Lucy's Inspired

5 Black Friday Ideas that Don’t Involve Discounting Your Products

October 03, 20228 min read

Do you feel it? There’s an Autumn crispness that has finally appeared in the air. And even in the Southeast where “Fake Fall” is definitely a real thing, there’s one thing that stands true no matter what the temperature is: The holidays are just around the corner.”

In fact, we are only 91 days away from Christmas. 84 days from Hanukkah. That’s less than three months until we gather with family + friends to celebrate what a beautiful year it has been. Exciting, right!?

But guess what is on the calendar even sooner? Yep - you guessed it. Thanksgiving is only a few WEEKS away, along with Black Friday and Cyber Week. So if you haven’t begun thinking about the most opportunistic time of year for high profits, now is the time to start.

True Story: When I settled into selling my handmade jewelry with Lucy’s Inspired, I found it pretty intimidating to compete with all of the big box retailers who had the margin and ability to offer crazy discounts on their products during this time of year. How the heck was I supposed to offer my customers a huge discount and still make a profit, especially when I needed it most? Easy answer. I couldn’t. 

If you’re a small business owner, maybe you’ve had similar thoughts and feelings. But here’s the truth - now, more than ever, consumers want your products. They desire high-quality, uniquely crafted products over mass-produced, meaningless items. They want to feel confident and proud of the purchases they make - both for themselves and definitely for others. They want to give gifts that will have significance and last over time. This applies to everything from a perfectly soft t-shirt, to a candle scented unlike any other, to a beautiful piece of jewelry, to a custom print or woodworked item (the list goes on)!

Your products have tremendous value, and I have good news! You can still participate in offering special deals for Black Friday/Cyber week without discounting. When I knew I couldn’t compete with the “big guys” out there, I decided to come up with other simple ways to still offer my customers a special deal without it detrimentally affecting my bottom line. 

5 Black Friday Ideas that Don’t Involve Discounting Your Products

5 Black Friday Ideas that Don’t Involve Discounting Your Products 

  1. Spend a Certain Dollar Amount, Get a Gift Card.

    This is one of the absolute easiest ways to offer your customers a special holiday deal that doesn’t involve cutting your prices in half. And, my favorite part of this idea is that it creates returning customers. For example, if I offer my customers - “Spend $75 or more and get a free $20 gift card to use later”, I am not only gaining them as a customer now, but I am also ensuring they’re going to come back and use that $20 gift card at another date. And chances are, they won’t only spend that $20 when they come back. Better yet - say they give that gift card to someone else as a gift. Great! Now I have a brand new customer. Of course, you can structure this idea to where it makes the most sense for your particular business. Consider what feels like a generous amount for the gift card, but still will most likely require them to spend more. For example if all of my products are only $10/piece, I would probably do something like “Spend $30 or more, get $5 off your next purchase” or something along those lines. Because remember, the whole point here is to offer a special deal without losing money. (PS - another great way to use this idea is to offer tiers like “spend $25-50, get a $5 gift card. Spend $50-$75, get a $10 gift card, etc). 

  2. Offer a Free, Downloadable Resource Upon Purchase.

    This might be a new idea that you haven’t considered, but the best part is that the options are limitless! Offering something absolutely free that your customers can receive if they make a purchase is a great way to add value to them without discounting your products. For the holiday season specifically, a great idea could be “a page of beautifully designed gift tags” that they can print out and attach to the gifts they plan to give. If you choose this specific example, a great suggestion would be to offer “printing tips” giving advice on what type of cardstock to print on, etc. Make them feel like a boss, and equip them with a great way to package the items they buy from you! Another fun idea for a free downloadable resource could be a PDF document with 5 holiday games to play this year, a special family recipe (especially if you offer any food-related products), a guide to the perfectly wrapped gift, conversation starters for the holiday dinner table, etc! 

  3. Free Gift Wrapping When They Spend a Certain Dollar Amount.

    This one’s pretty self explanatory, but it’s more effective than you might imagine! I can’t tell you how many times I personally have spent the “extra” bit of money to hit the “free gift wrapping” amount. And as someone who loves giving and receiving well packaged gifts, take it from me when I say this one can really make your customer feel like they’re getting something special. If you choose to offer this, make sure you are using high-quality, durable wrapping materials that are both simple but well done. There’s nothing worse than seeing “free gift wrap” arrive with cheap-looking materials and half-way done (i.e. tape peeling off, off-brand colors, torn paper, etc - yikes)! Another great option here is to offer the gift wrapping supplies rather than the whole wrapping service. This might be a better option if you’re shipping items - to ensure nothing gets damaged en route. A great example would be a simple, branded gift bag, tissue, ribbon, a gift tag, and maybe even a 10% coupon for their next purchase to stick in the package. Same principle applies here - high quality materials for the win! 

  4. Buy in Bulk to do a Giveaway.

    Is there a super low cost item that you could buy in bulk (aka low-cost), brand with your logo/slogan, and include as freebie with every purchase during Cyber week? I’ll answer that question for you - yes, there is! And listen, you don’t have to get fancy here. I recently had a friend tell me that she received a free sticker with a fun saying on it from a skincare brand, and it’s been on her bulletin board ever since. The important thing in this example is that the sticker was not JUST the company’s logo - it said something fun/funny that the customer resonated with, along with their logo in a tiny spot on the corner of the sticker. It was something the customer loved, and the company is still winning because her eyes are seeing their brand every time she sits at her desk. And if you’re wondering - yes, she actually uses that skincare line now! The point is, whether it’s a t-shirt with your brand, a sticker with a fun saying, or a pen that writes really good - everyone loves a free item. As with the gift packaging example in #4, make sure you are offering something high-quality that is in alignment with your brand. People will associate what you give them for free with your brand, and you want that to be an accurate reflection! Remember - high quality doesn’t have to mean fancy or expensive. 

  5. Collaborate with Another Business to Offer a Free “Mini Version”.

    Alright, I’ve saved my favorite idea for last! Earlier this year, I purchased a candle from one of my favorite companies, Do Good Adventures. When the package arrived, I was delighted to find a mini wax melt from a candlemaker tucked inside! It smelt so amazing that I immediately went online and ordered a full-sized candle from this company. Do you see the win/win here? The company I originally ordered from got to gift their customer something special (which will help them keep my business), and the candle company got to showcase their product (in a VERY low cost way), and they earned a new customer! Think of a company you love and ask them if they’d be interested in offering a free, miniature version of one of their offerings to anyone who purchases from you during Cyber Week. In return, they’re receiving free marketing. Another great option is to do this in the form of trade - aka you offer the company you’re collaborating with a mini version of your product to include in their sales, and visa versa! 

Insider Tip: ALL of these ideas are worthy of being promoted on your website and social media! Plan ahead now for how you can incorporate the messaging into your monthly blogs, emails, and social posts! 

The holiday season and Cyber Week can be extremely stressful, especially as we’ve officially gone from one day of sales (Black Friday) to an entire week (Cyber Week). It’s a lot to keep up with! But remember - the products you create and offer to the world are in high demand. So try one of these 5 ideas this holiday season and watch your business continue to grow! 

In preparation for the busiest time of year, I have opened up space on my calendar for a FREE 30-MINUTE CONSULTATION with me, Lucy! Book your call by clicking HERE. Can’t wait to meet you and help answer your questions! 

lucy farmer

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