We all know that there is never enough time to get it all done. The added pressures of the holidays make planning and preparations all the more critical. October is the time to get organized, so November and December can be sales focused.
Here are some planning tasks and ideas that you can incorporate into your art gallery’s holiday strategy. Advanced preparation is the key to maximizing holiday revenue.
Set Holiday Goals
Setting goals for the holiday season helps you plan better and motivate your team. Review your finances to determine how critical this last sales push of the year needs to be for your business. Outline a budget that includes holiday marketing, decorations and other expenses such as thank you gifts, shipping, etc.
Once you have a better understanding of what is at stake for the holiday season, you can set sales goals and break them up by sales associates appropriately. You can also set goals for all your online channels. It’s best to do this critical planning early, so your gallery’s holiday sales and marketing strategy have ample time to do its magic.
Goals do not need to be all about sales. Your goals might be to connect with inactive clients, improve relationships with artists, or form a new partnership within your community. What would make the holiday season a success for your business?
New Holiday Offerings
September or October is also the time to identify artworks that are affordable for a broader range of shoppers to promote as gifts. Reach out to your artists who may have pieces in their studios to help compliment your holiday offering.
You might also consider offering items outside of your artist roster specifically for the holidays, such as handmade craft items, jewelry, or unique household items or fashions? Look for inspiration with individual makers you admire. Stepping outside your gallery’s regular inventory during the holiday season is also a way to attract and introduce people who appreciate unique things to your gallery.
Are there other local retailers or businesses with a similar client base that you could collaborate with during the holidays? Use the holiday season to develop interesting partnerships from within your community, such as with charities, framers or locations for offsite pop-up exhibits.
Services are often the cherry on top of a good holiday shopping experience.
Take a look at the services your gallery currently or could offer art buyers and make them stand out in your marketing messages. Perhaps free shipping can be provided on purchases at a particular price point, or you might offer local buyers a Champaign installation celebration after the holidays. Discuss your service ideas with your artists to evaluate if associated costs could come from both sides of your profits through the holidays.
Review your return policy, layaway, and payment plans to decide how you can promote these services as a holiday shopping sweetener. These are all basic expectations among holiday shoppers, so promote them well.
Holiday Gallery Aesthetic
You can show your holiday spirit in your window display, decorations, and even holiday branding.
Give some thought to how you want the gallery to be decked out for the season. Taking cues from your physical space’s aesthetic, complement your digital marketing with a holiday-themed look.
Try adding a fun holiday element to your website and email marketing. For example, you could use a different email template with a holiday header and footer. You might also experiment with a new font or image filter for your social media posts to help your gallery stand out a little more to regular followers.
The holiday season is a wonderful time to try new designs. Of course, always keep your gallery logo the same, but have fun with the rest.
Everyone will have more going on in November and December than usual. Determine what your gallery’s holiday hours of operations will be and get that updated on the website, Google local business listings and social media.
Also ask staff to submit their time off requests early. Everyone needs to communicate regarding holiday schedules, so there are no surprises, and everyone can enjoy the season.
Keep these holiday dates in mind. Many shoppers expect discounts and deals, especially on some of these dates. Discuss with your artists if you want to offer discounts beyond your standard working policy.
- November 28 is Thanksgiving and the (traditional) start of holiday discounting.
- November 29 is Black Friday, which is the biggest shopping event of the year. The day might present an opportunity for your gallery to hold a special event or stay open late.
- November 30 is Small Business Saturday. People love to support locals. This day might be an opportunity to highlight local artists if on your roster.
- December 2 is Cyber Monday. You might have a handful of artworks on special discount online just for this day. Build excitement early to drive traffic to your gallery’s website.
- December 3 is Giving Tuesday. If your gallery partners with a charity, this is the day blow up social media about it.
- December 14 is the last day to ensure delivery before December 25 by USPS Retail Ground, FedEx Ground, or UPS Ground.
- December 20 is the deadline for USPS Priority Mail, FedEx 2 Day, and UPS 2nd Day Air.
- December 22 is the first night of Hannukah.
- December 25 is Christmas Day
- December 26 is Boxer Day the United Kingdom
To the Point
The holiday season unofficially starts in October. Now is the time to make a plan and put the necessary preparations in motion to make the most of holiday sales.
Don’t forget to also plan how you will say thank you to your collectors, artists, and staff. You might send handwritten holiday cards or host an exclusive holiday party for all those who purchased art during the year.
Planning early in the season will help your gallery business stand out with a unique offering from the rest of the year and allow you to make a strong push at the end of the year for holiday revenue.
But most importantly, don’t forget to have fun too.