Prepare your store for the holidays

Are you excited for BFCM? I know we said we were done with the last episode, but… we lied.  Here’s why: there is so much to cover, and we want to make sure you know everything you need to know going into the holiday shopping season.
This week we’re talking more about content and product offering during the holidays.




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show notes.

  • [04:31] Why are we talking about BFCM again?
  • [05:39] We saw a swell with Prime Day- but it seems like BFCM is very much in play
  • [08:34] Develop holiday related content
  • [09:03] Create gift guides
  • [13:41] Show off your products out in the wild (with customers)
  • [16:27] Social proof - are you doing it? If not start now!
  • [20:52] Updated photography
  • [22:30] Be careful of mentioning specific holidays
  • [25:14] Holiday collections
  • [26:24] Customize your collections pages
  • [29:06] Holiday bundles
  • [32:16] Gift cards
  • [34:06] Wishlists
  • [36:39] Gift wrapping upsell
  • [41:19] Backups
  • [43:03] Store shoutout: Lunya
  • [45:25] Store shoutout: Death Wish Coffee





Rhian (00:00):
Are you excited for Black Friday/Cyber Monday? I know we said we were done with the last episode, but we lied. Here's why: there is so much to cover and we want to make sure that you know everything you need to know going into the holiday shopping season. So this week we're talking more about content and product offerings during the holidays. You're not going to want to miss this one. Let's dig in.

Rhian (00:31):
Welcome to Commerce Tea, a podcast to help you succeed on Shopify. I'm Rhian.

Kelly (00:36):
And I'm Kelly. Grab a mug and join us as we talk about all things commerce. Good morning, Rhian.

Rhian (00:47):
Good morning, Kelly. How are you doing?

Kelly (00:50):
I am finally taking a deep breath for the first time in a while.

Rhian (01:00):
Me as well.

Kelly (01:01):
Last week was the longest week ever.

Rhian (01:03):

Kelly (01:04):
I'm pretty sure... So my birthday was last Sunday and I'm pretty...

Rhian (01:08):

Kelly (01:09):
Allegedly, yes. I'm pretty sure I aged four years last week.

Rhian (01:15):
You probably did. It was a weird week.

Kelly (01:18):
You know what? It's not fair. I am just now getting used to being 30 and now I have to be 34?

Rhian (01:24):
Welcome to the club.

Kelly (01:25):
I'm already in my mid 30s?

Rhian (01:26):
You're already in your mid 30s. Welcome to hangovers.

Kelly (01:32):
Thank you. You know what? It hasn't happened yet, so I'm crossing my fingers. You know what I really had a crisis over on Sunday about?

Rhian (01:42):
What's that?

Kelly (01:43):
I no longer belong to the 18 to 29 survey response group.

Rhian (01:48):
That's true.

Kelly (01:50):
A weird thing though is I have a Fitbit and it tells you your ratings based on your age group and I realized even before my birthday it had already put me in the women's 30 to 39 age group. I'm like, "Is this practice or is my data skewed now? I don't know what's happening." Anyway, I am 30 years old now.

Rhian (02:12):
Also, 18 to 29 is a really... Like, if I'm data collecting, I'm going to maybe separate some of that out.

Kelly (02:20):

Rhian (02:21):
I would do maybe 18 to 23 or 24 and then 24 to 29. I don't know.

Kelly (02:27):
I say 25 only because you can finally rent a car at 25 so that's when you really become an adult. Also, your brain finally finishing developing around the age of 25. You're still a child at 18 and when I was 18 years old... I remember when I was 17 years old I was like, "No, I'm an adult. I know things." I did not know anything. And now I'm like 30 and I know everything now.

Rhian (02:55):
After this last year... this last week, you're a grizzled ancient. I started knitting because you know how just will randomly scroll on your phone?

Kelly (03:10):
Yep. Doom scrolling.

Rhian (03:11):
Doom scrolling. The problem is my doom scrolling, often, I start to doom buy because you're getting targeted for things on Instagram. I'm a total sucker. I'm really strongly considering buying roller skates right now. I saw the ad right before we came on air. Last night I was like, to my husband, I said, "I cannot keep just doing this so I'm going to learn how to knit." So far I have about five inches of a scarf.

Kelly (03:47):
I'm so proud of you.

Rhian (03:48):
Thank you. It should take me until the end of the year to finish.

Kelly (03:51):
Wow. That's a good goal.

Rhian (03:53):
I'm not great at it, I'm going to be really honest. I'm not a crafty person.

Kelly (03:57):
I pretend I'm a crafty person but I am most definitely not.

Rhian (04:02):
I'm good at keeping plants alive.

Kelly (04:05):
I'm working on that.

Rhian (04:08):
Besides that... I say that and I look back and my plant, it looks like it has seen better days, but that's okay. You know plants can get sunburnt? At least that's what my neighbor said who's really into plants. That's hearsay.

Kelly (04:21):
I wouldn't be surprised. I hope my plant's okay. I did not put sunscreen on it.

Rhian (04:26):
I didn't. Okay, so what are we doing today, Kelly?

