It’s Time To Prepare For The Holidays – Here’s My 2018 Review

BONUS! Find this helpful? To download this post as a PDF, click here!

Well, summer is officially over (womp, womp) and we’re headed into a brand new holiday season! I can’t believe how fast this year is flying, but I’m excited to kick things into high gear in preparation for the holiday sales spike.

Two years ago, I made a post going over the previous year in terms of my sales stats and notable lessons learned. (You can check it out here.)

This year, I thought I’d do something similar and will likely do this annually from here on. I think it’s useful to look back sometimes to assess how far I’ve come, what I’ve done well, and any mistakes I’ve made, so I can keep making my business better and better.

It’s also very helpful for me in figuring out how to be most useful for upcoming Jumpstart promotions.

In this post, I’m going to be completely transparent about…

  • My monthly Amazon sales figures from 2018
  • My sales numbers from Etsy last year
  • How much of my yearly revenue was earned during the holiday season on Amazon
  • Which products sold best
  • Things I did – and did not – do well

I hope that in sharing this information you can have a point of reference and a basis for comparison with your own results.

DISCLAIMER: This post covers my print-on-demand Amazon and Etsy income only. It doesn’t take into account my eBay accounts, private label products, or even my information marketing courses or warehouse earnings, for that matter.

That said, let’s dive into my 2018 review…

Here are my 2018 Amazon sales details: 

My earnings below were mostly passive, and especially when I look at the other blog post to see some of my 2016 earnings, I can see just how much my sales have increased since I’ve added in a lot more designs and refined my processes.

For example, in August 2016, I earned $6,310.55 compared to the $18,265.54 I earned in 2018.

Check out the rest of my 2018 sales numbers below:

January 2018 – $18,552.23

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

February 2018 – $28,230.98

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

March 2018 – $24,311.47

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

April 2018 – $25,707.56

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

May 2018 – $58,604.29

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

June 2018 – $70,440.16

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

July 2018 – $18,887.84

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

August 2018 – $18,265.54

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

September 2018 – $6,219.36

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

October 2018 – $9,093.04

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

November 2018 – $42,559.07

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

December 2018 – $117,251.19

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

For Etsy, stats have been thus far:

Store #1: $30,365.25
Store #2: $15,652.47
Store #3: $5,789.86
Store #4 – $1,960.59
Store #5 – $16.95
Store #6: $177.90
Store #7: $17,258.71

That’s a total of $71,221.73.

My Amazon + Etsy income for 2018 was $509,274.66. Not bad!

Amazon went down drastically in September because of a stupid mistake I made (which I cover further down in this post).

Here’s how much the holidays accounted for compared to total sales on Amazon…

In 2018, I earned a total of $438,122.73 on Amazon. During the holiday months (September-December), I earned $175,122.66. This amounted to around 40% of my total sales for the year.

Here’s a breakdown by month:

September – 1.4% of total sales (I had FBM shut off and recalled most of my FBA products)

October – 2% of total sales (I had FBM shut off and recalled most of my FBA products)

November – 9.7% of total sales (only on FBA, no FBM)

December – 26.8% of total sales (only on FBA, no FBM)

I didn’t have any FBM (fulfilled by merchant) in those last 4 months of last year, so my numbers were down a little from what they normally would’ve been. Bummer, but it was my own fault.

Product Breakdown

Last year, I had a total of 26,707 orders on Amazon. Here’s a breakdown of the items I sold and the percentage they made up of all the orders I received:

  • Non-color-changing mugs ~ 75.7%
  • Tumbler mugs ~ 20.8%
  • Shot glasses ~ 2.3%
  • Pillowcases ~ 1%
  • Color-changing mugs – less than 1%

I clearly sold mostly mugs last year. And of the mugs sold, the majority were white. I sold almost the same number of 11 oz mugs as 15 oz mugs.

It’s no surprise that most of the mugs I sell are white. The majority of my inventory is made up of white mugs. However, that isn’t to say, necessarily, that white mugs are my top-selling items. If I were to sit down and look at my products’ sales ratios, I might discover another item to be my top-seller.

