Strategies for Holiday Shopping 2020 Style
We have changed the way we shop. This year, I won’t be out in front of Target waiting for doors to open on Black Friday, although I have been there in the past. While we are still in pandemic mode most of us are rethinking how we do everything. Holiday shopping is something to reconsider for sure. When I first decided to write this blog, I anticipated the Covid Virus to be accelerated near the holidays, unfortunately it’s looking worse than anyone anticipated.
I hope that what I have to I share with you will be helpful; how to navigate shopping this holiday season. My intention is to send a cheerful message. However, the top story in the news today, besides the election outcome, is that the US had over 100,000 new cases of Covid yesterday. The nation of Greece is considering locking the whole country down again with Europe following close behind. To be honest, it is not the news that I wanted to share with you. I do hope that I can offer you some holiday cheer, because I think in 2020 if we’ve learned anything, it’s how to make the best of our circumstances. Let’s make this the best holiday season we can!
Online shopping is in. Shops big and small have scrambled to create or build out their online spaces this year. People are home. People are on the internet and those of us offering our creations online have seen an uptick in traffic and sales. We expect that most people will be doing at least part of their holiday shopping online .
Even if you shop less in person in stores this year, you will most likely want to shop around. Maybe those wonderful displays with all the holiday feels that you find at shops around town won’t be part of your holiday experience. You can still gather gift ideas online. Get comfortable and think about your purchases by discovering interesting gifts for the people you love online. The internet is the store display window of 2020. You can shop around anywhere, anytime you have a spare moment, on your phone. Or you can sit by the fire in a lazy chair with a cup of coffee and surf the web to your hearts content.
It is nice to come across a holiday gift guild to help you explore what is out there. I use them all the time to scout out unusual gifts. That seems to be the criteria I set when buying for my family; something unique, one of a kind, handmade, or artisan crafted. And you can find all of that online.
Our Amazon Strategy
My family has holiday shopping down to an art. We rely on Amazon Lists. The cool thing about Amazon Lists is you can tag items outside of Amazon and add them to your list. Casie does this every year. She tags clothing from Old Navy or unique handmade items from Etsy. When I purchase gifts for her I mark her Amazon list purchased from another vendor so no one else can see it. It removes the possibility of duplicate gifts.
Based on my online shopping experience early in the spring, there are things to watch out for. We saw products disappear from the shelves before our eyes. Although people joke about giving toilet paper for Christmas, it is best to keep in mind that products are more likely to sell out this season. It is probably a good idea to shop early. I know some people like to shop last minute, but I think Covid has made that a thing of the past.
I got a text today from my oldest son Sean. He’s already updating his Amazon List. We have all agreed that we need to update our lists and shop early.
I don’t think it is unrealistic to expect longer shipping times. I have been doing most of my shopping online this year and I have seen shipping times improve. Should we run into more shutdowns, we can expect delays. Order early to allow for extended shipping time. Factor in that most people will be doing at least some of their shopping online, so we can expect a busy season for our postal and delivery services.
This year the last day to ship has been determined to be December 14th. That is earlier than previous years. That means if you are sending out gifts you need to send them by that date. If you are having gifts sent to you the same date applies. But if you need to order gifts and send them, you should order closer to Dec 1st. The thought is that you may need to allow 2 weeks for shipping both ways. That is what I am telling my customers. Compared to the past when shipping times were 2 to 3 days, it is a huge adjustment we need to make to our shopping strategy.
Another good strategy is to shop local and shop small businesses even if you do it online. You are more likely to receive special attention from vendors and you will be truly appreciated. For me, it means I can find those special unique gifts I desire to give my friends and family.
With all of that in mind, I am putting together a little online Holiday Shop and I have invited some of my friends who have online businesses to join me. They are creative people I have known over the years or have met online because of my business. I asked them to join me and they said yes!
What I had in mind was to create a place you can come and explore some wonderful holiday gifts you won’t find anywhere else. I am expecting to have nine members in the shop. I will introduce them to you in the blog next week. We have been working hard this year on our specialties, exploring our creativity, and coming up with new ideas. We’ve enjoyed creating them and now we want to share them with you.
The Holiday Shop at Ruthieonart
The Holiday Shop at Ruthieonart will launch November 15th. It is small website where you can find out more about the businesses that have joined me and see a sample of what we offer. From there you link to individual websites where purchases can be made from the individual shop owners. It is like a virtual craft show. Many Shops like this have sprung up on the internet this year because most art and craft shows have been cancelled. Google virtual art or craft shows and you will see what I mean.
To give you a taste of what is to come, here is a list of items that will be available.
Nature Inspired Watercolor Art, Prints, & Cards
Pastry Chef Created Cookies
Fun Gift Boxes, Novelty Items & Silkscreen
Plumeria & Beach Inspired Jewelry
Handcrafted Artisan Soaps & Sundries
Unique Abstract Art, Mugs, & Coasters
Artisan Soy Candles
Joy Inspired T-shirts
Handcrafted Hardwood Picture Frames.
Next week I will match these items up with their creators and announce the shop opening.
I am introducing my New Christmas Card Sets this week
Poinsettias are my favorite choice for Christmas card art because I love to paint them. I have been painting in watercolors since I was in elementary school and having been drawing and painting poinsettias about that long. In fact, I love to draw and paint flowers. I like to say, “I never have met a flower I did not love.” Poinsettias, I just love more.
The cards can be customized. They are an A8 size card that measures 8 X 5.25 inches and come with a white envelope.
I have created my own Christmas Cards since I was old enough to send Christmas Cards. My cards were originally made by hand and have evolved into my current design process. It consists of scanning my original watercolor paintings for the artwork and then designing them in InDesign. I print each card on linen paper because linen looks so wonderful. The cards are scored and folded and placed into a plastic envelope for protection along with their envelopes.
Thank you for being a part of my Holiday Season! And as always, Be Inspired.