Kelly (04:31):
We are still not done talking about Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I do want to clarify we are talking about BF/CM but we're also talking about the entire holiday shopping season. This goes well beyond the big sales weekend of the year: quote unquote weekend. We know how that goes. This is through all holiday shopping including the last minute shopping that always happens, too.

Rhian (04:55):
I think it's super important to talk about because as you and I are doing some store teardowns and doing some other stuff we're starting to notice some areas of opportunity and I think it would be great to shout that out to more and more folks because as you said, Black Friday/Cyber Monday, while it is just but a weekend, it is really a giant holiday shopping season. Plus, you get to then get to really make sure you have good practices in place for, I don't know, January.

Kelly (05:28):
Every other time you're running your store?

Rhian (05:31):

Kelly (05:32):
This is evergreen content right here. This is a recommendation that's going to work year-round except for maybe like the holiday photos that we're going to talk about.

Rhian (05:39):
Kelly, you and I were really bullish on Prime Day and the sale kind of trickled down and that was going to be the kickoff to holiday buying. Do you think we saw that? Or do you think we saw like a... I was thinking a tsunami. I think we saw a bit of a swell.

Kelly (05:58):
I would agree with you. On a scale from being underwhelmed to overwhelmed, I was whelmed. It was like a nice medium level there. I didn't see as many merchants jump on board to offer a sale during Prime Day as I thought I would but some did. I think many are still preparing for actual Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

Rhian (06:23):
Which makes sense, right? Buyers' psychology: they're getting ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

Kelly (06:30):
Yeah. Let's be honest, most people are not holiday shopping yet.

Rhian (06:34):
No, they're not.

Kelly (06:35):
So I honestly believe that everybody should be starting holiday shopping more sooner, especially with disruptions with fulfillments. We know they're going to come.

Rhian (06:45):
Supply chain fulfillment, especially with we're seeing record COVID cases. I would just urge you, as a store owner, to make sure you're set up for that: to be really setting it towards that. And then maybe target your marketing ahead of Black Friday/Cyber... What do you think, Kelly? Because I don't want you to start... for those listening to us... creating a discount brand and like everything's on sale all of the time, because that's not good.

Kelly (07:18):
Right. It's not good. But there's a balance here to achieve and you don't have to be a discount brand while also starting a bit sooner here. I think... You know, I don't know. I think it can go either way. I think you can start early if you really wanted to but also if you wait you just have to be crystal clear on what to expect when it comes to shipping times because things could take longer to ship, especially if you already have items that take, on average, longer to ship anyway, as in you're not shipping within three to five business days. Once you're already beyond that things are going to take longer to arrive.

Rhian (07:58):
Yeah. I think you need to be crystal clear and then conservative with your projections as well, like if you know it's going to take three days, it takes 10. I'm starting to think that that's... It's better to... what is it... under promise, over deliver? Whatever that adage is.

Kelly (08:19):
Yes. Over promise and under promise, the exact opposite of that. You're right.

Rhian (08:23):
I was close. So what are some good things that our listeners can do to help get them started in the right direction?

Kelly (08:34):
Let's start with content. There's a lot of content that you can start creating right now that's actually something that you can use as a template for all year long, which is pretty cool. First, one of my absolute favorites... and I'm starting to see brands already start doing this... are gift guides, especially when you have a pretty large inventory. Make some recommendations of what people are going to like.

Kelly (09:03):
I cannot pronounce the name of the business for the life of me. Vuori? The jogger brand. V-U-O-R-I.

Rhian (09:14):
I don't know [crosstalk 00:09:15].

Kelly (09:15):
I have no idea how to pronounce it but they have a holiday gift guide. I'm going to link to it in the show notes. I'm also just going to pull it up here. They have four different categories. They have bestsellers, active, under 100 dollars, and lounge, but they also separate it by men's gifts and women's gifts so you can really drill down to what people recommend. You're not overwhelmingly offering so many different product options here where it's just another collection page, it's a nice mix of, "Here are five products for each of the categories plus a category for shop all items under 100 dollars," and it's broken up by really nice photography. I think it's a good example.

Kelly (10:03):
So the men's gift guide, they have the women's gift guide. I think they have the men's gift guide. It's just called gift guide, which, opinions, but... Yep, it is. Don't need to go into that. So I'm going to link to the gift guide in the show notes just so you can see the structure of it. This is a really good example of one, though, because, like I said, you don't want to offer so many products that it's just another collection of products. Actually curate what's on there.

Rhian (10:30):
Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I was actually thinking about making my own gift guide and posting it on my website but then I realized that was just like a public Christmas list for my husband.

Kelly (10:40):
That's okay. We're actually doing a gift guide for the tap room that we'll publishing probably this month, next month. We'll see. The way we structured it was each team member chose an item from one of our client stores, an item that is not necessarily on a client's store but just a cool thing that they've found on the internet and specifically that they would like so you can kind of see their personality and why they're selecting what they're selecting and everything, too, but also getting to see something about what our clients sell and also just cool things on the internet. That'll be really fun to publish. I'm excited for it.

