Best eCommerce Platforms for Flash Sales

The beauty of eCommerce is it that it allows you to know what customers want and how much they will usually spend to get it. In fact, you’re likely to know more about what your customers want than they do. People often say they don’t know what they want until they see it. But you already do, based upon their previous activities. This is perfect for triggering impulse shopping in the form of flash sales. However, because these can place a lot of strain on your infrastructure, you need to make sure you have one of the best ecommerce platforms for flash sales.

Before we get into that though, you need to ask yourself why you want to conduct a flash sale in the first place. If you’re looking to clear out old merchandise, this is a viable solution. However, before you opt-in, take a moment to think about some of the ramifications of conducting a flash sale.

Employing this strategy will likely attract a lot of bargain hunters whose loyalty is only to finding the lowest possible price. This means you’ll squeeze your margin razor-thin to make the sale attractive. However, even after you’ve given them the deal of the century, they usually won’t become regular customers. Further, if the volume of business you generate is so overwhelming that you run into inventory, fulfillment and/or shipping problems, you’re going to wind up hurting your reputation.

For these reasons, you need to make sure your organization is ready to handle the onslaught of customers flash sales typically bring — and be certain your reasoning for conducting the sale is clear-cut.

Another thing to consider is the phenomenon known as flash sale fatigue. Like so many successful concepts, the idea has been replicated so often consumers have learned to ignore it. Take a look at your email inbox, more than half of the messages are likely some sort of a promotion. With this awareness comes the need to be even more strategic to make your sale a success.

Carefully defining your target market based upon the desired outcome is critical. If you’re after new customers, make an effort to find consumers who habitually shop flash sales. Scour social media, run an Ad Words campaign triggered by keywords describing your items and avoid marketing the sale heavily to your existing customer list.

On the other hand, if you are targeting current customers, aim the sale at people who have looked at the item previously but didn’t convert. And, whatever you do, do not advertise the flash sale to people who have already purchased the item at the regular price. Of course, with this in mind, it’s also important to have a plan for customers who bought the item recently at full price should they get wind of the deal.

Perhaps the most important thing you need to consider here is whether your enterprise ecommerce platform will handle the surge in traffic. You want to be certain it’s running state-of-the-art, extremely fast servers combined with a best-in-class Content Delivery Network to make sure your site stays up and running during major traffic spikes. Given the nature of the typical flash sale customer, you will usually only get one chance to convert them. If your server crashes because it can’t handle the volume, that opportunity will likely be gone forever.