Ecommerce Flash Sale Checklist – 15 Points For a Successful Sale

May 29th, 2023 15 min to read

$75.1bn in a single day.

$4.8bn in a single day.

One million in a single weekend.

Before you wonder what random statistics I’m presenting, let me introduce you to these record-breaking sales numbers generated by online stores during flash sale events.

I know they seem INSANE! But they’re real. Online shoppers look forward to these days when the full price of their favorite product drops by 30-60%.

It’s all good. But, the real problem is that many eCommerce merchants (it may include you) don’t know how to run a flash sale effectively and generate the higher same revenue. 

In the end, they miss a lot of opportunities and receive disappointing results.

These short and sweet sales require the right approach to achieve your desired results. And that’s what many merchants are missing out on. 

Well, for you, I’ve prepared a comprehensive flash sale checklist so that you don’t miss out on any chances to make your flash sale a big success.

Doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced merchant or it is your first flash sale, this eCommerce flash sale checklist ensures your next flash sale is a huge success.

Let’s kick things off then!

Before starting with checklist points, let’s have a basic knowledge of what flash sales are. To clear our base on this topic.

What are eCommerce Flash Sales?

Flash sales mean short-term sales – that run from a short period of a few hours to a few days. They use psychological tricks and attracts the customer to drive impulse buying decisions by encouraging them to act fast.

As customers, we’re familiar to flash sales, and once in a lifetime, we’ve been part of them.

Why do merchants run Flash Sale?

Merchants find flash sales more beneficial than other sales because they:

  • Create an urgency to buy
  • Have deep discounts than usual
  • Create fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • Have a marketing impact that helps create excitement

They’re the reason why customers love them so much. If you’re looking to launch a flash sale for your eCommerce business, you can avail a long list of benefits. And some major benefits are added right below.

Benefits to run a Flash Sale:

  • Boosts online store sales
  • Increases average order value
  • Attracts new customers
  • Clears excess inventory
  • Ensures lead generation

Now, let’s go to our main topic of “eCommerce Flash Sale Checklist” to understand how you’re going to run a flash sale successfully, and which steps are worth following.

eCommerce Flash Sale Checklist

Launching Flash Sales is a complex task. While flash sales are common during the holiday season, your customers are loaded with ads and marketing emails. Hence, there is a risk that your customers may feel flash sale fatigue and can become numb to your marketing efforts.

To ensure your eCommerce flash sale climbs the stairs to success, you need to perform some strategic work. This checklist includes expert-approved strategies to let your flash sale work as a sensational sale.

So consider them while launching your eCommerce flash sale.

1. Know Your Objective for Flash Sales

ecommerce flash sale objective

It’s time to know – Flash sales are more than just boosting sales and revenue. It can help to build relationships, welcomes new customers, and create a loyal customer base that keeps coming back.

You need to know your objective before you start any preparations for your upcoming flash sales. If you don’t know the objective of why you’re conducting a flash sale, you won’t be able to measure results correctly.

So, decide what you want to achieve. And check if you can relate to any of the objectives below.

  • Want to drive traffic to your website?
  • Looking to boost sales?
  • Clear out old inventory (at a steep discount)?
  • Attract new customers?
  • Want to retain existing customers?
  • Generate hype for a specific product?
  • Increase conversion rate?
  • Or all of them?

Whatever your goal is, just make sure it’s clear enough to measure your success.

Actions to follow

You can note down your flash sale goals.

  • Primary Goals: __________________________
  • Secondary Goals: ___________________________

2. Pick the Correct Time for Flash Sales

ecommerce flash sale time

Timing is the ruler for your flash sales— It will decide if your flash sale will be a hit or flop.

Then, when is your perfect time to launch your flash sale? To figure out, you need to conduct basic thinking on the shopping habits of your target audience.

You necessarily need to make your research, gather your data, and find the perfect moment to launch your sale. Doing this will help you find a sweet spot where your target market is highly responsive, and launching your flash sales can be the perfect decision.

Don’t forget factors that can influence their availability, some of those can be:

  • Time zone differences
  • Seasonal trends or events happening at that same time
  • Purchasing habits of your target audience

Actions to follow

  • Finalize the exact date and time for your flash sale
  • Specify the duration in which the sale will be active for customers. (e.g. 2 Hours, 24 Hours, etc.)

3. Choose Products to Feature in the Sale

choosing products for ecommerce flash sale

While running flash sales, it becomes a confusing task to figure out particular products that may work best for sale.

Your target audience and objective for the flash sale will decide the products to feature in the sale. Just make sure that the flash sale items you choose are relevant to the sale and popular in your customer base.

Remember, your flash sale will be a success only if your customers can’t resist amazing deals on their favorite products. Below I’ve added some steps you can follow to shine with your flash sale.

Actions to follow

Step 1: Examine previous sales data and identify

Step 2: Stay on the hunt for industry trends

  • Find high-selling products

Step 3: Select a range of different products

  • Offer varied products at different prices that appeal to different groups of customers
  • Bundle items together for discounts and tiered pricing

4. Figure Out the Budget for Flash Sales

ecommerce flash sale budget check

Once you’ve got a sense of what products you’re looking to feature in the sale, you should start calculating the budget.

