By Saahil Goel
India’s festive season is in full swing, and the festive rush is real. Despite the pandemic’s large-scale disruption over the past two years, the excitement, cheer, busy preparations, and shopping that are characteristic of this period haven’t faded away; they have simply shifted from the physical realm to the digital space – primarily e-commerce and D2C.
Since the festive season is the most lucrative time for small, medium, and large sellers to drive sales, the need to tackle the growing demand becomes more prominent. As the fight for the consumer base goes beyond physical stores and even websites to enter social media channels, here’s how the festive season helps small sellers in the D2C space grow.
Bolstered inventory management systems
Since the demand patterns are positive and sellers are aware of the items that are sure to witness increased consumer demand, i.e., seasonal inventory, they focus primarily on segregating the inventory for smooth order picking and delivery. Sellers ensure that their inventory management system is robust to manage orders better amid the festive rush. Some, if they have the resources, even deploy more manpower for efficient inventory management to ace the festive season.
Customer service management and increased engagement
With amplified sales, the overall number of customer queries, feedback, or issues, is also bound to surge, and sellers are well aware of this. To prepare for this, sellers ensure that customer relationship management and customer servicing are not impacted amidst the busy festive season. Given that the festive season brings increased cut-throat competition from bigger sellers, small-size D2C sellers often go the extra mile to ensure that their customers are satisfied with the service, not just for the sales but after-sales services such as returns, replacements, and exchanges as well.
Enhancing the cyber presence of the D2C brand
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, digitisation has skyrocketed, with brands across verticals racing to establish an online presence, and the scenario is no different for small sellers. With consumers increasingly leaning towards online shopping, D2C sellers are actively working towards building an online presence of their brand, especially through channels such as social media platforms and marketplaces, to reach more consumers and interact better with them. This festive season is sure to witness a rising number of small D2C sellers foraying into the online space to establish their brand.
Promotions and discounts
Although it is a time of heightened sales, and sellers are focused on driving business, the festive season means discounts galore for customers. Sellers offer a plethora of exciting deals to expand their customer base, increase engagement, and generally make the most out of the festive period. The promotional offers and discounts will mean increased business and customer acquisition, and satisfaction.
Partnering with third-party logistics platforms
Although it is the perfect opportunity for small sellers to scale their business, the festive order rush can be immensely chaotic and busy. Small D2C sellers often may not have sufficient resources to manage the end-to-end operations on their own. This is when they turn to third-party logistics and fulfillment providers for efficient order management, streamlined operations, and seamless last-mile delivery of shipments.
Third-party logistics and fulfillment platforms, with their wide pin code reach, a vast network of expert courier partners, and tech-enabled operations, and an organised approach to fulfillment, enable small sellers to ensure the delivery reaches their customers in a timely and hassle-free manner at affordable prices. Small D2C sellers are now increasingly opting to outsource their logistics and fulfillment services for a smooth festive season that will allow them to scale their business.
Small D2C sellers sometimes require a medium/stepping stone, and the festive season can be instrumental in enabling them to scale their business. And with the help of third-party logistics and fulfillment platforms that have streamlined end-to-end, tech-powered operations, small sellers can take their brand to greater heights.
(The author is CEO and co-founder of Shiprocket. Views expressed are personal.)