Gratitude Week: Building Relationships, Not Chasing Transactions

Yes, John’s Crazy Socks is a social enterprise with a mission to spread happiness, but we are also an e-commerce business. We know how important Black Friday/Cyber Monday are for sales and our financial year. It is tempting to hammer customers with emails and text messages, advertisements and social media posts calling out “Buy, Buy, Buy.”

It is a temptation we resist. John will tell you: Thanksgiving should be about gratitude and doing for others.  We call this Gratitude Week: an opportunity for us to thank our customers and community, to give back to them. We add gifts to our orders and give out prizes. Yes, we give discounts to say thank you and reward our customers.  

We stick to our core value of building relationships, not chasing transactions. We work to create a personal connection with our customers.  

On Thanksgiving Day, we stop everything except for a Facebook Live message from John and me to say thank you and maybe sing a few verses of “Alice’s Restaurant.” Our colleagues are home celebrating and we don’t want to intrude on anyone’s holiday. We cap off Gratitude Week on Giving Back Tuesday with an extra fundraising effort for the Special Olympics.

Is this the best way to run an e-commerce business? I don’t know. I only know it is the right way for us to run our organization. We believe this will stand us well in the long run even if we leave some money on the table because we did not send even more emails. It is never enough to just sell stuff.

Our customers are the heroes in our story: their purchases make it possible to hire people with differing abilities (more than half our colleges have a differing ability). They make it possible for us to Give Back (we pledge five percent of our earnings to the Special Olympics and have donated over $550,000 to our charity partners). Most of all, our customers help us spread happiness. It is important that we thank them.

We are so grateful for our customers, the least we could do is say thank you.