of January we have:
• Back to school shopping • Fall shopping • Halloween • Thanksgiving • Gift giving season (Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza etc.) • Post-gift giving trade in/trade up purchases (Late December - January) • Gift certificate redemption season (Late December - January) • New Years • Fitness (January) • Organization (January) •“Fresh Start” related products (January)
And while the bulk of the money will be spent on the gift giving season, you can clearly see that the holiday selling season is NOT just that short period from November to December, but rather a solid 5 months of increased buying activity that represent a variety of different “holidays”.
The great news is you can tap into one or tap into them all!
The same Google trends survey that revealed that 44% of online shoppers start their holiday shopping in August, also showed that 14% had not yet started their holiday shopping by December 20th and 17% had yet to make a purchase by that time last year.
This means that you need to plan now for last minute holiday shoppers. That week right before Christmas is very important to your sales, yet many online sellers start to wind operations down before that time, losing income from last minute holiday shoppers.
“Open” for holiday business by dressing up your listings and store with holiday messaging.
The first thing your customer needs to see when they come to your listings or eBay store is a strong VISUAL queue that you have holiday merchandise for sale.
If your customer arrives to shop and there are no holiday reminders; no holiday graphics, holiday keywords, no indication that you have products that might interest them for the holidays – they’re unlikely to stay and shop.
There’s a reason why offline retailers spend a lot of effort on holiday signage! Because it puts people in the mood to shop.
Give your customers VISUAL queues that you are a holiday seller by using holiday graphics in your listings where appropriate and retooling your titles with appropriate holiday keywords.
For example, is the classic red dress that you carry the perfect “red holiday party dress”?
Do you offer “Santa Express” shipping so they’ll get that perfect gift in time.
Let your customers know that YOU are dialed in to the holiday selling season.
You don’t have to spend money/time/effort on a fancy holiday template either!
A few well placed holiday graphics for visual appeal, that indicate a holiday promotion will tell your visitors that THIS is a place where they can find holiday gifts this year.
Create “Top” Lists and Guide Your Customers Right to the Sale
Every year the ecommerce surveys show that the top selling niche websites have something in common. They all create Top Lists and post them prominently on their product pages.
You can use your eBay custom store pages to do this!
A top list would be something like:
-Our 10 Most Popular Golf Accessories -Top 10 Gifts for Kids Aged 5 and Under -Our Customers Favorite Picks! -20 Unique Gifts for the Eco-friendly Moms -Favorite Gifts Under $40 -12 Unique Hostess Gifts
Top Lists take the work out of shopping for overburden, time-strapped, confused shoppers.
If you carry 500 different Christmas ornaments, don’t just organize them in your store categories and leave it at that – expecting customers to plow through each and every item.
Create Top Lists of your best-selling ornaments, your top ornaments for kids, your most unique ornaments for sports lovers.
Top Lists will quickly guide your buyers to the item that is perfect for that special person on their gift list.
NOTE: You should also feature Top Lists at your blog and use them to drive traffic to your eBay store
Set Up Your Business Blog & Begin Your Content Marketing Strategy
Don’t wait for your products to be found! Take traffic driving matters into your own hands and set up your business blog and begin your content marketing strategy.
In last month’s workshop, I showed you how to use the powerful strategy of content marketing to promote your eBay products.
One important component of this marketing method is a Wordpress blog. With a Wordpress blog you can blog about the products you carry, trends in your niche, relevant holiday posts and then use those to drive traffic to your eBay products.
Every year, DiaryofaDishie.com owner Sally K uses her blog to feature her best holiday vintage china. Those blog posts drive traffic directly to her eBay store where people can make a purchase.
Run Weekly Promotions – Don’t “Set It and Forget It”
You have to keep the excitement building in your business over the holidays. While this is core all year around, the holidays are built on promotions. That’s what shoppers are used to and what they want to see.
Run holiday promotions each week. Use your Store Promotions boxes and email marketing newsletter to advertise them.
Make it an event and build in urgency. Tell customers in your listing that "This special price ends Oct 15th" (the day your listing will end.)
Let them know you only have three of these hot items left in stock.
This is not the time to be coy or passive with your advertising!
If you want to get your customers excited about your products and give them an urgency to buy, there is no better way to do this than by offering a time sensitive special promotion.
Special promotions such as free shipping, combined shipping, free gift wrap and gift card, rebate programs, or creating a product bundle by including something extra (for example “This Thomas the Tank Engine Train comes with 2 pieces of train track!” gets your buyers excited about your offerings and can persuade them to make their purchase from instead of your competitors.
