Flash Sale Sites Benefit by Timing Emails Right

Discussion
Oct 05, 2011
George Anderson

Flash sales sites are one of the big things in retail at the moment and, based on new research from Experian CheetahMail, getting bigger may be directly tied to the timing of emails.

According to the company, email accounts for 18 percent of referrals to flash sales sites, compared to 13 percent for social and 11 percent for search. For the purpose of the study, Experian classified flash sales as those lasting 24 hours or less.

Other findings from the research:

  • Visits to flash sales sites in the U.S. grew 59 percent in August of this year versus 2010.
  • Flash sales lasting three hours have the best transaction-to-click rates and highest transaction rates.
  • Evening flash sales generate 23 percent higher transaction rates than those held during lunchtime.

eMarketer, citing Kantar Media Compete as its source, reported that 26 percent of respondents had made a purchase at Amazon’s MyHabit site. Following closely behind were Beyond the Rack (25 percent), eBay’s Fashion Vault (24 percent), Gilt and Rue La La (12 percent each), Hautelook (9 percent) and ideeli (7 percent).

Timing, while important, isn’t everything when it comes to successful email campaigns from flash sales sites.

According to a recent column on ClickZ written by Tal Nathan, vice president, client services at StrongMail, top flash sales sites are segmenting emails based on gender, site-browsing habits, age and life-stage. The goal is “to create an even richer and more personalized experience by leveraging their vast amounts of data. By actually featuring products that their customers want to receive, they not only generate more sales, they establish a trust that is crucial for building brand loyalty.”

Discussion Questions: What do you see as the keys to successfully marketing flash sales sites? How critical is email timing to achieving success?

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8 Comments on "Flash Sale Sites Benefit by Timing Emails Right"


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Max Goldberg
Guest
9 years 7 months ago

Successful flash sale sites carefully curate merchandise for customers, offer that merchandise at a value price and back the entire transaction with great customer service. Consumers like what they see, realize the value and know that they will be well cared for each step of the way. Isn’t that what good retail is supposed to be all about?

If a retailer does this successfully, consumers welcome communication from the retailer, even if they decide not to buy.

Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
9 years 7 months ago

Eureka! If you provide products customers want, that will generate more sales and brand loyalty? Whodathunkit? I chalk up flash sales sites and the promo end cap of the virtual world, and yes, of course it’s going to work. Especially when you have a quality email list like Amazon or eBay.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
9 years 7 months ago

Max is dead on. Curation is the key.

Without the right product selection flash sites become little more than spammers.

ron kurtz
Guest
ron kurtz
9 years 7 months ago

Based on our research among the wealthiest 10% of US households, the biggest challenge for flash sale sites is their low level of awareness. Highlights of our research can be found on our website.

The research numbers cited in this article may not be representative of the affluent population if the surveys were done among online panels, as they probably were. Such research has several possible weaknesses when it comes to measuring internet usage of the affluent.

Jesse Rooney
Guest
Jesse Rooney
9 years 7 months ago

I don’t really have an opinion about flash sales, but I find the granular level of detail in this article really remarkable. We’re not far off the Gap store billboards that address Keanu Reeves by name in Minority Report. That’s great news for all of us involved in the sales, retail, and marketing industries, but it is kind of creepy when you think about it as a consumer.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
Guest
9 years 7 months ago

Getting the right product to the right consumer at the right price at the right time — hmmm, I think I’ve heard that before.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
9 years 7 months ago

Cultivating a client relationship by personalizing a communication with any modern media tool is the best means of expanding any one-to-one sales effort. The risk of a missed connection elevates at exponential rates as the number of clients increase. When this happens, efforts to get real close to the client may get you an undesired result. It is therefore imperative to properly maintain client information files.

A final note: anyone that thinks timing isn’t everything should reconsider staying in the sales business.

Kimberly Nasief-Westergren
Guest
Kimberly Nasief-Westergren
9 years 7 months ago

I am curious if this would work in the brick and mortar environment. Timing is everything, but do you think that an email “push” or other notification announcing flash sale would drive foot traffic?

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