De-mystifying digital marketing, one article at a time.
Creative Services
Online Services

How Often Should I Run a Flash Sale?

We recommend running flash sales no more than once every few months. This will help you reap the benefits without causing discount fatigue amongst your loyal customers.

“Stay in your lane!”
“Mindya beeswax!!”

Yes, we’re posting an article about running sales. And yes, we know it’s possible we’ve upset your inventory and sales departments in the process. We apologize.

Just kidding, no we don’t.

You know why? Because running a sale is a tried and true marketing technique. So, although your financial people should get a seat at the table on this one, this topic is in fact our beeswax.

So they are welcome to come fight us.

But before we come to blows, tell your bean counters to keep this in mind: a flash sale, done right, benefits everyone by . . .

  • generating quick sales,
  • clearing out excess inventory,
  • and raising awareness for your business.

In other words, it’s a win-win-win. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Flash Sale and How Do I Run One?

You know that a traditional sale is a promotion or discount on a business’s products/services. A flash sale is basically the same idea, just in a much smaller time frame. A flash sale can run for as few as a couple of hours or for as long as a couple of days. The idea is to increase the sense of urgency for shoppers by narrowing the window of opportunity.

The best way to run an effective flash sale is by keeping these tried and true techniques in mind:

  • Decide on your top priorities before you start planning. Are you trying to clear out excess inventory, raise awareness, or both? Ask yourself, who is the target audience for this sale?
  • Make your flash sale effective and newsworthy by offering significant discounts.
  • Avoid problems down the road by optimizing your fulfillment and shipping workflow prior to running the sale.
  • Take stock of your inventory beforehand so there aren’t disappointed customers who complete an order only to find out the product is unavailable.
  • Promote the sale on social media and via email marketing to reward loyal followers and subscribers.
  • Prioritize your customer service throughout the process to ensure positive interactions and boost customer retention.

Although the duration of the sale should be limited, the duration of your preparation should not be. Done correctly, a flash sale can have major benefits for your business. Just remember to avoid discount fatigue by avoiding the temptation to run a surplus of flash sales throughout the year.

What Are the Benefits of a Flash Sale?

We’ve already mentioned a few of the benefits of running a flash sale. But we think it’s worth doing a deeper dive into the many possible advantages. Flash sales offer a limited opportunity for a showstopping discount, so customers have a limited amount of time to make a decision. The increased sense of urgency often results in higher sales.

A flash sale also provides you the opportunity to reward your loyal customers. You can offer early access to people who are subscribed to your mailing list or following you on social media. Word-of-mouth advertising may also help you gain more subscribers and followers in the meantime.

Short-term sales are also a great way to clear out some of your inventory. If you’re looking to get rid of last season’s items to make room for new products that are in higher demand, a flash sale is the perfect solution.

You know that a traditional sale is a promotion or discount on a business's products/services. A flash sale is basically the same idea, just in a much smaller time frame.

Is Running a Sale Really a Marketing Technique?

The job of the marketing department is to bring potential customers to your front door. The job of the sales department is to welcome those people across the threshold: or, to turn potential customers into paying customers. With a flash sale, those two worlds combine to create one seamless process.

At Myriad, our top priority is to get the word out about your business. But we also care about your bottom line and want to see that increased awareness turn into boosted revenue.

Fortunately, running a flash sale does more than just increase awareness for your brand. It also helps to convince those subscribers and followers who are already aware of your business to finally cross the threshold into paying customers.

How Often Should I Run a Flash Sale?

Here is where a little trial and error will go a long way for your business. Although a flash sale can be hugely beneficial, sales fatigue is very real and can damage the credibility of your business. After all, if you can afford to run regular flash sales, why don’t you just permanently lower the cost of your products/services?

Obviously, we want to avoid putting those kinds of questions and emotions in the minds of your loyal customers. So, with that in mind, how often should you run a flash sale?

We recommend following this hard and fast rule: don’t run flash sales more frequently than once every few months. If possible, tie your flash sales to major holidays like Christmas, Memorial Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, etc. These are the traditional times when shoppers will be looking for discounts.

If you would like to run flash sales more frequently, there is a way around the every-few-months rule. Daily deals or lightning deals on some, not all, of your products can be effective. This regularity will keep shoppers coming back to your website and social media channels for discounts on a particular item they have their eye on.

Again, the best way to find a good balance in your flash sale practices is to try your hand at one. Then, assess the data and try again. Eventually, you’ll notice trends that will point you in the right direction.

Hugs and Kisses for Your Sales Team

See, now everyone’s happy! Tell your money nerds to come sit with us by the fire. We’ll sing “Kumbaya” and watch your business thrive.

Share this article

Did you find this article useful? Share it up!