Choosing to run a sale through your business is a good way to move a lot of stock all at once, and it can drive sales in key times of the year such as Boxing Day or New Year sales. However, setting up for a sale is going to require some logistics work on your part to ensure that the business can handle it. This can include raising the right amount of awareness to the right people and ensuring that everyone is prepared for a busy period. Here are some top tips you can use while preparing for your first sales period.
Let Your Customers Know
One of the first things you need to do is to drum up some interest in the sale in the first place. If you let people know that there is going to be a sale, you can help to get them excited for what you have to offer later.
The easiest way to do this could be with your newsletters. Using a mass email service means that you are going to be able to let everyone know at once about when the sale will start. You might even be able to tease some of the biggest savings and deals that you could be offering.
Beyond this, you can turn to social media. Most brands use mass emails and newsletters in collaboration with other activities across all platforms. This can look like story posts on Instagram and even Tik Toks running a small advert. The right platform will depend on where your market is and you probably already know this because that’s where you’ll be focusing your marketing energies towards.
Ensure You Have the Right Stock
Of course, you also have the right levels of stock for the sale. It can be really embarrassing for you to run out of stock really quickly, especially with items that you might have tipped as being hot items in the run-up to the sale. It can be very frustrating for a customer to arrive at the site to discover that the thing that they really want is already gone.
However, you do need to make sure that you don’t have too much stock. Sales are often used as a way to clear out old lines and items that you can’t sell anymore. If you cannot shift them during a sale, you might struggle to sell them at all.
It is a tough balance to find, you want to sell out because that’s the whole point of a sale and you don’t want surplus stock but you want to forecast to ensure most customers are happy. Leaving some of them missing out isn’t all horrendous, it can leave them wanting more and they can sign up to be notified about the next sale as soon as possible. It is a great way to make sure people come back! You either get the item on sale and you can’t wait for the next one or you missed out on such a great deal you know you can’t do that again.
Prep Your Staff
Finally, you need to make sure that you properly prep your staff for the sale period. If you have retail staff, prepare them for what might be a higher volume of customers in the store. You should also let them know about any deals that they might come up against that they need to know inside and out, such as which items can be included in various offers.
Staff in charge of your website will need to ensure that everything is working perfectly so nothing goes down. Be prepared to potentially have to deal with more customer service emails too, particularly if something goes wrong with the site. Not only this, customers might want to inquire about certain items and know details. Having all channels managed appropriately and setting time scales for responses allows your team to plan ahead and the customers can know what to expect. For example “We aim to get back to all responses with 24 hours”, any small automated messages across platforms help control expectations and can also help avoid duplicate messages from customers that may have not yet heard from the team. Either via email or across social media platforms.
Running a sale can be more work than you might think. It extends far beyond just deciding what products to markdown, and you need to be prepared to make it work. With a sale, the more planning you can do early on, the better you will be. Take the time to properly investigate what it will take to pull a sale off correctly, and make sure you lay the groundwork before you launch your first. We’ve just touched upon a few points but recently during the pandemic, many companies have seen delays with deliveries during busy periods. This is also something you will want to investigate to ensure there aren’t any last-minute cancellations from customers that don’t wish to wait any longer. Be prepared for any situation!