Black Friday for Print On Demand Stores: Essential Tips and Strategies

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and that means it’s time for online store owners to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As a print on demand store owner, you may wonder about the best ways to take advantage of the Black Friday madness.

Are there different marketing strategies to use?

Should you offer insanely steep discounts like you see from big brands like Best Buy and Amazon?

To answer those questions, we should start by specifying that Black Friday is unique for print on demand sellers. It’s an incredible time of the year for print on demand products since you can sell unique mugs, sweaters, and home goods that cater to the season.

You also might find that many customers would rather buy print on demand items during the holidays, since these types of products make for unique, memorable gifts.

Add in the fact that so many people attend funny holiday parties (ugly Christmas sweater parties and bar crawls), so print on demand makes for the ideal business to run during the holiday season.

The potential for high sales makes for an appealing time of the year, but how do you approach marketing, social media, and the promotional materials on your website during Black Friday? In this guide, we outline some of our must-follow tips for print on demand stores on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In this article:

Black Friday Tip #1: Create Specific Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday Tip #2: Get the Deal Information on Your Website

Black Friday Tip #3: Create and Schedule Marketing Materials to Announce Deals on Different Channels

Black Friday Tip #4: Offer Exclusive Discounts on Social Media

Black Friday Tip #5: Use Sales Tactics That Increase Cart Values

Black Friday Tip #6: Use Tactics That Bring Customers Back to Your Store

Black Friday Tip #7: Take Advantage of Scarcity and FOMO

Black Friday Tip #8: Consider a Contest, Raffle, or Giveaway to Stir Up Excitement

Our Conclusion on Black Friday for Print on Demand Stores


Black Friday Tip #1: Create Specific Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

The first step in preparing for a Black Friday sales season in the print on demand market is to devise a series of very specific deals.

Write your deals down

Include exactly when the deal starts and when it ends (date and time)

State which products get covered under this deal (is it all of them in your product collection or just a few?)

Create the exact discounts or promotions you plan to have, then connect them to the products you intend to discount (ie. 10% off for all clothing on Black Friday only; 25% off all jewelry on Black Friday and an increased 35% off all jewelry on Cyber Monday)

Write down exactly how you intend on notifying customers about these deals

With the deal documented, the plan for your Black Friday and holidays deals becomes easier to implement.

You’re able to pass that information along to coworkers who may need to update things like the website, social media pages, and email newsletters. You can also schedule the marketing materials long before running campaigns, essentially helping you run the the sales on auto-mode.

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Black Friday Tip #2: Get the Deal Information on Your Website

Updating your website won’t necessarily get people to visit the site, but it serves as a page for people to land on relevant deals (or at least to see banners about the deals) when they arrive at the site from advertisements, social media links, and email marketing campaigns.

You must, therefore, have your website optimized and filled with Black Friday Graphics to grab attention and push people to buy.

The best plan of action is to create similarly branded banners to scatter throughout your website. This way, the store looks more festive and has a clear focus on marketing the Black Friday sale over everything else.

Create individual banners to fit certain area of your website.

Here are some examples of where to put the promotional banners:

In the homepage header area

As an addition to your product images

As popup notifications

As widgets in the header, footer, or sidebar areas

Within your blog content

Bonus Tip: Provide Shipping and Returns Information

One issue with the holiday selling season is that everyone is shopping at the same time, more than they usually would, and for such a short period of time (mainly within one month). That leads to disruptions in production, shipping, and even your ability to handle all the orders.

That’s why you must maintain a policy of full transparency to customers. This way, they know when they should expect to receive orders, if there are any shipping delays in the area, and on which date they should buy to receive a package before important dates like Christmas or New Years.

You can highlight these concerns on your Shipping page, but also consider listing information like this on product pages, FAQs pages, and anywhere else you might find it relevant.

Here are some questions to answer for your customers:

Will shipping prices increase during the holiday season?

How are shipping times affected by Black Friday and holiday traffic?

How quickly does your print-on-demand supplier take to produce an item and send it out?

Do certain states/countries receive their packages slower or faster than others?

What are the absolute last dates people can purchase items to guarantee they get delivered on important dates like Christmas?

What’s the return policy for all products on your store? Is there an extended return policy for products purchased during Black Friday (or the holiday season in general?)

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Black Friday Tip #3: Create and Schedule Marketing Materials to Announce Deals on Different Channels

Depending on your marketing channels, you must take the deals you plan to use and generate marketing materials for each of those channels.

Ideally, you use a tool like Canva or Adobe Spark to create banners and advertising spots for social media pages and search engine marketing. This type of software provides templates for Black Friday deals that fit into a wide variety of formats. For instance, you could choose to make a Black Friday banner for Instagram then quickly convert the same banner to one suitable for Pinterest.

