Recently we've been getting interested in the online phenomenon called flash sales. This sales model has, over the past few years become, simple put huge, with the leading sites turning over billions in profit. We thought we'd take a closer look.

 

What?

Flash sales are a particular ecommerce model where a product is offered for a very limited period of time on a website, say for 24 hours only. Since these kind of sales first came on the scene they have grown in popularity so that now there are hundreds of specifically flash sale sites, with ones like Groupon or Vente-Privee making huge turn overs. The rise of the social media giants has also created a rise in the popularity of flash sales with deals going viral.

 

Who?

The range of what can be sold within the flash sale model is huge, from holidays to beauty products, to of course fashion, including both retail and wholesale clothing.

 

How?

Many businesses use the large specialist sites to get out their flash sale deals, who then take control of the sale and marketing. These large flash sale sites will buy up unwanted stock and sell it, often at discount, through the sales model. The other model is to have the sale run until the limited stock sales are reached, meaning no wastage. However, there is nothing to stop smaller businesses from taking control of their own flash sales through social media. If you already have a loyal following through one such platform then you already have the perfect market in which to spread the word.

 

The one thing that has been proven without doubt is that consumers like this way of shopping. Perhaps it's the excitement of these spur of the moment sales, perhaps it's the discounted prices, whatever the reason, this is something to be explored.

 

A model for these kinds of sales already exists and works, but for the smaller business this could be just a starting point. Social media is growing and changing every year, therefore the opportunities to employ it for sales are growing and changing too. Next week we'll have a look at some ideas for flash sales on a do-able scale, particularly in regard to our own wholesale clothing lines and also retail clothing businesses, both online and storefront. Stay tuned!