A Closer Look: Goose & Gander’s Black Friday Mystery Box

February 24, 2023
5 min read

Goose & Gander has never been one to follow the crowd. So, when Black Friday sales rolled around last year, Goose & Gander saw an opportunity to move away from the blanket discounts we often see over the BFCM weekend—instead opting for a way to gamify their deals. Here’s how we created their highly successful Black Friday mystery box.

Goose & Gander started with brick-and-mortar origins but quickly moved to a D2C e-commerce approach to reach more customers and grow. Since then, they’ve built a reputation as a creator of quality, on-trend, inclusive clothing.

But, as a brand with sustainability at the forefront of its collections and decision-making, Goose & Gander has to be conscious of how they sell to customers, including participating in sales seasons like BFCM, which typically have a negative environmental footprint.

So why take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

On top of high return rates due to panic buying, BFCM also negatively impacts the planet through packaging, fast shipping, and the products being unsustainable themselves. But, eco-positive brands like TALA, Wild, and more have proven you can still participate in BFCM, reaping the revenue benefits many businesses rely on while reducing your impact on the planet.

Some offer minimal discounts on only targeted products to decrease panic buying, while others provide one-time product purchases to reduce production requirements. And it pays off. Last year Shopify cited $6.3billion in global sales from Shopify merchants and an average cart price of $100. In addition, some brands made more over the BFCM weekend than most months - including our client, Goose & Gander.

Standing out in a saturated sales season

Goose & Gander had to be clever about how they sold over BFCM to distinguish themselves from the blanket discounts often found in Black Friday sales strategies and continue aligning with their brand values. The company wanted a Black Friday promotion that:

  • Supported their brand values
  • Built loyalty among their customers
  • Created a boost in sales without cutting into margins

Goose & Gander’s Black Friday mystery box

The solution? Goose & Gander decided to gamify the Black Friday season.

Gamification offers a more creative way to deliver a brand message. It can improve engagement, solidify customer relationships more effectively, and is becoming increasingly popular for customer retention through loyalty programs - check out our article for more on this.

For their take on gamification, Goose & Gander gave their customers a chance to buy a mystery box worth between £69 and £147 for a discounted £45 over the BFCM weekend. Each box included three mystery items, including at least one of the brand's famous t-shirts.

To promote the offer, the company wanted to create excitement and educate customers about the deal. We custom-built a countdown clock on the homepage - counting down until Black Friday and incorporated promotional messaging across the site, from the home page to the collections pages and checkout.

To avoid overwhelming fulfillment and to ensure shipments would reach customers on time, the mystery box promotion needed to be the only active product on Goose & Gander’s site over the BFCM weekend.

Goose & Gander wanted all products except the mystery box to be disabled to remove the chance of other items being ordered. And any pre-saved products were to remain saved for future purchases but disabled for checkout during this time.

Optimizing their Shopify Plus store

We employed a multi-layered strategy to help Goose & Gander make their innovative mystery box promotion successful. First, we optimized the brand's Shopify Plus e-commerce site to make buying a mystery box frictionless and enjoyable for customers. We also worked to ensure that the company had as few manual tasks to handle as possible during the intensity of the Black Friday period.

Theme Settings

To reduce task time for the Goose & Gander team, we created a section within the Shopify Plus theme settings where all page settings could be easily configured.

This section in the theme settings allowed Goose & Gander to produce consistent sales information and promotion across their site before launch. And eliminated the need to update pages individually, which sped up the process. It also allowed Goose & Gander to disable products and product information pages over BFCM.

The best part? The brand can use this section to promote future products because it's already built into their theme.

Countdown and messaging

The second part of our strategy was ensuring a positive customer experience. We built a bespoke countdown timer and included messaging for the mystery box promotion. The countdown timer was displayed on Goose & Gander’s homepage and the Mystery Box landing page. Goose & Gander could enable the timer and set a date when they were ready. Once live, the timer would trigger sale messaging on product and home pages.

We added an "add to cart" button for the mystery boxes. For disabled products, "add to wishlist" replaced "add to cart." We made sure the messaging clearly explained the change for customers.

We also added messaging for customers with the would-be-disabled products saved in their carts ahead of Black Friday. The message explained that the item was currently unavailable but would be available again after the Black Friday sale. In addition, the checkout button was disabled until the countdown reached zero.

After the mystery box promotion ended, we coded the checkout button to enable orders for any items that were previously disabled automatically.

Finally, we turned to supporting Goose & Gander drum up excitement with customers via sign-ups and messaging. Users could sign up to discover when the sale went live via a notify me popup on the site. Once signed up, we created a notification to let users know when the BFCM sale went live, giving them first dibs at snapping up a mystery box.

With all this in place, Goose & Gander was set for BFCM 2021.

The outcomes

Goose & Gander avoided the Black Friday and Cyber Monday traps other e-commerce sites often fall to. Instead, they successfully gained attention and created an exciting opportunity for their customers. Plus, their innovative BFCM promotion enabled them to shift a backlog of stock from last season – clearing inventory space and securing sales.

In fact, Goose & Gander secured over 13,000 orders over the holiday weekend. As a result, they increased sales 105% year-over-year to £650,000 and averaged 406 orders per day, with 6,347 orders on the Thursday of the BFCM weekend alone.

And as an added bonus, the section in their theme settings automated messaging and product changes both before and after BFCM – resulting in few manual tasks to handle during the intense sales period.

Success for Black Friday and beyond

Goose & Gander turned a quirky Black Friday plan into a big payoff. By partnering with us, the brand optimized the functionality of their Shopify Plus store and created a positive customer experience without the stress of manually managing every feature.

Reach out to our team to find out how we can help with your e-commerce challenges and elevate your store to stand out beyond the rest.


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