Some of you may see this article and think “Whaaaat? Why is Deb talking about Christmas in the middle of July?!
I know it seems a little crazy but believe it or not, now is the time to start planning and preparing for your holiday sales.
Shoppers start searching for their Christmas purchases way earlier than you would think, and you want to be sure that your products are showing up in the search results—AND that you have all your promos and inventory planned and ready to go.
Let’s dive in.
It’s Time To Start Preparing For Christmas!
So first I want to answer your question: “Why do I need to start planning for Christmas in JULY?“
I know at first it seems too early, but if you reverse engineer from the date of Christmas, back through Black Friday, Halloween, and all of these events that are really juicy for sales in the e-commerce world, you’ll realize that now is really the latest you should start planning if you want to maximize your sales.
Q4 is the biggest quarter for ecommerce/retail—Etsy 2020 revenue reports showed that 36% of marketplace revenue came from Q4—that’s over ⅓ of the annual sales!
The data was the same on Shopify—33% of total 2020 revenue came from Q4.
What does this mean? It shows how important it is that you are ready for it and really make the most of it!
So . . . here are my 3 main reasons why now is the best time to start preparing for Christmas:
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Reason 1: Slower Summer Season = TIME
The middle of July and August is usually a bit of a summer slump and slow season for sales and ecommerce in general.
That means that you should be less busy than you will be moving forward into Q3 and Q4 . . . so it’s the perfect opportunity to prep for that craziness of the next half of the year.
So it’s kind of like taking all the workload from Q4 and actually spreading it out starting now so that it’s much more manageable, and you can do some of the work now while you have the time.
Reason 2: People Are Starting To Search!
It’s not actually all about spreading out the workload, though—
Believe it or not, your shoppers start searching wayyyyy before the holidays, and it’s not just Christmas we’re talking about here but Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving—there are a LOT of holidays during the Q4!
If you don’t start now, you’ll be way behind because buyers start searching for seasonal and holiday items well before it’s time to display them. Even if they wait to purchase, they start looking and dreaming of that perfect product for their home or that special person in their life.
Let’s take a look at a few examples. These graphs are from a tool called Pinterest Trends, but you’d see really similar patterns if you looked at data on Google Trends or at Etsy keyword trends.
This graph shows searches for the term “Halloween baby shower idea.” So it’s pretty targeted, but if you’re selling things for baby showers, people are always having babies, and they might want to have a shower themed as a Halloween party.
Take a look at when the searches for a Halloween baby shower idea start to go up—JULY! So even though Halloween is months and months away, you need to have all your products up and SEO optimized by July if you want to capitalize on these searches . . . which means you need to start marketing even earlier!
Here’s another graph showing searches for Christmas candles. So for Christmas—at the end of December—people start searching for products in July, and then it slowly increases up until two weeks before Christmas.
So we want to be ahead of the curve and be there when people start to search, not just at the last minute.
So in either of these examples, if you want to be found when they’re searching then you need to start marketing even earlier.
That means, for example, if you want to be appearing in September in searches you have to start marketing before that and doing things like making and posting pins, updating the listings and keywords, and things like that. . . because you know the benefits of those things aren’t instant, they take a bit of time.
So the gist of all of this is that NOW is the time really, to start working on promoting your holiday products. . . which leads us to Reason 3:
Reason 3: If You Wait Too Long You’ll Be Months Behind
All other reasons aside, you actually NEED to start now because If you wait until it “feels” like halloween or it “feels” like Christmas, you’ll be months behind.
Look—I understand what you might be feeling, and I know it’s awkward. If you’re worried that it’s not going to feel like it’s coming from the heart, and you might not be super excited to be working on Christmas stuff right now, because if you’re in the northern hemisphere, it’s hot in the summertime . . .
and it just feels weird to be thinking about the ambience and the mood of Christmas, taking product photos for Christmas, and thinking about Christmas copy and messaging or wintery and Halloweeny kind of stuff.
But . . . if you wait until it feels like Halloween or it feels like Christmas, you’ll be months behind. And essentially, it’ll be way too late for you to be getting results from this really important quarter in terms of sales.
So you want to use Q3, so July, August, September—right when this video is coming out— to plan and prep at the latest because once Q4 comes along—October, November, December— you’ll need to be implementing that plan that you made in Q3: promoting, selling, making, shipping, rinse and repeat.
In other words in Q4 is action time! and you will be crazy busy, which is why Q3—which is now—needs to be about planning and prepping.
Are You Ready To Think Christmas?!
I hope all this talk about Christmas has you excited to start planning for your holiday sales!
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing more tips to help you prep now for a really profitable holiday season.
So make sure to subscribe, and I’m also linking to some extra resources to help you plan successfully for more sales in Q4, so please make sure to check the links below!
- For expert training + support to grow your handmade shop, check out Tizzit HQ.
- Black Friday Success Tips for Handmade Shop Owners
- How to sell your products to stores for the Christmas holidays
- How to prep your online shop for the Christmas holidays
Thanks for watching, and until next time, aurevoir!
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