Attention: Christmas eve has been moved to July this year.

Okay.... Not officially. But we ARE officially closer to next Christmas than last Christmas. That means it's time for Christmas in July!

It’s officially July. Your Instagram feed is probably brimming with beach and vacation photos, but as a retailer, it’s time to set your sights forward. No, not to Halloween or Thanksgiving. We’re talking Christmas. 

It may sound ludicrous to prep for the holidays nearly six months in advance, but you don’t want to miss out on the biggest spending season of the year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fourth quarter sales account for over 30 percent of annual revenue for gift, novelty, souvenir, and clothing stores. 

Here’s what you should be doing to prepare:

design products for your shop NOW

Research and design can be a time consuming process, so start now. Look for new ways to spice up your designs, because great designs attract new customers: 
44 percent of US consumers say unique products will convince them to try a new store or retailer for holiday shopping. (Deloitte, 2020)  Spend some time this July creating unique, on brand artwork for your print on demand products. 

Order Samples

Samples are singular orders of products, typically sent to retailers. Printed Mint quality checks every product before it’s sent out, but ordering samples will give you confidence in your prints. And once you have your sample, seize the opportunity to take your own product photos! After all, great photographs attract customers and cinch sales.

Be on the lookout for our upcoming Sample Sale this July!

launch a sale campaign

Start promoting discounted products similar to the ones you’ll be selling in December. This will help gauge consumer behavior. Which products sell well? Which ones need to be revamped? Forbes recommends defining “a handful of products to promote and market,” and tracking their performance over time. 

Create a marketing plan

Use engagement data from your July sale to create a marketing plan that includes social media strategy, discounts, and all over brand messaging.

Plan social posts in advance:

As a Print on Demand retailer, social media likely plays a major role in directing traffic to your site. According to McKinsey’s 2021 holiday shopping survey, 87% of Gen Zers expected to glean holiday shopping info from social media. Start developing content for your social media NOW, so when winter rolls around, you can focus on customer service.

If you don’t have a huge marketing budget, you’ll need to develop a marketing plan that doesn’t rely on ads. Focus on getting to the “for you” page by creating unique, shareable content to drive traffic to your shop. 

An example of a brand that does this really well is Untamed Ego, who rose in popularity through TikTok. 

Account for Holidays

Black Friday : Even though Black Friday spotlights traditional retailers, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t jump in on the hype. Black Friday ads and campaigns can run through the weekend, all the way until Cyber Monday. Offer enticing discounts to attract new customers and get shoppers to buy more. 

Cyber Monday: The Monday after Thanksgiving is huge for online retailers, and continues to increase in popularity. According to Adobe, US online sales for Cyber Monday 2019 amounted to $10.84 billion, up 15.1% from the previous year’s total sales.

Make sure your shop runs smoothly

Your site will see a lot more visitors in the coming months. In preparation, peruse your website as if you were a customer. Read every product description, add items to your cart, and even place a fake order. The idea is to catch any errors before the Christmas chaos hits.

What are you waiting for? Start celebrating Christmas right now!

Christmas in July acts as a great trial run of the holiday season. It gives you a chance to refine your marketing plan so you can stress less this December. Deck the halls and prepare for your most profitable season yet! 

Painter turned businesswoman: One Printed Minter's Story
Plus: how to digitize your artwork!

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