Diwali is the most prominent Indian festival, celebrated with zeal and excitement. Holidays and festive seasons are great for business as they look to attract new customers and increase sales.
With India progressing in digitization, eCommerce has redefined Diwali shopping for Indian customers. In this article, we will discuss key strategies that small businesses can use to increase sales during this festive season.
As brands save their best offers for this holiday season, customers wait throughout the year to purchase big-ticket items during. is a festival of gifts, sweets and shopping. The tradition of gifting is not limited to friends and family. is another popular tradition.
As brands save their best offers for this festival, customers wait throughout the year to purchase big-ticket items during Diwali. Diwali is a festival of gifts, sweets and shopping. The tradition of gifting is not limited to friends and family; corporate gifting is another popular tradition.
Editor’s note: Don’t have a business website yet? Put your business online in less than 5 minutes with Online Starter Bundle.
9 ways to increase sales this year
From electronics to jewellery to apparel, everything sells like hot cakes in this season. Use these strategies to increase sales for your business.
- Start selling online
- Team up with giants.
- Consider a marketplace fulfilment service.
- Expand your product range.
- Take to social media.
- Offer special discounts.
- Create special bundles
- Personalize your offers
- Use limited availability to drive sales
Increasing sales is easier than you think — especially during Diwali. Read on for tips.
1. Start selling online
Many small and micro business owners know they should be selling online — they just don’t know how to. Beyond brick and mortar stores, there exists an entire community of buyers who make purchases through website clicks.
Sell your products on the web this Diwali with Online Store — includes secure payment processing, shipping, inventory management and a suite of marketing tools. You can try it for free — there’s no obligation and nothing to cancel if you don’t like it.
2. Team up with giants
If you are a small business but don’t have a website, this is the right time to grab the opportunity. While you are selling offline, becoming a registered seller on Amazon, Flipkart or Shopclues can bring you more customers and a new source of income.
As Amazon and Flipkart are pulling up their socks to cater to the spike in demand this year, small sellers can have an easy entry — especially if you are selling:
- Gift items
All of these are in high demand during Diwali.
Editor’s note: For best results, list your products on a marketplace such as Flipkart and sell from your own Online Store. You will get in front of more customers while establishing a name for your business online.
3. Consider a marketplace fulfilment service
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a programme offered by Amazon that allows third-party sellers to use Amazon’s infrastructure to warehouse their inventory. For such products, the ancillary activities like packing, shipping and customer service are managed by Amazon. Flipkart offers a similar service.
I look for ‘Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)’ tag while shopping online because this assures a higher standard in customer service.
If you are already a seller on these marketplaces, you can break through the clutter and appear in the top search results this Diwali by signing up for their fulfilment programs. Of course, this service comes with a cost. But the volume of traffic expected during Diwali can quickly cover it, leaving you more significant margins.
4. Expand your product range
What if you don’t sell the favourite items mentioned above? Try finding gifting opportunities in your current line of products.
Let’s say you sell plants — you could run a campaign ‘Celebrate pollution-free Diwali. Say no to crackers. Gift a plant today!’ The target for such a promotion would be corporate buyers who buy in bulk to gift items to their clients and employees. Even if you are not selling the popular gift items directly, you just need to draw a meaningful link between your products and Diwali gifting theme.
If you can’t, expanding your product range for Diwali is not a bad idea. What does it take to make a sale?
- A product that meets a need.
- A means of selling it.
Your customers won’t mind a small gift stall in front of your shop. In fact, it might even attract more visitors to your business.
5. Take to social media
Nothing captures attention like bold, colorful product photos — and social media networks like Facebook and Instagram are the place to display them.
If you sell beautiful gift items or home decor, set up social media pages with professional photographs of your products, each linking back to your website. Post often throughout the weeks leading up to Diwali, offering gift suggestions and sharing recipes and decorating tips.
You can also sell items right from Facebook Marketplace or your business Instagram via shoppable tags you add to product photos.
6. Offer special discounts
Discounts are the centre attraction of all Diwali hype. A few popular options to consider for your business:
- Diwali-special combos.
- New customers-only discount.
- Buy two get one free.
This way you can easily sell the items that are less in demand by bundling them with more attractive products.
To decide how much to reduce your price, you must first find your profit margin using this simple equation:
(retail price – cost) ÷ (retail price) = profit margin
For most businesses, the ideal discount falls somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the product price. Read more here on how to set discount pricing that will still allow you to make a profit.
7. Create special bundles
Next on our list of Diwali campaign ideas is bundling, a strategy that is particularly effective during the gift-giving season. By offering items bundled together, you sell a set of goods or services for a lower price than you would charge if the customer bought all of them separately.
How do you create irresistible sales bundles? First, identify the needs of your customers. Dive deep into any marketing information available to you and uncover buying trends. Then bundle items that customers have already shown a strong preference for.
