Posted December 22, 2011 8:42 am by with 2 comments

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Call ’em Flash Sales or Daily Deals, there’s been a lot of debate about the continued viability of these deep discount sites. Much of the debate has been between me, myself and I, but I’ll bet if I put up a poll I’d find that many of you have been thinking about it, too. (You know who you are.)

But how many of you think beyond sites such as Groupon or LivingSocial? How many of you have thought about running your own flash sales inside your own retail site?

I know the folks at Monetate have been thinking about it, because they created a nifty infographic all about it and they told me I could share it with you.

Take a moment to review it and I’ll meet you on the other end.

First thing of note is that flash sales aren’t just for deal-specific websites. Any online retailer can create the same kind of scenario on their own website with a lots of planning and a little creativity.

The reason deal sites work is because they create a sense of urgency. They also promote a kind of “keeping up with the Joneses” effect by showing you how many other people bought the deal. If 253 people thought it was worth it, then I need one, too.

The secret is right there in your own mailing list. Look at the open and conversion rates for flash sale emails. A 56% rise in the click-to-open rate is massive.

A few years ago, this idea of running a two-hour sale wouldn’t have gone over very well. Today, dedicated shoppers use their smartphones to check email and get push notifications nearly every hour of the day. Some people can’t function without their phone in their hands, and that means they’re ready to jump on a sale with only a few hours’ notice.

Monetate has some important tips for conducting your own flash sale and as a consumer, I say pay attention. There’s nothing worse than clicking through a sale email only to be confused by where to go next. And don’t let me think the deal is still in effect when it isn’t. Make it clear that the sale is over and suggest the shopper follow your Facebook and Twitter so they don’t miss out next time.

It may seem counter-intuitive to run a sale for a limited amount of time, but as the infographic shows, half of all flash sale purchases happen in the first hour. Run a sale for a full weekend and your customers are likely to put off buying until later and for most of them, later will never come.

Have you ever run a flash sale on your own retail site? We’d like to hear about your experiences, good and bad.

  • Thanks, Cynthia! We appreciate the love.

    • Great article! Fab’s success so far has been unmatched. Our company, provides the ability for any site/blog/fb page to run their own flash sales or daily deals. Though the design can be flashy if you want 🙂