ANALYZE YOUR BEST SELLERS
They will probably be best sellers during the holidays and be prepared to fill those orders. I know my suppliers always get backed up during the holidays so I stock up on supplies well in advance.
HAVE PACKAGING READY
Along with orders comes all the packing! Have your gift boxes and shipping materials ready to go well in advance. Anything you get custom printed you’ll definitely want in advance of the busy holiday season.
REVIEW YOUR SHIPPING/RETURN POLICIES & POST THEM EARLY
Set expectations with customers with clear cutoff dates for shipping holiday orders!!! Post them early and broadcast them as part of your holiday marketing. Create urgency and get those customers to order earlier instead of last-minute (for your sanity as well as theirs!). You may also want to extend return policies for the holidays as holiday returns are often slow to come in and folks may need more time.
WORK ON GETTING INTO GIFT GUIDES
Tin Shingle gives great tips on getting into press gift guides, long lead may be over, but there are numerous short leads that will continue up until November when it will be all about Black Friday/Cyber Monday features. Not getting any press hits? No problem, write up your own holiday tips, gift lists and post on your blog, totally SEO worthy and helpful for your customers.
The holidays are a great time to use Pinterest – create gift lists and boards related to holiday and your product. Last year I noticed many customers coming into my website via Pinterest, probably using it as a way to organize their holiday gift shopping or wish lists!
I always have great success with a “Didn’t get what you wanted for the holidays?” or New Years sale immediately after the holidays to capture those customers who shopped for others but now want to shop for themselves, or those folks who didn’t get that item off their wishlist and now have some holiday money to spend.