10 Ways to Add Value to your Online Shop this Holiday Season

10 Ways to Add Value and not discount your products this holiday season - Society for Creative Founders

Alrighty, y'all. With the launch of our 2018 Gift Guide, it means only one thing.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The holidays are coming.

If you're an online shop owner, seeing those four words puts you in one of these three spots:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • You're good to go! You've got a plan in place, everything is set, and no matter how many orders you get you know that you'll be calm, cool, and collected.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • You're almost there! You just need to take care of a few more details.

  • or, Well, thinking about it right now makes you feel like you're in a bit of a conundrum, because you still don't know what to do.

You may be wondering,

"Should I create bundled products to sell as gift sets?"

“Should I offer free shipping, or sell my products at a discount?"

"Do I *really* need to participate in Black Friday/Shop Small Saturday/Cyber Monday/Giving Tuesday for my business?"

If you've found yourself asking any of these questions or are currently still on the conundrum side of things, make sure to keep reading the blog post below because today we're talking all about it.

Your number one goal is to continually be building a profitable and sustainable business, and so you always need to keep that at the forefront of everything you sell. 

However, when it comes to the holiday season, there's one word that we hear a lot.


Everywhere we turn, you see discounts of 30%, 40%, sometimes 70-80% off products being sold. Especially in the big box stores. However, as small business owners, we are the ones who set the prices, and we are the ones who can take care of ourselves and set the tone for what should be expected.

As a business owner, it is so easy to compare your apples to someone else's oranges, especially because of social media, but you're doing just that ... you can not compare what your business can do next to what the business next to you is doing, because you are both running different businesses.

Your costs are different, your expenses are different, everything is different, so I want you to keep that in mind for holiday sales too.  Don't be afraid to do something different than you see someone else doing, starting with these sales. Rather than thinking about how you can discount your products, I actually want to challenge you to not discount them. Let's turn this idea of discounting your products which you work so hard to create on it's head and think about ways that you can add value instead.

Always take into consideration what works best for you.  Think about your business model, what's most important to you, how you can intentionally build a brand that you absolutely love, and develop your offerings around exactly that.  If you don't want to offer sales or discounts, don't feel that you need to. There is no rulebook in small business, especially when it comes to sales and offerings. Yes, people may be looking for that because that's what they see from other businesses, but you want to hold your values highest and think about your ideal clients and customers, and how you can serve them well. So, if offering discounts on your items makes you feel sick to your stomach because you don't want to make $2 on a product that you normally make $10 or more on, then simply don't do it.

So today, I wanted to give you ten suggestions that you can incorporate into your business in a different way, that leaves your pricing intact, but rather adds value.  Keep reading below, and I hope that these ideas will help you!

A Mini (mini!) Lesson on Profit Margin

Before we get into all of this, I want to give a quick (super quick) lesson on profit margins, because it is important that you take this into consideration before you do anything else.  The minimum profit margin you want to have is at least 60% (70% or higher is always the goal!)

Your Revenue (the total amount you receive) - Your Cost of Goods Sold (product, packaging, etc) = Net Profit

Your Net Profit divided by Revenue = Your Profit Margin

Make sure that after all costs are included, you maintain a profit margin of at least 60-70% at a minimum on your products that you sell on a regular basis, to make sure that your profit is in line.

The reason for this is two-fold.

First of all, from that net profit that you make, you need to save at least 30% of it for taxes.

Second of all, also from that net profit you make, you need to use that to run your business, and you can not let your profit margin be so small that you go into the red from necessary expenses running your business.  You don't want to literally be paying a customer to purchase your product at the end of the day after all things are taken into account.

So, that's your quick lesson on profit margin.

So let's get started, shall we? I want you to think of ways you can add value into your business, rather than discounting it. And your pricing is  at the basis of all of it.  So, below are ten different ways you can add value into your business without ever needing to feel you need to say the words "everything in the shop is 60% off! Buy now!"

Because at the end of the day, you need to look forward to doing this for your customers. So, here we go!

Shop Small Saturday Ideas for Small Business Owners - 10 Ways to Add Value - Society for Creative Founders

1 | Curate Gift Sets

What products can you pair together to sell as a gift set, specifically for the holidays? Are there certain products that you can't discount because of their individual profit margin, but you can put them together into one set so that you can sell them together, and keep your profit margin at a number that's still sustainable for your business?

Alternatively, could you put like-products together as an option, and sell them together as bundled sets?  For example, you can purchase one candle for $35, two for $55, or three for $70.  If they know that they can receive a third candle technically for free without you discounting your prices, and this works within your profit margins to offer it to people by purchasing three candles instead of only one, it could be a great alternative to do!

Or, can you put together a collection that contains a shirt, a koozie, a candle, and a print, where if purchased together, they’re less overall than they would be individually?

2 | Exclusive Product with Orders over _____

Perhaps it's that you have a product that you don't want to sell individually, and it'll only be available if you make an order with a certain amount.  For example, can you include a set of gift tags, or a print that is not offered individually in your shop?  Can you offer an exclusive tote bag or something that you know that your people would enjoy and would entice them to purchase?

