The guide to ecommerce flash sales

The Guide to eCommerce Flash Sales

A flash sale is a promotion where a retailer offers a discount for customers who purchase items within a short time frame. The sales are typically not announced ahead of time. They may involve all items in a store or just a certain selection.

While there is no universal consensus on exactly how long a sale can last to count as a flash sale, most flash sales last two or fewer days. For example, a report by Experian defined flash sales as sales lasting for less than 24 hours and found a three-hour sales window was ideal for maximizing sales activity.

Depending on a retailer’s goals, flash sales can take various forms. For example, a retailer seeking to clear out inventory nearing expiration could offer a flash sale for those items. Alternatively, a retailer aiming to boost sales during a time of week when sales activity is typically slow could offer a flash sale during that period. A retailer could also host a flash sale during a window when activity is normally strong, with the goal of driving even more sales.

No matter how you decide to construct your flash sale, you can realize noticeable benefits to your business, including:

The risk of flash sales

While flash sales can benefit retailers, retailers often encounter challenges in a few key areas:

Challenges like these arise when businesses execute flash sales without planning ahead properly or without ensuring a flash sale is the best strategy for achieving sales goals. In order to deliver the desired results, flash sales must be carefully integrated with other sales and marketing strategies so they are launched at the right time and support the right business objectives. It’s easy to run a flash sale, but it’s much harder to ensure it aligns with and reinforces your business’s broader marketing and sales agenda.

How to know if flash sales are right for your business

In order to make sure you run a flash sale for the right reasons and at the right time, consider the following before committing:

By evaluating these factors ahead of time, you can be sure you are prepared to handle your flash sale appropriately and leverage it to drive overall business growth.

Best practices for running a flash sale

Once our flash sale is under way, the following best practices can help you make the most of it:

Get the most of flash sales

Adobe Commerce offers a one-stop solution for managing all aspects of a flash sale. It provides the sales analytics and inventory-management features you need for planning flash sales, as well as assessing results. And because Adobe Commerce can be run as a hosted platform, it helps online stores scale up seamlessly to meet spikes in demand. It does this by delivering a frictionless checkout and order fulfillment process, no matter how many purchases customers make during your sale.

To learn more about how Adobe Commerce can help your ecommerce business get the most out of flash sales, request a free product demo.