Digging into this more…

The 26,707 orders were spread across 1,780 products.

The top 4 products accounted for 20.8% of sales.

The top 10 products accounted for 35.96% of sales.

The top 30 products accounted for 57.79% of sales.

The top 50 products accounted for 67.79% of sales.

The top 110 items accounted for 80.52% of sales.

My top 10 product types were:

11oz White – 5
15 oz White – 2
11oz Black – 1
Travel Mug – 2

My top 50 product types were:

11oz White – 28
15 oz White – 3
11oz Black – 7
Travel Mug – 11
Shot Glass – 1

What I did well…

As in years past, I added lots of new SKUs and designs to Amazon in 2018. Back in early 2016, I had 48 mugs listed. And by December of 2018, I had over 16,000 products… and not just mugs anymore — my inventory now includes shot glasses, pillowcases, tumblers, and more (though it’s still primarily mugs).

Adding new SKUs and designs is really important for Amazon because the more products you add, the more Amazon rewards you. So, increasing your inventory also increases your sales.

What I wish I did better…

Last year, I made some mistakes with the handling times on my listings. I was late shipping, and consequently, Amazon took away my FBM in the summer and I didn’t have it during the peak holiday selling time.

Thankfully, my account was eventually reinstated. But that’s the reason why I didn’t have it last year. And I really wish I’d have been able to do FBM, because I lost at least 6-figures’ worth of income as a result.

Here are some suggestions for how you can improve your ecommerce sales during the holiday season:

Aside from making sure to get the handling times right with your listings, here are a few more suggestions for how you can optimize your sales this holiday season (and note I make sure to offer most of these things in my upcoming Jumpstart launch):

1. Send in more items to FBA. Shoppers LOVE buying from FBA, especially as it gets late into the holiday season and Amazon can get things to them in 2 days. I love getting as much sent in ahead of time as I can so I have less to worry about later.

2. Create and list more designs. The more designs you have, the more chances you have for that bestseller product.

3. Sell more product types. While 11oz mugs are still my biggest seller (and I recommend making them your primary focus), experiment with putting your bestselling designs on other products. I barely have any travel mugs listed, but they made a huge appearance in the top 50 sales.

There are other things that can be done, but these actions cover the 80/20 (assuming you have good titles when you list the designs).

Do you want my help for this holiday season?

For the past two years, I’ve made available a fabulous Holiday Jumpstart package to help members scale up their sales during the biggest selling period of the year. The package is allows you to get everything you need to make the holiday season incredible.

This support includes…

  • done-for-you designs
  • free mugs shipped to Amazon, which allows you to take advantage of their FBA Prime shipping
  • GearBubble credits
  • lifetime integrations with Gearbubble dropshipping, Amazon, Etsy and eBay
  • planning resources
  • live group coaching
  • accountability (more than ever before)
  • never-before-offered bonuses for people who have purchased LHS or Jumpstart in the past (because we have a lot of people signing up multiple times!)

The Holiday Jumpstart for 2019 will be launching on October 1 — watch your email for more details coming soon. Registration will be available for a limited time only, so check it out ASAP when it launches. Or, if you already know you want to join this year, you can sign up for it in advance before the official launch opens up to the public.

What did you think of this blog post? Do you think it’s helpful to review how your business fares from year to year? Please leave a comment below and share your insights. Also, if you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with your friends.

Preparing your ecommerce business for the holidays

Stay In Touch!
Follow Me
Tweet
LINKEDIN
BONUS! Find this helpful? To download this post as a PDF, click here!

6 thoughts on “It’s Time To Prepare For The Holidays – Here’s My 2018 Review”

  1. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY RACHAEL
    Thank you for sHaring
    CLEAR N TRANSPARENT
    WHAT IS 1 FBM
    What isFBA
    Im very intere in your Store
    Bussiness
    This isall new to me

Leave a Comment