Are you thinking of running a sale on your Shopify store? Whether you’re looking to clear out inventory before a big launch or just want to drive some extra traffic your way, sales are a great way to boost your business. But how do you go about setting one up? In this post, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step. So read on and learn how to run a Shopify sale, along with:
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Why Run a Sale on Shopify?
Sales promotions have been a tried and tested marketing strategy for decades because they work, as shown by the fact that nearly 90% of shoppers use a discount code or coupon in a given year. Promotions and incentives increase your sales by pleasing your existing customers and attracting new ones, some of whom will inevitably make purchases you wouldn’t have earned without holding a sale. People simply tend to buy more when they’re given a discount or incentive to do so.
So, whether you’re looking to boost overall sales for your store or meet a target sales goal for a specific product line, sales are a great way to get there. Sales promotions also build customer loyalty by giving buyers a reason to come back and purchase from you again.
When to Run Shopify Sales
These days, there is almost a reason to run a Shopify sale any day of the week. But that, of course, wouldn’t be great for your profits and ROI. Instead, think carefully and be strategic in your planning around when to hold sales. They’re a great tool for clearing surplus inventory, introducing shoppers to new items or product lines, gaining more exposure to your target market, and selling more to boost revenue and cash flow. Or, depending on what you sell, consider the following major seasonal holidays around which a sale is sure to attract shoppers:
- New Year’s
- Mother’s Day
- Father’s Day
- Fourth of July
- Labor Day
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
How to Notify Customers About a Shopify Sale
You’re going to need to inform your customers that you’re holding a sale, and one of the best ways to do this is through alerts. These can be sent through a notification app like Back in Stock via email, text/SMS, web push, or a combination of these methods with multi-notification campaigns. Here are some specific Shopify sale alerts you can put to work for your store. Back in Stock automates them, saving you time and effort in bringing in new traffic and boosting sales for your store.
Promotion, sale, or clearance alert
This should let your subscribers know that you’re having a sale, the items that will be discounted and by how much, the dates the sale will run, and any other terms or conditions shoppers should note.
Price drop alert
A price drop is more of a long-term or permanent reduction. Maybe you’ve ordered too much inventory or your supplier is clearing out a previous year’s model, so you’re reducing the price indefinitely or for the foreseeable future. Whatever the case may be, your customers should know, so you’ll want to send them an alert with information on the item(s), the current and new price or percentage discount, and when the change takes effect. It’s also a good idea to tell them the reason for the price drop, so you can anticipate and address any potential questions about why the price is so low, suspicions about a product’s quality, or other concerns that could cause hesitation.
Back in Stock alert
Every online store goes through stockouts from time to time. To minimize this, you’ll need a good out of stock strategy, but it won’t be foolproof 100 percent of the time. That’s where back in stock alerts come in handy.
How to send sale alerts and other notifications with Back in Stock
With all the traffic you’re sure to draw in from your Shopify sale, items may likely sell out, but you have an opportunity to keep in touch with customers interested in those products by capturing their contact information and alerting them the moment a product is back in stock. You can easily customize and schedule alerts in multi-notification campaigns that work with your brand, strategy, and goals. When customers sign up for your store’s notifications, they’ll get a sequence from the same channel, how and when they want to hear from you about a specific event, like a sale or product that’s back in stock.
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It’s simple to set up any of these alert types with Back in Stock. Here’s how it works:
- You create and schedule up to 4 notifications in a sequence from the same channel (email, SMS, or web push). Maybe you’re announcing a sale for a specific product or collection, or maybe it’s a storewide sale for Black Friday, for instance.
- Customers who have signed up for your notifications will automatically get them in the channel they’ve requested.
- Your notifications advance through the campaign’s sequence, during which customers can hear from you up to 4 times with 24-hour-gaps in between messages (but this is customizable in the settings to what works best for your store). Learn more about creating customer notifications with Back in Stock in this video:
Types of Shopify Sales
Here are various types of sales promotions you can run for your Shopify store, and all are easily notifiable with alerts from Back in Stock.
A flash sale offers steep discounts on specific product lines for a set period of time. Sometimes, shoppers don’t know what will be on sale until the sale begins, which creates a sense of buzz and urgency and, hopefully, causes items to sell out quickly.
Giveaways are free items in exchange for a certain action or purchase, and they’re super effective at creating buzz and excitement around your store and products. For example, you could give away a free water bottle when someone buys a pair of sneakers. Or, if they’re in the first 500 people to follow you on social media channels, maybe they get a free hoodie.
First-time buyer incentive
To welcome new customers to your brand and encourage their loyalty, you can entice them to shop by offering them an incentive like a discount, free shipping, a free gift, or some other benefit.
