The Best Time To Have a Sale

December 17, 2020
Best Time To Have A Sale

You’ll notice that the end of the year is when everything goes on sale. Every single store has some sort of promotion starting around Black Friday and the prices stay low until Christmas or the New Year. With such a saturated market of sales when is the best time to have a sale for your sustainable brand? The answer lies in your intentions.

Luxury Brands

Luxury brands have a little more flexibility in the sales they have because they are large ticket items. In most cases, these types of brands have a sale maybe once a year if ever. They know that their products/services are high-quality and you get what you pay for. In this case, have a sale a the exact same time of year for the same about of time, every year.

Take Fjallraven for example. I know that on Black Friday weekend their entire store will 25% off for that weekend only. For the rest of the year, there are no sales. No sale rack, no last chance items, none of it. So I wait to buy all my Fjallraven gear on Black Friday weekend. This means all the other sales that are happening are less important to me because I already have a plan on where I’m spending my money.

As a luxury brand you can use this model. One time of year, go on sale. Stick to that time only and emphasize the quality of your products/service the rest of the year. 

The Size of the Sale

A 10% discount is great for an email sign up, it’s not great to compete with the rest of the marketplace. And when you’re having a sale at the end of the year you are no longer competing with just your industry but all products and services that are also on sale right now. This means you need a discount that will make an impact for your customers and have them choose you over any other sale they see online.

For this reason, I suggest having a sale that’s at least 25% to compete. With so many brands on sale for 25-70% off during this time of year + free shipping, you need a deal that stands out.  Otherwise it’s time to discover a new way to stand out.

Choose a different time of Year

With everyone and their mothers going on sale the last two months of the year, stand out by having a sale at a different time. If your slowest months end up being the last two months of the year, have a sale before the sale craziness happens (think September and October.)

After the Holidays is another time to stand out with a sale. Customers have just received Christmas money or returned gifts they don’t want or didn’t fit and now they have a little extra cash. Use the month of January to highlight getting what you actually wanted for Christmas with a sale on your products and services.

Finally, the end of tax season is a great time to promote a sale. Customers have just received their tax returns (hopefully) and will have extra money to spend. It’s not the sexiest time of the year, but the competition is a whole lot less than the end of the year.

Skip The Sale and Provide Value

While sales might help you hit goals or get rid of inventory, you don’t have to have sales to be a profitable business. A sale for your brand should be used with intention, not just a way to make money for the sake of it. As with any brand decision, it should come back to your values and how you’re serving your customers. I assume that as a sustainable brand, you’re in this business for more than just making money.

With that in mind, think about all the other ways you can serve your customers and align with your values without having sales this season. 

  • Partner with a charity so that your customers can give and get at the same time
  • Show customers how to sustainably wrap your gifts
  • Show your customers the value behind your products
  • Answer frequently asked questions again and again in blogs, Facebook Live, stories, emails
  • Have flexible return policies and/or free shipping
  • Explain what shopping small and/or local does for the economy and the community

As a sustainable brand the number one thing you want to be emphasizing any time of year are your values. Your dedication to the planet, people, and making the world better than you found it. This means that consumerism shouldn’t be at the top of your priority list but supporting your people, creating unique experiences, and helping your customers get creative are all actionable ways for you to stand out from the rest. 

When is The Best Time To Have a Sale

When you get down to it, anytime can be a good time to have a sale depending on the intention behind it. As a small sustainable brand, you need to find ways to stand out from the saturation. This usually means not having a sale because everyone else is doing it. Instead, highlight quality, value, and story in your marketing. Provide blog posts and social media posts that spark creativity in your customers. Share testimonials and stories of past customers and how they use your products/service. Emphasize the impact that your brand has and what supporting a small business can do for a community and the world.

Sales are great, the power of your story is greater. Lean into the story behind your brand instead of having to compete in the mass of sales at the end of the year. 

Looking for more ways to stand out from the crowd and create lifelong dedicated customers? Sign-up for a FREE 30-minute call with me, Katie Leigh, and get your most pressing marketing questions answered!