Other marketing tactics require additional tools. Setting up email marketing campaigns, for instance, requires something with email templates, sending tools, and drag-and-drop holiday designs that you can customize to match your print on demand branding.

Take a look at our list below and think about the marketing channels you might use to tell customers about your print on demand Black Friday sales. If you don’t already have a following on channels like social media platforms, you’re better off spending time and money on advertising; that way, you’re not relying on organic marketing that would probably lead to nowhere.

Useful channels for marketing print-on-demand Black Friday deals:

Social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat (for sharing organic content to your followers)

Advertising portals on social media platforms: All the major social platforms give you the opportunity to list advertisements for a charge (you can also target certain users, retarget those ads, and utilize design tools that work best for each platform)

Advertising on search engines: This is primarily for Google, but you have the option to advertise on other search engines like Bing. Use the design and targeting tools on search engines to immediately find customers who may want to purchase your print on demand products

Email marketing: Through tools like Mailchimp and ConstantContact, you can create holiday-branded newsletters, promotional emails, and transactional emails to alert subscribers about your upcoming Black Friday deals

Marketplace advertising: Some of the larger marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy have advertising options to push your product listing to the top of the search results; this helps significantly with print on demand products, particularly on Etsy

Influencer marketing: If you already have partnerships, send out free samples and payments to your influencers to get them talking about your Black Friday deals

Content marketing: Get the word out about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals by turning to whatever current publications you use to communicate with your customers; we’re talking blog posts, YouTube videos, infographics, or even podcasts

The list goes on, but the main point is to pick a few of the marketing channels where you already have experience.

Black Friday is no time to experiment with how to make TikTok videos, or how to send out a mass email. Approach the marketing channels you’re most comfortable with, and use them to pepper customers with announcements and reminders of your Black Friday sales until it’s all over.

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Black Friday Tip #4: Offer Exclusive Discounts on Social Media

What better way to reward the customers who follow your brand closest than to provide exclusive discounts on places like social media and your email newsletter.

This tactic also serves as a way to convince others to follow you on social media, or join your email newsletter, since you can tell customers that the only way to get the discount is through those channels.

Just about every ecommerce platform offers discount code creation. In Shopify, use the Discounts section to generate a unique discount code that decreases the cart or product total by a percentage or fixed amount.

To make the code exclusive to one channel, only share it on that channel. There’s always a chance that it gets leaked to discount code sites or other customers, but it still makes your social accounts the fastest way to get the discount.

You might even consider limiting the discount code to specific customer segments you’ve made on Shopify, or certain channels you have configured in the dashboard.

There are other apps to create exclusive discount codes for specific products or channels. The Discounty app offers automatic discount campaigns, while also allowing discount code segmentation and bulk discounts.

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Black Friday Tip #5: Use Sales Tactics That Increase Cart Values

One way to boost sales on Black Friday, specifically for a print on demand store, is to utilize strategies that convince customers to add an extra something to their carts. Sometimes this is a little nudge, but other times you might offer a huge bonus if they reach a certain price point in their cart.

Here are your best bets:

Upsells: Include related items that complement the current item in the cart. Upsells work well for print on demand stores since you can offer the same print someone wants on a mug and upsell it as a beer koozie or coaster.

Cross-sells: Slightly different than upsells, cross-sells show relevant products that don’t necessarily go with the product but may be related in some way. You can show products from the same category (like sweaters and hoodies) while someone checks out, or on product pages.

Free gifts for minimum purchase amounts: We’ve seen this done time and time again. The store shows a banner at the top of the website announcing that all purchases over $100 receive a free keychain or mug. This is particularly useful for print on demand stores since you can choose a relatively inexpensive item to boost sales significantly.

Buy one get one deals: This is one of the most effective “value-added” marketing techniques of all time. Instead of discounting an individual product, you prompt customers to save by buying more. You can even opt for a “buy three get one free” promo, or some other variant to improve margins.

Free shipping on minimum purchase amounts: Similar to giving out a free gift for a minimum purchase amount, this method ties in something that everyone wants with their purchase: free shipping. Add this promotion to your banners, then have the free shipping discount trigger automatically through your Shopify store or other ecommerce platform.

Product bundles: A product bundle presents real value to the customer while increasing average cart value for your store. Create completely new product pages with several similar products bundled into one. Be sure to specify how much money people save when they go for one of the bundles.