Rhian (11:17):
I'm excited for it. I might get some good ideas from it. Also, I like that idea in general and I think I'm going to ask my team to do it.

Kelly (11:25):
You totally should. It's easy content. That's the thing: gift guides, the reason why I said this is good for a template is that people use gift guides year-round. It's not like it's a specific holiday thing, and you can keep on recycling the content that's on your gift guide and use it for a summertime-

Rhian (11:46):
Valentine's Day!

Kelly (11:47):

Rhian (11:48):
That's the next holiday, right?

Kelly (11:50):

Rhian (11:51):
It's like winter holidays are happening and then...

Kelly (11:55):
The winter is good.

Rhian (11:56):
The winter gift guide and then you're going to have love gift guide and then after that is...

Kelly (12:03):
Saint Patrick's Day gift guide, obviously.

Rhian (12:08):
So long story short, everybody do a gift guide. It also is easy content, which is always great in my book.

Kelly (12:17):
I'm going to link to one more gift guide, and this is from one of our clients: Mint Julep Boutique. They also have a gift guide and theirs is set up a bit differently. They have the same categories like gifts under 25, gifts under 50, and gifts under 75. You'll quickly catch on that this is something that we very much recommend you do. But instead of the bestsellers kind of collections they instead categorize based on who they're buying for. For example, "the fashionista for the one who is always on tend," or, "the neutral fanatic for the minimalist who loves natural tones." You can showcase some... Sorry. The next one down was, "Play it safe for the socially distanced quarantine queen." That's me.

Rhian (13:00):
It's for me!

Kelly (13:04):
That's beautiful. But you could really have some fun with this and you could really customize it to match your brand's voice and how your customers shop and just have fun with it. It doesn't have to be a boring "You should buy these gifts because they are good gifts."

Rhian (13:19):
Right. It's like, "for the Gen Z, for the Zoomer in your life."

Kelly (13:26):

Rhian (13:27):
Relevant to me.

Kelly (13:29):
That is very relevant to you.

Rhian (13:30):
It's very relevant to me and the answer is all she wants is [Joe Lynn 00:13:33], which is... That's it.

Kelly (13:37):
That's acceptable.

Rhian (13:38):
That is acceptable. Another great way to build your content right now is to show your product out in the wild with customers, which in our world we called UGC: user generated content. Maybe do a round up of something like that.

Kelly (14:03):
Yeah. For example, if you sell apparel you can have, "See how our customers are pairing these leggings with other clothes." Whatever. Please say it better than I just did.

Rhian (14:17):
Kelly, the copywriter!

Kelly (14:19):
Yes. Hire me for your copy. "Please buy these clothes. They are clothes." But that would be a good example. You're selling these leggings. You want to really push the leggings and you have a link to purchase them directly on the blog post, for example, and you can show off your customers who post a picture of themselves wearing the leggings on Instagram. Like, how did they turn those leggings into a full outfit? You can like for the office chic. You can do like lazy... Not lazy. That's me. What's the word I'm looking for?

Rhian (14:55):

Kelly (14:56):
[crosstalk 00:14:56] lounge wear, yes.

Rhian (14:58):
Lazy. What I mean is at the leisure.

Kelly (15:02):
Same thing. But basically you can kind of categorize and show off your customers wearing the clothes. Also, customers are posting those pictures for a reason. They loved having them shown off elsewhere, so use your user generated content in more places than just sharing again on social media.

Rhian (15:20):
Yeah, because people want to see it on a real human.

Kelly (15:25):

Rhian (15:27):
Bonus points if you're actually able to reach out to that person whose content you're using and say, "Hey..." and maybe this isn't appropriate, but I don't think it is... "what size did you buy and how tall are you?" And I'm thinking apparel, obviously, but, "Okay, she's 5'6" and she bought a medium. Okay, we look like we have about the same body type. I bet that size will fit me," especially if you're not super heavy into doing that any other place on your store, which you probably should be if you're in apparel, but we often don't see it. You see the one or two model types and that's it.

Kelly (16:06):
But please get permission from your customers to share that information on the website.

Rhian (16:12):
Yeah. Sorry.

Kelly (16:13):
I know you can go find their order in the system and see what they ordered. Don't share that unless you have permission to do so.

Rhian (16:19):
Do not share that information without elicit written consent because consent is everything.

Kelly (16:25):
Consent is everything. Okay, on the same topic of sharing what your customers as posting, social proof is a really big opportunity here. This is very much in the same line. What was the store review that we did that had the TikTok videos embedded on the product page?

Rhian (16:51):
Was that Olipop?

Kelly (16:52):
I don't think so. I thought it was like an apparel store.

Rhian (16:55):
Was it?

Kelly (16:58):
I could be wrong. I don't know. Anyway, that's a good example of reusing that seeing other people wearing the products out again in the wild and showcasing that on your website is going to make it a more trustworthy product because people already love it. So have testimonials. Start collecting product reviews if you're not already doing so. Ask your customers to take pictures of themselves and post it on social media. I see a lot of merchants use this as an opportunity to run a giveaway. Like, run a contest. Give away like a 200 dollar gift card, if you can budget for that, for one lucky winner who posts a picture of them wearing their clothing on social media.