3 | The First ___ orders receive ______

Another spin on the exclusive product is to do something special for the first 10, 25, 50, or 70 people that order from you.  This will not only entice people to purchase from you, it will also make them want to purchase sooner due to the scarcity factor.  Think about it this way - if someone tells you that they only have 10 of something, you know that you're going to hop on it if you want one of those limited edition 10 products.

4 | Offer certain products in your shop for a set price.

Think about the products that you have in your shop that are various pricepoints - perhaps they range from $12.95 - $19.95.  However, the profit margins for them are so good that you can offer them at $10 each and still maintain a good profit margin.   Technically, you're discounting the cost of the product, but, you are the one that is setting the prices, so you have the ultimate say in what costs what.

- Offer a set collection of products that you choose to sell fo $10 each, that are normally priced between $13-$23)
- Offer a set collection of products that you can sell for $25 each (that normally may be priced between $27 - $35)

and so on.  This way, you get to set the pricing for the products to make sure that you maintain those levels you need to be in. 

This is especially a good idea to do if you have particular products that you’ll be “retiring” in the new year or want to move to make room for new products. Your customers don’t necessarily know that the mug you’re currently selling for $30 in your shop will be discontinued in the New Year, so if they can purchase that particular mug for $10 (when you simply want to move the product in order to make room for new things), this is another way to do that without saying it’s discounted a certain percentage off of the regular price.

How to Add Value to your Online Shop this holiday season - Society for Creative Founders

5 | The name of their choice written on a blank envelope, including a blank card inside

This is especially fantastic to consider if you’re a calligrapher! Everyone loves to see their name written, especially if it's done in a style that makes their heart swoon.  If you give them the option to include an envelope that you simply write their name on, in addition to the product that you send to them, you're making their gift giving that much easier, and saving the costs for them in investing in a card as well.

6 | Different Levels of Purchases = Different Products Received

This is one of my favorite ideas to do because you want to think about ways that you can continually upsell your customers, to have them get to that next "tier".  Remember, 90% of online buyers love to receive free shipping and it's a number one seller for them. So, integrate that into your pricing from the beginning.

For example:

Spend $50, receive product A
Spend $75, receive A + B 
Spend $100, receive A + B + free shipping 

*The big thing with this is to think about those profit margins, and make sure you're covered! To expand on this further, think about the products that you can offer to add value to your customers purchases that you have a really high profit margin for, and go from there.   

Perhaps it's a print that costs you $2.05 in total, that you normally retail for $25 in your shop, but you only include it as a complimentary item for orders that are $50 and over.

Perhaps you have an ornament that you can have printed + packaged for $4.50, that you sell for retail at $30, but you only include it as a complimentary item for orders $75 and over.

It is definitely a time where surveying your audience and listening to what they are excited about can benefit you tremendously.

7 | Give a Gift Certificate with a Minimum Order towards a future purchase

This encourages them to return again, rather than discount your prices.  For example, giving a $15 gift card with a $75 purchase, good for a future purchase only.  With this one especially, especially if they will be giving gift cards as gifts at a holiday party or as a stocking stuffer, now you get to give them “savings” to pass on to another potential new customer who may just fall in love with all of your products as well! 

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Shop Small Saturday Ideas for Small Business Owners - Society for Creative Founders

8 | Host a Giveaway 

For everyone who purchases from you on a certain day, host a giveaway where everyone will be entered into receive something for free. Perhaps it's that you'll do a giveaway once a day for four days, or a giveaway for the first 20 people that order from you. Think about what works well for YOU and go from there!

9 | Offer an Exclusive Sale to your Email List, before Black Friday even begins

This is something you can do that can work really well if you time it right and use the right wording. You want the people who are on your email list to receive the best from you, always.  These people let you into their inboxes, which we all know by now is precious space. Consider offering an exclusive VIP Sale or VIP Product offerings to these people only, that is better than your public sale that you'll be sharing on social media, that closes before Black Friday begins. Obviously, this is one way to receive early sales, but another way to have people join your email list as well.

10 | And finally, consider offering Free Shipping.

The number one incentive for people to purchase products from online businesses is free shipping.  In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers say that free shipping is the number one incentive to get them to shop online.  However, that doesn't mean that you have to offer free shipping for every single product - determine what your profit margins are, and where you are comfortable pricing-wise with the profits you'll make for each item.

Perhaps, offer Free Shipping for orders over $50, or $75, or $100.  Determine what the shipping costs will be and where the pricepoint is that you're comfortable with offering it.   Then, make sure to be clear in your words on this - is it for flat rate shipping, and does it include international shipping? Make sure that you are very clear with your wording and this could be a tremendous selling point as well.

Overall, think about what you want to do, and what will be good for your business moving forward.

At the end of the day, you have got to put what will work well for your business first.  You have the incredible privilege of being a small business owner.  And if we all discount our prices and sell items for just pennies over what we can profit from, we are doing both ourselves and our businesses a tremendous disservice.  Think about the ways that you can add value in to your products, deliver incredible customer service, and keep your customers coming back for more year after year.


If you have any additional ideas, thoughts, or comments, share them with us below .... we would love to hear them!

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