A well-planned budget will help you understand what you can afford, how you’ll make the most out of resources, and how to double your profits.

But the big question is, how you’ll figure out a budget?

Is it about guessing a random amount of money you can afford? No, you need to brainstorm a little. To make it easier, here I’ve shown how you’ll finalize the budget for your flash sale.

(1) Estimated Costs:

First, find all estimated costs for all expenses, be it advertising, promotions, or product discounts. Additionally, you can also find the cost for staffing and production costs.

(2) Analyze Potential Revenue:

To do that, you need to check on previous sales data and your goals and figure out an estimated revenue for your flash sale. 

Also, determine the additional revenue you can generate through flash sales, such as; New customers, and increased revenue of other products.

(3) Optimize Your Budget:

At this stage, you’ll have to make changes in your budget to make it align with your goals. And also check if you can reduce costs at any place and boost revenue.

Actions to follow

  • Create a detailed budget for your flash sale.

Here’s an example of how it should look like.

  • Based on your estimations, fill in the estimated cost for each item.
  • Later, calculate the total cost with all amounts that you’ve inserted. And you’ll easily determine your profit by subtracting total cost from the revenue you’re targeting.

5. Check Product Availability for Sale

Out-of-stock products during sale time will disappoint your customers. not just that, running out of inventory in the middle of a flash sale will also impact your future sales.

To avoid this situation, you must check inventory quantities before you start the sale. This will ensure you have enough inventory to meet customer demand. You can also implement stock alerts to keep track of remaining stock and let your flash sale fly high.

Moreover, you can also implement stock alerts to keep track of inventory levels and let your flash sale fly high.

Actions to follow

  • Check the inventory level for products you’re looking to feature in the sale
  • Based on previous sales data, estimate demand for each product
  • Finalize a minimum inventory level to restock that product
  • Keep track of stock level before and during the flash sale to keep up with the demand
  • In case of a lower stock level, order new inventory from the supplier
  • You can also consider bundling low-inventory products
  • Keep your plan ready for a time when a product goes out of stock

6. Generate Exciting Offers for Sale

ecommerce offers for sale

Offers and big discounts are the reason for the popularity of flash sales. If they don’t create any excitement, potential customers won’t be convinced to become your loyal customers.

Before finalizing any offers or discounts, consider them from your customers’ perspective. Think about whether your customers will truly benefit from your offer or not. This way, you can end up with some of the most irresistible discount offers for your flash sale.

If you’re clueless about what can really wow your customers, consider the offer and percentage discount ideas below.

Examples of Flash Sale Offers:

  • Save 20% on all products during our 24-hour flash sale!
  • Save $20 on making purchases above $100 during sale time
  • Buy one, get another t-shirt for free!
  • Get 30% off when you purchase jeans and a shirt!
  • Spin the wheel & save up to 50% off during our 24-hour flash sale!
  • Get 50% off on purchasing a bundle of facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer!

Actions to follow

To choose a perfect sale offer that works best for you and your customers, below are some steps you can take.

  • First, choose the type of discount you want to consider. Is it a percentage off, a fixed amount off, free shipping, or a combination of these?
  • Then, figure out the entire discount amount.
  • Next, establish eligibility criteria for your offer. E.g.; A minimum purchase amount for availing the offer.
  • Lastly, clarify the terms and conditions for your offers.

7. Strategize your Marketing Plan

ecommerce flash sale market strategy planning

It’s okay to eat the same meal all week long, but reusing a marketing plan that worked in past years? No, thank you.

To make your flash sale the hottest topic in the town, you need to create a marketing strategy considering the latest marketing trends and channels.

And don’t stop there, you’ve to go above and beyond to build an effective promotional strategy.

Actions to follow

  • Select marketing channels to promote your flash sale, such as; Email marketing, Social media, Paid advertising, Influencer marketing, and On-site promotions.
  • Build marketing strategies that suit your budget
  • Prepare a day-wise marketing plan
  • Make marketing assets, such as; graphics, copy, landing pages, and email templates
  • Make a list of emails to help with email marketing
  • Create marketing copies/messages

8. Create Sale-specific Landing Pages

Super sale ecommerce

A sale-specific landing page can act as a virtual shop that hooks your customers with captivating designs, creating curiosity to explore more of your flash sale products. Each click brings them closer to the purchase process, and it ultimately increases your revenue.

There are no possible downsides to creating one for your flash sales, so go ahead and give it a try!

Actions to follow

Check out the below steps to create a landing page for your flash sale:

  • Start with designing an attractive landing page
  • Write an engaging copy with relevant keywords and optimize it for search engines
  • Add high-quality images that promote your offer
  • Add a clear call-to-action that guides your visitors on what action to take
  • Optimize your landing page for mobile devices
  • Review your landing page for improvement areas and make necessary changes
  • Lastly, add the link to your eCommerce store navigation

9. Have a Customer Service Team to Address Inquiries

Customer service team ecommerce flash sale

Getting more customers is why you started running a flash sale, and their satisfaction makes the successful flash sale. So, why not hire a dedicated team of customer service to answer customer queries? It should be a top priority.

