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Shopify Flash Sale: 8 Tips to Increase Your Revenue with a Flash Sale

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How can you boost revenue? It’s a question for the ages. Indeed, boosting revenue is atop the minds of business owners, managers, and executives. While there is no magic bullet, there is a proven method you can use to boost your Shopify store’s revenue: a flash sale.

But what is a flash sale?

Most importantly, how can you make a flash sale work?

In this article, we will talk about what a flash is and how to do a flash sale. You will discover eight tips to increase your revenue with a flash sale.

What is a Shopify Flash Sale?

In essence, a Shopify flash sale is a limited-time sale that is unusually unannounced. As a result, a flash sale often creates an element of surprise in customers. Its aim is to generate so much buzz, especially when the featured item(s) have a significant discount attached to them. On other occasions, these sales exploit offers such as a BOGO, or “buy one and get a second at a discount.”

A flash sale aims to entice customers to act quickly by using sales urgency. If they don’t, they risk missing out on the great available deals. Therefore, Shopify flash sales must compel customers to act quickly. They must also offer deals that force customers to act immediately.

Let’s take a look at a great example:

what is a flash sale
Source: drip.com/blog/flash-sale-examples

Why is this flash sale effective?

As you can see, a flash sale can be an effective tool to boost sales. When done right, they can become a staple of your e-commerce site’s marketing strategy. 

What are the Benefits of a Flash Sale on Shopify?

The benefits of a flash sale go beyond boosting financials in your Shopify store. Here are three compelling benefits that come with flash sales:

#1 Improve inventory turnover

Since flash sales improve transaction numbers, it’s plain to see how they can improve inventory turnover. As a result, effective flash sales help clear out inventory particularly when you need room for new products to come in. 

#2 Increase brand loyalty

Flash sales can be a great way to reward loyal customers. For instance, you could advertise a sale to email subscribers only. Consequently, non-registered users would never learn of the sale. This type of strategy creates a feeling of exclusivity among regular customers and registered users.

#3 Create visibility

Flash sales are a great way to build hype and generate buzz. When word gets out that your brand has run a fantastic flash sale, anticipation will build. Nevertheless, it’s always important to keep customers on their toes. The most effective flash sales are always unexpected. 

Grow your sales with high-performing deals.

Are Flash Sales a Good Strategy for Your Shopify Store?

So, are flash sales a good pricing strategy? The short answer is yes. Now, the long answer is it depends on how to do a flash a sale effectively.

Think about the following stats courtesy of Statista:

Based on these figures, we can see how flash sales can quickly become another weapon in your e-commerce arsenal. 

The main point is to keep it hidden long enough so that customers can’t really anticipate when it’s coming.

Common Mistakes Brands Make when Running Flash Sales

Flash sales need to focus on giving your customers value. Here are some common mistakes brands make along the way when starting out with flash sales:

#1 Running flash sales too frequently

By far, the biggest mistake regarding flash sales is overusing them. When you overdo it, customers will become overly reliant on them. As a result, your products will no longer sell at regular price. 

#2 Sacrificing product quality for sales

Discounting bad products may come back to bite you. So, it’s best to ensure that your flash sales truly offer value to your customers. If you plan to clear out slow-selling items, it’s best to hold a clearance sale as opposed to a flash sale. 

#3 Jumping in to sitewide flash sales

Remember that less is more. In this case, keeping the number of items included in flash sales low makes more sense than putting everything in your e-commerce site on sale. Nevertheless, some brands have used ultra-flash sales sitewide. 

#4 Not Establishing a Clear Timeframe

If  your entire site has a 10% for 15 minutes only, this is the type of flash sale generates buzz, while limiting customers’ exposure to your entire product line. This approach is highly useful especially when you only advertise it to registered users through an email newsletter. 

When is the Best Time to Run a Flash Sale on Shopify?

When thinking about how to do a flash sale, the question of time always comes up. You see, there is a good time and a great time to run these sales.

According to data, evening flash sales average 23% more sales. Likewise, evening flash sales events are nearly 10% more effective than lunchtime ones. Please note that “evening” flash sales entail running the sale after 3 pm.

Additionally, two-hour flash sales show a 14% higher transaction rate. Three-hour flash sales perform the best at 59%. 

What does this data mean?

It means that offering a shorter time window creates a much more effective strategy for a flash sale than, say, a 24-hour one. 

So, the next time you think about running a flash sale, why not aim for the 3 pm to 6 pm window in the timezone for a majority of your customers?

8 Tips for Running a Successful Flash Sale on Shopify

So, the question, “how to do a flash sale?” boils down to eight tips you can utilize to create a killer Shopify flash sale. Let’s take a look at each one more closely.

