4-Step Checklist for Running Successful Flash Sales on Shopify

Kelli Harris
By Kelli Harris
Head and shoulders photo of Michelle Meyer
Reviewed by Michelle Meyer

Published August 29, 2022.

A living room filled with boxes and packages ready for shipping.

Flash sales are short-term promotions where you offer limited quantities of items at discounted prices. They can be a great way to generate sales, attract new customers, and win back inactive customers. 

It also presents an excellent opportunity to clear out old inventory, especially if you're selling seasonal items or deadstock. 

Here are four things you must consider before launching a flash sale:

1. Define Your Discount Strategy

Flash sales rely on deep discounts. If you run an attractive sale, customers will make time to shop.

Exactly how much you should cut the price depends on who you're trying to sell to. If you want to give a discount to first-time customers, it's smart to offer deep discounts on high-margin products that you either have too much or too few of. Alternatively, consider sending a discount code to your existing customers exclusively through flash sale emails, as they're more likely to make substantial purchases than first-time visitors.

2. Coordinate Logistics & Shipping

Your shipping and fulfillment plan must be ready for the surge in orders that will occur during a flash sale. It's important to give your fulfillment partners plenty of notice about the sale so that they can prepare for a spike in orders. By using a dependable third-party logistics provider, you can ensure your customers receive their orders quickly and have a positive experience from start to finish, thereby attracting repeat customers.

3. Offer a Variety of Payment Options

By offering multiple payment options during a flash sale (any sale, actually!), you'll dramatically improve your customers' checkout behavior. Convenience is a key factor in your flash sale's success, and Shopify suggests sellers accommodate customers by offering several payment methods (such as American Express, Google Pay, or Amazon Pay).

During your flash sale, consider changing your settings so that payments are captured manually, instead of automatically. If you capture payments manually, you'll avoid credit card fees if you oversell or cancel an order, and you can review and verify that the order is legitimate before the payment is completed and the fulfillment process begins.

4. Advertise in Advance to Secure Sales

The sooner you promote your flash sale, the more interest you'll retain and the better chance you'll have of selling out quickly. Most shoppers do research before buying something online, so it's good to let them know about your flash sale well ahead of time.

Promoting your sale early also builds momentum for it. You can use different social channels to generate buzz around your event. You can also grow an email marketing list, then craft newsletters with countdown messages leading up to your flash sale. These messages can help motivate people to buy now before the deal ends.


Flash sales on Shopify are even easier when you use Shopify apps that are designed specifically for time-sensitive deals. They allow you to customize your storefront and showcase your flash sale.

In spite of the fact that flash sales may be effective marketing strategies, you risk changing your customers' behavior if you run too many flash sales too often, because customers may now choose to simply wait for a sale instead of purchasing from your store.

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