An online marketplace store can benefit greatly from running special event sales for upcoming holidays and store-run events. Large-scale sales events featuring discounts and special offers greatly increase virtual store traffic and sales volume and can make up 20%-30% of a seller’s annual revenue according to the National Retail Federation. In a multi-seller marketplace, stores will lose out if they don’t stay competitive during these periods.
Beyond just increasing sales volume, holiday events bring in customers who will stay with the store for the long term, checking in regularly and watching for products they might be interested in. This can truly make the sales worth it to businesses. Online traffic may only take the form of browsers interested in skimming for the most visible deals and then jumping to the next store on the marketplace. In order to maximize the results of a special sales event, it’s best to prepare in advance to make the most of a limited opportunity and turn it into a long-term success story.
Plan For Events Well in Advance
Planning for a special event can start months in advance. The most basic requirement is to plan out discount pricing and special offers like free shipping or coupons, including a calendar to organize multiple days of planned sales. Figuring out which products are likely to draw customers to the store will help determine what may be worth using as loss-leaders.
Discounts can take many forms, and customers will be incentivized to buy if they think they are getting a better deal than from anywhere else. A study from Deloitte found that 74% of customers choose products due to price discounts, 72% want free shipping, 39% like ‘buy-one, get-one-free’ deals, and 29% prefer cashback offers.
As the date of the event approaches, it’s time to use marketing resources to announce it in advance. Use social media channels, email newsletters, and banners on the store page to mark the date of the event starting around a month in advance, then repeating as the sale gets closer. If there is a particular special offer or a category of products that will offer desirable discounts, it should be promoted in images and text at the forefront of marketing materials.
Set Your Goals
The first step in preparing for a sale is to set clear goals and targets. For instance, there are many reasons to prefer customers to purchase through an app rather than a website. A retailer has more control over user experience on their app and has less worry about a customer viewing their sales as one of many stores in their browser. Making special offers to users who sign up for the app and discounts to mobile purchases may be a viable strategy to encourage user adoption in the long term.
Optimize Your Store For Sales
Making sure the store can be accessed and navigated easily ensures that new customers browse for longer. When expecting a flood of new customers, store owners should perform site maintenance to ensure technical issues don’t cause problems. Sites should be optimized for loading speed and mobile accessibility so customers are not turned away. In addition, make sure your physical inventory will not run out due to increased holiday traffic.
When the sale period begins, a new version of the digital store’s front page should be filled with deals and offers that keep customers browsing throughout the store looking for the best prices, increasing retention rate. Being able to easily adjust your front page on an eCommerce app, even while the sale is running, is vital since it causes visitors to return looking for any sales they’ve missed.
With an average of $511 spent on gifts in the holiday season according to Deloitte, sales should be oriented around giftable items and categories, such as apparel and electronics. The Cratejoy Marketplace reported that 65% of their Q4 sales were gifts. Include gift-labelling options and make fast, dependable 3-5 Day shipping a key consideration in order to compete with fast options such as Amazon Prime. Customers want to be sure their orders will arrive in time for the holidays and will choose convenience for gifts.
Promote Customer Loyalty
Special offers should be designed to encourage customer loyalty. Discount codes shared on social media can lead to customers following the brand’s social media accounts and sharing their posts with others online. They also make customers feel like they are getting exclusive deals.
Special sales events are a great time to promote customer loyalty programs such as giving rewards points for each purchase. Receiving points that can be redeemed for discounts later will lead to new customers being incentivized to come back afterwards, making them pay off in the long run. Selling through a mCommerce app that tracks rewards points can show customers how many points they have earned, increasing customer engagement as they can look for opportunities to claim their rewards.
Sales events can be important sources of increased sales volume, and with the right preparation and planning, they can become the foundation of a strong and stable customer base. Having an overall strategy in mind when setting up every sale on an eCommerce and app-based platform helps focus a business on meeting its goals while growing its brand.