Etsy How-to

Holiday Sales Tips: Hosting a Successful Black Friday Sale on Etsy

Are you thinking about hosting a Black Friday sale on Etsy this year? You’re in good company. From sprawling big-box retailers to charming independent boutiques, businesses of every stripe capitalize on the sales frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And there’s no reason you should miss out. With its reputation as one of the most bustling shopping weekends of the year, this period is ripe with opportunity.

Let’s dive into why launching a Black Friday sale on Etsy isn’t just beneficial—it could be a game changer for your business this holiday season.

Black Friday can lift up your entire Etsy season

The Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend (BFCM) provides an excellent opportunity for online retailers to bring in significant sales and lift their entire holiday season. Yet, according to Adobe Analytics, holiday season growth for online retail in 2022 hit its lowest in years at just 3.5%. This is a stark contrast to the 8.6% rise seen in 2021 and an even more substantial 44% surge in 2019.

Despite last year’s economic challenges dampening holiday sales, the BFCM period still delivers a substantial boost in sales, which is highly anticipated by retailers every season.

What makes this period so popular with shoppers? Sales. Shoppers are drawn to the significant discounts offered during BFCM, which are not typically available at other times of the year.

However, while setting up a sale on platforms like Etsy is straightforward, the real challenge lies in crafting a promotion strategy that maximizes visibility and conversion without undermining profitability. Effective promotion requires a nuanced approach to ensure that discounts attract customers and boost sales while still maintaining a healthy bottom line.

Know your profit margins before you run a Black Friday sale on Etsy

Crafting a Black Friday sale on Etsy is more than just slashing prices; it’s a strategic move that requires a keen understanding of your profit margins.

Accurate pricing is the lifeblood of your Etsy business. By thoroughly assessing the costs of crafting, shipping, and Etsy’s fees, you’re safeguarding your profit margins. This knowledge is critical, especially when considering discounts. Without this insight, you risk not only your profits but potentially wasting time and resources.

Before initiating price cuts, take a look at your profit margin. To do this, you’ll need to understand the cost of your materials, shipping, and any additional fees you payout to Etsy — it can get confusing fast.

However, our Etsy fee calculator can help streamline this process, ensuring you’re equipped with precise numbers that accurately reflect your business.

Master your profit margin by accounting for Etsy fees

When you’re well-informed about your profit margins, you can smoothly navigate through discount strategies. Consider lowering your profit expectations to entice more customers—what does dropping from a 20% to a 10% profit margin do to your overall pricing?

How does this affect what you pay in Etsy fees? Most critically, is the reduced profit margin acceptable for your bottom line?

To run a Black Friday sale on Etsy, you need to know your pricing inside and out. If not, you could be throwing away your hard-earned money, and just wasting your time.

Narrowing your profit margin (but keeping it positive) ensures you won’t lose money on a sale. Just keep in mind you’ll make less money from each individual product. However, an increase in sales, positive reviews, and happy customers will help your Etsy shop in the long run — an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.

Create bundled products when you run a Black Friday sale on Etsy

man running black friday sale on his etsy shop selling shoes

To optimize a Black Friday sale, it’s not just about lowering prices but moving more products. Striking the right balance ensures that while each sale might yield less profit, volume can compensate.

Take a look back at your sales history — are there any patterns or trends of products purchased together? Considering bundling these products and selling them at a discounted price

If no clear patterns emerge, combine your top sellers. Then, slightly increase the individual prices, underscoring the bundle’s value and lifting your Average Order Value.

We’ve gone into great detail about promotional strategies in previous discussions, so be sure to revisit those insights for reminders on how to run a successful sale.

→ Ensure your Etsy promos enhance your earnings with this shop tactic

Leverage social media to increase your Black Friday sales

hand using social media on phone to run a black friday sale on etsy

Social media is an indispensable tool for amplifying your Black Friday reach. Focus on the platforms that historically drive traffic and sales to your Etsy shop. Forgo less productive platforms like X and Snapchat if they haven’t yielded results in the past.

Leverage the visual aspect of social media—high-quality images and videos—to engage potential customers. Remember, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok favor authentic content that keeps users engaged and on their platforms.

Change your designs before you run a Black Friday sale on Etsy

Refreshing your Etsy shop’s visuals is crucial for Black Friday. You should update shop banners and image thumbnails to show anyone in your store that there is indeed a sale going on.

If you’re using a Black Friday discount code across your shop, put that code in your shop banner and thumbnails. This increases the chances of someone clicking on your listing when it appears in a search result — the same way that YouTubers often put eye-catching text on their image thumbnails. 

youtube thumbnail for successful promo video

Start early – if you want. 

Starting early can be advantageous. Some Etsy shops launch their promotions weeks ahead of Black Friday, maintaining momentum well into the holiday season.

If you choose this route, commit to a meticulously planned schedule. Create a calendar of your sales (what you’ll do and when), and then stick to it. If it’s three days before Black Friday and you want to launch your sales today, you’re too late. But that doesn’t mean you don’t still have time to get ready for the rest of the holidays before the year is over.

Planning well ahead is essential, so decide now, plan accordingly, and commit to it.

→ Prep for the holidays with this strategy—here’s how Marmalead can help

Know your customers

women looking at sweaters on sale

Understanding your clientele is also vital. Tailor your approach to attract the price-sensitive segment without succumbing to a price race to the bottom. Utilize Etsy’s discount feature to highlight percentage reductions in search results, attracting those looking for deals.

After you run a Black Friday sale on Etsy, keep your buyers coming back

It’s much quicker, cheaper, and easier to get a customer to buy from you for a second time than to convert a new customer.

Post-sale, focus on customer retention. Since Etsy restricts traditional email marketing, consider including a thank you card with a post-holiday discount code in their order or direct them to your standalone website for future purchases.

Over to you

Now, it’s your turn to apply these tactics for Black Friday on Etsy. A well-thought-out approach can yield dividends during this high-traffic season. Will you discount your entire inventory or only a select few items? Share your strategies and join the conversation below.

Good luck and happy selling!

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