Flash Sale

One way to attract consumers to purchase your products is to sell them at a lower price. But if you want to boost traffic to your online store and increase sales quickly within a short duration, you can use flash sales as a money-making promotional strategy.

What Is a Flash Sale?

A flash sale is where an eCommerce store sells specific products at a substantially discounted price for a very short period. Discounts typically range from 50% to over 75% of the product’s regular retail value. Most flash sales usually run for at least three hours, while others last up to a few days. 

Because of the large price reduction and the limited time to purchase items, this strategy creates a sense of urgency in consumers. It appeals to the consumers’ fear of missing out (FOMO) and compels them to buy on impulse.

Just like livestream shopping, a flash sale is one of the most popular marketing tactics eCommerce stores use to increase brand visibility, engagement rates, and customer loyalty. 

Flash sales come in different formats, some examples of which are:

Tiered flash sale

Discounts are offered in tiers or batches. For example, the first 50 buyers get a 75% discount, the next 100 buyers get 50% off the item, then the rest enjoy a 30% reduction. This tactic heightens the sense of urgency among potential customers because they have to make a quick purchase to get a higher discount.

Flash sale with a steep discount 

Airline companies typically use this format, where they offer airline tickets at very low prices on selected destinations. Often, there’s a limit to the number of seats available, and the travel dates fall within a specified time frame.

Uniquely timed flash sale

This is where brands time their sale during periods when there’s high traffic to their websites. They may be run during lunch breaks, happy hours, or at midnight. They last for a very short period, prompting shoppers to make quick buying decisions.

Mystery flash sale

Shoppers are given a unique code that corresponds to a discount. 

Why Are Flash Sales Good for Your Business?

Flash sales can be advantageous to businesses. Here are some of the benefits of running a flash sale over a regular sale:

Build brand visibility 

Running a flash sale creates a buzz among consumers, especially if you’re offering an in-demand item. Not only does it catch the attention of your current customers, but it also attracts new leads. 

Boost revenue quickly

In most cases, consumers spend time researching a product and comparing prices among different brands before making a purchase. A flash sale can encourage consumers to make quick buying decisions and hence result in increased conversion rates. Some may even purchase large quantities if the merchandise is something they frequently use.

Sell excess and off-season items in your inventory

If you’re dealing with idle items in your inventory, you most likely would have to deal with higher storage costs. Putting overstock and off-season items up for sale lets you get rid of merch fast, so you can cut down on costs and make space for newer, more sought-after items.

Manage bounce rates

Sometimes shoppers visit your website, browse your products, and put items in their cart but don’t make a purchase. Flash sales can help you retarget leads by showing them what products they viewed. You can then send behaviorally targeted ads to your leads, re-trigger their interest in those products, and convince them to make a purchase.

How to Run a Successful Flash Sale?

Flash sales need careful planning to prevent losses or avoid creating disinterest among consumers. The following are a few tips on how to execute a successful flash sale:

Define your goal

Before running a flash sale, determine what goal you want to accomplish. Do you want to get rid of overstock items, attract new customers, or strengthen customer loyalty? Once you’ve identified your goal, it’s easier to decide which items to put on sale.

Keep timing short

Many successful flash sales run for two to three hours. When pressed for time, consumers feel a greater urgency to make a quick action.

Ensure you have ample stocks

Keep count of the number of items you have, and be transparent about it. Creating hype for your items and then being unable to deliver because products are out of stock could disappoint customers and hurt your brand’s reputation. 

Plan your shipping strategy early

Keep in mind that customer perception is also affected by what happens after customers make a purchase. Prevent complaints by ensuring that items are shipped on time.

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.