Selling on Etsy

How to prepare your Etsy shop for a successful holiday season

by Michaela fong

Selling on Etsy

How to prepare your Etsy shop for a successful holiday season

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If you haven’t kicked off your holiday season shop prep, now’s the perfect time to get ahead! And if you’re reading this but it’s already past September, don’t worry — you may have to put in extra work, but you can still get your shop ready just in time for the holidays. 

I say this from the bottom of my heart because I learned this the hard way during my first holiday season selling on Etsy. I didn’t start holiday planning until October and it was an absolute mess I don’t want you to go through.

I didn’t have enough inventory. I didn’t have enough packaging. Christmas packaging sold out and I couldn’t even get regular non-holiday tissue paper because that ran out too. My supplies arrived late. I didn’t have holiday pictures or props, so I sent my husband to run around town to see what he could find. It was insane!


They say, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And I certainly did not have a plan. Lesson learned —  it was the first and last time I put myself through an unprepared, chaotic holiday season. 


So, if you want to make the most out of this year’s holiday season without losing your mind, whether you sell on Etsy or anywhere else online, I’ve got the perfect checklist for you: 

Get your products listings ready to go 

Take time to think about your Christmas or holiday collection, special offers, and pricing now. And there are a few ways you can do this: 

01 – Craft a holiday bundle for your shop

Researching trending items to create a special holiday bundle is the perfect way to bring in more sales to your shop. It’s a perfect way to increase your average order value!
For example, if you sell handmade soaps, you can create a holiday pampering kit that includes a selection of different scented soaps, a bath bomb, and a loofah that can all be gifted as a self-care basket for mom. 

02 – Order inventory well in advance

You’ll need to place inventory orders ahead of time, especially if you’re ordering from overseas. Delivery times can be lengthy. Plus, around the holidays is when things really get busy and orders start to pile up, which could potentially lead to delays. 
If you’re proactive and get your orders in as soon as possible, you’ll save yourself from the last-minute inventory stress. 

Also don’t forget about holiday packaging! Make sure it’s all set for the holiday rush so you’re not left scrambling by the time it is flying off the shelves.

03 – Add a special holiday touch to your products 

Since many people do holiday shopping for their loved ones online, enhance your customers’ gifting experience by offering Christmas gift wrapping and personalized notes for your physical products.

This extra touch can make your products stand out during the holiday season. And I mean, who doesn’t love receiving a beautifully wrapped gift with a heartfelt note? 

Oh, and here’s a pro tip: consider using holiday-themed boxes, cards, and even gift tape to add that extra dose of festive cheer. It’s those small details that will put a smile on someone’s face and make your business more memorable. 


If you sell digital products, think about what your customers really want during this time of year. Of course, holiday-themed items like checklists and calendars can get them in the holiday spirit. But you can also create habit trackers, organizers, fitness planners, and goal trackers to get them excited about the New Year too! 

04 – Create a holiday aesthetic for your shop 

When it comes to your product photos, especially for a platform like Etsy, you want to make sure they give off that cozy holiday feeling the moment someone sees them in a search. So, whether you’re selling mugs, T-shirts, or anything else, a holiday aesthetic makes all the difference. Maybe pour steaming hot cocoa inside your mugs, or use winter-themed mockups for your tees. Once people see your photos, they’ll instantly feel the holiday joy.

In addition to creating holiday products, you can also duplicate your listings, change up keywords & titles, and feature your current products in a holiday photoshoot.
Trust me, when people see the festive look and feel, it’ll stir up all kinds of holiday emotions and make them much more likely to hit that “buy” button. 

Another way to create a holiday aesthetic is by giving your Etsy shop a cheery holiday banner. In the early days of my business when I didn’t plan for the holidays in advance, I used to look at other shops with holiday banners and think to myself, “Whoa, why are people already selling Halloween stuff in August?” But hey, that’s marketing magic! The earlier we start promoting the holidays, the more we catch those early-bird shoppers and get a head start on the holiday frenzy.

Being an early holiday seller on Etsy can score you that sweet bestseller badge. So when the Christmas rush hits, your listings will be upfront and center.

05 – Boost your shop’s searchability 

When I say “searchability”, I’m talking about SEO — tags, keywords, product descriptions, and your shop sections too. 

I recommend using a keyword software to find the best and least saturated Christmas keywords for your products. 

Change your tags to be more seasonal with phrases like, “gift for mom”, “Christmas gift”, “Christmas mug”, and so on depending on what your product is.

When it comes to titles, sprinkle in festive keywords like “Christmas gift for husband”, even if you sell non-Christmas-themed gifts. If your products can still be gifted for the holiday season, using holiday keywords makes it easier for shoppers to find you.

As for your shop sections, you can create an entire shop section categorized under “Christmas Gifts” so people can easily find the holiday gifts they’re looking for. 

Don’t forget to mention related products in your product descriptions. If you sell a T-shirt for Mom, there’s probably a matching one for Dad too! That way, you can include the link to Dad’s T-shirt if someone wants to buy both. 

And finally, update your shop announcement with holiday keywords to let shoppers know that holiday gifts are officially in! Set a deadline for final Christmas orders and share it in your listings, shop announcement, and social media & emails to create that sense of urgency.

Okay, once you have holiday bundles, holiday aesthetic, and searchability all setup, next up, you’ll want to…

Plan out your Black Friday & Boxing Week offers

This means thinking ahead not only about which products you’ll discount, but about the products you can bundle specifically for Black Friday and Boxing Week.

As you know, Black Friday is when shoppers actively look for good deals online and offline. So creating special bundles is a great strategy for boosting revenue. 

You’ll also want to create a plan for the emails and social posts you need to get your audience excited and aware of your holiday offers. Keep reminding them of deadlines and special discounts to build anticipation and drive even more sales by the time Black Friday rolls around. 
The better you plan ahead of time, the better you can prepare and leverage the holiday season for your business.

Plan and pre-record your holiday content

If you post engaging content around the time people are searching for holiday gift ideas, it increases the chances of them discovering your shop and placing orders!  

Not sure where to start?

On Instagram stories, you can showcase products as you unbox them to give customers a taste of the experience they’ll get when they order from you. 

And for actual content ideas, you can record reels or TikToks to create a holiday gift guide for different people, featuring different products from your collections. If your products work well as stocking stuffers, you can even create a series of reels/TikToks highlighting stocking stuffers for different categories, like kids under 10 or moms under 50.

And of course, make sure to show your products in action! If you sell mugs, record a video with your mugs filled with steaming hot cocoa, all in a cozy Christmas setup. Anything to resemble that festive feel people know and love. 

The essentials your Etsy shop needs for a successful holiday season

Alright, let’s do a quick recap to make sure you don’t forget anything.

First things first, plan your holiday products, bundle sets, and special offers sooner rather than later. And make sure to order inventory and packaging early so you can focus more on holiday marketing and less on scrambling at the last minute. 

Next, spruce up your shop aesthetics with holiday-themed photos and banners. It’ll get your ideal customers into the holiday spirit! Also, optimize your shop with holiday keywords to attract all those early-bird shoppers. 

Once that’s ready to go, get ready for Black Friday and Boxing Week. Plan out your offers with plenty of emails and social posts to remind your audience about deals you’ve got coming up.

And last but not least, pre-record holiday content
, including those oh-so-helpful gift guides that people love to search for online.

Now, you’re all set for an amazing holiday season. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and wishing you lots of success! 

Want to feel even more prepared for a successful holiday season? Tune in and learn more in today’s podcast episode here 🎧.

Until next time, 

Michaela

Do you need help getting customers on Etsy? Download my Free Etsy Success E-book to get started here.

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