One of the hardest things to do as a small business owner, is to take a holiday! As an eCommerce business owner, the Boxing Day Sale (or end of year Clearance Sale) is often one of the highest revenue times of the year.

But it’s also important to take time out of our business to spend with family, especially during the holiday season.

Read on for actionable tips to run a successful eCommerce clearance sale (plus grab my free guide)

How to run a successful eCommerce Clearance Sale

Why run a Boxing Day Sale or end of year Clearance?

The biggest, hugest, fattest mistake I see eCommerce store owners make with their promotions is that they discount constantly! This is the fastest way to train your customers NOT to buy at full price.

But, used sparingly, a sale can give your business a nice injection of sales revenue AND clear out slow-moving inventory.

I recommend only doing two big clearance sales a year: end of financial year, and end of calendar year (or Boxing Day).

A successful sale comes down to two things:


Why is this such a big deal? Because the whole point of running a sale is to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity in your customers. You can’t achieve this if you discount constantly.

Urgency and Exclusivity SELL.

And the only way you’re going to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity is to run sales sparingly, keeping people on their toes. You want to make them think, “DANG, I better buy this NOW or I’m going to miss out on this great deal!” 

A fear of missing out is always going to be the most successful motivator for action (AKA purchase!).

The “Now or Never” mentality creates urgency, and urgency sells a lot faster than “we’ll be waiting for you whenever you may or may not feel like it”, or “I know they’ll run another sale next week so I’ll wait till then”.

Give your audience first access

Making your sale exclusive, say only available to your existing list of email subscribers or Facebook audience, is also highly effective.

People love to be treated like a VIP – so making your sale available first to your existing list gives them the chance to grab what they want before it sells out!

Promote it on email and Facebook

For best results, it’s a good idea to email your list more than once about a new promotion. (Use my email campaign template to help write those emails!)

But you’ll also get better sales results if you promote your sale using Facebook ads. But don’t show these ads to the entire population – create a ‘custom audience’ of your email subscriber list (you can do this inside your Facebook Ads Manager) and show the ads to them.

Reinforcing your promotion by telling your audience in both places – your email newsletter and with paid Facebook ads – always generates a much better result.

How to do this AND take a holiday?

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering when I’m going to tell you about this juicy secret…

So here’s what I’ve done over the years:

  1. Offer a deal that is ‘too good to be true’. The sale needs to be irresistible to your audience!
  2. Tell your audience that they’re getting such a great deal partly because you’re clearing out over-stocked inventory or end-of-season lines, but also because they need to be patient and wait to receive their orders.
  3. Inform them what the postage date will be (I wouldn’t make them wait a whole month, but with a good enough deal you’ll get away with a week or two.)
  4. Don’t charge for postage and send it express when you get back.

Does it work?

Yes – you’ll make sales. But probably not as many as you would if you were available to post the orders out immediately.

But trust me, taking a break from running your business is probably THE BEST THING you can do to set yourself up for a successful and profitable year ahead!

By stepping away from the computer, re-connecting with friends and family, and importantly giving yourself the chance to recharge the batteries, you’ll be amazed at how inspired and motivated you’ll feel when you return!