Rhian (17:40):
Yeah, I love that idea. For social proof, what about reviews?

Kelly (17:45):
Yes. Please start collecting reviews yesterday. There is absolutely no reason for you to not be collecting reviews. I always love talking about some of my favorite reviews apps, because there are a lot out there and there are some that are great and there are some that are not so great and there are some that just do the job. If you are zero budget, cannot afford to spend an extra monthly fee on a reviews app, Shopify's product reviews app, perfect for this. It's a no frills app. You can collect reviews and you can display them on your website. That's really, at the end of the day, what you're looking to do. If you're wanting to get a bit deeper into customizing them I like, The most expensive plan they have is 15 dollars a month, so...

Rhian (18:29):
I love that.

Kelly (18:30):
I absolutely love that. It makes it a very affordable price point. Two others that I really like are Junip, J-U-N-I-P, and Okendio, O-K-E-N-D-I-O. Always fun ways to spell things. One thing that I really like about... and there are other reviews apps that do this, but Okendio I know does this for sure, is you can add additional questions. Again, you're selling apparel. Add a question with a fit rating. Is it true to size? Is it a little bigger? Is it a little smaller? Or people actually do add in their height and their size directly into the reviews questions as well, so all of that data is already available to customers. I love being able to collect that additional information because that's the kind of customization that you can get that will help people make a purchase decision, especially... Buying clothes online is tough. You never know if something's going to fit you.

Rhian (19:29):
Right. And I want to see, "Okay, this person wears this size normally, blah blah blah. I think that this'll fit me as well," before I go in and dive in and make that purchase. If you don't have reviews, have them.

Kelly (19:43):
Start collecting them now.

Rhian (19:43):

Kelly (19:44):
If you don't have reviews, have them. One more thing to note about product reviews. I know that there are plenty of merchants out there who sell one of a kind items that they're never going to get in stock again. They're very unique. Each one is unique so why would you collect reviews? I'll let you in on a little secret. If you're paying for one of the paid reviews apps... I know does this for sure, so we're talking 15 dollars a month... you can group product reviews. You can say, "All of these products, if a review is submitted for any of them, show them on whichever pages." You can kind of basically create a grouping of reviews so you always have reviews for that type of product instead of that one single unique product. It's very helpful if you have your products between different... for whatever reason. I know merchants might have that because they have to circumvent the 100 variants limit; they have more than 100 variants on a product, like size, color, whatever, so they split it into multiple. That way you can kind of combine your reviews that way.

Kelly (20:44):
Okay, so I just spent 90 minutes talking about product reviews. As you can see, I'm very passionate about it, so please do it. Next on our list is something that I love to see because it makes me feel like I'm visiting a website that's actually up to date and active, is updated photography for the holidays. Get into the whole holiday spirit. Have winter-themed photos. Have general holiday theme photos. Just change up your website a bit, basically. It modernizes it. I think it's always a really fun touch to have.

Rhian (21:20):
I agree, and I'm going to talk about Joe Lynn again, because I talked about them once already, but I follow them on Instagram and they were showing the photo shoots that they were doing: a safe, socially distanced photo shoot that they were doing. This is an athletic brand and it's got women in their bathing suits or their track suits or whatever they're in throwing snow, passing presents, doing all these things, and you can tell that this content is created for their website. It's also created for socials and it is geared towards holiday. It's not out besides... There's a new arrivals on their page right now and it's someone in their bathing suit holding a wreath and that's all they have published out right now, but I really enjoy that and hollowing along on their journey, their kind of behind-the-scenes journey, as to what they're filming because Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated and Joe Lynn is a brand that is very inclusive and it shows in the kinds of imagery that they're created. I know Kelly and I wanted to really mention that Christmas is not the only holiday.

Kelly (22:30):
Let's go ahead and cover that now because we were eventually going to cover it anyway. Be careful of mentioning specific holidays because you could exclude people who are your customers who, let's say, don't celebrate Christmas, because let's be honest, we think holiday shopping, we think Christmas shopping. That is the default that everyone goes to because it just is. I love when I see brands just approach it more from a more a winter slash holiday slash gift giving approach and just be more inclusive in your photography, in your phrasing, in everything that you do.

Rhian (23:09):
Absolutely. It's so funny because earlier I said, "In my Christmas list," and it's funny because I don't actually celebrate Christmas. That's how ingrained it is into our narrative as people. I'm like, "Oh, my Christmas list." No. It's my Hanukkah list, but if someone wants to give me presents on Christmas Day too I'm not going to say no.

Kelly (23:31):
Nope. It's too late now. I'm not giving you a Christmas present this year.

Rhian (23:35):
I'll take it. But there's multiple holidays that happen in December and it's important to be inclusive, like Kelly and I talk about so often: to not alienate some folks.

