Synopsis: In today’s blog post, we bring some strategies that platform sellers can apply to profit from the marked uptick in consumer demand experienced during holiday sales.

In India, festivals not only provide a ground ripe for communal bonding but also create economic opportunities for businesses and platform sellers. Many sellers on e-commerce platforms make over 60-75% of their annual sales during the festive season alone.

According to Redseer Strategy Consultants, the 2022 online festive season sales are expected to reach $11.8 billion, a 28% surge from the last year. This projected growth will largely be driven by the smartphone revolution and the deepening of market penetration in Tier 2-3 cities.

With sellers gearing up to leave no stone unturned to woo thrifty Indian shoppers to loosen their purse strings, we elaborate on the major areas below that platform sellers can plan for to make the most of the profitable sales season.

8 Strategies to Prepare for a Profitable Sales Season

Some of the key strategies that platform sellers can employ to successfully navigate the festive season are as follows. 

1) Prepare for Incoming Traffic 

The festive season sales bring massive consumer traffic to the platform seller’s online store. Hence, sellers need to ensure that their website can handle the barrage of new customers during the peak shopping days, such as Navratri, Diwali, or Christmas.

Platform sellers must work on their site’s speed and security to provide a frictionless experience to their customers. Remember, there is a direct relationship between a page’s loading speed and revenue earned. No seller wants to create a set of frustrated customers who are tired of sitting in waiting lines or who are unable to check out because the item went out of stock while they were finalizing their cart. 

Additionally, the website should be SEO optimized and must showcase products relevant to the search intent.

2) Plan Inventory

Festive shopping rings in the season of swelling order sizes, which require a substantial amount of inventory build-up to service. It becomes pivotal for platform sellers to ensure that they have built up their stock levels in the right quantity and proportion, particularly if they wish to offer discounts before the peak season sets in. For this, previous sales performances need to be analyzed to determine the best-selling and must-have products.

Sellers must fully integrate their inventory management systems with their warehousing, logistical, and supply chain solutions. This will allow them to ensure that the customer can actually buy the products that feature on their ‘ten best gift items’ list.

Small businesses should also adequately stock up on packaging material to avoid any shipping delays. Since this pre-planning stage can result in the blocking of capital in inventory, platform sellers can apply for a working capital loan or a business loan with short tenures to continue to operate seamlessly.

While they are at it, platform sellers must also ensure that their inventory is stored in a manner conducive to a productive picking path. This means the most popular items should be located near the shipping stations and doors, and not at the back of the warehouse.

3) Plan Pricing

Since the holiday sales brings about an onrush of customers who are looking for bumper discounts, platform sellers can be better prepared if they plan their pricing and discounts in advance. For this, they should analyze past price trends to determine which offers entice the customers and which get a huge thumbs down.

The focus should be on ensuring that customers do not log off empty-handed and that the seller does not overly compromise on profits to increase sales volumes. Businesses can also consider seeking industry expertise to put together an attractive mix of schemes and products that will garner buyers’ attention.

4) Prepare Advertising Plans

As millions of customers converge on a platform’s page during the holiday sales season, it becomes imperative for sellers to well-orchestrate their online presence. Advertising springs up a gamut of opportunities for sellers to showcase their new products and build up their brands. 

To grow their festive season sales, sellers must create a festive-ready collection of their products and reach out to existing customers through emails to inform them about season-specific offers and discounts.

Ecommerce sellers will also need to plan and budget for social media ads to boost awareness around the sale. Emphasis should also be laid on setting up ads that can tap into the ‘intent’ of online shoppers.

Furthermore, platform sellers must plan how to leverage their content to further boost their sales. Content can be created to highlight holiday dress trends, gifts to buy for loved ones, corporate gifting, etc. 

5) Hire Seasonal Workers 

Another way to go about preparing for the holiday sales season is to employ temporary workers right before the season to smoothen out any bumps in productivity. This is a good strategy, despite the short-term cost of seasonal workers exceeding those of full-time employees, for those companies that can’t support the excess staff burden during the off-peak season. 

6) Better Customer Service

The ensuing chaos that comes along with the festivities can mar a seller’s after-sales service, thus tarnishing their image irrevocably. Platform sellers will be well served if they plan for such nitty-gritty in advance. Emphasis should be laid on differentiating their offerings from competitors by offering personalized greetings, easy cancellations, full refunds, and exchange guarantees.

7) Automate Operations

By simplifying and digitizing their ordering process, platform sellers can experience never before seen conversion rates and skyrocketing of their festive season sales. Many MSMEs have reported the benefits of cost savings, time savings, and financial growth after implementing tech-driven digital solutions to their operations.

Sellers can optimize their advertising in line with customers’ behavior by utilizing machine learning techniques. Data analytics can also be applied to gain a better understanding of the customer’s spending habits to further boost sales.

To avoid any disruption during the peak holiday sales season, sellers must automate their purchase order approvals, order fulfillment, and management process.

8) Plan Capital

Many platform sellers need to finance the advance purchase of stocks to shore up their inventory levels before the festive season kicks in. Finance may also be needed to streamline the online payment infrastructure and fund the marketing budget. In such cases, sellers should consider raising a short-term business loan, while keeping their operations unhindered. 

Improve Your Bottom Line with Protium’s Assistance

The festive season can accentuate a seller’s bottom line by increasing profits manifold, provided they plan well for the accompanying shopping onslaught. A business loan can enable platform sellers to build up their inventory levels, and allocate more funding to targeted advertising while maintaining their operations frictionlessly.  

If you are a brand or a business looking for a business loan to prepare better for the upcoming holiday sales season, consider availing of a business loan from Protium. We offer business loans at affordable interest rates with no collateral requirements.