Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Holidays are winding down.

Ok, so we haven't made it to Christmas yet, but as far as retail goes, the holiday season is coming to a close. Especially for online retailers.

Today is the last day to order from our shop and still have orders out by December 20th, which is the last day the post office says it will take packages and get them there in time for Christmas. We've had a couple wind up taking 8-10 days to get to their destinations. Everyone cross your fingers for us that our packages get to their destinations, in tact and in time for gift giving.

We were swarmed this year. Hopefully we'll be better prepared next year. But given the economy's recent troubles, the fact that we were a new shop (only active since August 1st), and we were relying almost solely on word of mouth, I don't think we really expected to be this busy. Merry Christmas to us. LOL.

So the calender is turning, as it is apt to do in retail life. Your landmarks are the Holidays. Christmas holiday is more or less finished. Next comes Valentines Day, then St. Patricks Day, then Easter, then Summer break...the dead zone of retail. Then we start the calender over again.

The tricky part of this I think, is that unlike other niche businesses, there are only so many holidays where bath and body products are good gifts. Christmas and Valentines day being the 2 big commercial ones (though anniversaries are spread through out the year). The rest of the year its all about matching the scents to the seasons. Trying to stay ahead of what people want, and giving them something new to try about every 2 months or so to try to keep things fresh.

So there will still be some playing with the other minor holidays, to see if we can find a niche market.... (maybe some beer soap for St. Patty's day?), but for the most part, I think our next move after Valentines day will be working out whether we want to continue changing our line up each season, or create a line of specialty signature scents that are ours and ours alone to keep our customers coming back - with periodic new product lines, and special short term scents to round it all out.

So what are your business plans for the new year? Are you still developing your brand? Do you know what your goals are for your business?


tscrapper said...

Besides developing some new products for the new year (coordinating party supplies and invites, altered wooden frames and blocks, etc.), I'm working on some items for Valentine's Day. Being a paper shop, I create cards for each season/ holiday in addition to general cards and items to keep my customers coming back. I just finished my first full year, and I've been swamped the last month or so, too. Here's hoping to a busy new year for both of us!

Amy said...

Awesome. Yay for the busy year :) (I really can't believe how much business we picked up this year.)

So I'm guessing we have about 3 weeks to start posting Valentines items. Weee!

Coordinating the supplies and cards sounds good. :) But, what is an altered fram? Like, painted?