E-Commerce Holiday Best Practices Checklist

The typical holiday shopping season may not happen again this year. Now more than ever is the time to have an online presence to connect and engage with customers.

Use this E-Commerce Holiday Readiness Checklist to get your audience engaged and excited to #ShopArt this #ArtistsSunday!  

Artists Sunday puts a stake in the ground during the busiest shopping weekend of the year. We encourage artists and partners to participate in this promotion however they see fit – whether that is on November 27, that entire weekend, the week, or the entire month of November.

Craft Your Artists Sunday Promotion(s)

Unfortunately, the buying public has been conditioned to look for deals around the holidays. Until we can change that mindset, consider a deal or promotion. It might push your prospect over the edge to make a buying decision. The key is to craft them well and plan in advance! With the Artists Sunday movement, you have a special opportunity to build your customer base.

Consider these options:

Offering an Artists Sunday Discount.
Take your typical studio or gallery prices and discount by 5-10%. While we want to avoid offering a major discount, this may be the little bump a buyer needs to make a buying decision.

We’re not saying discount everything. Your work is valuable. The time, tools, and materials that went into your work should not be discounted. Building a special or promotion around an item or two can help bring in new customers. At the end of the day, we not only want current buyers to return, but we want new buyers visiting your site.

Accepting Commissions.
Do you accept commissions? Allowing clients to make customized requests that will make their holiday season gifting even more special is one way to engage with your customers. Read our Accepting Commission Work: Things to Consider Before Saying Yes blog post here.

Unveil New Work.
Don’t want to offer discounts. That’s okay. You can still turn Artists Sunday into a unique promotional experience or event by announcing that you’ll be unveiling new work at a scheduled date and time – either on Artists Sunday, Nov 27, or sometime leading up to the day.

Work with Supporting Organizations.
Is your art commission or local community art council hosting an Artists Sunday event or promoting Artists Sunday? Work with them to promote your work through their channels.

Read more about promotions in our  How to get the Most Out of Your Artists Sunday here.

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Build Your Social Media Plan

Your social media is one of your most powerful marketing tools. Put it to good use by staying regularly engaged with your audience leading up to the holiday season. You will find social media post text templates here and social graphics here.

Update Your Social Profiles.
Update your profiles with your latest logos, work, etc. Include the hashtags #ArtistsSunday and #ShopArt in your bios. Don’t forget to link to your online store too!

Create a Regular Posting Schedule.
Consistency is key! Having trouble keeping consistent with your content? Create posts in advance, and schedule them to automatically publish (where possible). Plan in advance what and when you’ll post or market.

Personal Facebook Profile Unfortunately, you cannot schedule posts here; however, you can share posts from your  Business Facebook Page.

Business Facebook Page – In the Publishing Tools section, you can schedule posts so that you can create them and move onto creating more inventory for Artists Sunday. See this location for details: https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest There are many scheduling tools available to automate your posting (i.e. Hootsuite, Later, Bufer, Sprout Social, etc.).

Build Your Social Networks.
Follow @ArtistsSunday and other artists in your community on your social media platforms. Engage and comment on other artists’ posts to show your support. For a deeper dive into social media for your art business, check out this guide: https://sproutsocial.com/social-media-for-small-business/

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Refresh Holiday Gift Guides

If you’ve published holiday gift guides in the past, refresh them and include information about Artists Sunday in them. Use our Gift Guide Pitch Template found here.

Highlight the Value of Impact.
By refreshing your gift guides with a #ArtistsSunday theme, you’re helping buyers gain extra value from their purchase. Not only do they get to give what you’ve created, but they are also making a positive impact by supporting local artists!

Collaborative Gift Bundles.
Do you know other artists in the Artists Sunday community? See how your unique products might pair to create the perfect holiday gift bundle. For example, package a fellow craftsman’s hand-carved wooden picture frame with your new prints! Search our Artists Directory for collaboration ideas. https://artistssunday.com/directory/

Encourage Wish Lists.
Encourage your audience to build wish lists (with your work listed) to share with their loved ones. Here are a couple of tools to start building those lists:  https://www.bestproducts.com/lifestyle/a1904/online-christmas-wishlist-ideas/

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Personalize the Shopping Experience

One of the benefits of shopping with local artists instead of buying through large retailers is how you can personalize the shopping experience for your customer.

Open Commissions in Advance.
In preparation for the holiday rush, open your commissions early! Allow clients to make customized requests that will make their holiday season gifting all the more special.

Offer Customizations.
Whether you let customers pick the color of your work or offer to add customized personalization elements, unique personal touches will add even more value to your pieces.

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Post-Purchase Communications

A purchase shouldn’t be the end of your relationship with your customer. In fact, it’s just the beginning. Continue to market to your customers by exciting them and motivating them to come back to shop again.

Ask for Reviews.
Encourage your customers to post their newly acquired work on social media with your company/brand hashtag and #ArtistsSunday.

Suggest a Next Purchase.
Even after the holiday rush settles, keep the momentum going! Suggest something new that a customer would like based on their past purchases.

Include Social Media Links in Confirmation Emails.
In your checkout process, make sure you include links to your social media accounts in the confirmation email so they can follow you and see new work when it becomes available.

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Optimize Your Website

You may already have a turnkey solution – Etsy, Redbubble, Facebook Marketplace, or a medium specific site (smugmug.com for photos, faso.com for painters, or depop.com for fashion). In that case, skip to the next best practice. But if you aren’t using a turnkey solution and have your own website, you need to optimize your site.

Also, Facebook has an online shop feature. This might be worth exploring even if you have a current ecommerce website. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/446416689381439

and here https://www.facebook.com/business/help/268860861184453?id=1077620002609475

No one likes a slow website or one that isn’t optimized for mobile devices. Traffic to your website might be higher than normal with Artists Sunday. Be prepared by optimizing your website ahead of time.

Check Your Loading Speed.
Check how fast your website will load across devices using Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It will give you some suggestions for how to improve your website’s performance.

Get Mobile Ready.
Almost 80% of smartphone users have purchased something on their mobile devices in the last 6 months. Test out how mobile-friendly your site is long before the holiday rush.

Ask Friends and Family to Test Your Website.
Ask them to provide feedback on how to improve your website.

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Improve The Checkout Process

If you’re not already using one of the turnkey ecommerce platforms mentioned above that handles transactions for you, you’ll want to make it easy for your customers to buy from you.

Minimize Clicks to Buy.
Once your customer sees your product on social media or your website, the race is on! Keep the number of clicks needed for your customer to complete their purchase as low as possible.

Make Payment Quick and Easy.
Once they get to the checkout, make payment quick and easy. Online payment options like PayPal, Venmo, or Square can help. Customers won’t have to dig up their credit card or enter their shipping details. It will be filled in for them.