A flash sale is a promotion or a discount an e-commerce store offers for a short duration. As there’s limited quantity, the discounts are usually higher or more significant than usual promotions. The time limit and limited availability entice customers to indulge in impulse buying or buying on the spot.

While some e-commerce stores use flash sales as a promotional marketing tactic, some companies’ business models are based on flash sales. For instance, Zulily is a flash sales website targeting busy moms. It offers baby items like baby accessories and baby clothes at discounted prices for a limited time.

How flash sales help accelerate business growth

Flash sales can help quickly unload excess inventory. Although selling products consistently is ideal, it’s nearly impossible to plan your inventory to meet upcoming customer needs. In 2012, Reuters reported that during the 2012 holiday shopping season, e-commerce retailers who used flash sales grew twice as fast as online retailers who didn’t use the tactic.

Flash sales also help sell out-of-season items or items that have been sitting in catalogs for a long time, lowering operating and inventory costs on the back end. Moreover, flash sales help increase brand awareness. Conducting a flash sale puts you on the radar of deal blogs and sites on the internet, expanding your visibility. Flash sales can merely be a short-term stimulus, but they offer the opportunity to let customers know about your other products and value propositions.

Tips for a successful flash sale

Below are some tips business owners must remember to ensure successful flash sales:

  • Know the goal of the flash sale. Do you want to raise awareness, clear out excess inventory, or accomplish something else entirely?
  • Tailor the flash sale to a specific target group.
  • Promote the sale using social media, marketing, and SEO.
  • Offer a simple sale. Don’t make customers jump through the hoops to make the most of the sale.
  • Inspire urgency by keeping the time frame of the sale short.
  • Different target groups spend money at varying times, so ensure your flash sale is as relevant as possible.
  • Be clear about your terms of service.

Flash sales can be a great way to boost your business, so use them to your advantage.