Preparing for the Festive Season Sales 2023: A Brand's Checklist During the Freeze Period
Preparing for the Festive Season Sales 2023: A Brand's Checklist During the Freeze Period
Festive season ecommerce sales have remained the biggest talk of ecommerce business for the past few years. Each year, these events break records with new revenue and customers.
Festive Season 2022 Snapshot
According to a Redseer Report:
•The festive period 2022–September 22, 2022 to October 23 2022–clocked a GMV of $9.3 billion
• 60% of the projected GMV, $2.9 billion, for the festive season sale was clocked within the first four days (22nd Sept- 25th Sept), on the e-commerce platforms.
• Around 75-80 million shoppers placed orders across platforms in the festive week, exhibiting an increase in shopper base by 24% y-o-y from festive sale week 1 of CY21.
For deeper insights on category-based, price-based, marketplace-based, discount-based, region-based, mode of payment-based, and OSM: NSM-based trends from the festive season 2022, especially in the apparel, footwear, & fashion accessories categories, read Fynd's report on data-driven trends for 2023 sale event plans.
This year is going to be no different. Experts have already started putting their bets on projections for festive season ecommerce sales in 2023, which are expected to start from 23rd September 2023.
Refer to the calendar below for the tentative dates for the upcoming events during the festive season in 2023 on major marketplaces:
Marketplaces are getting the stage ready; millions of shoppers eagerly await, but how prepared are you? It might seem like it's just three months away, but the preparatory phase for these events begins much sooner. One means of preparation for these events by the marketplaces is the freeze period.
Understanding the Freeze Period
If your brand is on 3P marketplaces like Myntra or Amazon, you must have come across freeze periods before all significant sale events.
What is a freeze period?
A freeze period is a temporary halt in certain operations imposed by the 3P marketplaces for sellers prior to major events. The freeze restricts the addition of new stores, locations, or inventory by the brand during this period.
Why do marketplaces implement freeze periods?
Marketplaces introduce these freeze periods to maintain stability and ensure a seamless shopping experience for customers during the sale. This temporary halt helps prevent disruptions or chaos that new additions may bring, such as potential visibility issues, conflicting product information, and trouble in order fulfillment. By implementing the freeze period, marketplaces can effectively manage and curate the platform, maintaining a controlled environment until the sale goes live.
Freeze Period for Festive Season Sales 2023
Typically, freeze periods begin 3-4 weeks before the start of a major event. With festive season ecommerce sales for 2023 tentatively scheduled from 23rd September 2023 onwards, freeze periods tentatively scheduled by some marketplaces are listed below:
(We will update the dates as soon as the freeze is announced by the respective marketplace.)
Myntra imposes a freeze period in two phases.
In Phase 1, Myntra puts a freeze on new store location additions, tentatively to be implemented from 23rd August 2023 for the upcoming festive season sale. During this freeze period, brands will be restricted from adding any new locations to their accounts.
Hence, by this time, the brands must have identified all active stores, delisted stores, and stores with inventory sync failures or faults and should take the necessary corrective actions.
In phase 2, Myntra puts a freeze on new product additions, tentatively to be implemented from 10th September 2023 for the upcoming festive season sale. The brands must intensively work around their catalog before this, which includes a hygiene check on the live inventory, delisted styles, and uncatalogued inventory. (Find more details in the table at the end of this blog.)
For Amazon, the freeze this year will tentatively start on 10th September 2023.
Leveraging the Freeze Period
The freeze period not only benefits the marketplace with stability to prepare, but is also a useful period for brands. It is a crucial phase where brands can review and optimize their processes, inventory, and strategies to maximize sales during the sale event. We highly recommend and support brands in transforming the freeze period into a preparatory phase to enhance readiness for the upcoming festive season sales.
Bustling with preparations for this exciting event may turn stressful for brands, as there are many tasks to manage and potential details can slip through the cracks. That is where our comprehensive checklist will come in handy to guide brands and help them stay on track before the festive season goes live.
