Chris Mason is the Co-Founder of WooCurve, a software company that helps WooCommerce stores make more money. His products are used by thousands of WooCommerce stores around the world. Chris is a marketer first but also understands tech.
Have you ever noticed the trap most businesses fall into?
They want to meet their revenue goals so they decide to run a sale and discount a few products to generate some extra cash. This is typically referred to as a “flash sale”.
The good news is it will probably work. They’ll hit their goals and go on to the next month.
But the bad news? They just trained their customers to buy based on price. And when you train your tribe to buy from you based on price, you start down a one-way street toward becoming a commodity.
A commodity is a good or service anyone can sell. And if you want to compete with the retail giants like Amazon or Walmart, your merchandise can absolutely not be considered a commodity.
That’s why, in my opinion, using markdowns alone is a short-sighted strategy. But what if there was an approach that brought in the extra revenue a flash sale generates and increase sales without discounting your products?
There is. And it’s called developing a “reverse flash sale” strategy. Let me explain what a reverse flash sale is and how it works.
What Small Stores Have on Big Retailers
The Ability to Build Personal Relationships
First you need to understand smaller businesses have strengths those big retailers can never compete with. And the secret to a successful reverse flash sale is leveraging those strengths.
I want to tell you what they are and how to use them.
The first strength you have is personality. It’s a secret weapon Amazon will never have. Because you can sell as a person, not a company. People refund transactions but they don’t refund relationships. (My mentor Brian Kurtz taught me that.)
Building one-to-one relationships with your customers is the most effective way to increase sales without discounting.
This is why your company needs a face.
And include email signatures from real people, not something generic like “Customer Service Team”.
Finally, your emails should be written to one person, not a group. For example, don’t say “you all” in an email, say “you.”
Use Seller-Side Rates
Shipping can be expensive. Frequently, you or the customer are going to end up overpaying. However, there are options to make charging for shipping fairer. If you sell on BigCommerce or Shopify, you can expose and adjust live carrier rates for your customers to see in checkout. Because ShipStation offers discounted, you can choose to pass these discounts on to your customers at checkout. Or, you can adjust the cost to reflect any additional handling fees. Click here to find out more.
An Opportunity to Offer Premiums and Bonuses
Your second strength is being able to find premiums and bonuses that will blow your customers away. Premiums and bonuses are essential to a reverse flash sale.
See, instead of discounting your products, you’re going to sell them at the same price but add on all these other amazing bonuses for FREE when someone buys during the promotional period.
In most cases you’ll end up making the same amount of revenue as a traditional flash sale but you’ll have avoided the downside.
Pro Tip: You can use sites like CrateJoy to get ideas of what other products your customers might enjoy.
Strategies like hosting a reverse flash sale encourage your customers not to buy based on price alone. You’re not teaching them to view you as a commodity.
It’s a long-term play for long-term thinkers.
If you want to see a reverse flash sale in action, I’m hosting a webinar with my friends here at ShipStation on September 19.
During this free training I’ll walk you through the reverse flash sale I ran for my company WooCurve during Black Friday. I’ll show you the emails we sent, the sales pages we set up, the copy we used — every single thing that enabled us to increase sales without discounting. Spoiler alert: We more than doubled our sales that month and we didn’t mark down a thing.
Click on the banner to sign up today!