Kelly (23:47):
This is definitely something to keep in mind for your shipping deadlines. Again, not everybody is waiting for something to arrive by December 24. Some people need it sooner. Some people don't need it... Well, I guess if it's coming later than the 24th, maybe after the 24th it doesn't really matter, but...

Rhian (24:05):
I just looked up Hanukkah for this year. It's December 10 through December the 18th.

Kelly (24:13):
Oh, that's a really good example.

Rhian (24:15):
Yeah. It's really early this year. Hanukkah changes every year because we have a different calendar, but that's a great example. Think, okay, if you want it time for Hanukkah, blah blah blah, if you want it in time for this, or just in general, like we said earlier, be more conservative with your shipping estimates, because if I buy something...

Kelly (24:37):
If you want to... I was going to say, if you want to avoid calling out specific holidays just say, "Estimated shipping arrival dates," and let your customers decide whether it's relevant to them or not.

Rhian (24:52):
100%, because I'd be bummed if I bought Reese something from anywhere and I thought that I was going to get it for Hanukkah and it just didn't come until the 23rd. I'd be like, "That sucks." Okay, glad we got that out of the way.

Kelly (25:09):
It's an important topic to discuss.

Rhian (25:12):
Yeah, it is an important topic to discuss.

Kelly (25:14):
This next area is something we already touched on, especially in the gift guides, and this is holiday collections. We already gave some examples of gifts under 25 dollars, gifts under 50 dollars, gifts under 100 dollars, to help your shoppers find something that's within their budget, but it goes beyond that. Actually, now that I think of it, the Mint Julep guide, gifts for X, gifts for a certain type of person, a personality, whatever it might, is a good example of a different kind of collection that you can create. You can create brand new collections for the holiday season and help people get to the products that they're looking for a lot faster.

Rhian (25:54):
And when you put content or copy on there, that's your landing page now, right?

Kelly (25:59):

Rhian (26:00):
Make sure it's optimized for SEO and make sure you have your copy on their. If you're buying ads and you're directing it to that new landing page make sure that everything works together and you're not directing your ad to the wrong place, but think of how cool it is to have a holiday collection with holiday copy and that's all right there, and then there's the rest of your store. You can do both things at one time.

Kelly (26:24):
You can. You know, I think collections might be the most overlooked page in the buyer journey because people think it's just going from... that you're going from home page to product to checkout. You forget that people are actually browsing your collections pages and they deserve more than just product listing: more than just a listing of your products, I should say. I rarely ever actually see content on collections pages.

Rhian (26:53):
Very rarely.

Kelly (26:54):
And it makes me sad. We do have an example of... Let me figure out if I remember which one. It was another YouTube video that we had recorded, that we went through their collections pages. Well, [Ken Fields 00:27:05] is cute. They have... it's not super detailed, but they have... It's been customized. You have a different image at the top. You have some unique copy: "From backyard barbecues to weekends in the back country, we're here for it all." They still have very minimal content but there's content to it. What is the other brand that... Excuse me while I look at our own YouTube channel. PS, we have a YouTube channel and we review stores.

Kelly (27:34):
This is a really good example so I'm going to link this page in our show notes. Brightland is a company that sells olive oils and vinegars. Do they sell other things? I think those are the primary things.

Rhian (27:46):
I think that's what they sell.

Kelly (27:48):
Then it was like gift sets, like bundles. They have a really cool approach to their collections pages where they're showing off the products as they normally do but they have little call-outs for unique views for certain products instead of everything being the same thing. Yes, it will be in the show notes, so please visit... It's, if you happen to be listening to us and you're not near a computer. I guess some people still drive to work, so.

Rhian (28:20):
Yes. That does still happen. There's so many opportunities with holiday collections and I just want to really urge everyone who's listening and they're like... For search engine optimization, having a targeted landing page can make the difference between ranking on the top and ranking nowhere. This is where you can really shine here and outshine your competitors in a way that is really kind of frictionless. It's easy to set up a collection on Shopify. You just have to type some copy. You don't have to do all that much here but it will make the difference for you.

Kelly (29:06):
I think one more thing that might be worth touching on for holiday collections are just bundling products.

Rhian (29:12):
I love bundled products.

Kelly (29:14):
Tell us about bundled products and why they're so great for the holidays.

Rhian (29:18):
In my previous life I worked at Avada, in college, and every year around holiday they would have bundles. It was always holiday bundles and it always in holidaysish colors and it met their sustainability mission and all that, but it would be special releases of aromas that they didn't have throughout the rest of the year or big sizes and travel sizes put together all in one, and then you would save some money. I don't mean a ton of money, but like, "Oh look, you're saving 10 dollars on this product bundle," and considering the product bundle's 100 dollars your still, as the merchant, making a lot in your margins there. I remember we would open the stores... like I said, olden days. We would open the stores. The day holiday bundles would come out and they would sell through. People would... Even typical consumers who were not buying them as gifts would still buy holiday bundles if there was something special about the bundle that made it so you couldn't get one product in it for the rest of the year. It's just a way to [judge 00:30:31] your setup a bit. Make a bundle.

