10th Feb 2016        Richard Protheroe       Business


How to effectively run an end of season sale


As we come to the end of Winter and enter into Spring, there will be a plethora of clothing stores running ‘end of season’ sales.
So how can you stand out from the rest? Below we’ll advise you how to effectively clear out your dead stock, turn a profit and how you can get more from your current customer base.

Build Suspense


It goes out without saying, but you need to tell people about your sale. Creating suspense days or weeks in advance is a great way of building excitement. You can do this by:
Adding a flyer promoting the sale in the lead up Use a countdown bar on your website Schedule tweets and pin to your page Create a specific landing page and display previews of discounts
It’s always worth noting that It's much easier to market to your current customers than acquiring new ones. The tactics above should help achieve that, plus they are also very cost effective.
End Of Season Sale 1
The above example from Reiss is a great example of how to announce the sale. It also provides you with a great case of how to market over cross-platforms. The word ‘exclusive’ gives you a sense that something special is happening in store. Which leads nicely on to..

Reward your customers


Do you currently run a rewards scheme on your site? If not, you should be looking into it. There are plenty of great plugins available such as Sweet Tooth, S Loyalty, Sumo & myCRED.
The way that reward programs could work with your sale is that, you could offer any customer double or triple points if they purchase a sale item. This not only prompts them to purchase wavering stock but encourages them to come back for future orders.
A recent study from Experian showed that more than 75% of US companies received a positive ROI when they had a reward scheme in place. Sweet Tooth, who we previously mentioned said that their customers on average see a 30% increase in sales every year from deploying it.
You could then allow reward scheme customers ‘early access’ to the sale. People like it when something is made ‘exclusive’, they feel they are getting a good deal. They also get the sense that they may miss out on something.
Below is a fantastic example from Fabletics, who use the ‘early access’ example with a great golden design that matches their VIP club.
End Of Season Sale 2

Bundle products


If you are struggling to bring traffic to your sale items, then look to leverage off your most viewed/best selling items. Have them placed below your best sellers.
Additionally, as soon as they add an item to their basket you could prompt them with a pop-up displaying one of your closely related sale items.

Create Wish lists



Wish lists are a fantastic way of removing your worry about abandoned carts and allowing your customers to purchase at a more convenient time.
Although the main reason for an abandoned cart might be that there was an unexpected shipping cost. It may also be down to the fact that the customer had to go away from their mobile/laptop and this isn’t something you can account for.
If a customer has one of your sale items in their wishlist you can prompt them when one of the following events occurs:
Price has been reduced Stock is very low A new review has been left The last bullet point there might be the reason they abandoned the cart as there was no current reviews on that product. This could be the prompt they need. Create urgency
Adding phrases such as ‘just a few remaining’ and ‘very low stock’ are a great way of getting people to convert on your website. Research by Business 2 Community showed 71% of online shoppers stated that the ability to see inventory levels was very important.
This type of language should be used on all forms of marketing, be them product pages, tweets or emails. This doesn’t necessarily have to relate to low stock levels, you can also use urgency to your advantage by setting a time limit on a product. Below is a great example from the guys at Modcloth.
End Of Season Sale 3

Offer Free Shipping


So much so, that the delivery time isn’t that significant as 83% of shoppers said they would wait an extra two days, as long as their goods were delivered free.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to needlessly give away free shipping. One option could be to offer free shipping if a regular priced item is bought with a sale item. That way it will encourage people to look into your sale range, if they didn’t initially have the intention to do so.

How will I manage the sales!?


Hopefully all these tactics will mean that you’ll have orders coming through all of your sales channels. If you are reading that thinking, ‘I only sell through one channel’, well where have you been!? 86% of top sellers making $1 million are currently using multi channel selling. So a great way of ridding yourself of that unwanted stock is to explore channels such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy as well as your own site.
When you using these marketplaces effectively it is strongly advised to invest in inventory management software to automatically update your stock across all your channels, to prevent you from overselling and disappointing customers.
End Of Season Sale 4
Richard Protheroe is a marketing executive at Veeqo.com, who provide inventory management software for retailers selling on multiple channels.


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