#1 Use popups to alert shoppers

Popups can be effective tools to announce your flash sales. This strategy works well particularly when users are already on your site. As users browse through the site, they get a popup alerting them of an upcoming flash sale. 

Here is a neat example:

how to run a flash sale
Source: convertflow.com/campaigns/countdown-timer-popups

#2 Target specific customers

A common mistake is to launch flash sales across the board. While it’s good to let everyone in on the action, flash sales can be more effective when targeted at specific customers. As such, there are two main types of customers you can target:

Here is a great example:

ecommerce flash sale
Source: depop.com/products/clothesninja-customer-appreciation-flash-sale-terms

#3 Less is More

Ideally, flash sales should last for about two to three hours. In general, they should never last more than 24 hours. In some cases, great deals last for a few minutes only. The aim is to entice customers to act quickly. By giving shoppers a limited timeframe, they’ll have no choice but to act or miss out.

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a powerful psychological phenomenon. Flash sales can help you take advantage of this situation.

Let’s take a look at how you can make it work for your Shopify store:

flash sale meaning
Source: blog.boldcommerce.com/flash-sale-how-to

#4 Focus on the right products

A good rule of thumb is to avoid discounting your brand’s bestsellers. Flash sales should focus on products you would like to clear out or have been slow-sellers. Additionally, bundling slow-sellers with good-sellers (not bestsellers) can help your brand gain some more traction.

Let’s take a look at a great example:

flash sale tips
Source: simpletexting.com/the-ultimate-flash-sale-definition-with-examples-you-can-replicate

While Audible does not specifically target products, customers are free to choose the products in their bundle. This approach works well because it opens the door for customers to choose products that might not be their first choice. 

Plus, the sale works extremely well as it is a “members-only” sale. This type of sale rewards returning customers. So, it’s a win-win all around!

#5 Build hype and anticipation

Flash sales work well when they capitalize on the element of surprise. As such, the best flash sales are unpredictable. 

Why is that important?

If customers can anticipate your next sale, they won’t purchase. They’ll bide their time until the flash sale goes live. Then, they can purchase the products they want at a discounted rate. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it brings your overall sales volume down.

One way to build hype without giving away your flash sale is to drop teasers or hints. When you do this, you pique customers’ interests. From there, you can drop the sale at an unexpected time. 

Let’s take a look at this example:

flash sale strategy
Source: yieldify.com/free-guides/black-friday-marketing-ideas-for-ecommerce

#6 Differentiate flash sales from regular offers

There’s always something special about flash sales. They give customers opportunities that don’t come by every day. Therefore, you must strive to make your flash sales unique. Otherwise, you risk having your flash sales lose their sparkle.

How so?

If your flash sales don’t stand out from your usual offers and regular pricing, customers won’t be compelled to purchase. Consequently, your flash sales must highlight why they are better than regular offers and deals.

Let’s take a look at this example:

flash sale ideas
Source: yieldify.com/free-guides/black-friday-marketing-ideas-for-ecommerce

#7 Know your purpose and set goals

Running flash sales for the sake of it can backfire. After all, why would you run a flash sale if your products are already selling well? Flash sales aim to generate buzz and jumpstart lagging sales. 

Flash sales are also a great way to clear out backed-up inventory. If this is your aim, you might consider a flash clearance sale. Flash sales aiming at inventory clearance may have this purpose, but not necessarily state it to customers.

Here is a great example:

flash sale
Source: sender.net/flash-sale-email

#8 Scarcity is your best friend

There is nothing better than scarcity. Telling your customers that you have an abundant inventory waiting for them only delays their purchasing decisions. In contrast, telling your customers that there are “limited quantities available” triggers the FOMO phenomenon in their minds. 

When customers fear missing out, they act sooner rather than later. In addition to a limited time, a limited quantity (or the perception of a limited inventory) helps spur purchasing decisions.

Let’s take a look at how this works:

tips for a successful flash sale
Source: healthcabin.net/1usd-flash-sale

The Best Shopify Flash Sale App: PickyStory

With PickyStory, you can easily create sales and deals relating to specific products. The PickyStory platform is a great Shopify flash sale app, because you can simply switch your deals on to activate them for your flash sale, then switch them back off once your sale is complete. 

PickyStory also gives you much more flexibility over your discount strategy – you can offer BOGO deals, tiered quantity discounts, percentage-based discounts, and more. With coupons, you can also offer storewide discounts as well. 

With PickyStory, you have everything you need in a Shopify flash sale app. Take the guesswork out of running your next flash sale. PickyStory gives you the boost you need to take your flash sales to the next level. 

Grow your sales with high-performing deals.


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