What Are Flash Sales and Should You Use Them?

The right promotion or marketing campaign can completely transform a business’s fortunes. But it is just as true that the wrong campaign can be damaging to a business’s reputation. When used correctly, the flash sale is a powerful promotional tool.

What Is A Flash Sale?

A flash sale is a type of sale that is run over a very limited period of time. Flash sales are often, although not always, conducted with little to no advanced warning. The kind of discounts available through a flash sale are often significantly more generous than those that you would normally expect to find. Part of the reason for this is that flash sales are often used in order to shift the remnants of stock that businesses find themselves lumbered with and unable to get rid of.

Flash sales are mostly found in the online arena. However, it is perfectly possible to operate a flash sale offline – many retailers will operate policies that are reminiscent of a flash sale. For example, retailers who sell food will often put items that are about to expire out for a significantly reduced price. Flash sales can be an excellent way of getting rid of excess inventory when you are lumbered with a product that you need to shift or write off.

Why Are They Worth Running?

Flash sales are a tried and tested method for getting rid of stock that just cannot be shifted. Of course, whenever you are applying heavy discounts to products, you are going to be cutting your margins down. Flash sales can reduce the margins to next to nothing. In fact, flash sales are often used to minimize losses or as a final attempt at breaking even.

Before you decide whether to proceed with a flash sale or not, you will need to weigh up these competing concerns. As well as being a great way of getting rid of excess stock, a flash sale can also be an effective way of attracting new customers to your business. If nothing else, it can get people through the door or onto your website where you have the opportunity to convert them.

What Are the Drawbacks?

The main drawback to running a flash sale is that you will need to cut your margins down. You also need to find a way of making people aware that your flash sale is occurring. It is a good idea to automatically send out an email to your email marketing list whenever you initiate a new flash sale as this will ensure that it is seen by as many people as possible.

Overall, flash sales are a useful tool to have in your kit. Online retailers are particularly well-positioned to benefit from running flash sales for their customers but they are also used in offline stores. Whether you have excess stock that you need to clear or you are looking for a way of bringing in some new customers, a flash sale might be the ideal solution.