Although, Scott at times can be a bit predictable, a week ago I got something in my inbox that really shocked me! It turns out that Yunnan Sourcing is not having a Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Sale this year… or so it seems….
Check out the screen shots of this promotional email…
1- Black Friday/Cyber Monday puts undue strain on his business model.
2- The customer experience is less because of this strain.
I understand from a business perspective that it might cost Yunnan Sourcing more money to just hire and train competent temporary staff or to pay out overtime. It might be worth it from a business perspective to just make less profit and not have to deal with those extra wages. It also might not be worth the stress either so this move puts him and his employees’ health first and foremost over sales. I can’t really argue too much with this because I’m not running the business. Putting your employees ahead of profits is usually a good call.
However, I kind of disagree with the argument that the customer experience is less on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I think the spectacle of the sale is good old consumeristic behavior at its finest and I think the customer is understanding of the tradeoffs of getting a nice sale with the potential issues stated in the above email.
Last year I had a mistake with one of my Black Friday orders (no it wasn’t Yunnan Sourcing) but it was made right and then some. I was totally 100% okay and understanding about this, and I think most puerh drinkers are in the same boat as me. But Scott makes a good point that it doesn’t have to be like this at all….
I got an email yesterday that there is a 15% off everything going on right now- this is the exact Black Friday Sale offered last year but basically just offered early! Then I realized that Scott is basically just offering the Black Friday Sale Early. This should remedy some of the issues that he put forth. From a marketing point of view it is also pretty smart because he is offering the sale before the competition is out with theirs. This prevents the consumer from comparing and contrasting the competition’s sales and deciding on where to spend (as I have done in the past). This is definitely a negative for the customer from a competing market standpoint. For the customer that has already made his mind up that he will purchase at Yunnan Sourcing, this will definitely benefit them.
On the other hand, offering early sales don’t have the psychological triggered buying patterning that Black Friday and Cyber Monday conjure up. Some might just wait it out hoping that the competition offers something better (or maybe that even Yunnan Sourcing will offer a better sale). In the end, I think it’s a great gamble that has the potential to benefit the customer and vendor. This is an experiment to see if it turns out to be a win-win, I guess only Scott and Xiao Yao will know for sure…
Although there are some cakes I’ve had my eye on, maybe because I just did a big order from Yunnan Sourcing or maybe because the gravitas of Black Friday is lacking… but this year, I think, I’ll pass… for now...