Holiday Guide 2022 – Prepare for the Shopping Season

Holiday Guide 2022 – Prepare for the Shopping Season

Our look ahead to the 2022 holiday season forecasts healthy consumer spending patterns and a more stable supply chain than last year. To skyrocket profits and provide a smooth shopping experience, you need to prepare your online store for the upcoming holidays.

This year, discount strategies are more important than ever. With inflation rising, 42% of consumers are trying to save their holiday budget by shopping early. In addition, 17% of worldwide shoppers are still unsure whether to shop for gifts or not. 

Epic deals and sales will convince them to visit your online store and spend on some holiday goodies. 

Not only that. After two years of restrictions on gatherings and festivities, people across the globe are excited to finally celebrate holidays the right way – with gifts, families, and a proper hurrah. The eCommerce holiday sales in the US alone are expected to grow by 15.5%. This means a rise in early demand and expectations from online shoppers.

This article is about the steps you can take to increase the likelihood of having the most successful holiday season. From improvements and deadlines to deals and optimization.

Welcome to the holiday rush!

Table of Contents

Printify Improvements

Holiday Guide 2022 - Printify Impreovements

We’re big believers in making things better for you – our merchants, so we’re constantly improving our platform and your experience. 

As we’re well aware of the end-of-the-year rush approaching, there are a few statistics, changes, and new features that we would like to share. All in the spirit of helping you lead a successful shopping frenzy.

2021 Holidays vs. 2020 Holidays

  1. Improved Production Time. The average production time during the holidays was reduced by approximately 24%.
  2. Higher Fulfillment Speed. Even with the high demand, order fulfillment was 3.5 days faster in 2021 compared to 2020.
  3. Fewer Delays. Delays of five or more business days dropped from 7% in December 2020 to just 1% in December 2021.
  4. Reduced Late Items. Very late items decreased to just 1.3% in 2021.

Mockup Generator Updates

Our free and user-friendly Mockup Generator is the main tool helping your design ideas come to life. That’s why we consider your recommendations and feedback and continually upgrade and improve our design tool.

This year, the Mockup Generator has many new features, helping you create faster, better, and easier designs.

Our new pattern creation tool will allow you to design AOP patterns directly on the Mockup Generator and apply them to all print areas at once. Moreover, directional scaling, positioning, and fit and fill features will make image resizing and implementation a speedy and simple process. 

In the meantime, the SVG format and improved text editor will help you create crystal clear and stylish designs with new fonts, colors, and alignment options.

Updated My Products Page

Some new features to the My Products page will save you time and effort for searching, editing, and publishing products. 

The new bulk price editing tool allows you to select specific products and edit the price or profit margin for all items at once. It works hand in hand with the new product filters. Select products by the print provider, status, or brand.

The selective publishing feature provides a smooth change in details and product management. Choose which product details to update and sync them with your sales channel without overwriting information or losing important details.

Smarter Replacement Tool

When changing (switching) print providers or product models, forget about recreating a product from scratch. Keep the price setups, variants, and specific designs of existing listings and change just the product model or printing partner.

Geo Routing

Order Routing already helps you avoid out-of-stock issues and losing sales. This tool automatically reroutes orders to similar in-stock options if a print provider runs out of a certain product. But now, we’ve improved it with a new feature: Geo Routing.

Geo Routing will reduce delays and issues with customs fees for your international orders, improving delivery time and fulfillment. Turn it on and automatically send global orders to a local print provider within the customer’s region.

Maintain a “Hands-On” Approach to Order Management

As the number of sales running through your stores climbs, it becomes more and more beneficial to keep a close eye on your order management panel. With a real-time understanding of order statuses, avoiding or lessening many holiday hassles is possible.

Order Statuses and How to Manage Them

1. On hold

Your orders are sent to production according to your Order Approval Settings.  You can also send them to production manually by clicking Submit order.

If your order is On hold, one or more products might be out of stock or discontinued. Use our Unavailable Variant Replacement Tool to find a replacement for the affected product quickly.

2. In production

Your order has reached the print provider and is in their printing queue. The average production time is typically 2-5 business days; however, delays can occur during the holiday peak. Stay informed by following our Network Fulfillment Status page, which displays the latest information about each print provider’s production status.

  • You can request a cancellation/address change or a shipping upgrade if needed. We’ll do our best to make it happen. However, note that due to the specifics of the production process, it’s not guaranteed that we’ll be able to fulfill your request.
  • Please keep in mind that orders containing 12 or more items can take longer to be fulfilled.

