Wednesday, April 20, 2011

May Merchandising Trends and Tips

May is almost here! By sharing our merchandising tips, our goal is to create a healthy balance between promotions for traditional holidays, seasonal changes, cultural events, and lifestyle trends. It's also a great way to change up the way you approach managing your Etsy business.

Stay Engaged in May
 Our central merchandising will focus on Mother's Day, graduations, and Father's Day this month. While emphasis will be placed upon the seasonality of the Northern Hemisphere, it's important to remember the Southern Hemisphere is preparing for autumn. Maintaining seasonally appropriate options year-round is good practice for boosting international and overall sales.

Mother's Day: Make sure to have expedited shipping options available to take advantage of any last-minute shoppers in need of the perfect gift.

Graduation and Teacher Gifts: As the traditional academic year comes to a close, think about offering items that would show appreciation for teachers or a sentimental congratulation for graduates. Personalization, handmade cards (think monetary gifts), and keepsakes are always sought after. The typical college year comes to a close in early to mid-May, while high schools tend to close in mid to late June. 

Fashion: Options for summer emphasize showing some skin, open toes, lightweight materials, and sun protection: sunglasses, sunscreen, makeup, balms, hats and coverups. Summer dresses, shoes and accessories, and options for hair are key.

Gardening and Artisanal Food: Thoughtful cultivation of food is becoming less a trend and more of a sustainable movement. Think in terms of what you can offer toward organic methods, growing, non-processed options, recipes, and education around sustainable food options. Expect farmer's markets, raising animals, community gardens, and co-ops continue to grow in popularity.

Weddings, Proms, and Celebrations: Embrace your inner teenager and think about glam prom options with a touch of sparkle and edge: dresses, shoes, jewelry, bags, hair accessories, corsages, and make-up. Smack in the middle of the busiest time for wedding season, think about how your line can offer or evoke outdoor options for both the ceremony and after-party. 

Emerald is May's birthstone; May's astrological signs are Taurus  and Gemini (April 21 - May 20:  Taurus, May 21 - June 21: Gemini).

Trending Topics:

Cinco de Mayo: Celebrations and honor of Mexican culture: beverages, food, festive decor, bright colors, and music.

Gadget Accessories: With the recent iPhone and iPad availability on Verizon, coupled with the release of iPad 2, accessories for smartphones and tablets are on the rise.

Letters, Numbers, and Symbols: Large vintage signage letters, letterpress blocks, monogram housewares, and typewriter keys.

The Indoor Garden: Glass domes, terrariums, air plants, window herbs, succulent plants, garden markers, and planters.

Fashion: American prep, nautical, and equestrian references. Tribal, geometric, and color-blocking. Peekaboo cuts, sheer panels, and lace. Wooden platform heels, reversible swimwear, and vintage sunglasses.

PersonalizationMonograms, initials, text, numbers, zodiacs, constellations, portraits, custom labels, stamps, fingerprints and family trees.

Vintage: Globes, maps, crates, baskets, barware, industrial appliances, farmhouse, typewriters, cameras, brass and cast iron animals.

Natural history and woodland forest themes and animals, namely birds, owls, squirrels, hedgehogs, chipmunks, bunnies, butterflies, feathers, nests, eggs, acorns, leaves, trees, branches, woodgrain, and natural colors.

If you'd like to stay engaged and involved with the approaching merchandising themes, use them in your own artistic voice as you add to your shop. They can be translated in your listings, photos, shop announcements, descriptions, tags, titles, sales promotions, and more.

If you make items that would fit well with the themes outlined, try stocking up and listing them in advance to take advantage of potential shipping deadlines and site features. Do you already have items in your shop that meld well? That's great! Now it's time to revisit those items to make sure your tags, titles and descriptions reflect keywords that shoppers might be looking for this time of year. This is also a great opportunity to revamp your item photography with a new look. Check out some great how-to's for item photography to get started.

For those of your who enjoy making treasuries, we'll be looking to highlight lists that interpret these themes in a creative and cohesive way throughout the site. Please tag your treasuries accordingly.

See the rest of the May Merchandise Desk in the Storque here:

Edited and images chosen by Chelsea Rainbow

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