Why Your Online Shop May Want to Consider Doing a Fab.com Flash Sale

by G.B. Oliver

Every day I get emails from Fab.com featuring various vendors and products for sale in a certain category, and the sale is on for the next 7 days.

Daily flash sales at Fab.com
Daily flash sales at Fab.com

I was curious to know the success rate of these types of sales, because email marketing has been proven to be a very effective technique. On Monday on Fab.com, it was “Vintage Monday“, so 10 vintage shops were featured. Since these were vintage products, I figured there was only one of each item, so once the item had a sold sign on it, I could count that as one sale. Which means it would be very easy to measure. So, 24 hours after the sale was emailed out to potential customers, I checked how many items were sold to determine the success, and here is what I found.

The first vendor I looked at listed 108 items, all a mix of different types of vintage finds from cameras to home accents to tableware. After 24 hours, 57 of the 108 items had sold, or 52%.

The second vendor I looked at sold vintage clothing for women, various tops and dresses. They listed 72 items and after 24 hours had sold 14, or almost 20% (keep in mind, vintage clothing is a tougher sell because the item is only available in one particular size, limiting the market for it). 

The third vendor I looked at sold vintage telephones. They had listed 114 phones and after 24 hours they sold 35 or 30%.

These are pretty good numbers, plus they are not the final numbers. Obviously, the majority of items will sell in the first 24 hours, but some people may not look at these emails until the weekend, so the numbers will probably end up being slightly higher. Plus, these are one-of-a-kind vintage items, so there is more of a sense of urgency to buy, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

So Fab.com is incorporating a few tried and true marketing techniques here:

  1. Email marketing has proven to be highly effective because today’s population is incredibly busy, so we are more likely to buy something that is put right in front of our faces then something we have to go searching for.
  2. Discounts always work. People never want to pay full price for anything. There is a certain satisfaction in feeling you got a deal. Even 10% is enough to make some people act.
  3. Offers are time-limited. If you want people to act quickly, give them a deadline. It doesn’t hurt to label the products “Sold Out” or “Only 3 Left” and to have a countdown in the corner ticking away.
  4. The sales are targeted. Sure the emails go out to their entire mailing list, but by categorizing the sale days, such as Foodie Sunday and Pet Thursday, I might be more likely to check out the days that interest me, rather than just starting to ignore all the emails because every day is just a mix of products that I may have no need for.

Now, I am going to give Fab a free marketing tip, so I hope they’re listening. If they really want their daily flash sales to have further reach, they need to take advantage of social media. They should enlist their large army of sellers to use the #hash tags: #FabVintageMondays #FabNewArrivalsTuesdays #FabFoodieSunday (on the appropriate day) and so forth to really get their sales trending and bring over new customers.

FINAL WORD: So is a Fab sale right for your business? In today’s crowded online marketplace, the more opportunities you have to get your products in front of buyers, the better. It allows you to build up a customer base and establish repeat buyers. So, go for it. You can apply to have your products featured on Fab.com here.

Marketing_Ideas_VintageNEW! Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! for Vintage Goods ($11.95) is now available in my ebook shop. All my very best marketing tactics to take your vintage shop to the next level.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.