Running regular sales allows you to move inventory you’d otherwise take a loss on, bring in customers seeking a bargain and drive traffic to your site via smart marketing methods. However, if you don’t showcase your clearance sales in the right way, you may impact your overall revenue.
Statista reports quarterly on U.S. e-commerce sales. In the second quarter of 2021, online retailers drew in an estimated $222.5 million in revenue. This was an increase from Q1 and an overall increase from 2020. One reason for the increases includes small business owners becoming smarter about their marketing and inventory management.
If you need to clear out old merchandise or offer loss leaders to bring new customers to your site, here are the best ways to showcase your clearance sales.
One way to highlight your sales is in your hero image. Add a banner telling what’s on sale, sharing an image and a link to the clearance items. This is a great way to encourage impulse sales and move inventory that would otherwise sit stagnant.
Marie Nicole children’s clothing boutique features their current sale in their hero shot, with an image of a little girl wearing an outfit on sale and a note about how long the promotion runs. Note how they also run a narrow banner across the top of the page announcing the current clearance sale.
Start by knowing who your target audience is and then use language they’ll respond to. If you send out a note about the clearance items, you need to choose words encouraging buyers to take action. Think about what’s worked in the past, run surveys and look at analytics to figure out the best approach.
People love a good bargain. Go ahead and advertise just how much they can save by buying the discounted items. Will they save 20% or maybe more? You might use a percentage, or you might use a dollar amount.
Be upfront about how much items are discounted. Ideally, you’ll break even after handling fees, but you may not make a profit on clearance items. The goal is to keep cash flowing through your enterprise and not get stuck with things that never sell. Seasonal items, in particular, can be hard to move as the holiday approaches. A discount can move them out so you aren’t stuck with them for 12 months.
Neway Packaging does an excellent job of highlighting the latest things to hit their clearance aisles. They use an image reading “Up to 50% Off” to grab attention and let users know just how much they can potentially save by ordering from the clearance section.
The headline reading “new items on clearance” indicates additional things get added to the clearance category from time to time, so even those who’ve visited before are likely to check out the page.
According to Worldometer, there are approximately 5 billion internet users with the number growing constantly. Social media is also growing by leaps and bounds.
You can reach your target audience through a social media page, taking out targeted advertising and getting your current customers to share your posts and talk about your brand.
Give them a reward if someone new buys from you, even if it is a clearance item. Points or other perks will encourage your fans to share.
One way to increase sales of clearance items is by bundling them or offering a perk when people buy. For example, some brands team up with companies offering incentives toward a cause and run sales at the same time.
You can also offer a certain percentage off for anything in a category people can fit in a bag. So, if you go to a hobby supply and craft store, you might see a 20% off all fall-themed items back. Or you might use a certain color tag for clearance items.
Look for ways to promote the bag and use it for more than one season. If you run a fully digital store, then the bag is a virtual one, while a brick-and-mortar store might offer a physical bag for sale items.
Ben Franklin Crafts & Framing offers a bag sale on the last Thursday of each month. The discount applies to the lowest price, so people can even get an additional savings on clearance items. They also offer online specials for those who prefer to shop from the comfort of their couch.
Moving seasonal merchandise requires perfect timing. You want people to still be interested in whatever season it is. If you try to clear out winter coats, you might have some luck in early January, but you aren’t going to sell many come April or May.
Think about how people use the item and when the right time is to push to clear the last of them out. Some things get used year-round, so may not have a time crunch on them. However, you may have ordered too many and need to make way for more inventory, so can offer a discount to move things out and create space or increase cash flow.
When you run a clearance sale, you must let your users know in a variety of ways. Send them a postcard, shoot off an email, post on social media and update your website. The more signs and info pointing to the sale, the more likely people will buy your discounted products.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.