India is the land of diversity and culture. With twenty-nine states, six major religions, countless languages and thousands of diverse communities, it is no wonder that our festivals are testimonials of our unity in diversity. Our festivals revolve around seasonal changes, God’s birthdays, traditional myths and so much more. The most beautiful thing about this country is that festivals here are celebrated without the barrier of caste, creed or religion. For a country so invested in its festivals, it is no doubt that as soon as the festive season arrives, businesses start marketing their products around the same idea.
After all, they need to strike a chord in the hearts of the people, and what better way than targeting the thing we hold closest to our hearts. Our festivals.
Why Is The Festive Season The Best Time To Grow A Business In India?
India is counted among the most visited tourist destinations across the world. But this is not because it has a very happening nightlife or towering structures to attract people. Instead what it offers is magnificent culture and lively festivals that it celebrates round the year. From north to south. Most of India’s cultural celebrations either have a spiritual lineage or have gotten popular over time. But, they all captivate huge crowds both locally and internationally.
Most people in this country hold sincere devotion to these annual occasions, so much so that they save up for months and spend weeks preparing for a festival. Even our houses are specially cleaned for these events. We mean, you surely remember your mother pestering you to help her with “Diwali ki safai”, don’t you?
The important thing is that these festivals don’t just attract the masses but marketers as well, on the huge footfall that these events receive. Even some of the most widely appreciated experiential activities have been done around some of these festivals.
In September, the e-commerce colossus Amazon and its home-grown competition Flipkart came out with their first session of pre-festival sales – the Great Indian Festival and the Big Billion Day, respectively – offering huge discounts and bargains across key customer durable sectors such as smartphones, home appliances, fashion etc. In five days, the two e-commerce companies generated US$1.5 billion (Rs 9,000 crore) of sales, showing a 40 per cent year-on-year growth in comparison to last year’s US$1.05 billion.
Even in October popular Indian fashion website Myntra and famous cosmetic e-commerce company Nykaa are offering their “Navaratri” sales. It’s like the festive season and the sale season in India goes pretty much hand in hand. The numbers of customers that are attracted by these sales and offers demonstrate the growing significance of festivals in India’s consumer market.
It is significant to note that in India, the festival offers a tremendous opportunity for businesses to reconnect with current and prospective customers. Additionally, it enables companies to introduce new products, upgrade themselves in terms of brand penetration, and make their products more attainable in the market.
Apart from this, customs and traditions related to gifting are also on the rise as the heightened spending capacity of India’s consumer’s rises, thanks to the festive bonuses that employment companies provide in this period. Leading to high sales across all categories of consumer products during the festive season.
As the festive season starts again in India, traders and companies gear up for the upcoming chaos. Inventory and production levels are up and brands are anticipating this season to see shifts in the purchase habits of customers. A much-welcomed development amid the pandemic.
How Are Businesses Preparing For The Upcoming Festive Season?
Top business companies have started to collaborate with Facebook and other social media companies to spread the word and boost festive sales further. Many have focused on digital campaigns due to consumer emotion transitions during recent times. The millennial generation focuses a lot more on advertisements that are on social media than the ones on television. Some companies have also turned to influencer marketing to engage with their target consumers. As the pandemic is still raising havoc in the country, companies are also preparing to meet the demands of the home-bound as well as risk-averse customers.
Tips for Budding E-Commerce Platforms During Festive Season
As the festive season starts in full swing, there are many ways an e-commerce business can use the festivities to its advantage. While these tips can be beneficial for any e-commerce brand, established or upcoming, new brands can make special use of festivities to attract customers towards them.
#1 Offer Free Shipping
If there is one word that Indians are attracted to more than festivals, it’s free. Free shipping can be a factor that consumer decisions depend upon. Especially when the product offered is not unique. While people want to avoid the festive rush in the physical markets they also don’t want to pay extra for the same product. As a result, free shipping can be regarded as the ‘cost of entry’ for a lot of retailers.
#2 Engage Digital Media
In this Instagram age, nothing spreads the word better than social media. It is important to leverage digital tools like Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram. Brands can communicate and engage through hyper-personalised experiences in these sites and can put them to optimum use.
#3 Planning Is a Crucial Step
While the festive season lasts up to a period of two to three months in the country you must start preparing for it beforehand. This is to ensure that your stock of products is maintained. Planning is an important step to regulate cash flow, demand and supply. To add to that during the festive season you also need to take into account the additional staff you might need or any extra resources that you might use. To provide a seamless experience to your customers you must have everything planned.
#4 Allow Customers To pay-over-time
As an E-commerce company, you should have exclusive partnerships with banks or digital payment platforms like Salt. This will ensure that payments are made in time, without any hassle. As the pandemic still rages over the country, people are still suffering from digital payment mentors over cash on delivery options. In addition, these also help in processing international orders.
#5 Give the Customer a Push
Now we don’t mean that literally, what we mean is that Indian consumers are in a dilemma till the very last moment when they are buying a product. Flash sales, expiring discounts, pop up offers create a sense of urgency in customers that you can use to your advantage.
India is a country where purchase decisions are mostly propelled by sentiment. The holiday season comes with a big bonus (apart from the one that comes in your bank) of reminding your customers about Indian culture by correlating it with your products. Festivities give you a very good recourse to reconnect with your current and prospective clients and customers.
As a brand, you can plan out constructive marketing strategies during the festivals that will enable you in rendering a better connection with your clients. For more financial advice for businesses, head over to the Salt blog.