3. Has issues

There may be an address-related issue, such as a missing first/last name or mismatched zip code. 

  • Double-check the accuracy of the customer’s address and ensure that all required fields are filled out. You can update the shipping address by clicking Edit above the customer’s address within the order details.

There might also be a deeper issue that prevents orders from reaching production. In most cases, our team can resolve any technical issues without your involvement. However, if it’s needed, we’ll reach out to you within 24 hours.

4. In transit

Check the shipping rates page of the selected print provider to see the expected delivery times.

Please allow up to 72 hours for the first tracking updates to appear within the tracking link, as sometimes the initial scan might be delayed, but the package is on its way. 

  • If you feel like it’s taking too long, encourage customers to reach out to their local post office regarding the package (with the tracking number on hand). Santa might’ve sent too many packages there already, and they’re overwhelmed with work. 

Regarding international orders. If there are no updates within seven days since the order was shipped, we advise the customer to check with their local post office, if possible.

  • If the customer’s local post office can’t locate the package, please contact our Support team for further assistance. Note that during the holiday period, our responses may be delayed.

If you have questions, browse our Help Center or contact us through the proper channel. This means a quicker response time and faster disposal of root problems.

A Reminder on Taxation

Printify is required to collect taxes (sales tax in the USA, VAT in the EU, and specific taxes in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) on all print-on-demand orders. Make sure you’re fully aware of the incoming sales volumes – and what that means for your legal requirements.

Reaching Out to Merchant Support

Holiday Guide 2022 - Merchant Support

Our Merchant Support agents put in hard work 24/7, especially during the holidays. They’ll solve problems, advise, guide, and help in every way possible to ensure a successful holiday season for our merchants.

Get in Touch Fast

Contact our team with specific questions through My requests in your Printify account. Experiencing an issue with your order? Use the Submit issue menu under the affected item in your Printify Order details. We got you!

Solve It Yourself

There’s a good chance that the issue you’re facing has been detailed. Check our Help Center to find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Live Chat

Chat will be on 24/7 throughout most of the holiday season. Click on the green chat bubble on our website and start a conversation.

Please note that on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, our live chat will be off. Santa’s helpers also need to rest!

But don’t worry. We won’t leave anyone without support – we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Deadlines are important for both eCommerce retailers and shoppers. They mark the final cutoff dates for order arrival. To ensure the delivery of last-minute Christmas gifts on time, keep your store and buyers up-to-date with deadlines during the holiday rush.

One of the easiest ways to keep customers informed about shipping expectations is to use the delivery formula: Fulfillment time = Production time + Shipping time.

Use our recommended order submission deadlines to make sure orders arrive on time for Christmas. Keep in mind that the overall shipping situation is subject to rapid change, so consider these as general suggestions rather than a promise. 

This page will be continually updated with current, related information. If you’re transparent with your customers, they’ll be more understanding regarding delays, complaints, and any other issues that may arise.

Note. Please be aware that these are just recommendations, not hard rules.

In the meantime, we have a couple of suggestions and tips for the upcoming holiday shipping deadlines.

  • Make sure your online store is up-to-date (listings, products, prices, etc.)
  • Create holiday specials for the early shoppers
  • Keep your customers informed about deadlines
  • Set up automation for your orders (Order and Geo Routing)
  • Come up with a whole process for handling returns

Optimize Your Store (And Processes) For the Holidays

Holiday Guide 2022 - Optimize Your Store

The aching holiday shopping and high demand increase shipping and delay issues year after year. That’s why it’s critical to get ahead of these potentially unpleasant situations and optimize your store – and processes.

Here are some tips to ensure your niche understands holiday fulfillment’s realities. To ace the holiday rush:

  • Remain Informed. Printify keeps a close eye on our print provider production times. However, these are simply useful estimates. They aren’t a rock-solid standard.
  • Use Banners. There’s no better way for a shopkeeper to explain rules and deadlines than by pointing them out in a clearly displayed sign. 
  • Update Product Descriptions. Customers almost always read the information directly below a purchase, so this is an exceptional location to plot pertinent points. 
  • Include Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies. It’s always worth developing a bit of store protection. An open policy board goes a long way toward clearing up potential problems.
  • Consider Virtual Assistants. As a store grows more profitable, it requires more workforce. If you plan to scale above 10,000 sales, it’s a big job to handle alone.
  • Avoid Bulk Orders. As production will be strained by upticks in order frequency, it’s best to avoid bulk orders to ensure on-time delivery.
  • Refunds Instead of Reprints (Dec 12-25). Christmas is peak order season. With so much traffic, everything slows down (sourcing, production, shipping, etc.). So, if an order comes in with printing problems, we’re just doing refunds to smooth things out.
  • Stay Updated. It pays to stay informed with so many new and exciting products, updates, and developments arising in the POD world. Check our Blog and YouTube channel for POD-related content. Consider joining our Facebook community – the POD Rockstars – to be the first to know all Printify updates, news, and product announcements.
  • Use Templates. We’ve provided a few good templates below for your communication with the customers during the holiday season. Feel free to customize them to your store’s needs.

