Holiday Strategy Planning Part One

The holidays are coming up and are you ready to make this holiday season count this year? I want you to be super profitable and go into the holidays with a plan so that you end the year in the black with a super successful season.

But the key to being successful for the holidays is you have to have a plan. Now. This is the best time to spend some time planning your holiday strategy. So let's get into it for the best package food advice for the season.

When I worked for Whole Foods Market, I was making holiday decisions in July and August. Don't make the mistake of scrambling at the last minute to try to put together your holiday plans. You will have already missed them. Amazing opportunities are there, but you'll miss a lot of them if you wait 'til the last minute. 

So whether you are selling at markets and holiday shows or you're on the shelves of grocery stores or gift stores, I'm going to help you over three blog posts to really put together a strategy and be sure that you are setting yourself up for success, for this holiday season. 

This first blog is for producers who are selling direct to consumer. These are a one on one relationship with buyers, typically through a farmer's market, holiday show or through e-commerce. First we're going to talk about selling at markets or a holiday show and then we'll talk about e-commerce.

There's no question that markets can be super profitable and depending on where you live, your farmer's markets might be wrapping up in the fall or they may continue year round. Regardless, make sure that you are finding markets and holiday shows that you can apply for and that you are researching dates. A lot of cities will have very holiday specific craft and food fairs, places where people are going to buy unique local gifts.

I've had a lot of luck searching in state specific farmer's market or vendor groups or craft groups. Sometimes they're private, sometimes they're public, but just join them and see what you can find. You can also do a quick Google search to see what other events are happening in your area. Sometimes these events can be a little difficult to find, but ask around at different events and you should be able to find some. 

When you know about the events happening, you need to plan out your schedule for the holiday. Make sure you plan out which events you want to be at and what times they are. Do you need to find help to be at two events at one time? Are you going to be able to do all the events you want? Planning this out will be crucial. It's also essential to look at the price tag for all these different events. Make sure the price tag justifies the profit you'll make at the event. Not all products are going to be a great fit for all holiday themes. So as you're doing research, make sure it makes sense for your product.

Now that you know you're doing these markets, I want you to take a fresh look at your set up. This is a great opportunity to increase your branding and make your booth look much better. Do you have branded t-shirts or a tablecloth? Do you have clear signage with pricing? Are there seasonal touches you can add to your booth that fit in well with your product? We make snap judgments about the value of items, often based on seeing something. Make sure that you're making the best first impression you can with your booth.  

Another great thing you can do with your product at markets is to create gift packaging. People are busy and they love to be efficient with their gifts. So the more easily you can package something to be gift ready, the easier it will be for people to pick it up and want to buy it. And this is a great opportunity to add more branding to your product as well as bundle products together to encourage more sales. 

The next thing is your online or e-commerce business. If you have your own website that you're selling your product on, you're fulfilling orders. Here are some of my strategies and things that you should check off your list. The first thing is, I really want you to sit down with a calendar, whether it's a spreadsheet or your Google calendar or whatever calendar you want to use. I really want you to map out all of your promotions and look at different fun social media or hashtag holidays. Obviously we have Thanksgiving and Black Friday and Christmas, but these are smaller holidays that you can really take advantage of to maximize your product sales. Once you map out those holidays, think about the promotions that make the most sense. This is a great opportunity to upsell with reduced shipping or gift packs. And by planning this all out in advance, you can go in and create those promotions and discount codes to make your life so much easier. 

As you ramp up for the holidays on your e-commerce platform, you'll want to make sure you have updated product photos as well as some lifestyle photos. It's a little hard to take lifestyle photos for the holidays when there aren't any decorations up, but as soon as those decorations go up, start taking your product out and getting shots with different decor. You can even pull stuff out of storage at home to create a holiday photo shoot. 

This is a great time to look at your website and give it a little refresh. Can you change up some photos or copy? Check every page of your website with the view of a customer. Make sure links work, that you're providing value with blog posts, and that information is updated. 

The last piece of advice I have for you is running a giveaway or promotion using your email list or as a way to gather emails. People are much more likely to sign up for a newsletter if they have a chance of winning something. This is the perfect opportunity to reach out to your customers and remind them of your brand. 

Those are some of my tips on your wholesale holiday strategy. Be sure to check out my other blogs about holiday strategy planning. And check out the full checklist for holidays.




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