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Black Friday Tip #6: Use Tactics That Bring Customers Back to Your Store

The holiday shopping season is much longer than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The overall goal is to keep customers coming back throughout the holiday season, and well beyond that. Therefore, you should implement some effective tactics to bring customers back to your print on demand store.

Retargeting advertisements: The concept of retargeting says that it takes several “touches” to actually convince a customer to buy. Therefore, advertising networks on social media and search engines offer retargeting campaigns to connect with potential customers who showed a bit of interest in one of your previous ads.

Customer surveys: One way to follow up with a previous, current, or potential customer is to ask them to fill out a customer survey. Not only is it an excuse to send an email or message to your customers (with coupons and other incentives for filling out the survey), but surveys collect valuable information about what you can improve as a business.

Abandoned cart emails: The abandoned cart email works well during Black Friday sales since these emails reach out to customers who may have simply forgotten to check out. Abandoned cart emails also give you the option to slip in some promotions or upsells that the customer may not have known about from their previous experience on your print on demand store.

Defunct customer emails: Often called “defector” emails, these are similar to abandoned cart emails, except they target former customers who haven’t purchased from your store in a while. These give you yet another chance to send out Black Friday and holiday promotions, potentially reigniting the spark they had about purchasing from your store in the first place.

Receipt emails: Perhaps one of the most powerful ways to bring customers back to your print on demand store during the holidays, receipt emails must always have a way to convince customers to return. Whether it’s a follow-up coupon, related product recommendations, or even links to your blog, we highly encourage you to optimize those receipt emails long before Black Friday.

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Black Friday Tip #7: Take Advantage of Scarcity and FOMO

The fear of missing out (FOMO) drives consumer spending when people are uncertain as to whether they’ll have a chance to take advantage of a great deal, or get a product at all. Scarcity ties into FOMO since it’s a way to show that you only have a limited supply of something before they’re all gone.

When selling print on demand products during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s wise to explore tactics for both FOMO and scarcity. Here are some suggestions:

Products exclusive to Black Friday: Create a “limited edition” print on demand shirt, hat, or sweater and tell your customers they can only get it on Black Friday.

“Last chance” promotions: When a deal comes down to its final days, or hours, notify customers through marketing channels to explain that the deal, or product, won’t be around much longer.

Countdown timers: Place countdown timers on products with Black Friday deals. This creates urgency in the mind of the customer, making them want to buy now before the timer runs out.

Limited stock notifications: This is the classic example of using scarcity to drive sales. Print on demand brands may not technically have limited stock, but it’s always possible to create artificial scarcity. Simply decide that you only plan on selling 100, or 1,000, of a certain product, and slap a “stock count” badge on the product so customers know they might miss out.

Notifications about when others have bought the products: Here’s a way to show your print on demand customers that product is clearly popular with other people. Reveal a live feed of which other customers have purchased an item. You can activate this type of functionality with a social proof app like Nudgify.

Flash sales: Often accompanied by a countdown timer, flash sales last just a few hours of the day and use the power of scarcity and FOMO by showing wonderful deals that don’t last that long. Flash sales work wonders during Black Friday, and the entire holiday season, since you can run dozens of these flash sales in a short period of time. Consider apps like Hextom to activate your flash sales with countdown timers.

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Black Friday Tip #8: Consider a Contest, Raffle, or Giveaway to Stir Up Excitement

Make your Black Friday promotions as fun and festive as possible by tapping into the excitement of raffles, contests, and giveaways. A contest usually takes longer to set up, but giveaways and raffles can be put together in a matter of minutes, and they allow you to brand the promotions using holiday imagery and phrases.

The ViralSweep app, for instance, provides quick tools for making giveaways or raffles with the click of a button. You can collect user-generated content and let people vote on them, and give bonus entries when customers like or share the contest or raffle.

Simply pick a few items that people may want during the holidays, and build your marketing plan around getting as many people to sign up for the giveaway or raffle as possible.

This strategy is one of the quickest ways to build an email list or boost social media numbers, since people love free stuff.

You may have to do some email list cleaning after the fact, since many people are only in it for the one-time raffle/giveaway.

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Our Conclusion on Black Friday for Print on Demand Stores

It all begins with preparation, long before Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around. Start by choosing your promotions, then tap into the various marketing elements available through platforms like Shopify.

Print on demand stores have the unique advantage of selling holiday-friendly items: holiday-themed mugs; hobby-based clothing; and home goods that someone may not buy on their own during the year (but are perfect for gifting!).

Use our tips to take full advantage of Black Friday, and the entire holiday season, for your print on demand store. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below!

The post Black Friday for Print On Demand Stores: Essential Tips and Strategies appeared first on Ecommerce Platforms.

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