With 2020 coming to an end, many how business owners can benefit from having such a sale if there is a need for disposing of their inventory. businesses would still have some remaining inventory with them as brick-to-mortar shops had to be shut for months due to the impact of covid-19 on many industries. 

If we consider the demand for online retail, the products that were only deemed essential were sold for a long time this year. Now that the demand for just essential items has reduced, many e-commerce businesses have the added burden of possessing unwanted old inventory. 

As the festive season is slowly coming to an end, you have to make sure that your old inventory is dealt with, so that other arrangements are made to acquire and sell new products that are suitable to your current and potential customers. 

So, what’s the ideal solution to clear out your old stock? An e-commerce clearance sale, of course!

What is a clearance sale?

A clearance sale is a marketing strategy where old products or merchandise that did not sell are sold with the help of attractive discounts and offers. This sort of sale usually helps in giving you a fresh start in terms of acquiring a new set of products that are more suitable for your business and your customers.

In general, many business owners find the practice of clearance sales as a sign of weakness because it shows that they couldn’t sell products that had minimal demand. However, the same business owners should consider this as a great opportunity to get back their initial investments instead of retaining and keeping their old inventory as it is.

Since many shoppers keep a close eye on brands that sell their products with huge sales and offers, a clearance sale is a golden opportunity for you to retain your current customers and attract potential customers to your store. 

In this article, we’ll be talking about what a clearance sale is, how business owners can benefit from having such an e-commerce clearance sale, and whether there is a need for disposing of their inventory. 

Now, before you get confused between a discount sale and a clearance sale, let’s have a look at some of the differences that set them apart.

A clearance sale vs a discount sale

 

Parameters 

Clearance Sale Discount Sales 

Duration

A few weeks

A few days

Price of the product

Stays the same throughout the sale

Varies based on demand 

Purpose

To clear out old inventory

To attract more customers through discounts

Products sold Products that  are seasonal and outdated

Products that are very popular

How to maximize e-commerce clearance sales

Since many brands have adopted the strategy of clearing out their existing inventory due to less demand, you have to make sure that you are having the sale with the right plan in mind so that it culminates to be an excellent marketing strategy for your business.

Here are some effective ways through which you can maximize your e-commerce clearance sale:

Know when to cut your losses

In certain situations, there will be times where some of your inventory is remaining even after a clearance sale. Instead of pondering on that, you should know when to cut your losses and strategize your next clearance sale accordingly. 

Connect with potential customers

Take an effort in attracting new customers with the help of customer loyalty programs, newsletters, interaction through social media channels, etc that makes them interested in what you have to offer, and more.

Act fast 

If your products are not getting sold at a fast rate, don’t worry. Act according to the situation and strategize in disposing of those particular products through re-marketers, liquidators, and other donation channels that are available to you. 

Sweeten the deal

During any e-commerce clearance sale, your primary goal should be the disposal of all your unwanted inventory. To do so, you can add extra offers and discounts on your products so that your customer base and others will get interested in what you have, and you can move the items out of inventory with more ease. 

Since India possesses a long and varied history of bargaining and scouting for the best prices, having such sales at low prices will give you a great chance of attracting a large number of potential customers to your brand. 

Online and offline marketing

Promote your clearance sale through online channels like e-mail marketing, your website, your social media channels, online advertising, and direct mails so that you can give your customers the sense of “being wanted”. 

Apart from online promotional activities, you can also advertise your products through offline channels like billboards, and also point out the things that are for sale through posters and other visual representations that state the same. 

Start with big offers

Yes, you read that right. Though it may seem like you are already throwing yourself under the bus by selling your old inventory at low prices, starting with big offers is actually an effective hack to attract customers instantaneously. Make sure that you include additional offers and discounts depending on your product and brand so that you can stay on par with your competition and keep yourself in sight of bargain hunters.

Time the sale right

Having a clearance sale every quarter and especially during the festive season is an effective way of clearing out your unwanted inventory efficiently. You have to review the profits for all the products you have so that you can evaluate and identify which products are selling at a slow rate and what offers you can put on the same during the tail end of the year. 

Make use of Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL)

ESL is a system used by retailers that shows the cost of the product on display. The prices are automatically adjusted according to the seller’s choice and can be edited if there is a requirement for a change.  

With the help of ESLs, you don’t need to manually print labels & update the pricing of products, you can save costs in acquiring material for printing purposes, and improves the accuracy of your pricing due to its ability to adjust according to the demand for a particular product to name a few.

Showcase your e-commerce sale upfront 

As you may know, many people love to window shop first and then make a purchase decision regarding any product. So during any sale in general, make sure that your discounted products are displayed upfront, right in front of the eye of onlookers so that they stop, see, and think about its relevance to them.  

E-commerce clearance sale = Rise in impulse purchases?

As we discussed above, a clearance sale usually catches the eye of many bargain hunters. Though your online or offline store gains attention through such sales, the rate of impulse purchases regarding your products increases too.

Impulse purchases are unplanned decisions made by customers just before they buy a product. These decisions are mostly influenced by the spur of the moment. Although this may not look like an issue for offline stores, many online retailers face a huge issue regarding the same. 

Due to the rise of internet penetration in India and to keep up with the competition, many online stores have started to offer a variety of payment options to make their customer’s checkout experience more convenient, with cash on delivery still being king! 

In our E-book on CoD, we gave insights on how CoD still propels as the primary payment method in India. Though CoD is a very convenient method of payment for shoppers, the same cannot be said for the sellers. 

Due to the feeling of missing out on sales and discounts available online, many shoppers try to make the most of such e-commerce clearance sales by ordering many unwanted items. Since shoppers won’t get affected by doing so, such impulse decisions usually end up being paid with the CoD option. 

CoD orders can get rightfully canceled at the last minute or the order ends up getting returned for some unforeseen reason. Such situations are very strainful for e-commerce businesses. 

Cancellation of orders and RTO orders remain the primary challenges for sellers by offering CoD. Since 1 out of 3 orders results in RTO, there is a significant rise in handling costs while processing such orders. 

So what’s the way out?

With Razorpay Thirdwatch, business owners need not worry about RTO and CoD losses because the software tackles the hurdles with Artificial Intelligence and reduces order cancellations on your e-commerce store.

Let’s look at some of the features that Thirdwatch has to offer:

  • Flag risky orders: Before you confirm and process an order, flag risky orders, stop potential order cancellations, and make a decision on whether the order is deemed “risky” or not. 
  • Get insightful analytics: Through Thirdwatch’s dashboard, get detailed reviews on RTO insights, problems regarding RTO, and the efficiency and effectiveness of your business.
  • Covert CoD orders to prepaid: With the one of a kind PrePay CoD feature, you can send payment links to your customers and convert risky orders into prepaid. In addition, you can send payment links in Hindi with our vernacular feature too! 
  • Smooth automation of your business: To save your operational costs, Thirdwatch’s automation sets workflows that flag potential risky orders, accepts & rejects orders based on risks involved, automates order confirmations and so much more! 

Conclusion

For a business owner, the feeling of getting rid of old inventory and having the resources to acquire new products is among the best feelings they can have. To grow your business, you have to ensure that you follow the given steps so that you can give a positive and fresh start to your store.

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An avid football fan and a Fintech enthusiast.

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