Kelly (30:35):
Make a bundle, I like it. Really convenient app, because everyone loves app recommendations: there's an app in the App Store that's called Bundles. Really conveniently named.

Rhian (30:48):
Us app developers are great at naming things. Like, "What does your app do?" "SEO. SEO Manager." "Yes, that sounds great."

Kelly (30:56):
That's perfect. What the Bundles app does is you create a unique bundle product that people purchase and that's what they actually add into the cart, but what happens is after the item has been purchased it decreases the quantity on each of those individual items that are within that bundle, so you always have up-to-date inventory tracking. It's a pretty affordable app, too, if I remember correctly. Again, it'll be linked in the show notes and it is called Bundles.

Rhian (31:24):
Also, 10 of 10 recommend for inventory management around the holidays because that can get bonkers and out of control really fast and what you don't want is a lot of upset people who were expecting something to arrive and for you to be out of stock until the new year.

Kelly (31:40):
Yes, agreed, but also if your items are going to go out of stock make sure you have a back in stock app installed on your store. Again, the app is called Back in Stock. It's a really good app to use. You can also get people to sign up for your mailing list when they're signing up for in stock notifications, which is great. If you use Klaviyo for your email service provider, Klaviyo also has its own back in stock functionality that you can integrate directly into your store as well. So those are two options that you can use for in stock notifications.

Rhian (32:16):
What about that person that has everything and you can't figure out what to buy for them so you buy them a gift card? That's like the default, right?

Kelly (32:25):
That's the default. Also, maybe you don't know them that well but you want to get them a gift. Really, I think everybody should offer gift cards on the store. It is now available on every single Shopify plan.

Rhian (32:41):
There's no reason to not offer a gift card.

Kelly (32:44):

Rhian (32:44):
I can't think of one.

Kelly (32:46):
There is some things with your reporting, so talk to your CPA, your accountant, about how gift cards are handled just to make sure that you're on the same page, but yeah. I mean, gift cards are available Shopify plan and I think it's important to note that the default gift card functionality works but what is very important to remember is that if you buy a gift card for somebody else, that gift card gets emailed to you, the buyer, and you have to forward it on or print it off or whatever to send to the customer. If you want to connect that kind of bridge there and have an option where the gift card is automatically sent to the customer I recommend the app, Rise AI. I don't know how they say it. Their website is, though, so that's an easy way to remember it. They also offer things like store credit and stuff, which is pretty cool. We have some clients that are using their gift card app and it definitely does help kind of bridge that gap.

Rhian (33:50):
That's excellent to hear because I love you, Shopify, but the gift card... the native Shopify gift card feature is a little clunky.

Kelly (33:59):

Rhian (34:00):
But I do love it still.

Kelly (34:02):
It still works, so...

Rhian (34:04):
It still works. It functions. Okay, Kelly, what are our thoughts on wish lists?

Kelly (34:11):
Okay, I have opinions. I feel like a lot of brands add wish lists and then they never get used. I think that if you have a store that people are often, actually, it makes sense to create a registry or a wish list, then add it. I know a lot of apparel stores that have a large inventory like having wish lists for this reason but I feel like if you have a small inventory there's really no point in offering a wish list.

Rhian (34:44):
I agree with you. I actually signed up for wish list this morning, which I normally don't do, but I was like, "Well, it's more like a marketplace so I'm going to do a wish list so I don't have to copy and paste a bunch of stuff." But if you're something like Brightland, for instance, beautiful store but they don't have a ton of product offerings. Someone like that is just not a great use case for a wish list. Same with Ken Fields. You're like, "You've got four products." I assume they're all on your wish list if you're telling me you want something from Ken Fields.

Kelly (35:21):
Exactly. So I want to call out... I know there are a lot of wish list apps in the App Store so I'm going to talk about one of my favorites. It's called Wish List Plus. It's by Swym. That's S-W-Y-M. Why I love this app in particular is that you can really customize the experience. I mentioned Mint Julep Boutique as one of our clients for their gift guide. They also use the Wish List Plus app in two different ways on their store, which is a unique way of approaching it. They have a true wish list so you can add any item to your wish list, but they also have a little heart next to each item. This is their loved items as opposed to a wish list, which they do serve different purposes. For example, you could use it as a... You could see how many times an item has been loved overall, for example, and you could display that number near the heart or whatever indicates that the item's been loved, which creates additional... what's the word I'm looking for... interest in the product. Demand. It increases demand for it because you see so many other people like the product.

Rhian (36:28):
Yeah, that makes sense.

Kelly (36:30):
It builds trust. I really like the Wish List Plus app. Again, we'll link that in the show notes. Highly recommend checking it out if a wish list does make sense for your business.

Rhian (36:39):
This is one of my favorite holiday features that is offered, and it's not just offered holiday: it's offered year-round, or it should be. Gift wrapping.

Kelly (36:49):

Rhian (36:50):
I think it's the best upsell.

Kelly (36:53):
It's so easy. Who likes wrapping gifts?

