flash-sales-the-fun-fame-and-fortune-that-can-follow

Seeking attention for your online business?

Hoping to gain increased sales soon?

Aiming to introduce something fun to your business strategy?

Look no further than flash sales.

Flash sales are a great way for ecommerce businesses to generate attention, sales and stir up some fun for consumers both loyal and new. They are quick, often unexpected and allow merchants to sell inventory that’s reaching its expiration date or push out inventory that may be new to market. With no firm rules and flexible expectations, flash sales are undoubtedly among the most underutilized yet worthwhile marketing strategies ecommerce businesses can use.

To help prepare you for your next – or even first – flash sale, consider the tips below.

Tip #1: Identify the Goals of Your Flash Sale

The idea of flash sales may seem impulsive and a bit unpredictable but make no mistake – those planning them should have a firm understanding of their objective as they prepare for a flash sale. Among the things you must identify is what your main goals of the flash sale are. Is it to help sell-through excess or out-of-season inventory? Is it to launch a new product that your ecommerce store just welcomed? Is it to promote a trending item that consumers are currently buzzing about? Or possibly, is it to support an upcoming holiday or other promotional event? Whatever your flash sale goals are, identify them before you continue in your flash sale preparation so that you can ultimately make decisions that will help you reach your goals.

Tip #2: Identify Your Marketing & Timeframe

When preparing a flash sale, timing is everything. It’s important to have all marketing channels prepared and ready to go when you announce your flash sale – allowing you to reach your maximum buying audience and support your flash sale objectives. This includes email marketing, social media messaging and chat board forums you may be a part of. All avenues of communication should be considered in your flash sale promotion, therefore your timing must be strategized to when all of these outlets have marketing support prepared and ready to launch once your flash sale goes live. Additionally, don’t overlook the value certain times and certain days can lend to your flash sale goals. Based on data from your own ecommerce history, consider when peak buying times are and when slow buying times are, as well. Factor these details into your planning to strengthen the end results of your flash sale.

Tip #3: Identify Your Target Audience

Your timing, marketing and inventory are all key components to a flash sale but they won’t be effective unless you have a target market to sell to. Keeping this in mind, consider who your audience is when preparing for your flash sale. Are they Gen Y? Gen Z? Baby Boomers? Or possibly all of the above? Whomever your target audience is, make sure you prepare your marketing and overall messaging with them in mind.

Tip #4: Relay a Sense of Urgency

Additionally, when you prepare for a flash sale there is one detail you must never overlook – and that is relaying a sense of urgency to your target audience. This key detail is what can make or break the success of a flash sale and should be considered in all stages of your flash sale preparation. From marketing, to messaging, to timing, to consumer details and more, make sure your plans incorporate urgency – helping your target audience be quick to get engaged.

Tip #5: Maintain Top-notch Customer Service

One more final tip? The duration of flash sales typically vary from 24 hours to even just a couple of hours, but only those that deliver top-notch customer service along the way truly experience flash sale success. You should anticipate and plan for more customer support during this timeframe, allowing you to welcome the increased customer attention, online activity and purchases that flash sales should bring when done right. Ultimately, it’s this TLC that customers crave and respond to – and flash sales, just like all online sales, are no exception.

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About the Author

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of Retail Minded, a publication committed to supporting independent retailers through news, education and support, as well as the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. Recognized for her expertise in independent retail, Reyhle has published thousands of articles about small business and is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill. Additionally, Reyhle has contributed to Forbes, Fiverr, IBM and more, and has been the Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Learn more about Retail Minded at www.retailminded.com, at @RetailMinded on Twitter or at Facebook.com/RetailMinded.