India is a land of year-round festivals, a time for every Indian to give, receive and get the best things money can buy. Online marketplaces have perfected the art of wooing the consumer with bigger, better grand sales year after year. No doubt it works, both for the marketplaces and the customers. As a seller on these platforms, you too benefit a great deal from this season.
With just some smart hacks you can extract the maximum value in terms of sales, visibility and revenue during these periods. Here's how.
Do a historic trend of the time, duration and scale of promotions & sales campaigns done by marketplaces. Prepare your marketing activities and budgets around these. Keep a ready-deals-calendar and strike when the opportunity rises. Often, sites will have a lucky draw or app bonanzas, use your product as giveaways in these.
In a bid to increase sales and push volumes, many marketplaces offer attractive working capital financing options to sellers to meet demand surges. This will help you tide over financial crunch or even in expanding your inventory effortlessly at a time when the items are flying off the shelves and you need to catch up with your working capital requirements on a temporary basis. Net-net you may make a lesser profit per sale but it will be additional profit nonetheless. Nothing is worse than losing sales opportunities when you can capture them.
Go for marketplace fulfilment services like FBA that offer a complete on-demand storage, picking/packing and delivery options. This way you won't need to expand your team just for the peak season and you could avoid the hassles that come with doing that. You can negotiate with Amazon, for instance, to increase warehouse space and even arrange priority receiving and sending terms. They can even dedicate a lead person to manage your account with them for these times. Their attractive rates for this services makes it a no-brainer.
Festival time is not the time to mess up orders and deliveries. You will lose big time, not just sales but also your seller reputation and ranking. Get an automated order and inventory management system that will aggregate, monitor and track your inventories, delivery status and remittance status. A smooth delivery experience can help you retain customers from festive sales.
Try including your products based on kind of products that Marketplaces want to promote at the given time. Tweaking prices along with the right product mix will help you get into the BuyBox or front display homepage and will boost your sales tremendously. There could be opportunities where you could pair up your slow selling items as give-aways with your medium moving items to make them move faster and to liquidate dead inventory at a marginally higher cost for the combo.
Apart from maintaining a good ranking on the marketplace sites, try and develop a rapport with their ops teams and account managers. Often they can give you extra support or access to exclusive opportunities and can go an extra mile to make success happen for both of you creating a win-win situation. The more reliability and dependability they get from you in terms of fulfilment of commitments, the more you will make out of the marketplace.
Have any examples of how your sales benefitted from the festive season? Share in the comments below.
Piyush is the Editor-in-Cheif of IndianOnlineSeller.com. Piyush has many years of experience in Ecommerce, has had experience with marketplaces in Europe, USA and India since 2007, both selling domestically and dealing with imports and exports.