A Flash Sale checklist for Ecommerce Businesses

If you’re looking to run a successful flash sale on your website, you first need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Preparing correctly and executing will help you maximize your sales profits and help prevent issues down the road when you need to replenish stock or restock items that have been sold out quickly. 

If you want to know how to make the most of your flash sale, here’s a flash sale checklist that should get you started in the right direction.

What is a Flash Sale?

A flash sale is an event that lasts for a very short period. Typically lasting less than 48 hours and sometimes even less than one day. 

As you can see, flash sales sites are extremely popular with consumers, but with so many different sites, brands, and companies hosting them, it can be tough to figure out what you need to do before, during, and after your flash sale to make sure it is as successful as possible. Thus we have put together a quick flash sale checklist for you.

Why is a Flash Sale Checklist Important?

Flash sales have been around for a while and were always about selling out quickly. The idea of selling something for cheap in a short window of time to a small number of users is not a new concept. The ecommerce business model has changed that by making it extremely easy to launch such campaigns without effort and very little planning on their part. It causes an organic flash sale that gets driven up by demand among customers. 

This checklist for flash sale takes you through all key areas your business should address before launching your flash sales strategy, including How are you going to offer your products at low prices? What social channels will be used? Will you provide free shipping during your flash sales?

When it comes to Ecommerce platforms, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best Ecommerce platform for small businesses will depend on the specific needs of your business. 

Plan, Prepare, and Profit

When running a successful flash sale, planning is key. By taking the time to map out your sale in detail, you can avoid potential problems and ensure that your event runs smoothly.

The most successful businesses can frequently pull off record-breaking flash sales, which bring in tens of millions of dollars, resulting in hundreds of thousands of orders, and attract millions of visitors who are new to the site. At the very least, you should start getting ready for your sale fourteen days in advance. 

As with any event, planning is crucial when hosting a flash sale. It includes everything from designing promotional materials to ensuring you have enough stock on hand to meet customer demand. By planning, you can avoid any last-minute rushes or stressful situations.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your flash sale:

  • Choose a date and time that will work for your business and your customers. Keep in mind that weekends are typically the best time for sales.
  • Prepare your inventory in advance. Make sure you have enough products on hand to meet customer demand.
  • Create a marketing plan. Decide how to promote your sale and get the word out to potential customers.
  • Set up a system for processing orders quickly and efficiently. It will help ensure that customers receive their items promptly.
  • Construct specialized promotional efforts and plan and build a consumer communications strategy if something goes wrong.
  • Make an accurate forecast of the demand and strategically place goods at retailers or warehouses geographically close to the anticipated demand.
  • Place orders for a buffer inventory to avoid overselling if demand exceeds expected.

Flash Sale Checklist

When it comes to a flash sale, the key is to be prepared. Here is a flash sale checklist of everything you need to do to make sure your flash sale is successful: 

Technical Considerations

These are only a few technical concerns, and their importance may vary depending on the promotional activities you undertake and the historical and average traffic levels. If you are running a flash sale ecommerce, please get in touch with your merchant success manager or the eCommerce Plus support team so that they can provide you with guidance regarding the requirements for running your next flash sale.

Forecast Traffic

While it is difficult to determine how much traffic you will receive, it is always a good idea to forecast traffic based on historical and expected traffic patterns. It allows you to mitigate issues before they occur and your website to be as responsive as possible. Promotional campaigns are often very successful in driving large amounts of traffic, so it is best practice to be prepared for the increased volume.

Load Times

When reviewing load times, look at the front end (website) and back end. The front-end load time is based on various factors such as code optimization, image file sizes and compression, server resources, etc., while the back-end load time depends on available bandwidth capacity at the data center and any encryption or security measures that may be installed on your Ecommerce flash sales. Paying attention to load times is important as slow load times result in customer frustration and can lead to loss of sales.

Queue Management

Suppose you are expecting a large volume of traffic. In that case, you may consider implementing a queue management system, so visitors do not experience long wait times when accessing your website. Additionally, this will allow you to capture visitors’ email addresses while waiting in the queue, allowing you to market directly to them should they decide not to visit your website at that time.

Choose a Scalable Platform to Host your Flash Sale

Depending on the level of traffic that you are expecting, you may want to consider using a scalable platform to host your sale. It will ensure that you can accommodate any unexpected spikes in traffic, as well as any future growth. Depending on your platform, there may be additional fees for using a scalable platform.

Bots Protection

Bots and reseller groups keep an eye out for product drops of interest, and they might have your next flash sale in mind. When auto checkout bots overrun the checkout, making it practically difficult to make a transaction, it is a very terrible shopping experience for real customers. Additionally, true fans can subsequently discover your things on resale sites being sold for a significant markup, sparking criticism on social media. So you should place the bot protection to avoid such things during your flash sales.

Plan for Business Growth

As your business grows, it is important to plan for future growth so that you do not experience any issues down the road. It includes forecasting traffic based on historical and expected growth patterns, ensuring that your website can handle the increased volume, and having a plan in place should any issues arise. Additionally, suppose you are planning on running multiple promotional campaigns. In that case, it is important to have a plan in place so that you do not overwhelm your website and cause any issues.

Display Dummy Product

Create dummy products that buyers can’t actually purchase to allow them to see featured things before you sell them. Never let the sale items go live in the store prior to the sale date and time. Customers will be able to purchase your products before they go on sale if you publish them to your online store while you still have inventory available.

Create Unique Flash Sale Collections

Use a theme that emphasizes and makes product pages simpler to create a collection exclusively for flash sale items. Customers will have a simpler, quicker checkout experience if collections and product pages are simplified.

