We all know that there is never enough time to get it all done. The added pressures of the holidays make advance planning and preparations all the more important. October is the time to get organized so November and December can be sales focused.
Below is a checklist of planning tasks and ideas that your gallery may want to incorporate into your holiday strategy. Advanced preparation is the key to strong holiday revenue.
New Holiday Offerings
- Identify artworks that are affordable for a broader range of shoppers to promote as gifts. Reach out to artists who may have works in their studios to help compliment your holiday offering.
- Order new items outside of your artist roster just for the holidays, such as handmade craft items, jewelry or unique household items or fashions?
- Set up holiday collaboration through special partnerships in your community, such as with charities, framers or locations for offsite pop-up exhibits.
- Review return policy and decide how you can promote it as a holiday shopping sweetener.
- Determine if free shipping can be offered on either a particular price point or size of work. Discuss this service with your artists and ask that costs come from both sides of your profits through the holidays.
- Promote installation, framing and lighting consultations as part of giving art for the holidays.
- Develop payment plans on art purchases for the holidays and enable self-gifting by offering lay-away options for after the holidays.
- Ensure all gallery events through December are posted on your website by the end of October. This includes exhibitions, open houses, art walks, pop-ups and anything else you have planned.
- Create a page on your website dedicated to your art gallery’s holiday offerings and featured events and services. Drive holiday focused emails and social media posts to this page making it easy for shoppers to find what they need.
- If you are extending gallery hours, get that updated on your website and other online places.
- Create a holiday marketing calendar that includes emails, social posts, gallery events and advertising to ensure your messaging is comprehensive.
- Create holiday email newsletters and schedule them to go out automatically according to your calendar. You can do the same for social media posts.
- Plan targeted social media advertising campaigns
- Create in advance holiday specific social media cover images, email templates and website graphics in advance. Put into use early November.
- Add holiday specific keywords so online shoppers might find your gallery’s digital store.
- Update third party art sales platforms to ensure additional inventory is represented.
- If you offer eCommerce on your gallery’s website, set up an automated email for abandoned shopping carts. This can help boost sales.
- Develop your sales message in advance for emails and direct mail. During the holidays you should be more direct with your message and value offered. Don’t assume the art will sell itself.
- Review old leads and lost sales from the past year to see if they can be revitalized. Circumstances may have changed and they may be inspired to buy themselves a present.
- Offer a gift card with a purchase, such as an Amazon gift card or something from one of your community partners. This is an effective way to offer better value, without discounting the art.
- If you do not normally publish prices in the gallery, posting prices next to works of art during the holidays helps people make buying decisions more quickly and easily.
The more advance preparation you can do before the holidays hit in full force the better you will feel. Look for as many ways as you can to put marketing initiatives on auto-pilot.
You want to have much of November and December to focus on closing sales and enjoying the spirit of the season.