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How to set your brand apart this holiday season

September 29, 2023 | Published by Faire

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Image courtesy of Teaspressa

When it comes to standing out as an independent brand, it’s important that retailers not only find value in your products but also feel valued when shopping from your business. An easy shopping experience and a little appreciation go a long way, especially among the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Try these tips for creating the kind of service that will keep your brand top-of-mind for retailers long after the last string lights are put back in storage.

Help retailers see your products’ potential with Collections

Gifts come in all possible shapes and sizes—sometimes all it takes is the right packaging to see a certain product in that holiday light. By grouping like-minded or themed items together, you reduce the level of decision-making for retailers and increase the likelihood of a purchase. 

Enter our revamped Collections tool, which helps you design curated assortments around seasons, trends, bestsellers, and more. Think of them as virtual gift guides. For example, try grouping items like:

  • Gifts under $20
  • Gifts for beauty gurus/foodies/parents/booklovers/kids
  • Category-specific (home decor, kitchen, bath)
  • Bestsellers
  • New products
  • Seasonal lines and holiday trends
  • Eco-friendly and sustainable products

Putting together a gift guide or collection takes the guesswork out of selling for retailers. They can easily browse, shop, and envision where your products would go on their shelves and who would purchase them. 

Your holiday gift guides don’t have to consist of completely new, holiday-specific products. Instead, they can be curated in a way that best fits your catalog of products.

Communicate with your customers early and often

In 2022, more than half of U.S. consumers began their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, which means retailers will likely be following suit this year. Know the details of your shipping windows and methods, and stay communicative about any expected changes or delays to ensure they can fulfill increased early demand. To reduce the risk for a retailer making a first-time or new purchase, keep your order minimums low—around $150 or below.

“A major key to success during the holiday rush is communication,” says Dan Gutstein, vice president of growth and strategy at drinkware brand Well Told. “Actively engaging with retailers keeps everyone comfortable and informed during the chaos of the holidays. We try to go above and beyond to communicate our product availability and turnaround time so our partners feel secure in knowing their orders will arrive within the designated window of time.”

This kind of follow-through can help you achieve positive reviews and increase brand perception, leading to higher conversion rates. Alternatively, if you don’t meet your estimated lead time, retailers will likely be less willing to buy from you again in the future. 

If a retailer uses the chat feature to inquire about something, try your best to respond promptly. This shows you care about their business and dispels any hesitation that you won’t be responsive this holiday season. Small personalization goes a long way, but you can also keep a library of frequently used responses to save yourself time while still providing quality customer service, tweaking details as necessary. Plus, you can download the Faire app for brands to write and respond to messages on the go.

Make your products stand out with updated photography and video

Along with shipping information, it’s essential to ensure your product details and photography are up-to-date. 

“A brand stands out to us when packaging, photos, and descriptions are well crafted and completed,” says Morgan Calderini, co-founder of brand and retail store Ladyfingers Letterpress. “Buying online can be scary, and it’s important to feel like I’m able to make informed decisions.” 

If you have the resources, photography that’s specific to the holidays and/or your gift guides is especially powerful, helping retailers paint a better picture of how your products could look in their store. What’s more important, however, is ensuring you’re offering retailers a clear idea of what your products look like and allowing them to accurately picture those products on their shelves. For more photography tips, see our guide

Video has also proven to be increasingly effective, with Meta’s holiday marketing guide reporting that two-thirds of shoppers were inspired to buy products or services based on Reels. Instagram Live can offer potential buyers a more intimate look at your product, giving them the chance to ask questions and avoid buying unwanted items.

Run a promotion

Promotions are a valuable way to attract new retailers and reward existing ones. You could do site-wide offers or incrementally increase promotions based on the amount they spend, like 5% off orders over $300, and/or 10% off orders over $600. A few other options:

  • Shop-wide promotions encourage retailers to make larger purchases or try new products. You can offer shop-wide promotions to all customers, new customers, returning customers, or customers in specific locations (you just can’t offer more than one shop-wide promo at a time). 
  • Product-specific promotions are a great way to increase the visibility of seasonal products, drive traffic to products you’re having trouble selling, or clear out old inventory.
  • Collection-specific promotions allow you the ability to offer a percent-off discount on an entire Collection. 

“The use of marketing promotions and discounts can set purchase incentives for customers that will help brands maximize their sales in the fourth quarter,” says Alena Sternberg, junior marketing manager of toy brand Small Foot.

This tactic also ties in nicely with gift guides, which can be bundled and offered at a discount. You can use Faire’s marketing tools to keep retailers in the loop and give new visitors incentives by offering an introductory discount. You can also advertise your discount on your marketing channels.

Reward loyal customers

A loyalty program is another low-effort option that allows retailers to build toward rewards with each purchase. It can be as simple as rewarding retailers after a certain number of purchases or after a set dollar figure. The quicker they earn rewards, the more likely they’ll come back, so start with some easy wins, like giving retailers welcome points when they make their first purchase.

’Tis the season of giving, and small tokens or gifts can go a long way in showing your appreciation. This could come in the form of a free gift with purchase or even small standalone gifts to a few retailers. Free samples are another good idea that allow customers to try one of your products they might not otherwise and increase their chances of returning for more.

Another impactful way to give back is by donating to social causes with every purchase or as a bulk donation. You could even poll your community to see which cause they would recommend you contribute to this year and make it an annual event. 

To encourage even more philanthropy, consider offering a discount or free gift to retailers who show proof of donation to your selected cause. Giving back by paying it forward is a memorable way to show your appreciation for your retailers, your staff, and your community. In fact, 7 out of 10 American shoppers say small business owners should promote causes they believe in.

After the holiday rush, when you have a bit more time, one of the simplest ways to show your appreciation to loyal customers is through a letter. Handwritten is the most personal, but if you’re operating on a larger scale, a printed card can work (especially if you can sign each one). 

Visit our Holiday Hub for more advice on navigating the holiday season.

New to Faire? Sign up to shop, or apply to sell.

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