Backup Your Website

Backing up your website is always a good idea, as it allows you to restore it if any issues arise. It is especially important if you are running a promotional campaign as it can result in a large volume of traffic, and any issues that may occur could significantly impact your business.


Promotional Considerations

When running a flash sale, it’s important to consider how you will promote the event. You’ll want to ensure that your target audience is aware of the sale, and you’ll need to decide on the best way to reach them. Will you use email marketing? Social media? Paid advertising? A combination of all three? Once you’ve decided on your promotional strategy, give yourself enough time to execute it effectively. 

A successful flash sale promotion requires careful planning and execution. Following the tips in this checklist ensures that your next flash sale is successful.

Choose a Discount Strategy

  • Percentage off: A certain percentage off the regular price
  • BOGO (buy one, get one): Buy one item, get a second item of equal or lesser value for free
  • Free shipping: Offer free shipping on all orders
  • Dollar amount off A fixed dollar amount off the regular price

Create a Sense of Urgency

  • Set a time limit for sale: Ex. 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours
  • Include a countdown timer on your website or in your emails
  • Use words like “limited time” and “act fast” in your promotional materials 

Promote the Sale

  • Email your subscribers about the sale 
  • Post about the sale on social media 
  • Run paid ads promoting the sale 
  • Include information about the sale on your website

Choose a Promotional Strategy

Promoting your sales event will be the other half of the battle to attract people to visit your online store. Whether you are lowering prices or releasing a limited-edition product collection is true. Others may wait until the day of the sale to promote their exclusive product launch to avoid discouraging customers from making purchases until they find a better deal. 

This strategy is employed by some businesses, while others choose to promote their exclusive product launch in advance to generate excitement. In addition, you can increase sales by offering customers an incentive by notifying them via email when products they have previously browsed are getting low on stock.

Bring Attention to the Current Real-time Stock Levels

Include a real-time inventory ticker next to the products that are part of a flash sale to give the customer the impression that time is of the essence. Creating a sense of urgency among customers by letting them know how many things are still available for purchase can help speed up the purchasing process.

Time your Flash Sale Right

The timing of your flash sale is just as important as the duration. You wouldn’t want to run a flash sale when your target market is busy with work or school. The best time to run a flash sale is on a weekend or weekday evening when people are more likely to have free time to browse online.

There is no one final best moment to conduct a flash sale. When is the optimum moment to release your product? That depends on your ideal customer. Therefore, evaluate your analytics to discover if there are any recurring patterns of purchase:

  • What kind of impact did various timings have on the results of previous flash sales?
  • Which day(s) of the week, on average, do customers make their purchases?
  • When, on average, consumers make their purchases during the day?
  • When do you see the most significant percentage of opens for your emails?

Reward New Customers

You can also use a flash sale as an opportunity to reward your new customers. By giving them a discount on their first purchase, you can encourage them to become repeat customers.

Logistical Considerations

Several logistical considerations must be considered when hosting a flash sale to ensure the event runs smoothly. It includes everything from planning the sale itself to ensuring you have enough staff on hand to deal with the increased customer traffic.

Reduce Shipping Options

To avoid potential shipping delays, reducing the number of shipping options available during a flash sale is advisable. It will help to streamline the process and ensure that orders are shipped out as quickly as possible.

Increase Staff Levels

Due to the increased customer traffic that a flash sale will generate, it is essential to ensure you have enough staff on hand to deal with the demand. It includes additional customer service representatives to deal with any inquiries and extra warehouse staff to help with packing and shipping orders.

Organize Inventories

If you have multiple locations, managing your inventory levels across all sites is essential. It includes ensuring that each area has enough stock to meet customer demand and keeping real-time sales track to avoid over or underselling.

Ensure Smooth Returns

To maintain high customer satisfaction, it is essential to guarantee seamless returns for any items purchased during a flash sale. It includes having a straightforward returns policy and ensuring that return requests are processed quickly and efficiently.

It is anticipated that returns will cost brands at least $550 billion in 2020. When you have flash sales, you increase the risk that customers will want to return their purchases. The management of reverse logistics can be simplified by implementing a standardized process for processing returns. After clearly communicating your return policy, you should think about implementing a returns solution to streamline the process for your team and your customers.

Think about offering incentives to make exchanges rather than refunds. Loop lists several different ways in which firms might assist customers in opting for exchanges rather than refunds:

  • Make the window for exchanging an item longer than the one for issuing a refund. It ensures that the consumer still has plenty of time to return the item, but it increases the likelihood that the item will be exchanged.
  • Provide extra credit as a reward for making trades. If a consumer chooses to exchange an item instead of requesting a refund, they will have a larger amount of store credit to use in the future.
  • Include a nominal handling charge for all refunds.

Flash Sales – The Future

It’s no secret that flash sales are becoming increasingly popular. Many experts believe that they are the future of online shopping. However, finding one that suits your business is harder than it seems.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want to make sure your flash sale is successful. 

  • First, you need to have a clear and concise message. Your customers need to know exactly what they’re getting and why it’s worth their time and money.
  • Second, you must ensure your sale is well-organized and easy to navigate. No one wants to waste their time sifting through a bunch of products they don’t care about.
  • Finally, you need to have excellent customer service. If something goes wrong or a customer has a question, you need to be there to help them out.

By following these simple tips, you can make sure your flash sale is successful.

Final Thoughts

A flash sale can be a great way to move inventory and attract new customers. But a flash sale can also be a disaster if you’re unprepared. Use this Flash sale checklist to ensure you’re ready for your next flash sale. With proper planning and execution, your flash sale will be a success.

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