E-commerce, which seemed like a distant dream a few years ago, is taking the market by storm in India. Almost all online selling portals have started preparing for the festive season even before the physical market by hosting big sales and promotion periods. The ongoing online sales ranges across categories of products.
While the major players are hosting sales, that have been advertised and promoted from quite a long time, like #BigBillionDay (Flipkart) #SnapdealElectronicsMonday (SnapDeal) #AmazonFestiveSale (Amazon), PayTM. The smaller ecommerce companies aren’t far behind by hosting heavy discount season sale. Some of them include eBay, LimeRoad, Firstcry, ShopClues, Pepperfry, FabFurnish, Grofers and many more.
The marketplaces are expecting almost 50-100% surge during the season, with various sales being hosted to tap in buyers. The number of online sellers have grown multi-fold in numbers across portals. There are category specific sales, preview sales, exclusive products sale, time led sales, etc. They have also increased the capacity and fulfillment centers in respective to fulfill the surge in the demand, which has been seeing an increase from the Tier II and Tier III towns too.
While marketplaces had geared up months ago for the seasonal sales, the smaller retailers (online sellers on these portals) are the ones who face challenges to keep up with the demand and the back-end operations. We list down a few points for an online seller to be mindful of, as a checklist, while the sale season is on:
- Listing Strategy: Make sure the listings are done properly, and should include, enough details to make a positive purchase decision for end consumers.
- Inventory Planning: Yes, the sale season can be exciting and you may feel enthusiastic to generate as much revenue as possible. But, at the same time, please keep a check on the existing inventory and future procurement for order fulfillment and prompt deliveries.
- Logistics Planning: You may be best prepared with your merchandise and stock, but you do depend on external logistics partners for self-ship orders. To be well equipped to handle logistics issues, have dependable logistics partners and their back up too.
- Discounts & Margins: Please double-check the promotions being given during the online sale for each product, to not be at the losing end later. You can also track the offers on marketplaces before the sale, for.eg Flipkart offers can be seen on their Promotions page. You may choose to sign up, if it suits you.
- Sale Analysis: You also need to keep a close eye on the online sale patterns, like fast and slow moving products, marketplace wise product sales, etc. This shall help you in re-filing stock on time, and also take a re-look at the promotions you run for various products. You can also monitor on various mobile apps, provided by marketplaces and marketplace integration software.
- Staff Training: Keep the staff involved in the online sales updated with information and offers, even as you change them to suit your business. Even though they may have transacted online for your business, they may face some challenges when it’s time to scale up.
- Sturdy Packaging: Given the fact that the number of products in transit are huge and the stacking and handling can be disturbed, try to keep the packaging sturdy and sustainable.
Keeping everything in order is always great to do, and becomes even more important while the sale season starts and business grows beyond expectations.
While we have listed a few things to look out for, it only goes to re-emphasize that the faster your orders are delivered, the happier the customers, leading to better profits in the longer run.
Wishing you a happy festive season and great sales!
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