Start Doing This One Thing NOW for Your Best Holiday Sales Yet

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Do you want to have your best holiday sales ever at your online shop? Then I have one HUGE tip that I want you to start doing right NOW that will greatly help your sales come the peak period of late October to mid December.

do this one thing now for best holiday sales

Too many times, sellers do not understand how important your current customer base is. Shops always seem to be looking for new customers as opposed to trying to get more business out of the people who have already bought from them, and this is a mistake.

So here is what I want you to do. Starting today, every time you make a sale include this message in your outgoing email to the customer (as well as on a card in the package):

Thank you so much for your purchase! We hope you will return for your holiday shopping with this coupon code for 15% off every item in the store: HOLIDAY2016 (valid until December 22, 2016).

Now, you can make the offer whatever you wish, whether it is free shipping, buy one get one half off, or any other value deal that makes sense for your shop.If you offer free gift wrapping, include this as well. The key is you are putting the idea in their head now that they should think of your shop come holiday shopping time plus you are giving them an incentive to do so.

You can even get more specific, so if you sell women’s jewelry, for example, you can say:

Thank you so much for your purchase! We hope you will return for holiday gifts for your mother, sisters, children, best friends, colleagues – anyone who loves jewelry – with this coupon code for 15% off every item in the store: HOLIDAY2016 (valid until December 22, 2016).

Now, a few more tips. You may also want to finish with a line such as:

Thank you so much for supporting small businesses!

Again, this reminds people the importance of buying from smaller vendors and not always the big retailers, and it makes them feel better about their purchase and want to support you further.

If you personalize or customize items, then you may want to add:

We are offering FREE personalization for any holiday gift, just be sure to order before December 1st so that it arrives in time. 

We can create a gift specifically for someone special (or hard to buy for), just be sure to order before December 1st so that it arrives in time. 

This gets them to act faster. You want as many holiday sales as possible before the big hype of Black Friday, where it is going to be tough to compete with online retailers such as Amazon.

If you don’t sell items that typically constitute as gifts, the holiday shopping season is also big for purchases that have to do with decorating and entertaining as people are getting their homes in order for family visits, holiday parties, and so forth, so you could say something such as:

Thank you so much for your purchase! With the holidays just around the corner, we hope you will return for any of your holiday decorating or entertaining needs with this coupon code for 15% off every item in the store: HOLIDAY2016 (valid until December 22, 2016).

If you sell on Etsy, CLICK HERE.

Want to really maximize your holiday sales? Consider my Online Shop Critique or Marketing Action PlanI completely understand that buying services from an online consultant can feel a little risky, so you are welcome to ask me a question about your business first, using the form below.

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

12 Creative Ideas for Your Farmers Market Booth

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

If you have a booth at farmers’ and artisan markets this summer, here are some of my creative ways to get potential customers to find your booth, stop at your booth and, hopefully, buy! Now, not all of these ideas may be allowed at certain venues, so read their rules handbook first before you incorporate any of these ideas.

creative-farmers-market-booth-ideas

12 Creative Farmers Market Booth Ideas

  1. Signage is ultra important for your farmers market booth. You need a banner for the top of the booth canopy (something waterproof and durable) that has your shop name and tagline, as well as signage as a backdrop for the booth (shop name at eye level), and smaller signs on the posts. Ask the venue if you are allowed to also have sidewalk sandwich boards positioned on the ground at each corner of the booth, so they can be seen by traffic coming from each direction.
  2. Have free samples and/or testers available (if relevant to what you are selling). Always give a free sample to someone who does buy a product in order to try and up-sell other products. At very least, give everyone a business card with a coupon code stamped on the back to use for future purchases at your online shop.
  3. Consider a small attraction at the booth that will get people to stop, such as spinning a prize wheel to get a certain percentage off purchase, free gift, etc.
  4. Have a photo op at your booth like a creative photo cutout where people put their head through the hole and take a picture. Make sure it has your shop’s name on it and encourage them to share the photo on social media to get your shop name seen by their followers. You can get customized cutouts at Shindigz.com for less than $50 that are vertical and wouldn’t take up a lot of space.
  5. Swap business cards with at least 5 other non competitors at the farmers market (but target the same customer) and ask that they put your business card in the packages of their customers and you will do the same for them.
  6. Put customers’ purchases in large paper shopping bags that clearly show your shop name, tagline (so they know what you sell) and booth number.
  7. Have an employee walk around the farmers market handing out business cards, directing people to your booth. Stamp the booth number on the back of the card.
  8. Collect emails of customers and potential customers by hosting a product giveaway whereby people put a ballot with their name and email address into a box for a draw at the end of the day.
  9. On your tables, display your products in tiered levels, not all flat on the table, so that people can see your range of products as they walk by.
  10. Invest in tablecloths that cover the entire table (height and width). This allows you to store more product under the table (you never want to run low on inventory and have an empty looking table) and it can act as additional signage if you print your shop name on the fabric.
  11. Follow the farmers market on all social media sites and promote your presence there a few days prior, including tagging the market itself in hopes of a share. For example, this would be a good Tweet: “Visit us this weekend, booth #21, at the Marlboro Farmers Markets @marlborofarmersmarket”
  12. Explore all vendor opportunities each Farmers Market gives to its sellers (and even suggest some ideas to them), such as optimal booth positioning, free signage, free advertising, free mentions on social media and so forth.

