What is a Flash Sale? What All eCommerce Brands Must Know

Have you ever scrolled through your favorite online eCommerce store only to be met with a time-sensitive sale? That’s a flash sale, and they’re everywhere these days. Ever been curious about what they are and how they work? We’re here to answer those questions and equip you with all the knowledge you need to make the most of flash sales.

Flash sales are an excellent way for brands to boost their sales in a short amount of time. With so much at stake, knowing what a flash sale is and how to run one successfully is essential. We’ll walk you through the basics so that you understand what goes into planning, promoting, and executing an effective flash sale. Plus, we’ll give some tips on avoiding potential pitfalls that could cause your sale to fail. So let’s dive in—your eCommerce store will thank us later!

Table of contents

  1. Definition of flash sale
  2. What are the benefits of running a flash sale?
  3. How to run a successful flash sale
  4. Reasons flash sales fail and how to avoid them
  5. How to leverage flash sales
  6. Strategies to maximize flash sales
  7. Importance of POS system when setting up a flash sale campaign

What Is a Flash Sale?

A flash sale is a marketing and sales strategy used by eCommerce brands to boost their sales by offering discounted prices for a limited period of time. The discounts typically range from 10% to 70% off the regular prices, and they last anywhere from 24 hours to a week. Flash sales are a great way to create buzz around your store and clear off some inventory to make room for new products.

The key to running a successful flash sale is setting realistic goals while offering top-notch customer service during the campaign. You should also pay attention to optimizing your products’ descriptions, ensuring that all images are up-to-date, and creating an attractive call-to-action (CTA) on your website or email campaigns.

Finally, it is important not to overlook the reasons why flash sales fail. Common causes include inexperienced staff, poor communication channels, an overload of offers and discounts, and a lack of testing prior to the launch. By avoiding all these pitfalls, you can ensure that your eCommerce brand can run a successful flash sale campaign that gains your business valuable new customers without burning your bottom line.

Benefits of Running a Flash Sale

Flash sales are a great way to give your customers a sense of urgency and even engage them in your eCommerce brand. Apart from excitement, there are also other benefits of running a flash sale:

  • Grow loyalty: Customers appreciate discounts and small incentives; a flash sale gives them just that. They feel more inclined to become loyal customers when they get a good deal on the products they would have liked to buy anyway.
  • Attract new audience: Flash sales are so quick and short-lived that it’s hard not to notice. Take advantage of this attention by leveraging content marketing and social media ads to spread the word about your exclusive deals, thereby bringing in new customers.
  • Clear out inventory: Flash sales offer a great opportunity for eCommerce brands to move products quickly, especially if the items have been on shelves for some time.

How to Run a Successful Flash Sale: Different Steps

If you’re considering running a flash sale for your eCommerce business, you want to ensure it’s successful. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to ensure a successful flash sale:

Create an Urgency and Limited Time-frame

The goal of a flash sale is to create urgency—you want your customers to have this deadline looming over them to convince them to purchase now before it’s too late. To do this, you should carefully consider the time frame of your flash sale and stick with it, sending out emails and notifications that remind customers when the clock is ticking.

Promote Your Flash Sale

Once you’ve got your time-frame set, you need to make sure people know about your sale. Use social media, email campaigns, or even PPC ads to get people aware that a sale is happening. You can also consider running A/B tests for emails or campaigns for maximum efficiency.

Monitor Your Flash Sale Activity

Once your flash sale has started, don’t just sit back and watch the sales roll in—monitor what’s going on during the sale and tweak if necessary. For example, if one product is selling slower than expected, adjust its price accordingly or take another promotional step. It’s also essential to track which products are performing best and get feedback from customers as they shop. That way, you’re more likely to create successful flash sales down the road.

Reasons Why Flash Sales Fail and How to Avoid Them

Flash sales can be a great way to move stock quickly and get customers excited, but they can also lead to failure if not done right. Here are some reasons why flash sales can go wrong and how to ensure your flash sale succeeds:

Unattainable discounts

When selecting your discounts for a flash sale, you want to create a sense of urgency and incentivize customers to buy, but you don’t want to make them unattainable. Doing this will only lead to customer dissatisfaction and missed opportunities for sales.

Not enough inventory

When you run out of inventory before the sale ends, it’s incredibly frustrating for customers. Make sure that your flash sale is adequately stocked with the product that you plan on discounting so that there won’t be any problems when customers are ready to make a purchase.

