Author: Amrutha Aprameya, Product Marketing Manager, Capillary Technologies.
With the onset of Diwali around the corner, as a retailer we assume you might have prepared your best to make the most of the festival sale season.
Customers expect good variety and discounts but what truly gets their attention is when retailers try and exceed their expectations through personalization of orders and precision of delivery timelines.
But its still worth an effort to review last year’s performance and identify new ways to get organized that can yield maximum revenues from one of the biggest Indian festivals of the year. Refer to the below list for few Diwali sales preparedness tips and tricks.
Diwali Omni-Channel Promotions Pre-Planning
- Check on the product categories and promotional strategies that performed the best last year.
- Compile a list of marketing campaigns and creatives to help expedite the process of launching campaigns.
- System testing– it’s not too late to run load tests on your eCommerce websites to check if your systems have the capacity to handle heavy volumes of sales traffic.
- Optimize System Performance– based on the outcome of your load tests, you can add additional capacity and/or increase the speed of your website with the support of additional hardware vendors or through a scalable content delivery network (CDN). Tip : Decreasing the size of the images of the products on your eCommerce site to improve its performance.
- Product recommendation strategy- Diwali is also one of the best times to promote personalized loyalty coupons. Check on the customers preferences, buying behavior, color-design-brand preferences, to plan for daily/weekly recommendation updates.
- Inventory readiness- Double check your product inventory systems and the inventory availability against the sales forecast. If necessary, create a backup plan for items that are at the risk of being sold out.
- Skim Your Competitors Strategy-Although out-rightly aping your competitors’ campaigns and promotions may not yield the same results, being aware of the different types of promotional offers run by the competitors can help you implement few creative quick fix sales strategies.
- Digital asset readiness –Ensure to plan the design and content of your emails, landing pages, and online ads on a weekly or daily basis. Don’t forget to personalize the mailers based on the target segment to make it highly relevant for the visitors.
Collaborate and Deliver
- Schedule daily cross functional team meetings throughout the Diwali season.
- Adhere to shipping threshold times– Ensure to create a centralized calendar that includes shipping cutoff times and guaranteed delivery dates.
- Take note of the complaints received with respect to shipping or delivery issues and record the resolutions or solutions in a centralized repository that needs to be shared with the customer support team.
- Monitor your inventory–in real time to ensure that you have enough time to match promotional and marketing campaign schedules.
Measure and Improve
- Monitor product placement, pricing, response to the marketing promotions on a daily basis and make adjustments to maximize revenues and profitability.
Apart from sales data, it helps to keep a daily tab of the following data
- The bestselling products in various product categories
- Stores Sales across different regions at store and regional levels
- The number of customers that frequently buy from your retail stores
- The number of customers that frequently buy from your e-shops
- The customer’s journey from online to in-store
- The daily/weekly ROI on Diwali marketing $$ spend for campaigns, promotions, merchandising etc.
Rush Hour Sales Quick Fixes
- Capitalize on Diwali sales to increase your fans/followers/re-tweet numbers by offering discounts/freebies by requesting visitors to encourage checking in to your retail stores and request them to review the store experience.
- Queue Busters : You can also put few kiosks and tablets across your high traffic stores to enable customers to purchase items without making them waiting in line.
- Ensure to install boards and placards across the store where you can share information and direction on which aisle or on what shelves the respective products are located.
- Don’t forget to publicize or advertise the events and loyalty programs as part of your in-store promotions.
- Promote gift cards –and declare in store product bundling coupons to make great last minute Diwali sales.
Don’t Lose Sight of the After Sale Issues and Queries
Expect to see a number of returns/issues/queries either during or immediately after the Diwali dhamaka sale rush. Although many brands don’t offer an exchange or returns on sale item but depending on the size of your retail store, consider allocating a specific area to address the issues related to the Diwali sale items.
Once the Diwali rush is over you’ll have time to catch your breath but that feeling may just be momentary. Then, it is time to start preparing for the big Christmas and New Year holiday shopping season all over again !