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Saturday, October 26, 2013

US Christmas Spending Trends; Small Shops & Businesses Unite to Market With a Big Voice

This year the National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting that U.S. shoppers will be spending 2% less on their holiday shopping than last year.  While that can be very disheartening for retailers in this year of "recovery,"  there is a small glimmer of hope for those of us that own online boutiques; the NRF has predicted an increase of 13 - 15% for online sales.  According to their polls the average American shopper plans to do 40% of their shopping online.  But unfortunately it is not as easy as simply waiting for the increase of traffic to just happen.  Etsy has 800,000 active sellers according to PandoDaily , in 2006 Ebay report 1.3 Million (yes MILLION) sellers according to OrdoroBlog, and Amazon 1.6 Million Sellers from 2009.  Then don't forget about Artfire, Zibbet, on and on the list goes.  In summary that means that my poor little shop has just about as much chance as I do winning the lotto! Of course I am a big dreamer and play the lotto so I am still in.

The entire point to this little post is not to bring people down or to make them want to quit but it is to bring attention to how important our grassroots advertising and promotions are.  If you want to be successful there will be 3 ways (as I see it) Pure luck and timing (which we all use a little,)  Pay professionals to manage your Marketing or Pool your resources with others and spend a lot of your own time promoting.  I strongly believe we have power in numbers; we are little fish in a big ocean but together we can be seen from satellite!  For a good example of this check out my short post to see evidence of how fast the Twitter Tree improved traffic to my shop and put me on Etsy's radar

There are several opportunities for Etsy, Artfire and free standing shops to self promote and while helping yourself you help others that are in the same situation.  I host several of them and join in many others.   Here are few that are current:

Friday is my turn to host the Twitter Tree, here is the link to take a peek:
It may seem a bit involved at first but is very simple; give it a try, if have questions the group is wonderful and will gladly help you. We are all there for the same reason to tweet and get tweeted.

The Twitter Tree is hosted 3 times a week; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by different blogs. If you would like to receive notice of when they are running you can send me your email and interest to ButterflyInTheAttic at Yahoo dot com. I will email you the links.

Postcard Lover's Tuesday

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

 The Blue Print: Countdown to Christmas

They're in Week 6 and it is a great way to link up your items

Teams found on Etsy and Artfire are also very helpful:

Pacific Postcards Team

A few Bloggers are very dedicated to group promotion one great blog to visit would be Christie Cottage.  She often has several promotions and features going on and is a great resource:
Christie Cottage

The PPT Team's BNS is open to members for free all they have to do is express interest to me and after I add them to the next BNS they will need to help promote.

*•♪ღ♪*•OCTOBERFEST.•*•♪ღ♪•* ♪ღ♪~ PPT's Autumn BNS ~ OPEN TO ALL ~ No Minimum ~ OPEN' by postcardsintheattic

Antique Postcard Thanksgivin...
Farm in Autumn Downloadable,...
Pumpkin Harvest ACEO origina...
Vintage Flower Children Fair...
ACEO Owl Acrylic Print Ol...
Thanksgiving Vintage Postcar...
Fall Handmade Fabric Postcar...
Soviet Vintage Glass Vase - ...
CARDS, blank cards, fall col...
Victorian HALLOWEEN Postcard...
Beautiful Antique Fall Thank...
Brown and White Leaf Cane Po...
Halloween Spooky Doll Masque...
Beautiful Sunset Vintage Pos...
SALE - Vintage Spooky Hallow...
Vintage Postcard Beer Barrel...

There are many other opportunities for marketing your shop for free or for a very small fee; the most important thing is that you are doing something to market yourself.  If you simply list your items and wait for something to happen it never will, even if it is the next best thing to sliced bread, because no one will even know it is there.

So my challenge to you is go out and find some great groups and Promote! Promote! Promote!  We may be small but we pack a punch.... GOOOOoooo.... TEAM! Raahh!

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