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9 Ways to Run a Successful Flash Sale

What comes to your mind when you see this – 

Urgency? Limitedness? Response-warranted? Or does it remind you of the popular words from the movie Anomalisa – “Our time is limited, we forget that.” 

Here’s what it reminds us of – a viral marketing strategy.  A phenomenon that’s just here and then gone in a flash. 

Yes! We are talking about a flash sale.

What is a flash sale? 

A flash sale is a deep discounting strategy that runs for a short time on limited product sections. It typically lasts anywhere between a few hours to a few days. Most of us would have seen ‘limited time deal’ or ‘deal of the day’ in our fave e-commerce websites. That’s pretty much a flash sale!

Flash sales also show up during popular days of the month, such as Black Fridays or Cyber Mondays. Some stores like Amazon have their in-house flash sale days, such as Prime Day. The seeds of the flash sale were sown by Woot (now owned by Amazon) in 2004. Here’s a capture of probably what is the first flash sale of the world – 

The popularity of this concept soon caught up with other businesses. Today thousands of websites and companies employ flash sales. Some sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Zulily offer daily deals that the users can grab. Each day a specific product will be up for sale with a huge discount. 

Why run a flash sale after all?

To answer this question effectively, we conducted an unofficial survey at our workplace. Here are the questions we asked – 

  1. How many of you recognize this platform?
  2. How many of you would click on one of the below products?
  3. Would you have selected the same item if the timer was absent?

The results were pretty much in line with what we expected. Here’s what a vast majority of them answered – 

  1. Amazon
  2. Yes
  3. Probably no

This short survey sums up the popularity of Flash sale and why it has evolved into the go-to discount strategy for most businesses over the years.

A flash sale increases your sales by triggering the phenomenon of FOMO(Fear Of Missing Out) in people. The urgency of the deal draws the people to click and explore more about the product. It makes them think that this might be the best price for the product and it will not last long. 

Flash sale is also a perfect tool for those looking to discard old inventory lying idle on their shelves. Apart from that, it aids in creating brand awareness, finding valuable customers, increasing overall customer loyalty, and boosting monthly GMV.

“Online stores saw a rise of 64,000% in their monthly GMV with the help of a flash sale in 2020.”

  • Wix

Remember – Businesses are in a race to steer their prospects toward purchasing their products. Any business that offers a product at a comparatively lower price wins this race. The loser ends up living with low conversions and unsold inventory.

How to run a flash sale? 

Here are some tips and strategies to help you run a flash sale – 

  1. Start with a primary goal: Your plan must revolve around your goal. Your goal could be to improve conversion rate, discard excess inventory, or even find new leads for your brand. Whatever it be, stick with it till you execute the flash sale.
  2. Target specific types of customers: You can’t focus on multiple target audiences and expect positive results. Personalization is the key here. Target one or two customer personas and identify the products that have a higher propensity to be sold to them. This will improve the success rate of your flash sale.
  3. Know when to run the sale: From your analytics, track the time of the year when your customers were most active and the conversion rates were high. That will give you a bunch of dates to run your flash sale. The holiday season is usually an excellent time to run a flash sale as customers will be in a mood to splurge.
  4. Keep your sale time short: Did you know that a 3-hour flash sale resulted in a 59%  higher transaction-to-click rate than any other timeframe? A shorter duration of your sale will keep your audience on their toes, and you can expect action from them right away. Employ a timer if possible. This helps to build a sense of anticipation among your shoppers. Vajro lets you add an intuitive timer in seconds. For existing Vajro users, here is a quick guide on how to add a timer to improve conversions.
  5. Don’t fix the discount too low: Flash sale doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut the price pretty steep. Consider taxes, shipping and handling charges, and a small margin for yourself before fixing the discount percentage.
  6. Promote it in multiple channels: A flash sale is only effective when it reaches the people. Promoting your flash sale in different marketing channels is a necessity today. Emails and social media are always good places to start as they are easy to use and completely free. A more effective way is to use push notifications to promote your flash sale. It lets your customers act fast and grab your discounts instantly.

With Vajro you can automate push notifications or send them manually. It even lets you schedule your notifications to a time when you think your users are most likely to respond.


For existing Vajro users, here’s how you create and manage your push notifications.

 

7. Plan for the worst: You can’t avoid thousands of concurrent users during your flash sale days, especially if you are a popular name. Ensure that your website and server can handle this sudden surge in the number of visitors. A crashed website due to a flash sale can do more harm to your business than no sale at all.

8. Manage inventory and shipping: Keep a sufficient volume of the products that you intend to add to your flash sale catalog. You don’t want to face angry customers who never received their products or got them late after paying for them. To speed up things, keep the products pre-packed and ready for shipping. 

9. Track the performance: Measure the performance of every flash sale you run. Keep track of the conversion rates, visitors to the site, site’s performance, products most sold, and so on. This data will help to avoid the same mistakes in your next flash sale. 

Wrapping Up

Businesses often forget that customers are sitting on a diamond-encrusted throne today. They have millions of options to choose from. If you’re not going to satisfy them, someone else will. This is where campaigns like flash sales can help. They help to quickly boost your sales volume and improve your overall brand visibility. 

With most people spending a larger part of their time on smartphones, it has become easier to reach your target audience through a mobile application than a website. This is where Vajro can help. We are a leading mobile app factory helping brands expand their customer base.

 

Get in touch with us now if you want to know more on how to build a world-class mobile experience for your customers with Vajro.

 

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