People more likely buy when they feel they are getting a special deal instead of an everyday low price. A flash sale is a short term discount or promotion on products offered by eCommerce stores specifically lasting for less than 24 hours.
Why run a flash sale?
- A well executed flash sale can increase customers loyalty and moves excess inventory.
- Flash sales gives an opportunity to consumers , exactly what they are looking for.Then running the deal for a short period of time gives customers that extra jolt to act fast and buy now.
- Flash sales help sellers compete on price.
- As an eCommerce owner you would get rid of excess inventory.
- It lures the customers, hoping to retain them afterwards.
- It also increases your overall sales and profit.
- But profits aren’t guaranteed. You have to execute flash sales correctly to reap the benefits.
Reasons why flash sales fail :
1. Shipping failure :
After a flash sale is over, customers expect quick and accurate delivery. Most of the customers complain of waiting several days to receive their product after the purchase. Make sure your flash deal offers free shipping. This not only helps your brand stand differently on eCommerce platforms, also you will be competing in a better way with Amazon.
2. Inventory failure :
Sometimes e stores keep selling products even after they have no more inventory left. This means the seller has to cancel some of the orders, leading to customers dissatisfaction and mistrust of your brand. So make sure that before launching flash sales, you have plenty of stock.
3. Bots failure :
“Bots”- computer programs are the most popular hack. Firstly the sites are hit by the bot invasion and rob loyal customers. Secondly bots have created a thriving resale market online, causing both retailers and fans to suffer.
Make sure you look at resale sites. Because,those hand-to-get items that were just on flash sale on your site are sold out. Within no time, those products are available on online resale markets. So bot protection is a key to your success as an online flash seller.
4. Site failure :
It is seen that eCommerce websites crash during their busiest sales season. During the busy season, your eCommerce site will be receiving the most traffic, processing the most orders and using the resources optimally. Thundering crowd slows your site speed, even causing it to collapse. If your business model heavily relies on flash sales, load testing your site is a must. Your website server should be able to scale on demand, to prevent crashes.
The best practices of successful flash seller
1. Determine the goals :
- Firstly determine why you want to run the flash sale ?
- Do you want to sell off the excess inventory?
- Do you want to gain website traffic?
- Do you want to attract new customers?
- Do you want to increase brand awareness?
If any of these go with your goals then flash sales could work well for you.
2. Select your target customers :
your flash sales strategy should focus on your target customer and design your flash sale around their interest. Avoid targeting existing customers instead target your competitors’ customers. Select those customers who left negative reviews for your competitors. A flash sale is a great way to re-engage inactive customers with your offers.
3. Pick the right time :
Holidays like valentine’s day, mother’s day, Christmas day are special times of the year when consumers are emotionally ready to shop. By looking at your past order data you can decide when to run a flash sale. If you host flash sales before the holiday season, you can actually win new customers and beat the competition. This will increase your fan base before the holiday shopping event starts.
4. Pick the right product:
The products you select for your flash sale should be based on the customers that you are trying to target. For instance if you are targeting competitors customers, then choose a product that your competitors customer love at a lower price. Secondly if you want flash sales to promote brand awareness then promote your signature product that your brand is known for. Promote the products with the highest search volumes is the best way to appeal.
5. Set right prices :
The price must be right. Your discount should be big enough to send people running to your site. If your brand never goes on sale, then 10% might be enough. Price your flash deals slightly higher than your lowest possible price. These price drops should be reserved for your biggest annual promotions like BF[black Friday] CM[cyber Monday].
6. Create a sense of urgency to promote flash sales :
Use social media platforms namely Facebook, Instagram etc., to actively engage with your customers throughout the flash sale. Show your discount in your subject line. Use countdown timers on your flash sale landing page. As flash sales are for limited time, it will create a sense of urgency. It is a FOMO deal [fear of missing out] which helps in boosting flash sales. This encourages the shoppers for impulse buying.
To sum up:
All in all flash sales can help you make a lot of money. They provide you with short term benefits like inventory clearance, generate extra revenue, brand awareness and business growth in the long run. You have to invest time and effort. It’s a boom or bust in a very brief sales window.