Prepping For The Holidays

It is that time of year again… The time when we prep our stores for the big holiday push. Although 2020 has been an interesting year filled with many challenges and points of uncertainty, we still believe that you should approach the holiday season with the same intensity and enthusiasm as years past. In fact, online retail will likely be the main source of holiday shopping this season and you are primed to have the biggest quarter on record. That is why it is more important than ever to have a game-plan or strategy in place to help you navigate these often hectic times of a sales cycle. During this post we will offer advice on the following:

• Products for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years

• Promotions – Sales Events, Countdowns, Personalized Gifts, Giveaways

• Design Tips, Design Ideas, Resources, Inspiration

First off, we should probably highlight the important dates to have marked down on your calendars. Thanksgiving (11/26), Black Friday (11/27), Cyber Monday (11/30), Christmas (12/25), and New Year’s Day (1/1). It is important to make note of these dates because you need to be promoting your products well before these dates hit so you have ample time to get orders delivered to your customers.

Due to supply issues and the constant adjustments by delivery services, we cannot provide firm deadlines this year. We will work to provide our users with up-to-date production and shipping averages, but we cannot make any guarantees. We suggest tempering the expectations that you set with your customers. If you are honest about the real uncertainties & challenges that will affect the entire retail industry this season as well as avoid making promises you cannot deliver on, your customers will likely avoid frustration.

Now that you know the dates, we will give you some great product and design ideas that coincide with each holiday.

THANKSGIVING

Products that are relevant to Thanksgiving tend to be family oriented or at the very least, in the “Home Goods” category. Thankfully we have plenty of products that lend themselves well to this particular holiday. Check out a few examples of products and designs for Thanksgiving below.

CHRISTMAS

When creating products for Christmas, don’t get hung up on the actual holiday itself. Tis the season for gift giving so designs that are fun and light-hearted tend to make the biggest impact with shoppers.

Do not sleep on personalized products either – they are the quintessential gift item. Give your customers the opportunity to add their very own image to a product. Although our entire product catalog would essentially work well for the Christmas holiday, we’ve decided to put together a few of our favorites below.

For those of you looking to sell a Christmas specific item, we are going to be re-launching Christmas Stockings. Available for front and back prints, these stockings are made of a stretchy fleece base with a fuzzy sherpa top. They come equipped with a handy dandy hanging loop as well. They measure 18 inches from top to heel and nearly 7 inches in width which makes them the perfect size for display AND for holding all sorts of Christmas goodies!

Price
Cost – $10.00
Shipping
US – $5.00
International – $10.00
Additional – $1.00

We are currently working on adding these to the teelaunch app, so be on the lookout for when they officially launch. We are anticipating them to be available within a week of this blog post.

NEW YEARS

New Years can be a little more challenging to promote than Thanksgiving & Christmas. A good fall back is inspirational or motivational themed designs/products for those of us looking to make some meaningful changes at the start of the new year.

Having the products in your stores to sell is step number one. Now, you need to drive traffic to your store and get eyes on the products you’ve created. You do this by creating advertisements and by giving your customers incentives to purchase from your store.

• You can do social media giveaways by having your followers like and share your content to enter a drawing to receive a free item from your store.
• Run sales events and seasonal countdowns to remind your viewers of upcoming holidays but also provide a sense of urgency for them to purchase now.
• Offer personalized products that give your customers control in the design process as well as add meaning and sentimental value to your items.

If you are in need of some inspiration or help creating designs for you products, we will provide some useful tips as well as links to resources that we use on a regular basis.

Inspiration

When struggling to find design inspiration or just to keep up with design trends, we often find ourselves browsing these sites. They are a fantastic source of creativity that help spark new and useful ideas.
Behance
Pinterest
Etsy
Dribbble

Resources

It never feels like we have enough time to do anything these days. That is why we try to maximize our time by being as efficient as possible. One way that we like to do that is by utilizing design resources to speed up our design processes. Check out these sites that offer useful tools from color combinations and royalty free images to design resource bundles at affordable prices.
Unsplash
Design Cuts
Design-Seeds
Creative Fabrica
Creative Market

Design Tips

We understand that creating designs is not easy. We even struggle with this ourselves. Since not everyone is at the same skill level or has the same know-how, we want to address a few essentials of designing for Print on Demand through teelaunch.

First off, we want to express the importance of downloading and utilizing our product templates. They are available for download on the design upload screen. Our product templates are important because they are built to the proper specifications to be accepted by our system as well as provide you with safe zones and bleed areas (if necessary) to maximize the accuracy and consistency of prints. We advise all of our users to use the templates when creating artwork. Along with templates, we provide Best Practices for each product. These best practices spell out helpful tips to create proper artwork as well as what to avoid. Not every product is created equal – different products are made up of different materials and with that comes different printing processes and different rules to follow. Print on Demand is not a one size fits all process and you need to be aware of the differences so you can ensure you are making the proper adjustments to give your customers the best print possible.

The other extremely important tip we can share with you is having a proper understanding of the color codes of the design files you are uploading. A common mistake many people make is assuming that their final product will look exactly like the mockup generated through our system. We pride ourselves on our mockups and do our best to deliver as accurate of a representation as possible, BUT, the mockup images are created based off the artwork supplied to us by the store owner. If you read our Best Practices, you will notice that we make it a point to highlight color codes for all relevant products. This is because having an understanding of RGB & CMYK makes the difference between an accurate looking mockup and a satisfied customer versus a mockup that does not represent what your customer will receive, thus resulting in potential disappointment.

Understanding the color codes of your print files may be slightly confusing because you are dealing with two different mediums (print vs. web), while only uploading one graphic. When uploading your artwork to your store, you should be saving your files in RGB because you are uploading a file to the web. The confusing part is to know that your file will later be used for print once a customer purchases your product. This means that our printers will convert your files to CMYK for print. During this color conversion, there can be extremely drastic shifts in colors (pictured above). To avoid misrepresenting your mockup images, we strongly suggest checking your files in CMYK prior to uploading your artwork into our system. This is a often overlooked step in the creation process, but trust us, it is completely worth taking the time to accurately represent your products in your store.

Now that you are armed with the tools necessary to have a successful Q4, it is time to put it all into practice. We look forward to working with you this holiday season and root for your continued success. If you have any questions or concerns, we are more than happy to assist you – just give us a shout at customerservice@teelaunch.com.

Andy McGuire

Andy is the Graphic Designer for teelaunch. Basically he gets to make fun stuff all day long while the rest of us actually work.