Special promotions and sales for ecommerce

March 20, 2014

How can you move your slow moving stock part 3:

So You’ve got some problematic inventory, and it just isn’t moving the way you’d like it to. Marketing and SEO have only done so much, and it’s time to save a sale.

Email campaigns

Before you go cutting the price and giving up your margins, look at a personalised email campaign. Not spam, but emailing those of your customers who have shown an interest in similar items (and have not opted out of receiving promotional messages).

Or, on a related note, your website can be geared to respond differently to different customers. Maybe you should have a banner on the landing page that promotes SMI which is tied by category or type to known customer’s habits, and shows a mix of popular and SMI options to unknown customers.

So how can you help sell your ecommerce stock with promotions and sales?

Now, when you’ve tried all that, and still aren’t getting good numbers, you can start cutting prices and know you aren’t throwing away money.

1. The clearance page

Ecommerce was founded on the concept of the bargain, and reduced prices still have customers pouring over comparison sites with a sometimes frightening intensity. If they are willing to shop around for two hours to find their copy of the Robocop Blu-ray for £1.50 cheaper, then give them what they want. Reduce the price for a while, and feature it with other reduced items, and see if any interest develops.

2. Daily deals and one-time only offers

are particularly amenable to special website sections, and email campaign tie-ins. Daily, or even weekly deals create an artificial sense of urgency as well, and can garner you impulse buys. They are also easier to ‘leak’ to bargain hunting sites. Plus, anyone who comes looking after the sale has run may still buy at your normal price. Just don’t let it devolve into bait-and-switch.

3. Deal sites and liquidators are kind of a last resort,

as it means giving up on most or all of your margin, and getting what you can while reducing inventory. Sites like Groupon can help you move overstock for a price. You won’t make much, if any, profit, but it’s better than throwing the lot out. Liquidators can be even worse, as you know you’ll be taking a loss, but again, you got something back. And you’re not paying to warehouse those 1000 lime green size 30 Harry Potter pyjama tops anymore.

Now that you have a strategy for clearing your existing SMI, we can look at ways to prevent it from happening in part four, coming soon.

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