Guide to eCommerce Flash Sales: How to Increase Revenue With Flash Sales


1 Guide to eCommerce Flash Sales: How to Increase Revenue With Flash Sales1.1 What’s a Flash Sale?1.2 Flash Sales: How can they help or hurt your business?1.2.1 Flash sales can be a very effective way to:1.2.2 A failed flash sale […]

Guide to eCommerce Flash Sales: How to Increase Revenue With Flash Sales

Flash sales are a great way to promote your online store. This is a high-risk, high-reward play that can quickly make or break an online business.

Flash sales can be a very effective strategy for merchants of all kinds, regardless of whether your business model relies solely on flash sales or if you use this technique to occasionally drop new products or run promotions.

Based on Wix data, eCommerce merchants who conducted flash sales in 2020:

 Online stores see an average increase of 64,000% in monthly GMV with flash sales.

Flash sales can be done by any online store, but they shouldn’t. Flash sales that are not successful can damage brand image, reduce profits and attract customers who only visit once. A well-executed flash sales can boost customer loyalty, assist in customer acquisition, and help move excess inventory.


What’s a Flash Sale?

Flash sales, like the name implies, offer a discount or promotion that’s only available for a short time.


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Flash sales have three main purposes: to increase impulse purchases, short-term sales, and to sell surplus stock.

Flash sales differ from regular online sales in three specific ways:

  1. Promotions are more important than any other offers your company may make.
  2. This timeframe is shorter than the normal sales window for your online store.
  3. Products are not available in all sizes or stock.

Online shoppers have access to more tools than ever to compare brands and products online, and especially when it comes down to finding the lowest prices. Flash sales offer customers exactly what they are looking for but for a limited time. This creates urgency and can increase sales quickly.

Flash Sales: How can they help or hurt your business?

You must determine if a flash sale is the best way for you to increase your sales.

Flash sales can be a very effective way to:

  • You can make room for new inventory. Flash sales are a great way to get rid of excess inventory. This can reduce operating and inventory costs. You can sell products that have been in storage for a while and make space for more in-demand, high-seller products.
  • Attract new customers. Increase brand awareness via increased online advertising visibility. Flash sales can help you close the deal with potential customers by providing an easy way for them to test your products. You might win a loyal customer who will purchase from you again and again if they are satisfied.
  • Boost revenue quickly. Flash sales can increase revenue by 64,000% on average. Temporary revenue boosts can be a great way to grow businesses. This includes stocking up on new products and increasing marketing budgets.
  • Brand loyalty can be increased You can show your appreciation by offering a substantial discount to your most loyal customers. Customers who love your brand will be more inclined to purchase from you again in the future.

A failed flash sale can lead to failure and be a fast way to:

  • Lose your profits. Inadequate flash sales can cause you to lose your profit margin or even worse, cost you your money. When you are implementing a flash sales strategy, make sure you take into account your business’s long-term sustainability as well as profitability.
  • Attract disloyal customers. Flash sales can be a great way to attract bargain hunters who don’t intend to become loyal customers. These buyers will only buy once and they won’t be seen again.
  • Disengaged customers can result. Flash sale fatigue can occur if flash sales are preached too frequently or too hard. Your marketing strategies and promotions can cause customers to become bored, which makes it difficult to re-engage them.
  • Hurt your reputation. If done wrongly, a flash sale can damage your brand image. If you don’t explain how the sale will run, shoppers can become disoriented. Customers could also be disappointed if your customer service is poor or you fail to fulfill fulfillment, shipping, or inventory promises.

If you feel the benefits of a flash sales outweigh the risks, there are mistakes that you can avoid and strategies that you can employ to make your flash sale more successful.

Top 3 Reasons Flash sales fail

Many businesses have suffered from failed flash sales, and the web is full of failed flash sales. These are the top three reasons flash sales fail.

01. Website crashes

Your websitecrashing is the most frequent and most feared cause of flash sales failures. This can cause your sale to stop if potential customers cannot access your website. Website crashes can happen even for big brands. Many websites experience this because of server overloads or not having enough capacity to handle the increased traffic. It is best to find a solution which allows you to scale up your capacity as and when you need it. Wix makes it easy to scale your server capacity. We make sure that you always have the storage space you need.

TIP If you use third-party tools or apps that rely on API calls to your site to function, ensure they have enough bandwidth to handle the increased traffic.

02. Overselling Inventory

Flash sales can lead to too many sales if you don’t have the right tools. Sometimes, merchants sell products even when they don’t have any inventory left. This means that the merchant may have to cancel orders from customers. It can lead to frustration and disappointment which can result in mistrust for your brand. Wix allows you to get real-time inventory updates. This ensures that inventory levels are always in sync with your integrated fulfillment systems. This means that inventory quantities on your website will reflect “out-of-stock” status as soon as you have sold your last product.

TIP Avoid overselling failures by following these 5 tips

  1. Research the demand before you start a flash sale. Prepare your supply chain accordingly. Check that your inventory numbers are current.
  2. For potential problems, keep adequate buffer stock.
  3. Add inventory quantities to product pages to be transparent about your inventory.
  4. If you make a mistake, be prepared to correct it and stay in constant contact with your buyers.
  5. Invite those shoppers who arrive too late at the sale to sign up for your site. You will be notified when your next one is announced.

