How to Create a Last-Minute Deal that Works

Last-minute deals can be an effective way to move inventory while encouraging customers on the fence to make a purchase. Here are some tips to create last-minute deals that are effective.

Customers love a sale. Yet for many companies, it can be difficult to know how to run promotions that are actually effective. Discount your product too steeply, and it can cut into profits. Don’t discount enough, and you can have customers who are lukewarm about making a purchase. One particular type of promotion that’s been very effective for the travel industry and others is the last-minute deal—also known as a “flash sale.” Here’s a closer look at the art and science of last-minute deals that get customers excited to buy.

Decide on your goals: What are you trying to accomplish with your flash sale? Your goal could be to move stagnant merchandise, drive up sales for the quarter, or capture the last bit of value from the holiday buying season. When you clearly define your objectives, it’s easier to frame a sale that’s going to capture buyers’ attention.

Get serious about your incentives: One of the reasons customers love last-minute sales is that they usually get serious bang for their buck. As you run the numbers for your last-minute sale, think about how far you can go to really attract buyers. Brands may have luck by focusing on a flashy loss leader, and then pricing other goods to still make a significant profit. Don’t overlook the power of a discount to attract buyers when you’re shaping your sale.

Play up the urgency: Last-minute sales are so effective because they are time delimited. Playing up the urgency of these sales can get people excited and encourage them to take action now. There are a few ways to do this. Limited quantities, for instance, encourage buyers to get in on the sale. Set a deadline for sales, and make sure that customers know when the promotion ends.

Eliminate the risks: When a sale has a time limit, buyers have to make decisions quickly. Support that process by eliminating risks. Make sure your guarantees and customer support information are easy to access. When a customer knows that you stand behind your products, they’re more likely to make a purchase.

Make it easy: Increase conversions for your sale by making it easy to buy. Feature your contact information prominently. Simplify the check-out process. Make the conversion as pain-free as the purchase price, and you’re likely to run out of products. Find any barriers to the purchasing process, and look for creative ways to eliminate them.

A flash sale, or last-minute, sale can be a great way to move products quickly. Design your sale with specific goals in mind, and find ways to bring real value to customers throughout.