Rhian (36:57):
Not mean.

Kelly (36:58):
I mean, there are people who do actually wrapping gifts but I am not one of those people. My friends have often received an Amazon box for Christmas or whatever, their birthday.

Rhian (37:11):
Just put a bow on it. It's fine.

Kelly (37:15):
I just scribble out the shipping label and just write happy birthday or whatever and pretend that it's a gift note. I'm a very good gift-giver. But no, gift wrapping is a really great upsell option. People love to be... People are shopping for gifts right now, so why not charge, like, an extra, I say, five dollars for gift wrapping?

Rhian (37:34):
If you're up market, if you're luxury, you can even charge 20. It depends on what the base level of your item is.

Kelly (37:42):
Exactly. This is a really easy way to make some extra money especially if it's cheap for you to actually wrap the gifts or have your team wrap these gifts. It's an easy margin.

Rhian (37:53):
Or if you think of how Amazon does their gift wrapping, it's just putting it in a pouch.

Kelly (38:01):
Exactly. It doesn't have to be like literal wrapping paper.

Rhian (38:04):
No. Another brand that my husband's unsuccessfully concealing from me that I know I'm getting for the holidays is in the other room, and the reason it's unsuccessfully concealed is because the box says the brand name on it but the box has a bow around it. They've put the product in the box and put a bow around it and I'm like, "That's perfect." I don't need more than that. I don't need it extra wrapped.

Kelly (38:27):
Can you imagine? Like you know all those... Okay, I have two thoughts on what I'm about to say. Those car commercials where they put a bow on a giant SUV and they're like, "It's a gift," that's a good example of minimal gift wrapping, but also, who gives somebody a vehicle for the holidays? Like, "Enjoy your tax payments you're going to have to make now. Enjoy registering your vehicle enjoy your insurance going up. Happy holidays, honey."

Rhian (38:55):
I'd be so bummed if I got a car for Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever. I'd be like, "What is happening? We should probably discuss big financial purchases or big financial decisions."

Kelly (39:08):
If you're like buying a car, like a used vehicle, for your 16 year old who just got their license, by all means.

Rhian (39:14):

Kelly (39:15):
Yes. But I'm just like if you take out a loan for a vehicle and present it brand new off the lot... Also, if I'm buying a brand new vehicle, I want to be the one to drive it off the lot. Just saying. Otherwise, you've just taken the first 13 miles from me and I'm not really happy about it.

Rhian (39:31):
"You have stolen the depreciation."

Kelly (39:35):
"You have made this vehicle worthless."

Rhian (39:38):
"Minus 5,000 dollars."

Kelly (39:43):
So that's how we feel about gift wrapping upsells. It's a good idea. You should do it.

Rhian (39:47):
By the way, a car is not an upsell unless you are part of the ultra ultra ultra...

Kelly (39:52):
You know what? We're going to talk about upsells a bit longer because you just bought me a cake for my birthday.

Rhian (39:58):
I did.

Kelly (40:01):
And it is important to make sure that your upsells make sense. Do you want to explain to the world what you saw?

Rhian (40:11):
I do. I bought a cake for Kelly for her birthday. It's a carrot cake. First of all, the first option for upsell was, "Buy a second cake," and I was like, "No, I don't think so." Second was, "Add lobster tails," and I was like, "Excuse me? What?" And then the rest were sweet additions like pies, cannoli, but then at that point I was like I'm googling things because I don't know if now if... Are we adding lobster tails and sweet? Are we putting the lobster tails on the cake? I have add on questions. The only upsell item they got from me was the cannoli kit, so [crosstalk 00:40:52] cannolis this weekend.

Kelly (40:53):
I'm very excited about this.

Rhian (40:54):
And then birthday candles.

Kelly (40:55):
Oh, you got birthday candles, too?

Rhian (40:57):
I did.

Kelly (40:57):
I don't even have birthday candles. This is a great experience.

Rhian (41:00):
I just told you.

Kelly (41:02):
The best surprise! My cake is going to be here... This goes live on Tuesday. My cake will be here tomorrow and I'm very excited. I'm going to eat a lot of carrot cake. Carrot cake is my absolute favorite cake. It is supreme, superior, all the things.

Kelly (41:19):
Okay, I have one more topic to discuss for this episode and it is not the sexiest topic in the world but it is an important one because things are stressful around the holidays. You might be hiring extra team members to help you manage your store. Things can go wrong and if you've learned the hard way you've learned that Shopify does not automatically back up your store. I highly recommend installing an app to help you control backups, because... god forbid something happens... you want to be able to continue selling everything that you should be selling during your holiday, whatever you're selling: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any time during the holiday shopping season. I'm a really big fan of Rewind. I honestly don't know what other backup app fits our market, but...

Rhian (42:09):
I was going to say, isn't it just that's the app?

