Boosting your profits by having an online sale is a great way to not only sell more products but it can also increase your customer base, improve your websites listing on search engines and of course, it helps you to sell those final few items you want to get rid of to replace with new stock.
Having an online sale though, should be pre-planned in advance so here's a few tips to make it more effective.
1. Plan A Time
For most people, sales are associated with the holidays. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas, customers expect to enjoy discounted prices during the special dates of the calendar. These are classic times for everyone, from big department stores to small business owners on the Internet. Why do people spend so much during the holidays? It boils down to two motivators: tradition and guilt. The notion that people have always spent money during that time of the year, paired up with the idea that they will disappoint loved ones by showing up with cheap, undesirable gifts is a great excuse for anyone to get online and shop. That’s why prepping your store and creating a sale to accommodate holiday consumers is key to keeping up with your competition and boosting your business.
This being said, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to the holiday periods only. The reason why sales are so effective goes slightly beyond that. A customer loves to feel rewarded – and this, any time of the year. For some people, sale shopping is even viewed as a sport, a competition: the better the deal made, the better the win, the bigger the reward feels. Combined that to the fear of missing out on saving money, and you understand that you can benefit from a good sale at any time. The idea is that you can (and should) run sales multiple times in the year, independently of the holidays. Just make sure to create an identity around your sale, giving it a name (like: “Not to Miss Sale”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “This Weekend Only”, etc.), in order to make it more attractive.
Warning: too many sales can damage your brand and make it look ‘cheap’. If it looks like your business is constantly holding sales, some may think you’re pushing to get rid of your existing inventory or using tricks to lure in clients.
2. Decide On What To Offer
Make a decision about what type of sale you’re going to run and make a plan for it. This means determining both the sale’s duration (24hours? 3 days? A full week?) and the customer reward. Think about what your customers would need in order to commit and feel confident about their purchase. Here are a couple of options to consider:
Coupons: Offering a cut and dry coupon is a quick and easy solution for both parties.
Free shipping: We’ve all been at that point in the checkout process where the shipping fees send the total over the limit you really wanted to spend, and you abandon your online shopping dreams for the day. Offer up a free shipping coupon to alleviate that feeling for your customers. It’s crucial, as 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is the no 1 incentive to shop online more.
Discount price: These can come in the form of an amount or a certain percentage. Your customers will love the thrill of watching the price drop down to something more to their liking.
“Buy X, Get Y”: You know the drill with this one! Whether it’s a buy one get one (or two), this is a coupon that grabs attention and makes almost any customer happy.
Discounts for specific products or collections: The great part of creating coupons is that you can apply them to multiple items or collections at once. This saves time so that you and your customers don’t have to search what’s on sale and what’s not.
Discounts with a minimum order amount: Now this is a good incentive for your customers! You can create a coupon that can be utilized only when a minimum subtotal has been reached. For example, say you’re offering a £10 discount on orders of £50 or more. Once a customer reaches that £50 threshold, they can add the coupon code to reap the benefits! This can also extend to free shipping or a percentage discount as well.
3. Spread The Word In Advance
Let your customers know in advance that the sale is about to happen. Use social Media to spread the word and your customers can help your sales by spreading the word to their friends or followers.
4. Clarify The Details
Wherever you promote your sale, clearly explain what it entails, when it begins, when it’s over, and how it works. You may even choose to add a new page to your site clarifying any details of the sale. The last thing you want is a customer to feel that you’re trying to hide details, so be sure you lay it all out for them. One of the best ways to do this is with a Frequently Asked Questions page. You can not only detail simple questions regarding the sale, but any terms or conditions that may apply, plus the return policy. The more they’re exposed to the information, the more confident they will feel about sharing their bank card’s details with you.
5. Use Social Media During The Sale
Now the sale is underway, its time to remind your followers every so often with a post on social media. Don't go overboard here and ram it down their throats. Start with a reminder the day before that the sale begins at midnight tonight, then every other day at various times to let them know how the sale is going.
6. Tell Your Websites Subscribers
30% of repeat purchases online come from email marketing. Email communication can help customers feel welcome and appreciated. Create an exclusive discount or invitation that only goes to your list of subscribers. You can promote a sale by sending an email offering them an exclusive discount. Or, announce your customer as a VIP member of your store, and reward them with free shipping.
7. Add A Countdown Clock
Adding a countdown clock to your site is a great way to build up momentum to the start of the sale or nudges your shoppers in to making that purchase when they can see they only have a few hours left before the prices go back up..
8. The Final Few Hours
During the final few hours it's time to go for the final push and try to get as many sales as you can. Using social media again, its time to tell your followers that the sale is almost over and not to miss out on the final bargains.
9. Plan For The Next One
Don't forget to plan one sale in advance by asking your new customers for their email address at the time of purchase. This way you can tell them when your next sale is about to happen. You can also ask them to subscribe to your page to keep them up to date with new product lines and special events.