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3 ways to prep for a one-day sales surge

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For these mega sales, arming your business far in advance will reap the highest payoff.

The popularity of one-day sales is booming among businesses big and small.

"With one-day sales, it's best to try for a double whammy, where you build awareness and generate revenue while also turning first-time visitors into loyal customers who come back again." – Ashley Boggs

While we traditionally associate one-day blowout sales with major retail events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the phenomenon is becoming a year-round trend with retailers. The trend is perhaps best exemplified most recently by behemoth Amazon's headline-grabbing Prime Day sale in July.

According to secondmeasure.com, one-day sales revenue for July 15, 2015, compared with the same day in 2014, jumped 88 percent, average transaction value edged up 12 percent, and revenue per customer rose 20 percent.

But as profitable and popular one-day sales may be for retailers, they can also wreak logistical havoc. Whether it's a short-staffed shipping department or a backlog of outgoing shipments, meticulous preparation for a sales rush well in advance is a business owner's best bet, says Ashley Boggs, UPS corporate retail marketing manager.

"It's best to try for a double whammy, where you build awareness and generate revenue, and you turn first-time visitors into loyal customers who will come back again and again," Boggs says. "Take the opportunity to think creatively and look for ways your promotion can tie into something unique, like National Handbag Day (Oct. 10, 2015), National Animal Shelter Week (Nov. 3–9) or Boxing Day (Dec. 26)."

One resource that businesses can keep handy to track all of these offbeat holidays is holidaysofyear.com.

Additionally, Boggs shared three strategic tips companies can implement to avoid the crush of a single-day sale:

1) Put together a cross-functional team. Bring marketing, operations, e-commerce and logistics together to make sure you've picked the right day, the right channels and the right product. "Make sure everyone knows the game plan, from your upstream suppliers to your third-party logistics or shipping provider," Bogg says.

2) Understand the calendar. When you are planning a sale day, consider that we live and work in a connected, multicultural world, with many different religious or spiritual holidays to consider. Two especially helpful tools in this regard are The UPS World Holiday Calendar and UPS days of operation, as ensuring adequate shipping capabilities during the rush will be key.

3) Know your customers. Understand what products they are likely to buy, what they are willing to pay, and how to delight them throughout the entire experience. "That way, you can leverage the single-day sales experience into repeat future business," Boggs says.

Single-day sales promotions can be hugely profitable for e-commerce retailers, but it's important to prepare in advance to obtain the biggest profits. In the meantime, be sure to check out our holiday service center for year-end shipping dates and peak season tips.

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