03. Shipping delays

Customers expect prompt and accurate delivery after a flash sale. It’s not unusual for flash sale customers complain about having to wait several weeks before they receive their orders. Customers’ perceptions are influenced not only by the time and place of purchase, but also what happens after it is done. It is important to ship flash-sale items quickly.

Wix allows you to print and pay shipping labels directly from your online store dashboard. You can ship with the solutions available in your area or use industry-leading shipping services to handle delivery. To ensure that orders are sent to the correct service, you can add 3PL fulfillment suppliers to your system.

TIP Make sure you have the eCommerce shipping processes in place.

  • Offer competitive shipping rates and delivery time.
  • So customers are clear about what to expect, make sure you clearly explain your shipping policies and rates on your website.
  • Connect fulfillment services to optimize your fulfillment. Integrate your website with fulfillment services to ensure orders are automatically sent to the correct service.

7 Tips for a Successful Flash Sales

These 7 tips will help you set up your flash sale to be a success. They are based on thousands flash sales that Wix Merchants have run.

01. Take Care of Your Timing

When is it appropriate to hold a flash sale It all depends on the business you run and the customers you serve. These are some guidelines that you can follow:

Based upon your business

It is a good idea to base your sales schedule on the product you are selling and the times when customers buy the most. You can use historical order data to make an informed decision about when to hold a flash sale.

Examine your analytics to see if you can spot any buying patterns.

  • Which day of the week does your customer make the most purchases?
  • Which time of the day does your customer buy most often?
  • What are the highest email open rates?

Before holiday season peaks

Online shoppers can become overwhelmed by emails and advertisements during the holiday season. This can lead to flash sale fatigue. eCommerce businesses are also at their busiest, which can cause strains on their supply chains and fulfillment providers.

You can win new customers by running a flash sale using coordinated eCommerce holiday ads prior to the holiday season (in September) and make space for new inventory. This will increase your customer base well before the holiday shopping season begins.

After Christmas

You may notice an increase in orders returns after the holidays. This is because customers are returning unwantsted gifts. But that doesn’t mean your business has to stop making money. You can make up the difference by offering a flash sale in January after the holiday season, and build customer loyalty.

02. Clearly define your target market

Be clear about your target audience. Keep in mind that the larger your reach, the lower your conversion rates, and the higher your CPC (cost-per-click), the better your ROI.

The goal of your flash sale will determine how you define your target market.

To acquire new customers,

  • Do not target existing customers. You can’t market to them by sending emails to your customer list, or posting on social media.
  • Target customers of your competitors. Find consumers who are following a competitor’s products and target them with targeted Facebook or Twitter ads. Target customers who have left negative reviews about your competitor’s products.
  • Use precise keywords in your paid ads. Only run limited-time Google Ads for specific keywords that are related to your products.
  • To promote your sale, use influencers. Find micro-influencers that resonate with your target audience, and promote your products and sales through them.

To increase profits from customers already in business:

  • Only send flash sales emails to members.
  • Customers who have already purchased sale products should not be upset. Your flash sale email campaign should not be sent to customers who have already bought the products you are heavily discounting. They will not be pleased when they find out that other people are able to get the same item at a significantly lower price.
  • Win back inactive customers. Flash sales are a great way of re-engaging inactive customers by offering tempting offers. Remind them why you sent them your emails.
  • Target shoppers who abandon carts. Target customers based upon their past interest in specific products or sales. Nearly 75% people who add items to their online shopping cart abandon it without buying anything. Flash sales can turn some abandoned carts in to completed sales.

03. Select the right products for your flash sale

You should choose the products that will be used in your flash sale based on who you are trying to reach.

Selling is a great way to reach new customers.

  • Popular Products with Customers of Competitors Select a product your customers love and then offer it at a lower price.
  • Promote a Signature Product of Your Brand This will help you increase brand awareness and attract new customers.
  • Products in Strong Demand Promote products with high search volumes. To identify search volumes, use Google’s Keyword Planner.

Targeting existing customers? Consider selling

  • Products that have high traffic and low conversion Choose products your customers see often, but not buy. You should identify products with high page views but low conversions. This is a great way to sell excess inventory.

04. Get your prices right

It must be correct in price. How can you offer flash sales that are more than your usual discount and still keep future sales in mind? You must offer a discount that is large enough to attract enough customers to your site.

10% may be sufficient if you are a luxury brand that has no sales. 10% may seem small if you are selling everyday products to consumers who are used to sales.

It is a good rule of thumb to price flash deals slightly higher that your lowest price. These price drops should only be used for the most important annual promotions like Black Friday Cyber Monday, or other important sales events.

05. Promoting your Flash Sale requires a sense of urgency

Flash sales are limited in time. Potential shoppers will be more likely to buy if there is a sense of urgency.

