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136. [BIZ BITE] How Long Should I Run a Sale or Promotion in My eCommerce Business

136. [BIZ BITE] How Long Should I Run a Sale or Promotion in My eCommerce Business

Is there a sweet spot for the number of days you should run your next promotion? Well, if your goal is have a revenue bump, then yes, yes there is. Let’s talk about it. 

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Today’s question came from the eCommerce Badassery FB group and what I found especially interesting is most eCommerce businesses are finding success with the exact method I teach. 

Not that I’m surprised it works, I’ve tested a lot of things over the years – but so often we doubt ourselves or think someone else has figured out some secret we don’t know yet… and at the end of the day, that’s just not true. And I share that just because I think we could all use that reminder once and awhile. 

Okay, let’s answer this question – how many days should my sale be?

99% of the time, I recommend you run your sale for 4 or 5 days, with one day being your early access day for your VIPs. If you want to hear more about that process, check out episode 127 of the podcast. 

Essentially, you want to make sure that you have enough time for people to catch on to what’s happening. Not everyone is going to even realize that you have a current promotion and you’re gonna have to hit them with the details a few times before it fully clicks and they take action. 4 or 5 days seems to be the perfect amount of time. 

When it’s too long or drawn out, people get fatigued by your messaging and if it’s too short, they miss the memo. 

A lot of people also ask me what I think about flash sales. And while there are tons of flash deal sites that have built their entire business around it, for a typical eCommerce store I don’t generally see these perform that well. 

It works on flash deal sites because the customers are trained to expect that. So the people who shop those are paying close attention to see what’s coming next. I used to be one of them. I have noticed over the years that even the flash deal sites are running their deals longer. 

The one time I think they can work well is if you have a VERY ENGAGED audience, a sizeable audience and you do your part in promoting it ahead of time. 

The thing is, if the average conversion rate of an eCommerce website is 1-3%, let’s be generous and say it’s 5% when you have a sale. If you’re only running the sale for 24-48 hours, how many people do you need to pay attention and take action in that 48 hour period to consider that promotion a success? Seriously, go do the math. In most cases, it’s just not going to be enough to make it worth all the time energy and effort you have to put into it. 

Flash sales might also be good if you have a few units of something left that you’re trying to get rid of and you just want a reason to talk about it again. Otherwise I say, just make it a legit sale so you can get a revenue bump in your business. 

Have you found a sweet spot in your own sales or promotions? Come on over to Instagram and let me know!

While you’re there, if you have a question you want me to answer on a biz bite episode let me know that too. 

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Hey, I'm Jessica

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. 


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