2020 has seen a very significant shift towards online selling and given our current ongoing situation, this looks set to continue for some time. As Christmas starts to loom, preparing for the big event for many small businesses will be a little different this year. The key to surviving, now more than ever, is to adapt, so with this in mind, here are my five top tips for some strategic Christmas preparation.
Increase your Online Presence
With the difficulties involved in face to face selling this year, an online presence is more important than ever so it’s vital your website or online shop is fully up to date and functioning well. If you don’t have a website of your own, consider joining a craft group or a more general selling platform such as Etsy, so you can benefit from an existing database of customers as well as an organised, user friendly web pages.
If you do have your own website, ensure it is SEO friendly either by an expert or by driving traffic towards it from other sources such as social media. Optimising ensures that search engines will continually find your site and position it towards the top of a webpage when customers search for specific keywords. It’s pointless having a great website if no one can find it!
Free Publicity
This follows on from my previous point and involves the use of social networking platforms to promote your product. Sites such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all offer the potential to reach thousands of customers at the touch of a button, so it is important to maintain some sort of presence. Ensure your images are of a high quality, be consistent and ensure to show behind the scenes hints and tips to enhance interest. Remember to be professional at all times and don’t be tempted to post messages after too many glasses of wine if you want to be taken seriously.
 Invest in good photography
Smartphone technology means that most people now have access to a decent camera but that doesn’t mean you should forget the basics. Lighting can be difficult to get right particularly when dealing with shiny surfaces so investing in a good lightbox can pay great dividends. See our Top 5 Photography Tips for more ideas.

Orangemonkie produce a great affordable range of light boxes along with optional accessories including light bars, turntables and front covers all of which will improve the quality and consistency of your photographs. They also offer a support app available to download on any mobile device which can assist with brightness, editing and background effects which combined will make the whole process much easier.
Offers and Incentives
Never disregard the power of an incentive. Now is the perfect time to offer a little gentle persuasion to try and close that sale. It doesn’t need to be brash and can be a nice personal touch to help promote repeat business.
Examples:

5% off your next purchase
Free gift wrapping

Free polishing kit with purchases over a certain amount
Free entry into a prize draw with every purchase. Ensure the prize is one of your more expensive products and then publicise this on social media.

Adapt your Product Range
Online selling means you are likely to receive instant feedback and will quickly be able to ascertain if something is popular or not. If something you made on a whim is receiving great comments, don’t ignore it and consider making more in a similar vein. Equally, if you have been trying to sell an item which has not proved to be a hit for some time, you must accept that something needs to change. It could be the style, the colour or the price but again, don’t ignore the evidence. A subtle change might be all that’s needed to create a bestselling product.
Written by Joanna Varney
Joanna has worked in and around the jewellery industry for well over 20 years. She has designed and created her own pieces as a designer maker, as well as working in jewellery retail on a much larger scale, producing designs and NPD for some of the UK’s largest high street retailers

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