Much like the bricks and mortar stores on the high street, ecommerce businesses will often hold seasonal sales and flash promotions to keep products moving and engage with customers throughout the year. However, the ecommerce strategies for successful promotion will be much more focused on digital marketing than a high street store; so we're letting you in on some inside knowledge to maximise your results for the next flash sale.
image credit: manilaonsale.comWhy have a flash sale?
Flash sales have a variety of benefits for your business, beyond increasing profit; you can successfully move any unwanted stock, increase traffic to the site and overall raise brand awareness. Amazon's recent Prime Day sale was a great success, because not only were discounts offered across the site - the aim was to win new Prime members, which they did.When to hold a flash sale
There are of course standard seasonal occasions to take advantage of for your flash sale, such as Easter and Christmas - however the UK have started to adopt more dates into the calendar like Black Friday and Cyber Monday from America; which have seen millions of pounds in profit for all commerce businesses.
Your flash sale doesn't need to be confined to one particular day or holiday - depending on your products or the message you want to send. Google Trends will help you keep an eye on current search terms in use for your industry so you can target days that see an increase in traffic for your products.
Be careful: Sofa retailers like DFS have now become known for their on-going sale and restaurants like Pizza Express have developed a reputation for their year-round vouchers and discounted food. These never-ending sales can actually damage customer trust and consumer opinion of your brand.Preparing for the rush
Fail to prepare and prepare to fail, whilst the flash sale will not be running for very long - you should spend as much time as you can planning the logistics and management for the change of pace. Before the launch date, there are a few things you should consider:
- Inventory - Make sure you have enough stock to cover supplier demand, even if you are moving old products you will want to avoid customer complaints where possible.
- Delivery information – The last day for delivery and delivery times should be made as clear as possible to your customers to build trust and a reliable relationship.
- Get mobile ready – Mobile use has increased at an alarming rate over the last few years, and if your site isn't responsive to use on mobile and tablets, you're missing out
Set up a custom landing page specific to your flash sale, this will allow you to create direct links and keyword search terms such as "save money" or "special offers" whilst using tailored PPC. Custom on page content, meta descriptions and title tags will boost the position of your page and by proxy, the flash sale within the SERPS (search engines results pages).Marketing your sale
Targeting your audience will increase chances of visibility, traffic and ultimately sales conversions. Social media will play a large role in this, you can use Facebook advertising to target specific groups or Twitter to create trending sales terms. Do some competitor research, how are they marketing their flash sales? Make sure your strategies are in line with marketing plans that have worked for your industry and you will reach the same demographic.
image credit: sheknows.com
Use PPC: If you use Google Shopping, your prices should update automatically but don't forget to take advantage of the ‘special offers’ feature too. If you've done your industry research you should be able to implement re-marketing campaigns to take advantage of customers shopping around during the sales period.
Communicate with your customers: Email will be at the forefront of your marketing campaign email marketing. You are able to grow relationships with new and existing customers whilst build anticipation for your impending flash sale. Use product previews, targeted campaigns and exciting offers to create the buzz you need around your sale.
Gone in a flash
The benefits of your flash sale will show in more than just your inventory report, with lots of new data and hopefully new customers; your business will grow loyalty as well as profit. Follow up your sale with tailored messaging to customers, a great way to build on those long lasting relationships.