Got the Valentine’s ecommerce collywobbles? Never fear! We have an expert on hand to help you design, print, merchandise and market your Valentine’s Day products to make sure that this year is the best yet for your creative business. Stand back while expert David Burgess (The Nosuch Disco) lets you in on his secrets for success.
With so many print products to choose from, how do you decide what your customers will love most when Valentine’s Day rolls back around?
Typically Valentine’s cards are the ‘go to’ item, but the market is saturated with these, so it’s important to produce something that will stand out.
Pictures and artwork can be quite useful, but I have found that is more successful in shops and galleries than it is online… it can be a risk buying a print online, people want to be able to touch/feel and get an exact idea of what the colours will be like.
What’s your Valentine’s bestseller and why do you think your customers can’t get enough of it?
For me, it’s always been my Fat Kitty greeting card. I think it’s popular as it’s a nice simple design; people like cats and it comes with two badges, one for each person, so that’s a nice little touch.
Do you look anywhere specific for your Valentine’s design inspiration?
I try to keep it as general as possible: I look at what other Etsy sellers are doing, I look at Pinterest and anything that is vector/kawaii-style art. Sometimes I do it to double check I’m not producing something that’s already out there.
How many days/weeks before Valentine’s Day do you send your designs off to print and why do you find that this timescale works for you?
Usually at the start of January. I like to ensure that I have my tags and listings sorted. It starts off slow, but there are always people looking, especially people in say America or Australia, they will order early to ensure they get the card in time.
Stock control is mind boggling! How do you decide how many of each product to get?
Usually from past experience and knowing what is going to sell. Fortunately, my suppliers are quite vesicle and I can order small runs at little extra cost. So if an item is doing better or worse than expected I can adapt quite easily.
Do you change your packaging at all to mark the occasion?
No really, my main concern is safety. Don’t get me wrong; I try to make my packages look pretty, but the priority is always that it can get to the other side of the world in the exact condition that it left me.
Do you find that good product shots are important and if so, how do you like to style yours?
Very much so! Often people’s concern about buying online is that they can’t get a feel for the product, so a variety of images that explore the product are important.
Historically, I have opted for the white background. This was to satisfy ‘front page worthy’ treasuries on Etsy. This is somewhat a thing of the past now and lifestyle shots seem to be quite successful.
What do you find is most effective way to advertise your new products once they’re printed, finished and ready to go? Do you use social media, printed samples or anything similar?
I use the norms really: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. A few product shots and well selected tags to let my friends/fans know what’s new. The bulk of purchases come from people searching using Etsy/Google, therefore it is important to have the right tags, titles and descriptions as well as strong photographs.
Which three items are in your Valentine’s Day prep survival kit?
1) Hardboard/card – I use this to keep my greeting cards safe in transit
2) Smartphone – to relist/promote and keep in contact with customers/suppliers