If you are an ecommerce store owner, or even if you are just a common internet user, you are probably familiar with the term flash sale. A flash sale is a special type of promotion, offer or discount that only runs for a very short period of time. The quantity and the time is limited, triggering the sense of urgency in your customers. They have the chance to save money, but only if they act fast.
A lot of people tend to procrastinate or be very indecisive when it comes to online shopping, so the impulse-buying instinct that flash sales trigger, is ideal for these types of hesitant customers.
Flash sales help boost a business revenue in slower periods of the year. Think about right after the holiday shopping and return season when business may slow down for a bit.
A flash sale is also a great tool to clear out slow-moving pieces from your inventory. For this idea to work, you’ll need to either discount heavily, or re-market those slow-moving items. In any case, a flash sale is an amazing way to do this.
Due to the hype generated around them, flash sales are also good for attracting new leads and boosting your email marketing strategy.
However, one of the most important purposes that flash sales can serve is re-engaging your email subscribers. Remember that loyal customers are more likely to purchase from you, so don’t become so preoccupied with attracting new customers that you forget about customer retention! Running exclusive flash sales for your most important customers is a great way to make them feel special and encourage them to continue to purchase your products.
When deciding about which products you are going to be offering on your flash sale, think about the big-picture goal, and what do you want to achieve:
Define your goal first, and choose the products based on that. Don’t forget to limit the number of products in your sale to make it manageable and create a feeling of exclusivity. Also, be sure to think carefully about stock levels to ensure that you can meet customer demands and expectations.
The old adage is right this time: timing IS everything! Deciding the time of your flash sale is key to its success. Look at your analytics for existing data on:
Don’t forget to take into consideration important holidays like Black Friday, Halloween or Mother’s Day is important as well.
Once you have your date and start time figured out, the next decision to make is how long you’re going to run your flash sale. Remember that impulse-buy trigger we talked about earlier? According to recent studies, the ideal time frame for a flash sale is up to 3 hours. Allow a small window of extra time for people from different time zones to take advantage of the sale as well.
In order for a flash sale to work, you’ll need to offer significant savings. Think about offering exclusive items or items with limited availability. Whatever discount you are offering, it’s also crucial to word it correctly. For example, some people might be more motivated with “buy one, get one free”, which emphasizes achieving a gain, and others might me more motivated by “save 50%”, which emphasizes avoiding a loss. This completely depends on your audience.
Give your customers enough time to do research and read reviews on products, so plan your promotional emails at least one week ahead of time, with extra email reminders right before the flash sale begins.
To keep your reputation, provide the best customer experience, increase good reviews, and gain customer loyalty, prepare for your flash sale accordingly. Update your inventory records before the flash sale starts. Prepare for mass orders and mass shipping, and prepare your customer service team!