One of the most popular promotions during the holiday season is free shipping. But don’t just offer plain old “free shipping” - really sell it to your customers.
At the top of your listing, put a stellar customer service statement that says something like “As a way of saying thank you to all our valued customers this holiday season, we are offering FREE SHIPPING on all items purchased through November 4th.”
Promoting your free shipping this way accomplishes two things. First, it makes your customers feel connected to you. You are telling them this because you value their business, you are now offering something to them during the holidays.
Secondly, by putting an ending date on your promotion, you have given your customer motivation to buy NOW rather than wait a few weeks and look around some more.
Once that promotion ends, you can run another one for a different duration.
Sub-titles are the best (and cheapest) advertising on the web. They allow you to communicate the U.S.P. (Unique Selling Position) of your product or your business for far less than the cost of a banner or pay-per-click ad.
However, most people are hesitant to spend the extra money on sub-titles for fear they won’t make their money back.
But if you write your sub-title correctly, not only will you get a return on your investment, you’ll also attract potential customers away from your competitors and get a higher conversion click-through rate on the products displayed in search.
The problem is – most people use sub-titles for the WRONG reason.
They use them to communicate additional information. However, that’s not what you should be using a sub-title for.
Sub-titles should be used to advertise any important information that will immediately set your listing apart.
For example, Is your product a limited edition? Put that in your subtitle.
Do you provide 2 hour customer response time? Let your buyers know via your subtitle.
Do you sell an exclusive version of your product. Your subtitle can relay this to the buyers.
Do you have 10 years experience in your niche? Tell your customers in your sub-title.
Supplement Your Product Line with Hot Seasonal Inventory
Just like clockwork, every holiday season brings with it a list of hot products. Supplementing your inventory with in demand and hard to find products that you purchase retail and resell on eBay is an excellent way to bring in an additional stream of income during the holidays.
But the toy category isn’t the only category that generates hot, in demand, hard to find, products. Most every category or product line has it’s hot products during the holiday shopping season.
If you have access to these products in your local retail store, you can often purchase them at full retail prices and resell them very profitably on eBay.
A note from our Legal Department: The statements and opinions made in this discussion board are those of the workshop host only and do not reflect eBay policy or eBay's opinion with respect to such statements.
Welcome and thanks for joining us today! The workshop is open!
Holiday Sales 2010: Tips & Prep for a Successful Selling Season
To attend the workshop, you just need to be logged into eBay.com with your eBay User ID. Once you are logged in and are reading this message, you can post questions directly to eBay Staff and our host, Lisa Suttora.
Take advantage of this great opportunity to ask Lisa Suttora how you can get ready for the holiday rush and maximize your profits!
Workshops are interactive, so please feel free to ask your questions that directly relate to this topic. We will answer all questions!
I have 4 yrs. fashion retail experience in the 1970s and 12 yrs. in crafts with the same line of products since 2000. My best selling line this year is my highest priced item. I am perplexed as to how to kick my slow sellers into gear unless I group and price as sets. Any thoughts on that.
Thanks for taking the time to share this information!
Instead of taking the time to edit all of my store listings during the rush to say "Perfect for Christmas" and such, what do you think of just adding a "Hot Item" category to my store? And rotating items in/out of the category?
Hi Lisa, since ebay has done away eith the ad commerce I am wondering what is the best way to get products to the top of ebays search results? without spending an arm and a leg to do it? Thanks Auralee
I've been on ebay since January, but I just opened my store last month. I'm a bit nervous about getting enough things posted and with the (hopefully) increased traffic I'm also worried about keeping up with my orders. Right now, Ii'm thinking I can save a fair amount of listings to auctiva to post at a later time. Do you have any other or maybe better thoughts?
Subscribe to this topic via RSS Learn more about RSS
Welcome to The Workshop Board!
This board is home to eBay Workshops hosted by the eBay Certified Provider Team. Visit the eBay Workshop Calendar for the list of current workshops and topics.
eBay Certified Providers have the tools, services, expertise and experience needed to help develop and grow your eBay business.
eBay Certified Providers are 3rd party companies with extensive expertise on the topic of their workshop. They are independent companies qualified by eBay to have demonstrated experience and expertise in growing eBay seller businesses.
New to eBay? Visit eBay Learning Essentials and learn how to get started on eBay from creating an account to listing your first item.