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The Inkthre­adable Guide to Black Friday

By Caroline Clarke · 10 min read

We're rapidly approaching the most important shopping day of the year, and we've got some advice on how to run your sales as smoothly as possible. Together we can make this Black Friday your most successful weekend ever!

This year Black Friday falls on the 26th of November, which means you still have a few weeks to prepare. Let's explore what Black Friday is all about, as well as some methods to guarantee that your products reach customers on time. 

Table of contents:-

What's so special about Black Friday?

The Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend is known for extremely enthusiastic shoppers and crazy deals. As a print on demand merchant, you can take full advantage! This weekend is one of the most important times to promote your business because there will be a lot more online traffic than usual.

Not only are you more likely to receive a surge of visitors, but they're also expected to complete their purchase much faster than usual! You definitely don't want to miss out on higher traffic and better conversion rates.

In case you're wondering how this all started...

Black Friday History Check!

The tradition of Black Friday dates back to the 1960s in the United States. It's the Friday following Thanksgiving and started out as a high-street shopping event when most families took the day off to go shipping, check off their Christmas lists, and spend quality time together.

The biggest shopping day of the year has now spread across the world and the internet, with Black Friday becoming the largest sales day of the year for most businesses in the USA & Europe!

This Black Friday is going to be a little different than in the past. Sales used to be all about the latest electronics, but Black Friday 2021 is expected to include sales on just about everything, from clothing, shoes, jewellery to books and more. 
 
So, what can you do to prepare for Black Friday weekend shoppers?

🚀Use Core Products

Now is the time to start using core products if you haven't already. Black Friday is only weeks away, and you'll need a fast turnaround more than ever at this time of year. Our core products can deliver just that!

What are core products?

Core products are our most popular products, so they're kept well-stocked in our own warehouse. This collection of bestsellers includes tees, mugs, hoodies and sweatshirts. Because this collection is held on-site, core products enter production faster and have a better turnaround time on average.

Check out our top four core products that are guaranteed favourites:

 

View the full collection here, and feel free to get in touch with us if you need any help switching to core products. As your supplier, we'll work with you to find the best products for your store.

🚚 Employ Fast Shipping Methods

Black Friday sales demand fast shipping times, and for your UK packages to arrive on time you should use Royal Mail 24. We'll always ship your orders as quickly as we can, but after that, it's down to the courier.

Royal Mail 24 is our default delivery method for a reason: it's quick, dependable, and more envi­ron­men­tally friendly! Royal Mail's "feet on the street" delivery network includes over 90,000 on-foot postal workers, resulting in lower carbon emissions per delivery than other couriers.

You might be tempted to go for the cheaper Royal Mail 48 service, but we strongly discourage it. You'd save 86p per parcel, but in return, your orders will be at the back of the delivery queue.

Last year we saw that 86p making the difference between a 2 or 10-day delivery time! When the postal system gets overwhelmed, Royal Mail prioritises '24' parcels and only handles '48' parcels afterwards. Don't let your delivery times be jeopardized by this.

How do I use Royal Mail 24?

How you set up your shipping methods depends on which e-commerce platform you're integrated with.

For Shopify, WooCommerce and Squarespace - Use the keyword "24" in your shipping rate name, and orders will be placed on this method automati­cally.

Big Cartel - Select 'Regular Royal Mail 24' in your integration settings.

Etsy - Royal Mail 24 is the default shipping method for all UK orders under 700g (over this weight is DPD courier only).

Manual orders - Select 'Royal Mail 24' when using a UK address on our website.

What about Royal Mail 24 Tracked?

We recently changed our services to make sure that all UK parcels weighing more than 100g are delivered using a Tracked service (unless you specifically choose Recorded only). Tracked shipping is now the same price that Regular was last year, so you're getting more for your money! 

📋 Black Friday Checklist for e-commerce store owners

There are a few things you should do in advance of Black Friday. Begin by double-checking that your store is integrated and that all products are 100% linked. You may also want to top up your Inkthre­adable account balance ahead of time, which will allow your orders to immediately begin production when they're placed in your store.

Aside from utilising our print-on-demand service, completing the following tasks will also help you achieve success on Black Friday:

  1. Prepare your discounts. Whether you're running a site-wide sale or a more specific Black Friday offer, you'll want to make sure your discounts are working and ready to be enabled. It's usually as easy as creating your promo conditions and then placing a test order, though this does depend on the platform you're using. See tutorials from both Etsy and Shopify on how to set this up for your store.
  2. Schedule social posts. The last thing you need in the Black Friday madness is to rush your social media posts! Instead, plan your campaign in advance and schedule it using a tool like Later. You can plan weeks in advance and save loads of time by posting on multiple apps at once!
  3. Upload sales banners. The first thing a visitor should see when they land on your store is your banner. So go wild and advertise your promotions! Create and upload banners to your store in advance, and you'll simply need to switch them on when it's go-time.
  4. Write newsletters. Social media might be where it's at right now, but that doesn't mean you should forget about the potential of email marketing. Whether you have a growing list of subscribers or none at all, emails are crucial in driving traffic to make your store a success. To make the most of increased traffic on Black Friday weekend, save some time to prepare your emails and newsletter signup forms.
  5. Test your website. Increased traffic could potentially cause website errors, and it's important that you test your website ahead of time to avoid any catas­trophes. Etsy, Shopify, and BigCartel stores are automati­cally tested and protected, but you should still check your website's speed to avoid slow loading times.­ WooCommerce store owners may want to take further measures to protect their site during a surge in visitor traffic, I recommend that you look up stress-testing and load balancers for further information.­ 

👾 Don't forget about Cyber Monday!

Black Friday is only the beginning! Traditi­onally this is the start of Christmas shopping, so don't give up hope if Friday isn't as big as you expect. Cyber Monday is just as lucrative, with record-high sales last year reaching £6B in the UK alone, so don't forget to extend your sales throughout the weekend and into Monday.

This is an opportunity for brands like yours to earn money by leveraging high traffic on Cyber Monday as well as Black Friday!

How is Inkthre­adable preparing for Black Friday?

We want this to be your best sales season yet, so we've been preparing ourselves all year! We've stocked up on products, planned out the best shipping methods, and even added new features to our integ­rations.­ 

Similar to last year, we'll be putting account approval in place from the 23rd of November which means any new accounts won't automati­cally be accepted. We'll be approving new accounts based on our available capacity to save resources for existing customers. If you're reading this and haven't yet signed up, please do it now.

What are your thoughts on preparing for Black Friday? We'd love to hear from you, so we've created a thread in our Facebook group the Inkthre­adable Hub! Come and join in the conver­sation.­ 👋

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