I wanted to use this forum to share a little knowledge with anyone smart enough to check this from time to time.
A couple of weeks ago my company ran a Flash Sale through Schwaggle.Active.com. We put up 1,000 coupons valued at $33 for sale at $16. It was advertised as Buy One Banjees Get One Free, but I made the coupon valid toward any two items on the site. We could have easily limited the coupon to just Banjees using the Categories option of FoxyCart, but we decided to make it site-wide as an Easter Egg for the curious (of which, there were none! Everyone bought Banjees).
So, the lessons I'd like to share:
1. Prep well ahead. we didn't and it wasn't catastrophic, but I did have a few "pull my hair out"moments. While planning, check with your hosting provider for schedule maintenance and also review the FC status page: http://status.foxycart.com/
. Although I did both of these things, our hosting company needed to perform emergency maintenance the day our campaign was scheduled to launch. Fortunately we were able to postpone by a couple of days.
If you are limiting your coupon to a particular category of products, test each and everyone of them with the coupon. The thick of a flash sale is NOT the time to learn you missed an item.
2. Learn the ins-and-outs of the Transaction Report. You'll probably need it to do things such as monitor inventory and account for the coupons used with the flash sale partner.
3. Modify your cart to emphasize coupon entry box. Schwaggle wrote a great description of how to use the coupon both on their website and in the email they sent to purchasers, however, a significant number of people still did not know how to order using the coupon code. A handful of people even placed orders at full price - without EVER using the discount. This was a PITA because we had to cancel the order and get them to reorder (if we could catch it) or refund them the difference and place a bogus order to use the code.
About mid-way through the sale we changed the coupon code box to always be expanded. Some have recommended further changes to more emphasize the box, but I didn't see a need. Frankly, although there were enough people who didn't get it to cause a PITA, the percentage was below 5%.
4. Expect a spike the 1st day of the sale and then a pretty steep drop-off. We launched on a Friday and the deal ran for 6 days. Friday was CRAZY, the weekend was busy, the rest of the week was still much more busy than normal, but not hectic.
5. Send a thank you note to people who purchase the flash sale deal and order with you. I created a new segment in our email database and emailed just the Schwaggle customers with a special offer. We had a 1% unsubscribe rate from that email which is FINE! We still acquired a significant number of new customers to whom we can market.
If you're considering a Flash Sale, feel free to ask any questions. I'll answer what I can.