Flash sales are not new. And there are e-retailers who are masters at this method of moving inventory out by making a sale time limit. What fulfillment companies may call for themselves: ‘crunch time.’ So be it; everybody can make money with the fundamentals executed properly.
For sure, fulfillment is part in parcel with the strategy—customers expect their order in a timely fashion. And the brand needs to be well represented particularly when repeat customers are expected. There are many good products yet as The Today Show stipulates with smaller brands, work with a fulfillment house if you do not routinely fill orders from your own warehouse location.
Scale is important to consider. While there are a host of capable large fulfillment companies, not all flash sales are huge. What’s huge can be qualified to some degree, but start at 10,000 orders and up. Then, what is the order type: single SKU? Pre-packed for shipping? Then start at 20,000 orders. While most flash sales don’t necessarily mean pick and pack, we doubt anyone would object to a customer’s purchase of more than one. Now toggle that possibility with the offer and review any historic data or speak to an agency.
Generally speaking not all fulfillment companies are poised for large projects. But regardless of the size of project, those that handle these bulk order drops do so between 11:00am and 5:00pm so the packages are in the carrier stream the same day of the sale. In order to do that, they need the space, staff and logistic know how. If a fulfillment company has not handled a flash sale before, be cautious. If you anticipate less than 1,000 orders, your choice of vendor can be broader.