Poorly-timed promotions

Your flash sale must align with your target audience’s buying behavior. If you have an audience who typically purchases on Sundays, don’t run your flash sale on Tuesday morning — make sure it runs during peak times so that more people will see it and take advantage of the discounted prices. By avoiding these mistakes, you’re more likely to ensure that your flash sale is successful and brings in new buyers who will become loyal customers in the long run. Getting your sales data will only be possible with your POS software. If your current point of sale is not able to provide you with enough data about your sales and customer preferences, it may be time to switch to another point of sale software

Strategies to Make Your Flash Sale Stand Out

Do you want to attract more customers and increase sales? A flash sale could be the answer. But if you want your flash sale to be successful, a great strategy is essential. Here are some tips on how to make your flash sale stand out:


For any flash sale, timing is everything — and it pays to be prepared. The same event won’t necessarily work every time, so it’s important to consider factors such as when people are most likely to buy or when other holidays or events may influence online shopping behavior. Make sure to closely monitor the results of each flash sale so you can adjust your strategy for the next one.

Promotion & Advertising

Promote your flash sale with email campaigns, social media posts, and other channels that are popular with customers — but don’t just advertise the fact that you’re having a sale; make sure your promotions focus on showing off the products themselves. The more enticing details you share about the product- photos, videos, customer reviews, and stories — the more likely customers are to check them out during your flash sales.

Clear Communication

When running a successful flash sale, clear communication is critical. Your messaging should tell customers exactly what they need to know:

  • What’s included in the promotion
  • What products are included in an offer
  • When the promotion will start and end
  • How they can take advantage of it

A well-structured communication plan outlining all of these details will help ensure everyone knows what’s going on — which can mean more sales for you.

Implementing Strategies to Maximize Your Flash Sale

A successful flash sale requires a proper strategy to maximize potential gains. Here are a few strategies you can use to optimize your flash sale success:

Set Objectives

When organizing your flash sale, it’s important to define the objectives of your campaign. Are you looking for increased brand visibility? Growth of sales? Increased customer loyalty? Set some concrete goals beforehand and ensure that what you do will help you reach them.

Choose Your Products Wisely

Choosing the products you want to showcase during your flash sales is paramount. It’s important to find the right balance between products that have proven themselves in terms of sales and customer feedback, as well as products that have high potential but haven’t been tested yet. This way, you can reach more customers interested in both types of products.

Utilize Incentives

One way of increasing the chances for success during a flash sale is utilizing incentives such as discounts, free shipping, or loyalty points for customers who purchase during the sale. However, make sure not to overdo it – too many incentives can lead customers to think that something might be wrong with the product or service and thus decrease their trust in your brand instead of increasing it.

By adhering to these strategies, you’re more likely to organize a successful flash sale for your eCommerce brand and increase its profits.

Getting the Right Retail POS for a Flash Sale

Are you thinking of running a flash sale to boost your sales? If done right, it can be a great marketing tool to drive sales, but there’s one thing you definitely need to have in place first: a great POS system.

POS systems are tools that provide merchants with the robust data they need to make informed decisions and run their stores efficiently. It also keeps all your information organized, allows customers to check out easily, and helps you track inventory quickly. In this way, it serves as the base for running successful campaigns, including flash sales.

Here’s how a good POS system can help support your flash sale:

  • Streamline checkout process: A reliable POS system can streamline the checkout process for customers, making them stay longer and buy more during a flash sale. It also enables fast transactions at high volumes without glitches or delays.
  • Understand customer profiles: Collecting customer data through a POS system allows eCommerce merchants to understand their customers and target them effectively. This gives brands valuable insights into what their customers want and how they want it—valuable insights that could help you run successful flash sales more often.
  • Keep track of inventory: As your goal is to sell out items during the flash sale, it is important to keep track of stock levels at all times — which can be time-consuming if done manually. A POS system automates this task by allowing you to assign specific products to categories within stock levels, so you always know what’s available in real-time.

In short, investing in a good POS system will help you run an effective flash sale campaign with fewer headaches and more.


All in all, a flash sale is a great way to move products quickly, but it’s not a guaranteed win. You still need to consider your customers’ needs to have a successful flash sale. With careful planning and consideration of whether or not a flash sale will fit your brand, you’ll be able to make the most out of a flash sale and increase your sales. Give it a try and surprise your customers with a fun and exciting flash sale!

About the Author

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Mahougnon Martial Amoussou

Passionate about SEO and Content Marketing. Martial also writes about retail trends and tips for KORONA POS. He loves NBA games and is a big fan of the Golden State Warriors.