I’ve Never Offered a Black Friday Sale — Here’s What My Boutique Does Instead to Have a Six-Figure Weekend

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From nan infinitesimal I launched The Flourish Market—a boutique that specializes successful trading clothing, accessories, and gifts that person a bigger purpose—I knew that we would request to deliberation astir our vacation promotions differently.

Given that astir of nan 200+ brands we partner pinch are B-corps aliases adjacent waste and acquisition companies, our margins are already tighter than nan mean store. I felt nan biggest discount we could spend to connection vacation shoppers would beryllium 20 percent—which isn’t very breathtaking erstwhile nan large container stores and moreover smaller boutiques would beryllium offering 40-60 percent (or more) off.

I’ve ever been a large believer that erstwhile you can’t compete, you get creative. So I thought astir what we had to offer. I thought astir what aligned pinch our institution mission. I thought astir what would beryllium breathtaking to our customers. And I came up pinch nan thought for Grey Friday.

The gist of Grey Friday is this: The week earlier Black Friday, we person our large promotion play when, alternatively of offering discounts, we connection 40-60 percent of nan customer’s acquisition backmost successful free gifts. At different tiers of spending—$40, $75, $150, $250, and $500—customers get a different gift, positive each nan gifts from nan little value tiers.

I had this thought specified months earlier my first vacation play arsenic a shop owner, and I decided to motorboat it connected a whim. It was a resounding success, and we’ve done it each twelvemonth since then—and each year, moreover during COVID, we’ve grown our full gross that play by 40-50 percent.

I emotion inspiring business owners to zig erstwhile different group are zagging. While I’m not saying you person to do this nonstop promotion, I want to stock why it useful for america and our customers successful hopes of encouraging others to deliberation otherwise astir vacation deals this year, aliases for years to come.

We figured retired really to create much worth pinch less

Something that often surprises group astir Grey Friday is that it costs america nan aforesaid from a business position arsenic offering a 20 percent discount—but creates overmuch more value for nan customer.

Let’s opportunity a customer is spending $150 that weekend. If we did a 20 percent discount, we’d suffer $30 arsenic a business, and nan customer astir apt wouldn’t consciousness for illustration they sewage an particularly awesome deal. But, if I return that aforesaid $30 and deliberation of it arsenic my fund for free gifts, it tin spell shockingly far. For instance, past twelvemonth customers spending $150 sewage a free bracelet, a brace of artisan earrings, and a cozy wintertime shawl. Because we’re buying these gifts successful bulk from our artisan partners and our purchasing timing often aligns pinch promotions they’re doing, we’re capable to get a awesome price, which allows america to connection truthful much.

The existent worth of these products is higher than nan $30 a customer mightiness prevention pinch a 20 percent discount—if customers were buying these products disconnected our shelves, they’d costs $80 aliases more. But, possibly much importantly, nan perceived worth is higher. Our customers get truthful excited by nan truth that, while they’re doing their vacation shopping, they get further gifts for group connected their database aliases to support for themselves arsenic a treat.

We get customers earlier they’ve blown their vacation budget

Another cardinal facet successful Grey Friday’s occurrence is that we clasp it nan Friday before nan awesome vacation shopping weekend.

I ever thought it was weird that Small Business Saturday is nan time aft Black Friday. My reasoning is that, if you really want group to support mini businesses, you request to get successful beforehand of them earlier they walk each their money astatine nan awesome retailers. In fact, galore customers convey maine each twelvemonth for moving specified a awesome promotion early, earlier they’re tempted to usage their purchasing powerfulness connected little meaningful gifts from larger businesses.

This has nan broadside use of making nan vacation play overmuch much pleasant for my team. We’re still unfastened connected Black Friday and Small Business Saturday but, because we’ve already vanished our awesome weekend, we don’t unfastened early, and I don’t request each hands connected deck. We divided up activity Thanksgiving week truthful that each of my labor get immoderate meaningful clip pinch their families.

Of people we get group who travel into nan shop Black Friday play and are confused by nan truth that we aren’t offering a special. We ne'er apologize, and alternatively usage this arsenic a infinitesimal to stock what we guidelines for, explaining that we can’t compete pinch nan large container stores and that we dream they look astir astatine our artisan products and find gifts for nan group connected their database anyway. Plus, we tin ever promote them to motion up for our email database truthful they’re notified astir Grey Friday adjacent year.

We build a batch of excitement astir it, and ever deliver

So really do we beforehand Grey Friday to turn our income each year? Of people we do each nan classical trading tactics. We tease that our large promotion is coming up connected societal media and do a large uncover of nan free gifts. We email our database first point that Friday to fto them cognize nan doors are open, and nonstop them a past telephone email connected Sunday (something I missed successful nan early years and now drives astir 20 percent of our income for nan weekend). And we build a batch of excitement successful nan shop to tie successful downtown ft traffic, playing vacation euphony and offering free drinks for shoppers.

But nan biggest logic our numbers turn truthful overmuch twelvemonth aft twelvemonth is that we really present connected nan customer experience. I’ve noticed 2 large drivers for our income growth. The first is that existing customers walk more. If a caller customer has ne'er knowledgeable Grey Friday, they typically walk astir $75 because they almost can’t judge it’s true. Once they recognize that we really aren’t messing astir pinch nan free gifts, they scheme their vacation shopping astir it nan adjacent year, and walk triple aliases quadruple what they did before. The 2nd maturation driver is caller customer acquisition done connection of mouth. Grey Friday is almost for illustration nan champion kept shopping concealed that group emotion sharing pinch their friends and relatives.

We effort to support this customer excitement going by making our gifts moreover amended twelvemonth aft year. For instance, past twelvemonth we created a civilization merchandise pinch 1 of our partners truthful that 1 of nan gifts was thing you virtually couldn’t get anyplace else.

Ultimately, for illustration truthful galore things successful our business, this vacation promotion was ne'er conscionable astir increasing nan bottommost line. Our bosom down Grey Friday is to beryllium capable to present a thrilling acquisition to our customers while sending our artisan partners a heck of a batch of work.

Instead of conscionable offering a discount and taking a financial nonaccomplishment arsenic a business, we’re capable to walk that money on to thief different businesses succeed. Being capable to spot orders for hundreds aliases thousands of units is life-changing for galore of our partners. And we ever make judge to stock that effect pinch our customers—along pinch nan effect connected our ain mini business—so that they tin consciousness moreover much excited astir nan purchases they made.

After sharing each these specifications connected Grey Friday, my proposal to different business owners whitethorn sound odd: When it comes to creating your champion vacation promotion, don’t look astir astatine what others are doing. Instead, deliberation astir what would beryllium breathtaking to your circumstantial customers and what you person nan powerfulness to present this vacation season, past find nan overlap.

The truth is, you will get immoderate income if you do a modular discount for Black Friday aliases Small Business Saturday. However, you could beryllium doing triple aliases quadruple that magnitude if you get imaginative successful delivering thing that creates moreover much worth for your customers.

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