Daily Deals: are they right for your eCommerce store?

October 8, 2019

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With Black Friday coming up fast, eCommerce merchants are scrambling to get their ducks in a row so they can cash-in on the biggest shopping event of the year.

One question many merchants ask is, “how do I give my Black Friday promotions a sense of urgency?” 

You know those offers that you just have to click on? Flash sales, happy hours, 75% off until midnight! 

This is what we are talking about when we say "daily deals." 

Online promos like this one from Rue 21 have become a common sight in the days leading up to Black Friday weekend: 

$10 deal of the day sleepwear sale poster from Rue 21

There’s no doubt this kind of offer can attract attention and drive customers to your site for fast conversions. The question is, are daily deals right for your store? 

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before planning a "daily deals" promotion.

1. Do I have the right product? 

The most important factor when determining if daily deals are a good fit for your store or not is the product you sell. 

When customers are being rushed to make up their mind, “impulse purchase” type products, particularly those at a lower price point, tend to work best.

Some great "daily deals" product types include: 

  • Consumable items like chocolates, candles or makeup
  • Things that people wear like jewelry or clothing
  • Gifts, trinkets, small-ticket items that people buy on a whim

Look at these “today only” under $20 deals from Sephora:

$20 & under Boxing Day Deals poster from Sephora

The price point and variety of products make for perfect impulse purchases. You can even imagine a customer picking up more than one of these great offers. 

So what kind of products should you avoid? 

In general, items that are expensive or require more consideration aren’t ideal. 

For technical products like cameras, electronics, computers, or devices, customers tend to do lots of research, read reviews and consumer reports, and compare prices and specs. You'll be hard pressed to get someone to buy a stereo system on a countdown timer. 

That isn’t to say you can’t use daily deals to move big ticket items. 

For someone who sells hand-made leather bags, a “10% off Today Only” promotion could be the extra incentive their customers need to finally take that purchase leap. 

Musician’s Friend uses daily deals to sell musical instruments and audio equipment: 

Stupid Deal of the Day promotion banner from Musician's Friend selling Ukulele

A Ukulele might not be your typical "impulse purchase." This type of offer is appealing to customers who are already familiar with the product and may have done some research in advance. The strength of the offer — in this case 60% off — might seem too good to pass up. 

If you sell products that have a low price point, are consumable or gift-able — or if they’re the kind of thing you can never have too much of — a daily deal may be just the ticket for a successful promotion. 

What if you have a small product assortment? Are Daily Deals still right for your store? 

2. Do I have the right assortment? 

Nowadays, there is a wide variety of successful eCommerce stores. Some stores sell freshly roasted coffee, while others sell must-have cosmetics. 

Why, you can even buy vegan dog treats online. 

Some are e-tailers only, while others are omni-channel stores that do both brick-and-mortar business and eCommerce.

When deciding whether a daily deal sale is right for your Black Friday sales strategy, it’s important to consider if you have enough product assortment, or enough inventory to set you up for success.

Running a “daily deals” promotion leading up to Black Friday sounds like a great idea — if you have enough variety to keep it interesting.

Let's say you sell freshly roasted coffee. You have dark roast, medium roast, a few other blends. You even have some snazzy t-shirts and mugs. If this sounds like you, your store might lack the product assortment to make a daily deals special work. But, who's to say you can't get creative and make it work for you? 

Monday: Buy one get 50% off any blend
Tuesday: 30% off dark roast
Wednesday: Free mug with the purchase of any two bags
Thursday: $5 off, any roast
Friday: Buy two bags get one free + free shipping all weekend 

Even with a minimal product assortment, you can see how a daily deals promotion could help drive sales. 

One advantage of having a wide variety of products is that you can run daily deals in a series, which is great for encouraging customers to check back the next day to see what the new item on sale is. 

You don’t have to be Best Buy to run this type of promotion. Just make sure you have enough different types of products that your customers will be interested. 

8 days of doorbusters banner from Best Buy

Another important consideration is your inventory.

If you run a flash sale, you had better make sure you have enough in-stock to make it last. There’s nothing worse than having to tell customers that you are sold out of a product they really wanted to buy. 

As you are choosing your Black Friday offers, make sure you have the right assortment, price point and inventory to support your target sales. This brings us to the third thing you should ask before running daily deals promotion. 

3. Do I know my competition?

Infographic demonstrating different types of commerce

When we talk about competition in eCommerce, we are usually referring to similar stores that sell similar products to the same end customer.

If you sell gift-able chocolates, your direct competitors might be Godiva, Lindt, or Fererro Rocher. However, in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, your competitors may be broader than you realize. 

If you sell chocolates, your competition may also be candles, flowers, or even shoes. If the customer is looking for a gift for mom, and the gift could include "anything mom loves," you may be competing in those other categories as well.

Learn how to identify competition for your eCommerce business

As an eCommerce merchant, it is important to be aware of your competitors, their promotions, and their products.

Subscribe to other companies e-newsletters to gather a relevant intel into how they are marketing their products. This also serves as a great resource as you begin to plan your own promotions.

Keeping an eye on what other stores are planning — especially for Black Friday — is a way to ensure you have a compelling offer. 

Successful promotions do not have to be a race to the lowest possible price. Strategic, well-planned offers such as daily deals can help you concentrate your markdowns on a specific product or category that drives traffic to your store. Once that traffic arrives, you have the opportunity to sell them what they came to buy and hopefully even more.

If you are a brand that does not deeply discount your products (and your customers know that), a 10% OFF One Day Only, Free Shipping, Gift with Purchase or even a sale on a single product we call a loss leader can still make for an effective daily deal promotion.

Playstation has the right idea: 

10% off total purchase banner from PS4

Here are a few tips for how to offer a competitive daily deal special:

  • Research what competitors did for Black Friday last year in your niche.
  • If you know they launched on Thanksgiving in the past, you could start a bit early and launch on Wednesday morning or evening with a Sneak Peek.
  • Consider offering a different daily deal on each of the days leading up to Black Friday.
  • Plan to refresh your messaging throughout the sale period so it does not grow stale. Engage with customers on social media and send strategic emails. 

Tip: having a strong VIP emailing list can be your secret weapon for Black Friday success

Wrap up 

Daily deals are a great way to create urgency, drive traffic, and increase sales over Black Friday weekend. If you pick your deals correctly, your competition won't stand a chance. 

Looking for an easy and useful way to run daily deals, store-wide discounts, and more? Try the Bold Discounts App. Install on your Shopify or eCommerce page and watch your sales soar!

The countdown to Black Friday is on! Learn 5 Ways to Make the Most of Black Friday now. 

Marshal Fries

Written by Marshal Fries

Marshal Fries is a Copywriter at Bold and fantasy football fanatic.

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