How to Prep your Site for a Flash Sale

According to research from the National Retail Federation, 73% of consumers ranked “sales and price discounts” as top factors for deciding where to shop. In the heyday of brick-and-mortar retail, it was common for stores to attract these prudent shoppers with highly-publicized mega-sales (typically held on a “Sunday, SUNDAY, SUNDAYYY!”). With the instantaneous nature of internet shopping, today’s ecommerce equivalent would probably be “flash sales.”
    
Like their predecessors, flash sales are great for attracting consumers’ attention, driving brand awareness, and boosting sales. However, the surges in traffic to your site and order volume can strain your internal resources and hamper customers’ experience. To ensure a successful flash sale that satisfies your customers, use the following tips to prepare.

Get the word out

Besides good deals, flash sales are known for their hype! Take the time to analyze your target audiences and develop a marketing strategy to stoke those fires so your flash sale is truly effective at engaging consumers and driving business.

Variety

A good flash sale quickly cycles through lots of different discounts, which engages shoppers who stick around to see what deals come next. Your assortment should be large enough to entice the widest variety of customers.

Site Search

Flash sales foster a sense of competition to seek and find deals faster than other consumers. If your site search bar is ineffective at finding products, you stand to lose the many mobile users who are accessing your flash sale throughout the day. Make sure your ecommerce site's search functionality has mobile-friendly features, such as autocomplete and search refinements (e.g. brand, color, size, price, etc.) with tap-friendly dropdown lists.
    

Ease of Transaction

The checkout process should just as speedy as your flash sale. Make sure to eliminate as much checkout friction as possible. The longer it takes to checkout, the more likely that shoppers' excitement from scoring a deal will wear off and they'll abandon their carts.

Sales Tactics for Ecommerce

Just because the majority of ecommerce orders are completed without customers interacting with salespeople, doesn’t mean that there aren’t multiple types of selling strategies at your disposal. As long as have a good understanding of your audience and their shopping behaviors, you can use the following tactics to show off products and make sales that you may have otherwise missed.
    

Upselling

You can upsell to customers by recommending products that are higher in price, but more enticing (i.e. better quality, more features, etc.). Upsells should be based on items that a customer has already shown an interest in – otherwise, they're just untargeted ads. Read our previous blog post to learn tips and tricks for more effective upselling.

Down-Selling

Instead of offering a discount on a premium product to secure a sale, you can down-sell by suggesting a cheaper alternative product. This can be a great way to retain customers and keep inventory moving.

Cross-Selling

Cross-selling is when you suggest a product that complements another item a customer has shown an interest in, such as accessories. Cross-sales can increase customer satisfaction with their order, while increasing your revenue.

Bundle-Selling

Bundling products together at a cost lower than their individual combined prices can motivate customers to spend more to take advantage of the offer. Because of its similarity to cross-selling, you may want to try some A/B testing to figure out which tactic works best with your audience.

Tips for Moving Outdated Inventory

Continuously moving inventory is a major goal for ecommerce retailers. But when seasonal, market, or other fluctuations negatively affect your sales you may find yourself sitting on some outdated inventory. You may be willing to cut the price on those goods just to reclaim the warehouse space for more profitable/faster-moving items. But sometimes, putting outdated inventory on sale isn’t good enough. More...