If you sell on Etsy, CLICK HERE.

need help with your business? JUST INQUIRE BELOW:

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

5 Easy Ways to Promote Your Business This Summer

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Summer is here and people are out and about – travelling, going to farmers’ markets, the beach, outdoor concerts – you name it. So it presents a lot of great opportunities for you to get your business seen by your local market with only a little bit of investment.

ways to promote business this summer

5 Easy Ways to Promote Your Business This Summer

  1. Baseball Games – If you are lucky enough to live in a city that has a major league baseball team (minor league is fine too), wear a t-shirt to the game with your shop url on the back (and front) and try to stand up every chance you get. Stadium seats are fairly low in the back so make sure your shop url is large and positioned between the shoulder blades. This also works great at music festivals, outdoor movies, anywhere a lot of people are going to be staring at your back for a while.
  2. Food Trucks – Food trucks are big business in the summer so approach a few about the possibility of putting a temporary sign advertising your business on their truck. Either offer to pay (extra revenue for them) or barter to see if they will go for the idea.
  3. Car Windshield Sun Shade Covers – This is an idea from my ebooks, but if you park your car in a busy lot all day, or outside a major summer event, use it to advertise your business by creating a sun shade visor for the front (and back) windshield of your car that clearly shows your shop url.
  4. Beach Umbrellas – You can have your shop url and/or logo screened onto anything these days, including a large umbrella that would get seen all day long the next time you decide to go to the beach (if I owned a bikini shop, I would totally be doing this!).
  5. Campers and Trailers – If you are planning on taking your camper on a long road trip this summer, have a banner made for the side advertising your business. It will get seen by hundreds of cars on the highway, especially since everyone will be passing you.

Are you inspired? If you can’t use one of these ideas, hopefully you are motivated to come up with one of your own!

IMPORTANT! If you want to get your products into holiday gift guide editorial for print magazines, they are working on these issues right now! Download my July Planner as it includes a Holiday Gift Guide Media Contact List for 40 major magazines and don’t miss out! If you need a reminder of how to pitch, be sure to read my post, Why You Should Be Pitching Your Products for Holiday Gift Guides NOW.

More

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

13 Things to Post to Social Media This Weekend

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

13 things to post to social media this weekend

There is lots going on this holiday weekend, so if you wish to get your business seen on social media in the next few days, this is the type of content you need to post that will likely get share.:

What to Post to Social Media This Weekend

  1. Red, White and Blue Recipes
  2. List of Best Summer Festivals in (pick a city, state or country)
  3. Favorite Steven Spielberg Movies (the BFG comes out tomorrow)
  4. Favorite Roald Dahl Books (the BFG is his book)
  5. Amazing Fourth of July Fireworks PhotosBest Online Sales this Weekend
  6. Best Beach Reads Summer 2016
  7. Cool Facts about Canada (July 1st is Canada Day)
  8. Hottest Soccer Players from UEFA Euro 2016
  9. Favorite Country Music Lyric (for #NationalCountryMusicDay July 4th)
  10. Stylish Wimbledon Fashion
  11. The Coolest Celebrity Fourth of July Style
  12. Best Moments from Game of Thrones Episode 11

What will you be sharing?