Kelly (42:11):
It's probably the app. It's the app that, in my opinion, matters. Really recommend installing Rewind. You have insurance. Treat it as insurance for your store. You have some kind of backup. It is just for that peace of mind if something were to happen because everyone always asks me, when it does happen, they deleted something from their store. They're like, "Is there any way to recover this?" And I have to break the news to them and tell them there's not: that it is gone, gone, gone, and I'm sorry. "PS, please install Rewind so this doesn't happen again." I don't mean to end my list on a dark note, but we're ending on backups, so please. Link to Rewind in the show notes. Please install it. You'll make yourself and your entire team very happy.

Kelly (42:59):
Rhian, what is your store shout out this week?

Rhian (43:03):
My store shout out of the week is Lunya, L-U-N-Y-A, dot co. They sell bougie jammies, which I'm grossly over-simplifying what they make. What I really love is if you look in their featured collection they've got a good for dot dot dot gifting collection and then it says, "Gift sleepwear. Rest easy." And then here's the copy: "Home for the holidays may look a little different this year but the one thing that remains the same: your title as champion gift giver. Shop our edit to retain the crown." It kind of hits on everything we just talked about it, so it's perfect.

Kelly (43:50):
I love that. Also, I, since working with one of my clients, actually learned where the word edit comes from for these types of things.

Rhian (43:59):

Kelly (43:59):
Because they're a... It's more of a content blog kind of word that's used because they kept on wanting to use, like, collection edit, collection edit. Replace collection with the actual collection name. I'm like, "This means nothing to the customer," and it still means nothing to the customer but now I understand what edit actually is. That's my story.

Rhian (44:22):
I love that story. Wanted to add something, not to the story but about this page, which everyone should look at. If you scroll down more on the collection page it says, "Cross one thing off your holiday to-do list with our gift wrapping," and it's a picture of how they wrap their boxes, and then in parentheses it says, "We'll even let you take the credit for how good it looks."

Kelly (44:42):
This is a great landing page.

Rhian (44:43):
This is a great-

Kelly (44:44):
Oh, you keep scrolling down: "No one has ever wanted to return a great night sleep. Order by the following dates to get your gift on time." They list three different options for shipping: ground, express, and expedited, and they have dates of when the last time you can order from them. One thing to note is on time... I'm putting finger quotes around there... is Christmas, so again, this is being specific about Christmas, which is eh, but this is a really great section to add to your website.

Rhian (45:16):
It even says, "Orders must be placed by 11:00 AM Pacific, 2:00 PM eastern."

Kelly (45:23):
There's no question about it. I love that. I absolutely love that.

Kelly (45:25):
My store shout out this week is Death Wish Coffee. I think this is one of the classic Shopify brands. I think two years ago they had a Super Bowl ad spot. Is this the brand that did?

Rhian (45:37):
I think they did.

Kelly (45:39):
Okay. They had one ad spot or whatever. I'm calling them out mainly because their coffee is good. I got a bag of their pumpkin coffee for my birthday and really enjoying it. They have a really great purchasing experience for this subscription in particular, which you know me. I never shut up about subscriptions and how great they are. Check out their subscription landing page for one thing, but they also have a gift guide, which is relevant, which they published two days ago, well, two days ago today. They published on November 6, let's just put it that way. Theirs is actually just a blog post, so instead of a landing page it is a blog post, which is totally fine. It's still crawlable content. Like, we are talking about categorizing your gift guides. They have gifts under 100 dollars, gifts under 50 dollars, and then they even break it down further with the fitness freak... I'm going to skip that one... the DWC Death Wish Coffee starter pack, so it's a shirt, a bag of coffee, and a thermos. You could really have some fun with these. Again, you'll link the Death Wish starter pack is literally a product, so it's a bundled product that you can buy and then they can just update their inventory in the background with the Bundles app.

Kelly (46:58):
We are not sponsored by that Bundles app. It is the app that I swear by for managing bundles for your inventory.

Rhian (47:05):
We wouldn't say now, but yeah, they don't sponsor us.

Kelly (47:08):
I mean, yeah, if you want to sponsor us, by all means, but not the goal here.

Kelly (47:14):
Okay, we're done with Black Friday/Cyber Monday episodes at this point, I think. We'll talk about something different next week. We'll see. I'm not promising anything because we might be like, "Wait, one more topic for Black Friday."

Rhian (47:28):
"And one more thing."

Kelly (47:29):
And one more thing. But anyway, let's close this out. Thanks so much for tuning in and thanks again to our sponsors for supporting this episode. Visit our YouTube channel at Every Thursday we're posting a teardown, a friendly Shopify store teardown, and I think Lunya would actually be a really fun one to cover. Maybe we do that this week.

Rhian (47:52):

Kelly (47:53):
Cool. If you like our podcast please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews make us really happy and we like to see them. And you can subscribe to Commerce Tea on your favorite podcasting service. We post new episodes every Tuesday, so grab your mug and join us then. We'll see you next week.

Rhian (48:12):
Clocked In is a time clock for Shopify. With Clocked In, your team members can easily clock in and out of their shifts from anywhere. You can manage your team's hours as they work remotely with an intuitive interface that can be used from desktop, tablet, or mobile. Check it out at or in the Shopify App Store.

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