We’re about to hit the most competitive sale season of the year – are you geared up for it?
If you’re not, don’t worry! We’ve got the ultimate guide to hosting a successful sales, so whether it’s Black Friday, pre-Christmas, end of season or even a winter promo, follow our tips and advice to make sure yours is a success.
First of all – sale or promotion?
These two words are used interchangeably, but there’s a subtle difference between the two that you should be aware of.
A sale is where you offer a time sensitive discount on your products, usually to clear your stock or inventory. It could be just one product, or your whole range. Think: 50% off all Valentine’s Day Cards – two days only!
A promotion is a way to attract attention and add value to your offering. Think: bundle discounts, free delivery, special deals for certain customers, additional benefits (like gift wrapping or free gifts with a purchase). A promotion helps drive buyers through encouraging them to purchase a product with an added benefit for a limited time only.
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SECONDS SALE!! Fancy a bargain Mama Bear and Baby pin? There’s a few of these guys listed in the shop, and as always all my seconds are great quality with only minor imperfections. I will only ever sell pins I would be happy to wear myself. So grab one while you can, shop link in our bio! #secondssale #pin #pins #pinsofig #pinmakerssupergroup #pincollector #pincollection #mamabear #tattooedmom #coolmom #pingame #pingsmestrong #flair #flairgame #weirdmom #pinsofinstagram #supportart #pincommunity #pinsofig #supportsmallbusiness #tattooedmum #artbyme #designedbyme #supportart #kawaiipin #pinlove #pinoftheday #pmsg #pinnation #ihavethisthingwithpins
Image credit: Ted & Kip’s promotion on imperfect pins
Ted & Kip host ‘seconds sales‘ on their pins, which is a great way to draw customers in with a lower price, whilst also selling their very slightly imperfect stock. A seconds sale is something which can be run all year, and doesn’t need to be tied to any particular event or other sale you have on. It’s a great way to introduce customers to your products and hopefully, keep them coming back for more of the same!
Before you start, think about exactly what you;’re going to be putting on sale. Consider…
Getting rid of your slow moving stock
Everyone hosts sales around Christmas, making it the perfect time to shift some stock that hasn’t done so well this year – making room for your new products and collections. Use your plan from earlier to highlight what didn’t work so well and use this as an opportunity to sell!
Updating your online stock
Once you know what’s going to be going on sale, what you’re promoting and your key stock, make sure it’s easy to access online, and presented well.
- Take new photos if you need to and update any product descriptions.
- Make sure every element of your business is represented well.
Budget, budget, budget!
Having a budget in place now is crucial to ensuring Christmas success. Look at your current ad spend and ROI, work out how much you’re spending on marketing and get a plan together. If you’re going to need extra marketing collateral, can your budget stretch to it?
Make sure you’ve planned what you’ll need and when, so that when you hit the New Year you’re ready to take on the rest of the year.
Get people talking and anticipating
If you’re new to sales, frame and theme yours to give it an identity. This could be as simple as ‘bi-annual end of year sale’ or your ‘summer clearance’. This way, you’ll build anticipation for the next time you run a similar sale – your audience will come to recognise that you host sales at certain times and look forward to them.
Make sure you promote well too. Whether you sell on or offline, explore all your channels for maximum impact. From Flyers and Postcards to let customers know, to in store promo to catch attention – if people don’t know about your sale, they won’t shop!
Make sure you’re also utilising your social platforms too – and keep your messaging consistent to ensure that people recognise your sale (and that it’s from you!) when they see it.
Side note: Flash sales
Whilst it can be good idea to host sales at the same time every year (think: Black Friday, Summer Clearance, Bank Holidays), flash sales can also be an excellent driver for impulse buys. Think about offering flash discounts and promotions on products throughout the year, for a limited time only. This could be 24 or 48 hours only, or for the first 100 customers and so on. Be careful you don’t do this too often though, this should be a ‘surprise’ for customers, not a regular occurrence.
Offer VIP access
Consider offering loyal customers, social media followers or your email database early access to shop your sale. This way, they’ll feel special, and you’ll be giving them an exclusive offering that’ll differentiate them from the rest of your customers (and people love to feel like they’re the first!).
Encourage action with scarcity
Set a time limit for your sale. Whether it’s ‘while stocks last’ or you set a specific number of days or weeks, a limit will encourage people to shop quickly, as they won’t want to miss out.
Offer an extension
When your sale comes to an end, consider ‘extending’ it for a limited period of time, for those people who missed it. This ‘last chance’ offer might be the driver to push new customers to buy, if they think they have an extra chance to shop.
Think about how your sale looks
Whether you sell on or offline, make sure your sale communications are consistent. Think about signage – If you sell in store, make sure your customers know exactly where to find what they’re looking for with in-store signage stickers. A-size stickers are perfect for highlighting price reductions, product types and discounts.
Why not highlight a product discount the easy way – just pop a sticker onto your labels or packaging to catch attention when your customers are browsing. Make sure they’re in a bright or contrasting colour so they don’t get missed!
Why not create hashtag to get customers excited for your sale, and affix them to your current packaging or promotions with a sticker? Use the hashtag to post exclusive previews of your sale or newest collections and really generate a buzz that‘ll have them shopping like mad on sale day.
Have you hosted a sale? Share your tips in the comments section below and let us know!
Looking for retail sale essentials? From Leaflets and Flyers to Self-Adhesive Vinyl, you’ll find it all in the Printed.com dedicated Retail Collection.