A Reminder on Order Routing

This feature solves many problems. We’re bringing it up again because it’s worth it. Please enable it to reduce out-of-stock and delay issues.

Useful Holiday Templates

Holiday Guide 2022 - Holiday Templates

Hello, 

During the holiday peak, the production time for most orders is approximately 4-10 business days. Please note that the delivery time is not included in this estimate and should be added on top of that.

Best wishes,

[Your name]

Hi there, 

Similar to last year, shipping carriers cannot offer any deliver-by guarantees this year. Unfortunately, this also means we can only provide recommended holiday cut-off dates. 

Orders submitted by December XX will most likely reach the recipient in the U.S. As for international orders, the recommended cut-off date is December XX.

This is why we highly recommend submitting your Christmas orders as early as possible to have a stress-free holiday season.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Happy holiday season from our team,

[Your name]

Hi there, 

Unfortunately, shipping can’t be rushed or upgraded after placing an order. With so many orders flowing through shipping facilities, it’s difficult to retroactively enact expedited transit. 

Everyone tends to want gifts around similar moments. So, please note that during this busy time of the year, shipping will be subject to potential delays. 

I hope this information has been of service,

[Your name]

*Note to the Merchant

If you are a WooCommerce or Shopify user (and use the Printify Shipping Calculator for Shopify), consider offering your customers the option to choose express shipping (2-3 business days) at the store checkout. These are the print providers whose products will have the express shipping option.

Hi there, 

An order goes through several stages between payment confirmation and arrival at the final door. A tracking number will be generated once an order has been printed, packaged, and given to the carrier. 

You will receive this tracking number via email notification. You’ll be able to follow the order delivery status by clicking on the provided tracking link. 

I hope this answers your question,

[Your name]

*Note to the Merchant

The following print providers don’t offer tracked delivery services: WPaPS, T-shirts and Sons, and Prodigi (applies to UK orders only). If using these entities, the template should be adjusted accordingly.

Hi there, 

Thanks for getting in touch. I’m sorry to learn about the disappointing order, but we can help.

I’ll be happy to remedy this with a free replacement or refund. Please let me know which option works best for you. Please send a well-lit photo of the defective product with the issue clearly visible for confirmation purposes.

Kindly note that shipping services are expected to slow during December 1-25. During this time, we’ll only offer refunds.

Best wishes,

[Your name]

Make It Happen Today!

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12 comments

  1. AB
    October 12

    Very helpful. Thank you.

    1. Martha Simmons
      October 17

      Hi AB,
      Glad you enjoyed this!

  2. Kelly
    October 11

    Thank you! I’m sure I will be referring back to this a lot the next few months

    1. Martha Simmons
      October 17

      Hi Kelly,
      Happy to hear you enjoyed this and find the article helpful!

  3. Sylvia
    October 10

    Thank you! I’m glad to be working with Printify.

    1. Martha Simmons
      October 17

      Hi Sylvia,
      Happy you’re here with us!

  4. Sonja Nettles
    December 19

    OMGoodness! This was so helpful! I hate I’m just seeing this. Ready for the next holiday! (God’s Will) thanks so much!

    1. Martha Simmons
      December 20

      Hi Sonja,
      Thank you for your feedback, we are happy to hear that you enjoyed the article!

  5. Rebecca Schneider
    December 3

    So helpful! Thank you!

    Rebecca Schneider

    1. Florence Kingsley
      December 6

      Thank you, we are happy to hear that you enjoyed this article!

  6. Kikie
    December 15

    Hello,

    I wonder if the fulfillment providers like Monster Digital will be working on holidays? How long do they have the holiday offs? Sorry, I’m just starting out and this came to my concern. Should I stop selling and start again by January? Thank you.

    Best,
    Kikie

    1. Naomi
      January 15

      Hi Kikie! Holiday cut-off dates are meant, so you could better understand when to stop placing orders that mean to arrive until Christmas. Sorry for the late response, however I hope that you have successfully started your store. Let us know if you have any other concerns!

      Best wishes,
      Naomi

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