Shipping can be expensive and people don’t like to pay for it, especially if the cost comes close to the value of what they’re buying. So, free shipping can attract customers to your store. You could offer it to first-time buyers or on a minimum purchase value. Just be sure it’s financially viable for your business.
Buy one get one free (BOGO)
BOGO can be pretty compelling to customers since they’re getting the same return on their purchase as they’re spending. Take a look at your profit margin per item and choose wisely – a BOGO deal can pay off well depending on the volume you’re selling.
An upsell, or an extra, upgraded item on top of one they’re already purchasing, is a great sales promotion that can offer you steep profit margins. For example, you could offer customers a jacket at 15% off in addition to the jeans they’re about to buy. Upsells are easy to market to customers, too, since they’re already ready to buy and are likely more open to seeing the benefit of the upsell offer. Pro tip: use an upsell app to make these offers quick and automatic, which will save you time and effort.
Tips for Running a Successful Shopify Sale
Getting more traffic to your store may be the goal, and if you see that from your marketing efforts for your sale, that’s fantastic. But being ready to take on and accommodate a large influx of shoppers at your Shopify store doesn’t just happen – you need to be prepared, whether you’re running a seasonal Labor Day or Black Friday sale, you’re trying to sell off extra inventory before the summer season hits, or you have other goals for your store entirely. So, to prepare and get the most out of your Shopify sale, follow these tips.
1. Notify shoppers of your upcoming sale via alerts.
A notification app like Back in Stock makes it simple and quick to tell your customer base about your exciting sale. Whether you’re running a seasonal sale, clearance, price drop event, or you simply want to inform customers that the item they want is back in stock, communication is arguably the most important thing you can do to prepare since the best sale of the year is pointless if nobody knows about it.
2. Create or customize sale pages
The most noticeable way to showcase all of your sale items is to give them their own store page. You can make it themed to whatever specific event your sale is planned around, such as Easter or Mother’s Day. If you’re short on time though, you can always just tweak your existing store pages to indicate which items are on sale, instead.
3. Check that policies are still applicable and update where needed
If your policies and charges for delivery, returns, and other areas of your store will be changing for the sale, be sure to indicate these changes clearly and succinctly on the appropriate pages. For example, maybe you’re extending your return window from two weeks to 30 days to accommodate early holiday shoppers. Checking that these types of details are correct will ensure a much smoother process during and after the sale and keep your customers informed and happy.
4. Use a popup with the offer
Popups are useful to display information and encourage users to take a specific action. For example, you can use popups during your sale to collect information that supports your marketing strategy. This can be an offer for a specific discount, free shipping, a gift with purchase, or some other incentive in exchange for providing an email address. That email address gets added to your list, and the user will receive your store updates and offers in the future. Just be sure to make your popups a reasonable size, not too big, and easy to close. If users have trouble navigating your site because of popups, they’ll get discouraged and might even leave before they’re done browsing or buying.
5. Utilize a banner or countdown timer
Banners on Shopify use graphics to grab users’ attention and share important information about your shop, like the fact you’re holding a sale. You can also include a countdown timer to indicate how much time is left for the sale, which helps to create urgency and get people to buy faster. These timers are also super handy to indicate how much time shoppers have left to get orders in so that they’ll arrive in time for busy holiday seasons, like Christmas.
6. Test forms, contact methods, and payment types
It’s inevitable that you’ll get at least a few questions about your sale as people browse and shop, so be sure that your contact forms are up-to-date and that you have live chat ready to go and working properly. It’s best to test everything out before your sale begins. If you fail to do this and things don’t work, it will be tough for customers to ask questions, get clarification, and, ultimately, make a purchase. People don’t have the patience to spend too long figuring out how to reach you, so you want to make it as easy as possible since this could make the difference between a purchase or not. Likewise, and even more importantly, you’ll need to ensure that your order and payment functionality is working seamlessly. In today’s digital times, people expect multiple payment options and secure transactions. This is a huge miss for some ecommerce businesses, so don’t fall into the same trap. In fact, complex checkout processes are responsible for nearly 20% of the 70% of abandoned shopping carts that are left behind. So, make sure your order form is intuitive and simple to work with before your sale begins. It should reflect your stock levels in real-time, show payment options available, include a spot for coupon or discount codes, and display accurate order and payment information. Now that you’re armed with all the Shopify sale background and tips you need, you’re ready to run your very own store sale. Remember, a handy notification app like Back in Stock makes alerting customers of discounts, freebies, back in stock items, and other helpful details super easy.
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