You know when you are driving down the street, and you see one of those park benches or huge billboard signs flashing, that reads: “SALE! You just proved that this advertising works”. Hmmm… they are correct, if not a little coy in the tactic. And they are 100% right.
Translating that psychology to the business of drop shipping, you can use a flash sale to get the attention of new online shoppers or returning customers. In this article we’re going to share some expert strategies to leverage a flash-sale on your ecommerce website, and how to implement an omnichannel marketing plan to boost your special promotion.
What are Some Good Flash Sale Tips?
This type of discount or promotion is offered by an ecommerce store, for a short period of time and with a limited quantity of units available. There is some deep selling psychology at play with a flash sale, that helps to influence the impulse to buy, versus the fear of missing out FOMO that consumers experience, when they visit your store.
A few reminders about shopping and human psychology:
- We all want things that appear to be scarce or limited.
- We like to buy things that are discounted (rather than paying the regular price).
- Impulse purchases are very much a part of online shopping. See it? Want it! Buy it.
The modern online consumer is deal savvy. The whole hunt for innovative products they cannot find in brick and mortar stores takes them to independent ecommerce shops, to source not only the products they want, but at a better price.
Feed that need to locate and participate in savings and a great deal, with some of these flash sale tactics from our team at Dropified.
What Kind of Items Can You Discount for a Promotional Incentive?
If you can spend a little time researching some of the most popular and trending products, you can find the “holy grail” and use that speciality priced, high-demand item as traffic (and sales) bait. But don’t limit yourself to only small ticket items for flash sales; remember the perception of value is greater when a higher ticket priced item is significantly reduced.
There is one tool that can help you pick the products with the highest consumer sales trends and demand on AliExpress, and that is AliExtractor. This tool allows for advanced filtration of products by a number of criteria, including sales, number of items shipped and even evaluates the vendor ratings, helping you choose the best manufacturers/suppliers on AliExpress. Another great thing about AliExtractor, is that it provides up to 8% cash back on any product you purchase on AliExpress.
When you are considering your profit margin (or break even) on a flash sale item, you will be able to soften that loss with the cash back bonus. And it also allows you to download real customer (4) and (5) star product reviews directly from the vendors you source from, on AliExpress.
How Long Should a Flash Sale Last and How Often Should You Have One?
There are many successful large brands that use a model of perpetual flash sales, to constantly entice online shoppers with great limited time deals. Think zulily, and to a lesser extent, auction styled websites like Deal Dash™.
Here is where Dropified can really help you organize and schedule flash sales and special price promotions and discounts. Create a board in Dropified for your shop, exclusively for the product bundle or individual product that you are going offer at a steep discount. Next, use our custom pricing parameters to set a special price exclusively for this product, and when that special pricing will end (date).
You’ll need to create two separate entries for the product in Dropified. One product will be featured in the category at the regular retail price (so that your customers can see what a deal they are getting), but before you create a page for flash deals, or other promotions, your sale page will feature duplicate but discounted products. Watch our training video for more information.
How many products should you offer in a flash sale? No more than (3) on your website at any given time. Remember that with the discounted price, your profit margin on the item has also been reduced. In effect, it is a break even or loss leader product used for promotional purposes. Many ecommerce business owners choose to have only one flash sale promotion running during each month.
Where Should You Promote Your Sale?
Everywhere (no, we’re not kidding). When you plan your flash sales in advance, you should have a few content pieces already pre-written and in place, so that you can execute the promotion of the sale through all audience channels.
- Social media posts and graphics with a direct link to the flash sale item.
- 1-3 emails to remind your customers about the items for sale and the limited time promotion.
- Some pay-per-click advertising on your social media channels, to drive followers to participate in your special offer.
Don’t forget to share your sale in your own personal social media channels. Family and friends will definitely want to get in on the action too and may even share your post in their private channels. A great sale moves through online circles quickly, if you remember to ask those you know to help get the word out.
How Do You Respond to Customers After the Sale Has Ended?
You may feel really bad, when a customer approaches you after a sale has ended. They may have just found out about the sale from a friend and want you to extend the discount period. What do you do? Well, there are two approaches to consider.
First, you may choose to stand by your limited time offer. Of course, that’s not what the customer hears, and we know the ‘customer comes first’ in good business practice. But consider that offering the special promotional price to someone after the flash sale has ended, may be opening up a new set of problems.
You could extend the sales period for your flash promotion, but if you do that and the customer tells friends that he or she got the discounted price after the limited time offer expired, you might be in trouble. Customers may complain about the terms of pricing and the promotion, if they find out you ‘bent the rules’. And they may not trust (or may abuse) that inclination to accommodate them in the future.
Our best advice? Stick to the terms and deadline of your flash sale. When a customer approaches you to extend the offer, invite them to subscribe to your email so that they do not miss future promotional opportunities. They will respect you, and interestingly, some studies have suggested that it may inspire them to return to buy (frequently) in spite of missing one sale and being declined the request.
Now it’s your turn. Whether you are a seasoned ecommerce business owner, or someone who is just starting out and learning the ropes with your first store, what kind of flash sales do you find most effective? Share your comments with us.