Customer queries can be related to a product, shipping, or anything else. At least you’ll be able to provide them with a personalized solution to make them feel heard and satisfied.

Actions to follow

  1. Hire staff with strong communication and problem-solving skills, empathy, and quick thinking.
  2. Train them to handle any concern, from basic to complex.
  3. Create a knowledge base with FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and other helpful resources.
  4. Choose communication channels your customers will use to contact the team, such as; phone, email, chat, or social media.
  5. Use any customer service software that helps with managing inquiries, tickets, and conversations between customers and the team.

10. Update your Website to Promote your Sales

promote your sales ecommerce flash sale

Just as you decorate your physical store during sale time, give a little makeover to your online store during flash sales. How else will your website visitors know that you have any live sales going on?

So, update your website to have the look and feel of a flash sale, and highlight your top deals and products that your customers can’t wait to place orders for.

Before you get confused about “what can be done?”, I’ve already shared some ideas below.

Actions to follow

These are some things you can do to give your eCommerce website the feel of a Flash Sale.

  • Promote your flash sale with a banner on your homepage
  • Optimize product pages for the sale
  • Use countdown timers to create urgency
  • Create games or quizzes to generate excitement
  • Personalize discounts with dynamic pricing
  • Use pop-ups to remind customers about the sale
  • Encourage customers to buy now with scarcity tactics

11. Test Website Usability and Checkout Process

ecommerce flash sale

What if the sale day finally arrives, and your website is unable to handle flash sale success, because of its poor functionality? Well, nothing can be worst than this.

Before launching your flash sale, thoroughly test each website’s functionality, especially the checkout process. This ensures everything is working perfectly and provides a seamless and trouble-free user experience.

Actions to follow:

  • Run several tests on your website to find and fix any issues
  • Improve your checkout process for a flawless buying experience
  • Increase your server capacity to handle high traffic
  • Put safeguards in place for your eCommerce store
  • Ensure your website loads in a timely manner
  • Ensure website navigation is on track during sales time
  • Enable cache on your eCommerce site to reduce the load on the server
  • Make sure your website works on all browsers and devices

12. Start the Sales Promotion

start the sales promotion for ecommerce flash sale

Make a mark on the calendar and start working on sale promotion, because it’s time to create a buzz for your upcoming flash sale.

Promote your flash sale on various marketing channels such as; social media, email newsletters, and more to spread the word that your amazing deals and offers are on the way.

Actions to follow

  • Try to build suspense with pre-sale teasers
  • Start promoting your flash sale on social media ads
  • Inform your subscribers with a powerful email blast
  • Run campaigns on Google Ads and other advertising platforms

13. Launch Flash Sale for your Customers

launch your ecommerce sale

The stage is set, get ready to steal the show by launching your most-awaited flash sale to your customers.

But in the middle of the excitement, don’t forget to keep an eye out for website usability. Your website should be flexible enough to handle a huge wave of traffic, and the checkout process needs to be buttery smooth.

Actions to follow:

  • Keep promoting your flash sale even after making it live
  • Send reminders to subscribers to inform them about your sale
  • Continue posting on your social media platforms about flash sales, such as; countdown timer, deals and offers, and more.

14. Keep Eye on Your Flash Sale 

keep eye on ecommerce flash sale

You launched your flash sale, and your excitement is at its peak. But, are your customers equally excited and placing orders at their highest? After all, their response is what determines the success of your flash sale.

To ensure successful flash sales, you need to keep track of key metrics, such as; website traffic, sales, and customer feedback. This will allow you to make necessary changes to your marketing strategy and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Actions to follow:

  • Conduct A/B testing to fine-tune your marketing strategy
  • Track how customers are interacting with your website during sale time
  • Verify stock levels to avoid running out of stock
  • Monitor your marketing channels to identify which one has better results
  • Make adjustments as per customer feedback

15. Run a Survey After the Sale to Gather Feedback

run a survey after ecommerce flash sale

Even when your flash sale ends, your job isn’t finished.

You still have to run a post-sale survey, where you have to gather feedback from your customers and know their experience with your flash sale. This will allow you to improve your strategy and improve the customer experience for your upcoming flash sales.

Moreover, it will help your existing customers come back to your brand and help you create a successful sale.

Actions to follow

  • After the sale is over, send engaging follow-up emails to your customers for their purchases and ask for their feedback
  • List down suggestions for your future flash sales

Conclusion

Our eCommerce Flash Sale Checklist ends here! And it’s your time to put your sales skills to the test and plan your next flash sale. Whether you’re aiming for record-breaking numbers or just looking to boost sales, this 15-point checklist is your key to success.

So, are you ready to skyrocket your sales, welcome new customers, and watch your eCommerce business soar to new heights? The power is in your hands.

Happy revenue-generating!

Dhruvi Master
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