There are a number of reasons for offering an unscheduled sale. In most cases, you should set a marketing schedule and stick to it. But there might be several reasons why an unscheduled sale could be a good idea for your business.

“Just Because”

It can be easy to get into a marketing rut and do the same things over and over again. This can mean both you and your target audience start to feel as though things are too much the same, and might even be getting stale. A surprise sale can perk things right up.

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Loss Leaders

If you’re a smart supermarket shopper, you probably look at the sales flyer each week to see what bargains are on offer. In many cases, the sales items might be loss leaders - that is, products they are willing to put on sale in order to lure people into the store in the hope of stimulating sales.

The reasoning is that once they get in the door, the customers will look around and buy other items. In many cases, the items they buy will be full price. They might even be more expensive than that of their competitors, but the loss leader creates the perception that they are getting a bargain.

Clearing Inventory

If you sell physical products, clearing out surplus inventory to make way for new items is always a good idea. It will also cut down on warehousing costs. You can also get rid of shop-soiled goods and ones with less than perfect boxes, returned items, and reconditioned items. Getting any money for these is better than them just sitting and gathering dust, or costing you money every month they are being stored.

Stimulating Attention

If you sell digital goods, a sale can introduce your audience to a product they might not have paid much attention to before, or been interested in but not quite seen the value of. Lowering the price will mean lowering the risk of buying the item.

Introductory Pricing and Beta Pricing

Whenever you introduce a new product, you can help it sell well right out of the starting gate by offering it at a special introductory price for the first week or so after you launch it.

You might also consider beta pricing, for two reasons. The obvious one is to make sales. The second reason is to ask the people you make the beta offer to, such as your email marketing list, to give you a review, testimonial or feedback for the product so you can a-improve it, and b-make even more sales from the reviews.

Show You Care

Finally, unscheduled sales can show you care about the people on your list and your customers and are committed to offering them great deals. In this way, you can boost profits and customer loyalty as well.

Next time, we're going to look at the best times to offer an unscheduled sale.