MORE

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

3 Hot New Product Trends

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I have been noticing a few design trends popping up lately, and, historically you will see that trends tend to start in one market segment and then cross over into others. In other words, you may see a trend in jewelry that then extends into home decor, kids clothing, the wedding market and pet products. Below are three of the hottest product trends that major retail brands seem to be pushing.

Diamonds & Triangles Trend

Geometric shapes have been popular for a while, but diamonds and triangles – especially a mix thereof – are really hot in everything from home decor to jewelry.

diamond and triangle product trend

Light fixture from Anthropologie, earrings from Modcloth, lamp from Nordstrom, diamond mirrors from West Elm, diamond wall vases from Modcloth, and coffee table from Rooster Decor. 

Moon Trend

I am seeing moons on everything – half moons, crescent moons, full moons – everything is very celestial these days.

Moon product trend

Dress from Boutique1, sheets from Urban Outfitters, dish from Urban Outfitters, shower curtain from Urban Outfitters, moon bracelet from Bauble Bar, hair clips from Anthropologie. 

Black & Gold Trend

You can see by the other products on this page, obviously gold is currently a hot product trend across every product category, but mixing it with black – a classic color combination – has never been hotter.

black and gold product trend

 

Mug from H & M, black and gold shoe from Nordstrom, bowl from Anthropologie, stove from Williams-Sonoma, bikini from Forever 21, lamp from Nordstrom, necklace from Bauble Bar, pillow from H & M. 

So which trends are you going to try?

MORE

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

New Ideas for Product Photography

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

As you know high quality product images are so important when you sell online. Now, you always need one product shot on a white background for editorial purposes. However, since most marketplaces and e-commerce templates let you display more than one image, you can make the other images something more creative and attention getting in order to stand out in image search results. Obviously, if you look like everyone else, you will not stand out.

new_ideas_for_product_photography

 

The online store, Modcloth, has some interesting product shots that, to me, would definitely stand out in image search results, plus are more likely to get shared and circulated on social media.

As you know, overhead layout style images are hot right now, but almost too popular. So Modcloth took a different approach and used a monochrome color background and threw in some other objects just to make a more interesting photo in order to promote this dress. I even like that they added some text since quotes are so popular on social media:

new ideas for product photos

Below are some other good product images from their store that may inspire you. The photo on the left is interesting because the model is posing in front of a really vibrant background (which could be something as simple as a graffiti wall in your city) that still matches the colors in the dress. The next photo is similar to the one above, an overhead shot with a contrasting but coordinating background with pops of color. The third and fourth photos are another emerging product photography trend where you shoot the product from slightly above, and then crop the image to really zero in it and intentionally making it off center.

product photo ideas

Try these ideas with just a couple of your product shots to see if they make a difference in bringing you  more traffic.

MORE

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Why Patriotic Products Are The Current Hot Trend

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

At the beginning of the year I told you that because this is an Olympic year, patriotic products (for every country) will sell well and are ripe for tons of press opportunities. Well now that the summer Olympics are just two months away, and combine that with the fact that this is also a US election year with one of the most hotly contested presidential runs in recent history, American patriotism is also riding a huge wave that will likely carry into the new year.

why patriotic usa american products are a hot trend

The big US brands such as Coke, Budweiser, and Hershey’s have all released products with patriotic packaging or a red, white and blue twist to the product. Consider these products from major brands and retailers such as Ray-Ban®, TOMS®, Urban Outfitters, Modcloth, Skittles®, Nordstrom and Pottery Barn.

us patriotic products trend

 

The overall feeling is that these brands are trying to counteract the negativity that has been brought on by the political campaigning by reaffirming American pride and patriotism, and it seems to be catching on.

Amazon is currently showing searches for patriotic products, everything from “USA” bikinis and decorative pillows to car decals and onesies. Stars and stripes on iphone covers, neckties, scarves, underwear, leggings, pet clothing, beach towels, flasks, sheets and mugs are all making their way to the forefront of online and retail shops. Even on Etsy, there are searches for a wide range of red, white blue products from wreaths to dog collars to flip flops.

Therefore, if you haven’t added at least one patriotic product into your shop, you are missing out on a great opportunity.

MORE

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.