Create flash sales hype by using urgency:

  • Make yourself available on social media. Engage with customers during the flash sale.
  • Use countdown timesrs. There are few things that can increase the pressure more than a race against time. Make a landing page to promote your flash sale. Send out announcement emails. Lastly, add countdown timesrs to remind shoppers that time is critical.
  • Include the discount in your email subject. Emails that include your discount have higher conversion rates than emails without it.
  • When time is running out, remind your customers. Use your social media channels to remind your customers that the sale is nearing its end.
  • Keep your copy brief. Marketing emails should be concise. Flash sale microcopy is a method of ensuring that people don’t lose their time.

06. Prepare Your Shipping & Fulfillment Strategy In Advance

You must ensure that your flash sale is successful by making sure you are ready for your customers.

Keep your customers’ expectations realistic by using

  • From the beginning, make sure that your shipping turnaround times are clear and concise for customers.
  • Your website should clearly state your shipping rates and policies.
  • Pro-actively communicate any changes or delays to your customers. Communicate any delays or modifications to your customers proactively

Be ready to fulfill your orders:

  • You should ensure that you have sufficient inventory on hand for the day of your sale.
  • Prepackage products for faster order fulfillment
  • If you manage fulfillment in-house, make sure you have enough help to expedite your orders.
  • You should notify your fulfillment provider if you are working with a third-party fulfillment service (3PL) in advance to ensure they have the opportunity to prepare.

07. Place Your Payment Solutions Order Now

Flash sales are worthless if customers don’t pay or your payment provider doesn’t approve of your sales or payments.

Accept payments online to get paid.

  1. Before you sell, connect with a payment provider. Verify your account by verifying it. It can take some time for merchants to verify their accounts with payment providers. This is why you should set up your account before you start your flash sale. You should remember that your payment provider will not approve your account until it is verified. This means that any payments you accept through your site will be refunded.
  2. Respond quickly to customer inquiries and be open to refund requests before they become a chargeback. This will adversely affect your merchant chargeback ratio as well as bank history.
  3. Be clear about your refunds policy and return policy. Make sure you clearly communicate this information on every product or service on your website. This will help to avoid customer disappointments and complaints.
  4. Keep track of calls and emails with unhappy customers. This could be a deciding factor in your favor.

Top Seller: How the Spice Suite uses Flash Sales to Sell Out Every Minute

Take a look at The Spice Suite to get some ideas for flash sales. Technically, all of Gregorio’s flash sales are flash sales. She sells out every time she uploads inventory to her website. Her spice shop has already sold more than $2 million in products online and at brick-and-mortar locations.

Below, watch The Spice Suite’s Wix Best Sellers interview. Also, read her eCommerce flash sales success story.

“We’ve sold more than $500K in spices through my online store.” It’s crazy!

Gregorio created a loyal customer base through social media and her D.C. shopfront from the start. She was comfortable with brick and mortar so she tried eCommerce first.

Gregorio discovered that she could manage online orders and sell more online. She increased the company’s sales capacity. Spice Suite began selling 300-400 boxes each month and has now sold more than $500K in products from their website.

It was a great feeling to see the first sale online. It made me realize that if there is one, there are many.

Gregorio announces each flash sale date via social media. This creates excitement. She sells out every single time the flash sale begins within five minutes. The buzz spreads and brings in more customers. Literally and metaphorically, The Spice Suite delivers.

Gregorio moved her entire business online when the COVID-19 pandemic began. She converted her brick-and mortar location into a warehouse and expanded The Spice Suite with more spice boxes and oils, as well as a range of home goods.

“Most customers are repeat customers if they can get in at the right time. It’s almost like trying to get a box of spices now, because they sell so quickly.

Order management can be stressful so Gregorio makes sure she prepares as much in advance as possible. She uploads images to Wix and edits product details. She’s now ready to go live so she can start selling on time.

“The day of spice drop, regardless of what I do, I simply have to go to Wix to make it visible, save it, then people will be ready to buy.”

Gregorio keeps a stock of pre-built boxes. She and her team quickly pick, pack, and ship orders to customers once The Spice Suite is sold out.

Flash Sale FAQs

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about flash sales.

What’s a Flash Sale?

Flash sales are promotions or discounts that are only available for a limited time. Flash sales are designed to encourage impulse buying, increase short-term sales or sell surplus stock.

What does Flash Sale mean?

A huge sale that occurs quickly and ends in a flash.

How do I do a flash sale?

It is important to be prepared for high-volume website visitors and sales. This article can be referred to again before you conduct a flash sale. It will provide you with the details you need.

Are flash sales effective?

Flash sales can be a very effective way to sell excess inventory quickly, increase revenue, and improve customer loyalty.

Why do companies do flash sales?

For a limited time, offering big discounts can increase sales, re-engage customers, reach new customers and boost short-term revenue.

How to win flash sales

Answer: You shouldn’t have a flash sale to make quick bucks (even though it may be possible). Flash sales can be used to provide great value to customers and potential buyers.

What’s a Flash Sale Strategy?

Flash strategy requires preparation well in advance of the sale window. You need to plan your timing, determine your target market, pick your products carefully, establish a sense of urgency and prepare for shipping and fulfillment. Your flash sale will be a success if you have a great deal and a great plan.


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