The holiday season is upon us, and high sales figures make it the perfect time to start a business. Do you want to be your own boss, earn money from home, and build your empire from the ground up? Whether you’re starting a brand new online store or looking to add new products to your existing site for the holidays, invest in yourself this season with one of these proven holiday sellers:
3 Hot Products for Christmas
Unique Holiday Cards
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1. Smartphone Accessories
As smartphones become more and more vital to many people’s lives, accessories to protect and personalize them have similarly skyrocketed in demand. According to TechCrunch, Americans spend roughly five hours a day on their mobile devices, up 20% from 2015. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, and as such, keeping phones in prime working condition is a key concern for a huge number of consumers.
At the same time, as smartphones have become central to communication, navigation, and, for many consumers, work; they have also become a highly customizable element of a user’s wardrobe and personal identity.
Cases cover both bases. A dropped phone can easily cost over a hundred dollars to fix, and the time without it is often extremely difficult. A good case, on the other hand, is relatively cheap and offers a sense of security. There are a huge range of styles on the market right now, with something for just about everyone.
Spend some time thinking about your ideal customer, and choose a handful of styles you think will be popular. Be sure to include measurements for each case, and pictures of it in action, if possible.
Your store can sell the whole range of phone products- chargers (both wired and wireless), USB blocks, screen protectors, earbuds, and more. Consider offering starter packages, i.e. “your first smartphone.” You may want to narrow your niche down and focus on a particular phone brand- Android products, say.
2. Winter Gear
It’s chilly in the Northern hemisphere, meaning Cyber Monday demand is up for scarves, beanies, gloves, mittens, sweaters, wool socks; you name it- if it keeps you warm, people want it. Consider putting together sets styled loosely together. You’ll want to consider how similar each item looks. For some customers, a matching set might feel like too much, so consider putting together collections of a few items that draw from the same basic color palette, but are otherwise unique.
You don’t have to focus on hand-made products, either- outdoors gear from brands like North Face and REI is a big seller around the holidays. Consider partnering with a distributor or drop-shipper to quickly move product and keep your shipping costs down. Check out this example from Rescue Strong.
You will need to clearly state the sizes available for each item, and find innovative ways to help the customer visualize what this means in context. Think of it this way: how will your customers know that a pair of mittens will fit without trying them on?
High-quality images are also a must in this business. Whether you are comfortable modeling your own product or want to hire a friend or acquaintance to do so, set time aside for a photo shoot. Most phones have high-quality cameras these days, so the real work will be in picking out a handful of locations that accentuate your product.
Read: How to Create Picture-Perfect Product Images
Selling outdoors gear? Look for rugged locals, and see if you capture your model in action- climbing or hiking, or just wandering through the snow. Selling cozy scarves and sweaters? Coffee shops, fireplaces, and urban settings all speak to your brand. Take more pictures than you expect to use.
Regardless, you will want to shoot the product from multiple angles. If an item is unisex (say, a beanie), then it may be helpful to use both male and female models. The biggest obstacle for online clothing sales is the customer’s hesitation to buy without trying an item on first.
Your job, then, is to help them to accurately visualize themselves (or the loved one they are buying for) wearing the item. Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest are likely your best options for promotion because they are built around images. If you already have a following on Insta, then it’s easy to blend images of your product in action into your feed.
3. Unique Holiday Cards
Love calligraphy or graphic design? Do you have a way with words? Highly personalized, stylish cards are a hit every holiday season, and with some elbow grease, you can get in on the sales. Many families and businesses send out holiday cards in December, so you can create a blend of one-size-fits-all cards and personalized selections that you design to include a family or company photo. Some clients will have an image picked out for you to use, but you may have to play photographer for others.
While demand may drop off for a while in January, Valentine’s Day and Easter are both right around the corner. You can also offer engagement, birthday, condolence, graduation, and other cards year-round. If you choose to expand your business at some point down the line, wedding invitations are another lucrative market.
Start by developing a handful of options and workshopping them with friends, family, and other artistically-inclined types. Look for inspiration from existing cards, but keep this in mind: buying a card in a store is incredibly cheap and easy. To sell your product, you will need to stand out from the competition and capture your audience’s eye in an instant. Explore what makes you unique. Connect with local businesses adjacent to your niche and see if they are interested in carrying your product.
Content marketing for this product could include graphic design or calligraphy tutorials, time-lapse video of you creating your product, and explorations of the materials and artistic tools you use. For social media, any visually-focused platform will likely yield results.
The options are truly endless, and these are just a few helpful examples to get you going. For more inspiration, check out our 105 side business ideas, and this collection of four side-hustles you can have running in time for Christmas. Consider doing some research yourself as well- what items sell well this time of year, and what complementary products and services can you provide?