‘The Ecommerce Success Show is sponsored by EKM, where you’ll find everything you need to create and manage your online shop!’Hi, in this episode of The Ecommerce Success Show, I’m here to talk to you about how to run a successful sale on your online shop. Now, you might have tried running a sale before and it might not have worked out as well as you’d hoped, or perhaps you’ve never run a sale before – don’t worry, I’ve got you!
What are you selling?
I’ve made a list of 10 steps you need to go through to set up your sale and run it successfully to give you the best possible chance and it has the greatest impact, okay? So first right, as they say in the Scouts ‘perfect planning prevents poor performance’ and it’s all about the planning.
If there’s just one thing you take away from this episode today, make sure it’s that! Okay, so step one is to go get yourself a pen and a piece of paper and we’re going to use this, doodle all our ideas down. Okay so the first step is ‘what’s going into this sale’ so why is this stuff going into the sale? So is its end-of-line stock – are these products that you’re not gonna get in again?
Okay, is it seasonal stock – so are we – I mean as I record this, we’re in the run-up to November so it’s probably not a good time of year to be selling swimming costumes and bikinis – okay, so is it the end of season stock, okay? Maybe it’s something new and you’re offering it to your customers to see how well this, this product line is received, okay?
What’s the mechanic?
So these are all different reasons that some products will go into a sale, so work out why the going is the sale – what those products are, okay? When you’ve done that, your second step is ‘what is the mechanic for your sale?’ So when I say ‘mechanic’ – how does the sale work?
If I put a product in the cart and then I go to the cart page, is that when the discount comes off? When I go to the product page, is the product already reduced? Okay, so I don’t need to do anything, just pop it in the cart and pay for it? Do I need to have a specific promo code that I put in on the cart page to take advantage of the sale?
Okay, work out what your mechanic is and jot that down on your paper, alright? The next thing you need to do – and this is where we could do with quite a big bit of paper – is we need to take a look at your timeline. So your timeline is going to detail what we do from this moment to the day of the sale and that depends on the size of your online shop and it depends on your resources as well.
For example, you’ve got your online shop, you’ve got the products that you want to put on sale, but you also might have a brick and mortar shop, you also might have – and at least should have – some social media there to promote your online shop such as a Facebook Page or an Instagram or maybe even a Twitter account, okay?
Create a timeline
So you’ve got your social media on there as well, you might do email newsletters, you might do blog posts, okay? So look at the resources that you’ve got that you can use to shout about your sale, okay, and pop these into your timeline. So if we say the sale is a month away and you send your emails once a month – your email marketing emails – work out what needs to be in that email marketing email, when it needs to be sent before the sale to remind people that ‘this sale is going to start today.
Take a look at your social media; some social media you might be more popular on than others, so you might want to prioritize that over your other bits of social media, okay?
So work out when you want to post in the lead up to that sale beginning, the same with your blog posts; you might put a new blog post on every week, so in week two of the month before you might want to say ‘we’ve got a sale coming soon and then do a regular post and then your next post will be ‘the sale is this Friday, here’s what’s happening, get involved and then you can share that blog post everywhere.
Write some copy
Okay, so create a timeline for how you’re going to push this sale out to your followers and your customers. Okay, so the next thing you need to do is – with your piece of paper next to you on the desk – fire up your laptop and you’re gonna start writing copy for your sale, okay?
So this essentially can go onto a web page on your online shop – which explains what the sale is, how it works – so you need to make sure that customers understand ‘here’s what’s included in the sale’, ‘here’s how the sale works, ‘here’s how much money that they can save’, ‘here’s the start and end date of the sale’ – those are the four most basic things.
We’ll get in there with some sales speech; really big up what it is that you’re offering to people and how much they could save and how great these products are, okay? So once you’ve got your copy, your next step is step five – you need to make some graphics! Now, you might be using Photoshop, you might be using – if you’re not, Canva.com – you can get a free account there, you can create lots and lots of graphics there – that’s useful.
Make some graphics
If you’ve never done graphic design before, get onto Canva.com and start making some graphics for your sale. So when I say graphics, I don’t just mean for your online shop; I mean for your social media, for your email newsletters, for your blog, okay, for your Twitter account, and so on, okay?
So make a list of all the different images you need to create – now some of those images may just say ‘sale is coming soon, some of those images will say ‘sale’s life, you can come and save money, okay? So you’re probably going to create two different lots of images there but make sure you do that.
Okay, once you’ve got the list of your images and you’ve got your copy, the next thing that you need to do is prepare your online shop for the sale itself. Now when I say prepare – if you imagine that…we’ll imagine that I do sell swimming costumes and bikinis in the run-up to November.
It’s end-of-season stock, I need to get it shifted before I get the new lot of bikinis and swimming costumes in for like February, so I’ve got this month to push them out. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to run a competition themed around what I’m selling, so we’ll call it Sunshine Christmas, okay?
Prepare your online shop
We’re going to have a promo code which is SUNSHINECHRISTMAS (all capital letters), we’re going to pop that in, so customers that use that promo code can have 50% off all the stock in my swimming costumes and bikinis category, so when I’m prepping my online shop, what I need to be doing is creating a category for my sale.
We’ll call that category Sunshine Christmas and we’ll pop all of those products into that category. We’ll have a graphic at the top of that category – again, advertising the sale, how much they can save, ‘just pop this coupon code in on the cart page’, okay?
That’s what I mean by prepping your shop, so get everything together in the right place on your online shop, keep it hidden from the general public until the day of the sale, okay? Once you’ve prepped your shop, the next thing you need to do is look at your email newsletters.