Always bundle complementary products/services
A shoe shine care kit would go well with a new pair of shoes; phones with cover cases, chargers and so on. The easier it is for customers to immediately see how the items in the bundle go together, the more compelling the offer. As GoDaddy contributor Ashley Grant, wisely states: “The key is to create a package filled with products your customers are already considering buying individually.”
Spice up packages by offering mixed items in some of the following ways:
- Digital + physical products: For example, a Diwali special recipe eBook to go with a purchase of cooking utensils.
- Services + physical product: Perhaps a special shampoo pack offered to customers who pay the full-service fee for a manicure and hairdressing.
- Popular product + lesser-known product: As an example, a festive color pack plus other suitable product.
Irrespective of the way you choose to bundle, always bank on products or services that are guaranteed to generate maximum sales. Amazon, for instance, encourages affiliates to add top-selling sub-categories during the Diwali season. Even a minimal discount rate on such products would still attract customers and result in considerable revenue.
8. Personalize your offers
Email marketing is the most effective holiday marketing channel for at least 60% of businesses. If you haven’t already, start warming up your email list for the holiday sales.
Email tools like the one included with Online Store allows you to divide your customer list into groups with similar interests and characteristics. By doing this, you can better tailor your email message to each group. This way, you’ll get much better response rates.
There are many ways to divide, or segment, your list, including:
This method groups customers based on how long they’ve been customers. For example, new vs. existing customers, two groups with fairly different expectations and needs. While new customers might be more interested in bargains and one-off deals, your existing customers might tilt towards long-term rewards like loyalty points.
This method groups customers based on defining characteristics — for example, male vs. female customers or under-20 and over 50-year-olds.
If you have information about your buyers’ gender or age you can carefully tailor the offer for each group to boost sales. For example, you could send targeted discounts to male customers to entice them to order items or services for their sisters for Bhai Dooj, the last day of Diwali when sisters are celebrated.
Since observances of Diwali vary depending on the geographical location, you can also create special offers tailored for specific towns or cities — if your market reach extends to several locations. For example, some locations do not observe Bhai Dooj; thus, you can skip these locations in your campaigns that promote these gifts.
9. Use limited availability to drive sales
The good news is that this time of year presents an opportunity to try out Diwali promotion ideas and possibly generate revenue for your business. The bad news is that hundreds of other business are also offering special sales, aimed at the same buyers.
Throwing scarcity into the mix will nudge your customers to take action, especially if you already have a compelling offer.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Offer the discount for the first x number of buyers (first 20, first 50, etc.).
- Limit the Diwali special offer to a specific date or a few hours.
- Tie offer to stock availability — i.e. “offer valid while stock lasts.”
If you run a local business, you can also find creative ways to leverage this technique to draw foot traffic to your store, such as by using LED countdown timers at your storefront.
Always remember the target audience
As you design your Diwali sales strategy, keep buyers firmly in mind. Who are the people that are actually buying the most during Diwali?
As against the general belief, it is men who buy the most in Diwali shopping. A study by SEMrush also reveals that well over half of Diwali shoppers are between the ages of 25 and 34.
The same study shows what people spend on during Diwali. eCommerce tops the chart with 22 percent followed by travel (18 percent) and home items (14 percent). This information is useful in choosing which products to feature in ads and social media campaigns — any product or service related to gifting, travel or home.
Do your financial homework
As appealing as discounts and special promotions can be, they require careful planning and execution to avoid cutting into your profits.
Your aim is to find the sweet spot where you make a healthy profit while offering customers an attractive deal.
To achieve this, you need to calculate your profit margin, or the amount by which your sales revenue exceeds your business costs. Only then can you determine the volume of sales required to stay profitable at specific discount rates.
Once you have your gross margin figure and target discount rate, you can check how much more you will need to sell using the table below.
Source: Business Victoria
For example, if you have a gross margin of 15 percent and discount your product or services by five percent, you would need to increase your sales volume by 50 percent to make a profit.
Simply stated, offering high discounts at low profit margins will cost you money. To avoid such losses, restrict your promotions to products and services with high profit margins and, as much as possible, avoid steep discounts. Simple enough, right?
Diwali sales ideas wrap-up: increase sales during the festival of lights with these strategies
Diwali shopping is a mega event — both for Indian customers and businesses. eShopping has become the new trend in digital India, leading to increased sales for many businesses.
Whichever way you choose to structure your Diwali promotion ideas, be sure to tidy up your finances before you get started. For best results, build bundle packages that your buyers will love and personalize offers to make sure they hit home. To boost conversions even further, throw scarcity into the mix and nudge buyers to make a decision.
Harness the power of the internet and be creative with your campaigns and product photography. With these strategies in place, you can expect a spike in your sales figure.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your offers and have fun winning and increasing sales as you welcome the new Hindu year. Wish you a happy and profitable Diwali!
This post on how to increase sales was originally published on 19 November, 2018 and was updated on 15 October, 2019 and 16 October, 2023. It also contains content written by Chidinma Nnamani.
Image by: Shweta Saxena