Business Tips: Preparing for Cyber Monday

We all know about “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving. It’s pretty hard to ignore it, given the crazy tactics many big-box retailers resort to in order to get our attention. In the past few years however, another shopping date has emerged: “Cyber Monday”. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, and is when many internet retailers decide to hold their big sales. With the increased awareness of shopping local and shopping Indie, partnering with Etsy to take advantage of this trend is just smart business.
infinite oscar
(Oscar Wilde, attempting to order a kilo of catnip online)

Last week, AnarchyInBeauty posted a great writeup about how to price your items. If you haven’t had a chance to run thru it, this would be a great time to do so. Her formula will ensure you have enough *wiggle room* in your pricing to withstand a sale, without you losing money in the long run. The amount of sale is up to you, or instead of a percent-off simply offering free shipping is another way to join in the fun on Etsy this weekend.
To get involved, here are a few tips:
Tag your items with the sale tags Etsy is promoting this weekend. According to this forum thread:
Etsy will be promoting sales via three universal predetermined tags. The tags will be linked from featured areas of the site including email, Etsy’s homepage, and promotional banners.
These tags are: 1. Black Friday Etsy, 2. Cyber Monday Etsy, and 3. Free Shipping Etsy.
Use one or all of the appropriate tags for your sale items and specify the details of your promotion clearly in the top of the item description for each item you use the tags on.
Note: Please do not use these designated tags unless you are promoting a sale during the 11/26 – 11/29 weekend with the details clearly laid out in the item description. Please only apply the Free Shipping Etsy tag to listings that have already been marked down for free shipping.

While some sellers will be able to beta test the new coupon code feature, for the rest of us, the easiest way to put your shop on sale is to use this nifty feature:
According to their site: (disclaimer, I have not yet tried it, comments from those who have are welcome!)
With Etsy On Sale, you can:
* Place all or part of your shop items on sale in just one step
* Schedule sales events for the future
* Set the duration of the sale and let Etsy On Sale manage it for you
* Original prices are restored automatically at the end of the sale
* Your items are promoted on the Etsy On Sale site during your sales event, driving new traffic to your shop
* Improve your shop’s SEO with additional external links

Ok, so now you’ve put your shop on sale and tagged your items… what’s next?

1. Send out an email blast to your mailing list Friday morning letting them know about the sale.
2. Tweet, blog and facebook your sale Friday and again on Monday. Emphasize the ease of this option… no lines, no crowds, your customer can cross off their entire list in their pajamas.

Here are a few other customer service related tips:
1. As long as you have stock to mail things out in a timely manner, consider listing multiples in each listing. This way, if someone links to your item on a blog or in a wishlist post, the item will still show up after the first one sells.
2. Check your store often for relistings and convos, and try to answer messages as quickly as possible.
3. Post how often you ship in your profile, as well as in each item listing. Send your buyer a convo after each sale reiterating when the item will ship and thanking them for their business.
4. If you are so inclined, offer a “gift wrapped” listing, and link to it in each of your sale listings. With this listing, you can offer to ship directly to the recipient of the gift. You don’t have to charge for this service, in fact, offering it for free is a really good way to build repeat customers. (this is one of those things you can factor in as “overhead” in AIB’s pricing spreadsheet from last week)
There is some question about how to properly tag items that are gift-wrapped, so I’ve asked for clarification in the forums here. Here’s hoping someone can answer me!
5. For people concerned about shipping times, or simply buying locally, the Shop Local feature is a godsend. Make sure you have your location entered in your profile so people wishing to use this option can find you. Also, don’t forget that only the first 100 shops in any area are listed in this feature, so try to keep your shop updated regularly to stay in that pool.
6. For the team, make treasuries and be sure to tag those with the three site-wide tags above.

Ok, that’s it from me, but if any of you guys have other tips to share about making CyberMonday successful for our team, please leave a comment!

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  1. Fantastic tips Lori! I just love Oscar Wilde…that pic and caption has me in stitches!!!

  2. I love it! Awesome article. It’ll be I treating to see through site stats whether or not the designated tags help increase visibility and sales. I’m testing out the coupon code this weekend as well. Good info and insight is always appreciated.

  3. Wonderful explanation of how this works!!!
    Thanks! :)