Brand’s Checklist Before the Festive Season Sales
1. Check All Stores are Live
One of the first steps brands should take is to verify that all stores are live and active on marketplaces. This ensures increased product visibility on 3P marketplaces for your shoppers during the festive season sales, meaning higher sales opportunities.
Audit inventory flow from each location, promptly address any technical issues, if any, and ensure maximum inventory visibility.
Please note that the new location addition freeze starts as early as a month before the event. Hence, this activity should begin at least two months before the event.
2. Check Catalog Health
Brands should ensure that all products have accurate and up-to-date information. A healthy catalog must have high-quality images and detailed descriptions, and all color and style variants must be listed with updated pricing. If not, fix discrepancies or errors to maximize your product's visibility and availability during the sale event.
A photoshoot is a time-consuming process. Ideally, a brand should have gotten the photoshoot for new season merchandise before this freeze. If not, it may not be possible to get a photoshoot done at the last minute. However, brands can explore AI tools like PixelBin for bulk image transformations and enhancing catalog images for an enriched product display. PixelBin can also help you get AI-generated product descriptions, even at the last minute!
3. Stock Up Top-Selling Items
Anticipate the demand based on past performance to avoid out-of-stock products during the sale and ensure maximum sell-throughs. Once the freeze period is imposed, utilize this period to analyze your historical performance in similar events and identify the top-selling products. Stock up on these items to avoid running out of stock during the sale.
You can also check out the top trends for the festive season 2022 in our exclusive report here.
4. Stock Up on Inventory, Resources, and Staff
Identify your stores with anticipated higher order volumes during the festive season, based on geographic purchase patterns. Stock up on inventory in these stores to meet the increased demand. Allocate sufficient resources, like packaging material and adequate human resources, to these stores to efficiently handle the higher order volumes. Such preparation in terms of inventory and staffing can help prevent stockouts and penalties by Myntra due to delays in order processing and SLA breaches.
5. Lay Out Guidelines for High-Volume Operations
Festive season sales are the highest order-volume period, even for stores that otherwise do not get a large number of orders. Hence, it is important to prepare your staff and develop clear guidelines and processes for stores in advance.
Streamline operations like product packaging and handing over to the delivery partner to efficiently handle increased traffic. Ensure that your team is well-prepared and trained to handle the surge in orders effectively, delivering a seamless experience to shoppers and avoiding penalties due to delayed order processing.
6. Plan Discounts on Different Product Categories
Carefully plan and strategize discounts for different product categories. Maintain an ideal old-season and new-season merchandise ratio. Determine the most appropriate discounts to offer to maximize sell-throughs of old-season stock. Also, leverage the opportunity to showcase your new season merchandise to a broader audience and sell at non-discounted prices.
Breakdown of Tasklist and Timelines Brands Before the Freeze Period for Festive Season 2023
Standing almost 2 months before big sale events, there is no time to waste. The actions you take now will decisively shape the revenue you generate from these sales. To avoid the last-minute hustle and bustle, we are sharing the ideal timelines for taking valid steps in a timely manner.
Based on the tentative freeze period for the upcoming festive season 2023, here is a comprehensive list of tasks and the ideal timelines for executing these tasks before the freeze period sets in.
The tasklist shared above is always a good practice to follow before participating in any major sale event on marketplaces.
Download our timeline calculator, created for all sale events. Enter the start date of the sale event and back-calculate timelines for the essential tasks.
Yes, the tasklist is long, but do not get overwhelmed. Help is just a click away. As a dedicated partner to our brands, we go above and beyond to provide unwavering support and assistance throughout each step of the process, ensuring their success.
Our experienced Growth Managers work closely with brands, offering expert guidance on discounting strategies, identifying inventory gaps, and arranging for operational support for store teams. To learn more on the details of how Fynd gets its partner brands festive ready, read our blog, An inside look at how Fynd gets brands ready for the ecommerce sales season
If you are a Fynd brand, one of our Growth Managers must already be proactively working closely with your team to ensure you are well-prepared for the upcoming festive season 2023. If you are not yet part of the Fynd family, reach out to us and experience the numerous benefits of our services firsthand. Let us help you achieve exceptional sales and make the most of the exciting upcoming sales events together.