What comes to mind when you hear the term “flash sale”? Likely, images of clothing racks at a discount, or maybe an online sale with steep discounts on popular items. A flash sale is a promotional event in which a retailer quickly offers a limited number of discounted items.
Flash sales usually last for a day or extend to a few days offering extensive discounts on products from multiple categories. Retailers generally use flash sales to clear inventory or boost sales during slow periods under a seasonal sale or ‘Black Friday’ theme.
In this competitive digital era, these types of sales have captured the internet due to the exponential growth in eCommerce and online stores. The most important part of a successful online flash sale is ensuring that the website’s back and front end are ready to cater to this surge in webtraffic. While this is a critical element, it’s also crucial to ensure that the website is user-friendly so that potential customers can place orders with minimal steps.
Here are some simple tips on how you can get your website ready for a flash sale.
Back End Optimization
Most businesses opt for hosting their website is on a cloud server that’s on a data center. These data centres have scaling features where the business owner can increase and decrease resources for their website. Scaling server resources like server size, hard disk, and RAM helps prevent panic situations like website crashing or server timing out.
To make the most of the flash sales, you’ll need to make these adjustments before or during the pre-hype marketing campaign. The analytics from this campaign can help you predict the kind of traffic you’ll be expecting in the upcoming sales event.
It would help if you considered load testing your website to ensure the user interface is functioning properly.
Online e-stores often crash during times of seasonal sales. The importance of load testing on high traffic days cannot be understated, but there is a method in the madness. Last year Amazon had a Prime Day crash when their site was not properly provisioned for handling such intense demand from shoppers looking to purchase items throughout its entire inventory list at once.
It taught e-commerce businesses an invaluable lesson to test the website’s performance across all user interactions and navigations. As a result, these businesses can simulate the flash sales traffic and test server downtime during peak times.
There are a lot of front-end and back-end factors that end a customer journey prematurely. So it’s important to get back on the drawing board and map out a development plan that ensures all aspects of your website function accordingly.
It’s important to make sure your campaign is well-researched and thorough, not only for the sake of boosting sales but also because it can save you time in future periods when working on other projects. If some particular tasks or steps need completing before launching a new flash sale, then start taking these precautions at least one month ahead, so they’re complete by the deadline.
When planning your marketing campaign, think about what features and benefits will entice people to buy. It would help to consider how often the creative needs updating or changing and which channels are best suited given where they fall within their categories (i.e., social media vs. email list).
To work smartly, consider using project management tools like Trello, Asana, etc., to bring the team together to align all the tasks. In this way, you’ll promote transparency and monitor which phase of your project could be executed better.
Before getting to the drawing board of your marketing campaign, consider identifying the goal of your sale. A goal could be improved conversions, reaching out-of-stock inventory, or reaching certain web session metrics. Your ideal market and nature of the product is the deciding factor of the kind of goal you’ll be setting.
Two to three months before the campaign, an email marketing campaign can significantly impact your flash sales. The homepage of your website should be updated to reflect the sale, which means you might want to switch up your contemporary images and videos with media relevant to the flash sales ahead.
You’ll want to look into your marketing strategy and distribution for your campaign pre-hype. The chosen marketing channels depend on the type of audience you want to attract, and more importantly, your marketing budget.
It’s also worth noting that 52% of respondents say they’re overwhelmed with promotional emails and can opt-out from your email newsletter. The consequences of such marketing can lead to flash sale fatigue and perhaps create a separate channel for promotional material that your newsletters subscribers can choose to be excluded.
Updating Your Website Pages
Even if your website is functioning well, you will need to make User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) improvements to rank well consistently. Additionally, you’ll have to be cautious about potential bugs that compromise user experience on different devices and browsers.
Use A/B testing, heatmaps, and similar tools to test the user experience to ensure your website visitor responds favorably. You can also use a countdown timer on your landing page before the flash sale campaign begins as part of the hype.
Optimizing Shopping Carts
It would help if you considered testing a lot of automation before stepping into flash sales. One of the most overlooked aspects of your website is the shopping cart. You’ll want this to be seamless, as nothing can hurt your sales more than glitches during the conversion stage.
Aspects such as inventory management, lost orders, processing delays, payment gateways errors, are common but avoidable if tested before the flash sales opening. WooCommerce, Shopify, and PrestaShop are Content Management Systems (CMS) that have such integrations with a price tag.
Brand Through Coupon Codes
Coupon codes are highly effective for promoting flash sales. E-business partners with different platforms to offer various services and products to customers using their website during flash sales. These codes are a part of the user journey, which plays an integral role in converting customers from website visitors.
However, there is a need for developers to evaluate the functionality of these codes. As an online seller, you need to ensure that customers can advantage of sale prices. It’s essential to check the number of coupon codes assigned and whether they function properly.
In leading up to a major flash sale event, you need to start preparing your website accordingly. The website’s functionality can encourage shoppers to buy products they want. The major factors impacting sales are marketing, branding, website UI/UX, and back-end technology.
We hope you liked this article, and if you feel, we might have missed out on some tips that worked well for you, feel free to add that in the comments sections below.