Nothing grabs the attention of a consumer like the announcement of a sale. Seasonal sales are a great way to entice customers with discounts which may only be available once a year, and these sales are known to generate high traffic on e-commerce platforms.
Think of the last time you really wanted to own something but could not justify paying the full price for it. Now, what if you were offered the same thing at a much-discounted price, say 40% to 50% off. Would you not jump off your chair and rush to pick up your wallet or credit card? Sales are a beckoning bell for all such customers who wait on the sidelines hoping for a price drop.
Seasonal sales are an expected event
Digital marketplaces are stronger than ever, and E-commerce platforms are raking in the big cash. As it was the case with retail outlets, customers expect to see seasonal sales across leading e-commerce brands when the time arrives.
For example, Black Friday is an event in the United States that witnesses thousands of people flocking to retail outlets that have organised special, soul-stealing discounts on products. It is a year-on-year event that customers eagerly await. Over the years, Black Friday sales have become part of the buying frenzy on the internet. It is now even expected in the United Kingdom; a country that traditionally does not celebrate Thanksgiving.
Then there is Cyber Monday, Easter sale, and the biggest one of them all: Christmas/Holiday sales.
They can emotionally connect with customers
Creating seasonal sales and seasonal marketing campaigns show that you take strong interest towards serving your customers. Holidays are a time when emotions are high, everyone celebrating is taking time off work to meet and greet with their loved ones. Kick off your marketing campaign that resonates with the emotions of customers.
Small things can contribute towards winning customers. For example, as an e-commerce platform, you can offer to gift wrap items for free or send a little greeting note with every deliverable item.
Be genuine in seasonal sales
The idea of a sale is to offer an item at an attractive discount. Try not to offer menial discounts or play with the perception of customers.
The latter involves listing a product higher than its normal price and marking it down to create an illusion for the customer. E-commerce owners have to be genuine with their discounts. Customers are generally aware of the running price of an item because it is in their wish list.
It creates brand awareness
This one is specific to brands that sell only their products. Seasonal sales are a great way to attract potential long-term customers. As a new or lesser known brand, it is okay to expect mixed feelings from customers.
Discounted prices allow reluctant customers the opportunity to give the brand a chance – they can potentially return as a customer. And if the marketing is on point, customers can be emotionally influenced to have a better perception about your brand.
Use Google Adwords, or Facebook promotions to deliver news to targeted audiences. Giveaways are another successful way of growing brand awareness through word-of-mouth.
Step-up with Loyalty Rewards program
A common theme among successful e-commerce platforms is that they value customers. It means providing special treatment to customers based on how much time and money they have invested in your e-store.
The number one way e-stores get back to their loyal customers is by introducing a rewards program that directly ties in with the customer’s investment. Customers can sign-up for the program, and each time they make a purchase, points get added, which the customer can rack up and finally cash in towards an item.
It is another enticing way, alongside seasonal sales, that can help maintain a recurring customer base. The program can reward double points during special occasions, such as during Christmas.
Work within your capacity
Nobody ever succeeded in running a business by being a benevolent king. The idea of discounting everything in the inventory to drive 10x traffic on the platform sounds like an ideal way to go. But businesses are run with money, and it is effective management that ensures the business stays afloat.
It is critical that businesses first analyze how far they can go with the discounts. Play it smart by adding discounts to products that best fit the occasion.
On smaller occasions such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, it would be better to offer a customized gift basket than offer discounts on a range of products. You can, of course, totally do that. But that entirely depends on the business capacity and how far you are willing to go.
E-Commerce platforms can take greater risks
In this day and age, when every business is creating and maintaining a strong digital presence, E-commerce solutions and platforms are enjoying growth. That is not to take away the importance or downplay the existence of retail outlets worldwide, but it is a fact that digital distribution is now the preferred method for the majority of customers.
It provides convenience and the delight of shopping through sales from time to time. There are, though, people who still think of visiting a physical outlet a ritual of sorts. They are a fast way of acquiring an item when you urgently need it.
However, E-Commerce platforms also enjoy the benefit of lower operating cost than retail outlets. All they require is a strong distribution backbone and an online virtual storefront. They do not have to worry about slow walk-in traffic that could ultimately make one question if it is worth keeping the lights on.
Be prepared in advance
Seasonal sales and campaigns require time, resources, and effort. Businesses prepare in advance to meet the rush. Expect an influx of orders as the day approaches. The operation must be ready to tackle the challenge. Teams are one of the key factors for successful execution; train and motivate them for the occasion.
As an e-commerce owner, the worst thing you can do for your brand/platform is to ignore the importance of seasonal events. They hold tremendous potential to drive brand awareness and traffic. Keep your ears to the ground and come up with unique marketing campaigns.