Anyone plugged into the Retail landscape in the past couple of years has undoubtedly had an encounter with a private sale site. These types of sites exist to offer sales on designer goods at discounted prices for short periods of time. The idea of the private sale site is to create buzz around new brands while encouraging loyalty for old favorites. What makes these sales private? Sites require users to sign up as a member before allowing them to make purchases.

These days, you can find a private sale site for almost any product, be it clothes, jewelry, furniture, or even wine. In fact, ComScore's February Media Metrix, which measures online traffic, showed an overall increase in unique visits to flash sale sites compared with the February of last year. Because of the high popularity of these kinds of sites, well established retailers across the board have been throwing their hat in the game to test private sale sites of their own. How do you take advantage of this unique business model to drive more traffic? Check out the tips below.

1. Create a buzz before launch
The attraction of a private sale site is its exclusivity. If shoppers think they’re being given the first look into the next hot trends, they’re more likely to rush to join a site. Start running ads across relevant sites on the Google Display Network a week or two before your site actually goes live to get people talking. Include a call to action encouraging users to come sign up with their name and email address so they can be one of the first members to take advantage of your exclusive offer. Since the GDN reaches 80 percent of Internet users worldwide, it’s an easy and effective way to get the word out about your new site before you even go live.

2. Cross-sell from your current site
For established retailers looking to launch a new private sale site, consider tagging users on your current site and using Google Remarketing to send them ads about your brand new private sale site. This is a really effective cross-sell strategy for any advertiser who owns more than one site or brand!

3. Identify a new audience
Let’s say you’re an established retailer who sells casual clothes at low price points to all demographics. That’s going well for you, but now you want to venture out and start a private sale site with designer maternity clothes. Simply sending emails to your previous customers just won’t cut it. Instead, use the GDN to create awareness on sites expecting moms are most likely to visit. With high profile mom-friendly sites like,, and, the GDN makes it easy to reach the right audience at the right time.

4. Bring users back for every sale
In addition to cross-selling, Google Remarketing is a useful tool to generate loyalty among your customers. When users buy something from your site during one sale, pixel them and send them ads for future sales. Remarketing can help you upsell products to current customers and make them fans for life.

Posted by Kathryn Smith, The Google Retail Display Team