Flash Sales Drive Retail Business If Executed Correctly

The Premier Logistics Provider Identifies Four Things to Consider Before Running a Limited-Time Sale

February 11, 2013 - Dotcom Distribution, a premier provider of fulfillment and logistics solutions, has identified the top elements retailers must consider before running a flash sale. According to Reuters, the practice – which has grown into a booming $2 billion business – recently helped eCommerce retailers grow holiday business twice as fast as online merchants who didn’t offer similar “deal of the day” promotions.

“For retailers, flash sales can be an extremely effective tool in capturing consumers’ attention, getting them to their site and enticing them to buy not only flash items, but also full-price merchandise,” said Maria Haggerty, president of Dotcom Distribution. “However, while many flash sale pioneers have found great success, there are many retailers that jumped on this trend before they were fully prepared to run the sale in terms of logistics.”

Flash sales are here to stay as part of the online retail landscape. Visits to the top five flash sales sites – which includes Dotcom Distribution client Fab.com – nearly doubled in 2012, according to comScore, Inc. Traditional retailers, such as Vineyard Vines, are also seeing success through flash sales and 1-2 hour “power lunches.” Before running a flash sale, e-retailers who hope to see similar success should plan ahead by considering several questions, including:

1. Do you have the inventory depth to run the sale?

More than 45 percent of flash sale offers sell out faster than anticipated. This means retailers are driving a customer to their site only for him or her to find that the sale item is out-of-stock. A retailer’s logistics provider or department should have the ability to see and track inventory in real-time.

2. Did you select the right products to sell?

Roughly 57 percent of flash sale buyers are women. Do you know who is frequenting your site for these deals? Tapping into similar insights can help retailers select the right product mix for their flash sale demographic.

3. Have you previewed the sale items?

Flash means fast – customers must make quick decisions, especially during the last minutes of a daily deal. Previewing flash sale items first allows customers to get their feet wet before buying the product. Preview it first – they’ll come back.

4. Are you ready to ship the items?

One of the top complaints from flash sale buyers is that their order took four to six weeks to get to them or that their products came in several shipments. Flash sales can be extremely effective when it comes to attracting customers, but if the customer doesn’t get the goods in a timely manner and with transparent communication, they are unlikely to purchase from you again.

While daily deals are great for increasing sales and highlighting specific items quickly, the end goal for retailers should be to gain new customers. Flash sales often lead to full priced purchases – both during and after the sale. Retailers risk losing potential new customers if they run poorly executed sales.

About Dotcom Distribution
Dotcom Distribution is the premier provider of logistics and fulfillment services to growing retailers & manufacturers. Industry pioneers such as Fab, Ideeli, Birchbox, Bliss, INTERMIX, and Totsy trust in Dotcom’s boutique feel, enterprise scale and management team to ensure their customers receive the highest quality packaging & delivery, while preserving the brand experience all the way through to the customer’s front door. Dotcom’s facility enables typical clients to achieve same-day order shipping and an average 1-3 day delivery times via UPS Ground to 75% of the US population – all while delivering on custom packaging solutions which resell the brand experience at that critical final mile delivery.

For more information about Dotcom Distribution and its logistics and fulfillment services, visit http://dotcomdist.com.