How To Make Your Clearance Sale Work Harder


3 Minute Read
January 11, 2018
eCommerce & Retail Insights

Are your stock rooms overflowing but January sales losing momentum by the day?

If you feel like you’re struggling to clear last season’s stock to make way for your new arrivals then here are our five tips on how to make your clearance sale work harder.


Upselling at the basket/cash desk

This trick works especially well in bricks-and-mortar stores but also translates to the web: entice users into making impulse purchases by adding small, low-value items on the basket page or near your cash desk. By the point the customer has decided to buy from you they are more likely to think “why not” to spending a small additional amount. Be careful not to add products that require consideration to your basket page – you don’t want to distract the user from their original purchase. And always provide the user with an add-to-basket button from the basket page so that they aren’t taken out of the purchase funnel.


Multi-buy offers

Setting up BOGOF or 3 for 2 offers when you have lots of similar items can get stock moving really fast – everyone likes to feel like they’ve got a great deal and most people snap up the chance to get something for free. The customer may have only needed a single item, but with the chance of getting the third for free they are much more likely to purchase a second on impulse. Similarly with buy-one-get-one-free, a customer might not need the product right now but they will be far more tempted if they feel like they’re getting it at half the normal price.

Examples of multi-buy offers that work well:

  • Buy one get one free
  • 3 For 2 (or similar)
  • 2 For £20 (or similar)
  • Free gift per order
  • Free gift when buying certain products
  • Percentage off certain products when bought with other products


Size filters and overlays

Hopefully by mid-January you’ll have cleared a good chunk of last season’s stock. This means that you’re likely to be short of certain sizes or product variants. Customers are likely to become frustrated and leave your site if they click onto several product pages only to realise the size/model they want is out of stock. To prevent this poor experience always offer size or variant filters and provide overlays to show which variants are still available.


Take advantage of the weather

Your pre-spring stock may be landing but it’s still freezing outside – this is great news if you’ve still got lots of winter stock. Use social, email and PPC to push this winter stock on particularly cold days. It’s also worth having emotive artwork/adverts ready so that they can be put live as soon as it becomes particularly cold. In your adverts be careful not to focus too heavily on the negatives of cold weather and highlight better aspects such as snuggling up in warm clothing, spending time indoors with friends, winter walks with the family, etc.



Use dynamic remarketing to retarget users who visited your product pages during the Christmas shopping period but didn’t make a purchase. These people may be more likely to purchase the products they were unsure about at their new discounted price. To ensure your remarketing campaign works well;

  • Break down your audience by the time since they last visited your site. You can then experiment with bids to find out which time period provides the best ROAS
  • Maximise your reach by making sure that you are using all available ad sizes and formats
  • Set up frequency caps so that visitors don’t become annoyed by being served the same advert too many times

Final thoughts

Follow our five step plan and you'll find your old stock becomes an opportunity rather than a problem.

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