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Seasonal Sales: Advantages and Drawbacks for Your Business


Vijay Kumar

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

December 15, 2023

7 min read

Retail marketing involves a mix of strategies businesses implement to reach the broader buyer groups and satisfy their demands. Seasonal sales campaigns are a successful marketing strategy to promote products for a specific time of the year. 

Such campaigns have become the most significant revenue earners for most retailers. Analysts have found that nearly 56% of Indians prefer Diwali season sales, and 39% prefer to buy during big online sales. At the same time, 36% prefer Dussehra season sales. Other special day sales have a 31% market share, while traditional New Year sales like Ugadi, Pongal, Sankranti, and Christmas have a 20% market share.

As the data indicates, eCommerce retailers have the best opportunity to tap the massive online buying market for season sales. Here, we share some of the best seasonal sales campaigns to inspire you. We also look at such approaches’ potential ups and downs and how you can streamline yours for better results. 

Seasonal Sales Campaigns

Retailing is a convenient way of doing business as you can quickly move from selling one product to another, depending on the market demand. It is flexible and allows you to scale your business at a rapid rate and remain profitable. Depending on your convenience and financial flexibility, you also have the advantage of using a wide range of distribution channels. It also allows you to have a strategy to transition from one sales season to the next, ensuring stable income throughout the year.   

Therefore, transitional planning is essential for retailers. You can tap transitional sales for seasonal income by ensuring your between-season inventory aligns with the next season’s inventory and top trends.  

Seasonal sales campaigns can help you achieve the following goals:

  • Boost Sales: Campaigns allow you to provide detailed information about the goods, services and offers for special seasonal deals, leading to increased sales.
  • Stand Out from the Competition: Try to capture customer’s attention through the campaign. By using fresh marketing techniques during the seasonal sales campaigns, you can stand out from the competition. 
  • Expand Customer Base: Campaigns help generate high buzz during special occasions and transitional times to create interest and FOMO (fear of missing out) to attract new customers.

Strategies for Retailers Shifting Between Seasons

To have a transitional plan in place for your season sales, here are some strategies:

  • Change or Refresh Retail Displays: Visually displaying the seasonal products interestingly will attract customers. 
  • A change of orientation is sometimes needed to create new interest in some stock varieties. 
  • You could experiment with different backdrops, new colour displays for the upcoming season or other display racks, presentations and more. 
  • Use different sizes or contrasting accessories to pique customers and interest them in your catalogue.
  • Tiered Presentation: A tiered display is a primary element of window shopping and leads to increased footfall. 
  • Tiered displays create more room for other products to be displayed and help customers understand your range of products at the store. 
  • Smaller seasonal accessories need to be displayed by adding risers and grouping related elements that form part of the ensemble.
  • You can also use risers to create new visual displays for each time of the week with a few simple changes. Such changes are less time-consuming and low-cost but have the necessary impact on your potential customers. 
  • Clearance Sales: After seasonal sales, the remaining stock needs to be cleared, and the best way to do that is to have a clearance sale. 
  • Have bargain deals for all the items that are no longer very popular for the coming season. 
  • Make the placement of the clearance inventory attractive to customers by using bright-coloured block risers for a significant visual impact. 
  • Another area where you can place such inventory is near the checkout points, as impulse purchases are likely. 
  • Create Premium Layouts to Display Luxury Products: A premium display for a product creates a luxurious and aspirational impression on buyers. 
  • Using stunning display cases is the best way to have such premium spaces.
  • Update premium products from one season to the next with accessories or bundled marketing.
  • Use spectacular sales displays to create an impression and persuade customers to buy.

The Upsides and Downsides of Seasonal Sales

Seasonal sales are some of the most awaited shopping experiences for customers. But every season may not be a sell-out because of several factors out of your control. Let us consider some of these ups and downs of seasonal sales: 

Upsides of seasonal sales

The advantages of seasonal sales are as follows:

  1. Special Offers

Customers are likely to buy during such sales because: 

  • They are excited about buying clothes, home decor, cars and other goods depending on the festive season or special occasion. 
  • Some brands may offer seasonal offers to promote their products for special occasions and expand the customer base.
  • Prompted by the limited-time offer, many customers tend to buy more than their requirement.
  1. Promotional Campaigns and Customer Services: 

New companies can create their market presence with exciting promotional campaigns and top-notch customer services. 

  • Promotional campaigns can build brand awareness and attract new clients.
  • Top-notch customer services can help retain clients.
  1. Cross-Sell and Upsell:
  • Tap existing customer base with new promotional offers and upsell
  • Cross-sell items that could be of interest to them
  • Create an interest in the other products your store offers
  1. Advantages of Being a Seasonal Sales Retailer: 
  • Sell seasonal goods and enjoy business holidays.
  • Have more time to plan for the upcoming sales season and streamline operations.
  •  Work with suppliers to arrive at potential product adjustments. 

Downsides of Seasonal Sales

Below are some of the disadvantages of seasonal sales for retailers:

  1. The Decline in Brand Name Due to Continuous Sales: If you offer mid to high-priced products at your seasonal sales, your brand may lose customers’ appeal.
  1. Frequent Sales can be Expensive: As the frequency of sales increases, so do the costs of conducting them. Additional hires for the sales events, Increased promotional activities, and more branded materials acquisition will increase the cost of such seasonal sales. 
  1. Low-Profit Margins: When selling seasonal goods at competitive prices, the premise is that you may sell larger volumes. However, excess supply during the season will reduce profit margins.
  2. Off-season Payroll Considerations:

When your business is shut down for the “off” season, having your staff still on “payroll” may be financially unwise. This implies that you will likely encounter another set of people that may give you problems on returning operations.


Seasonal sales are a great way for retail businesses to remain profitable. It gives you great flexibility in the type of products you can sell and the duration you can operate. But the challenge is ensuring you have a transitional plan between sales so your income remains steady throughout the year. You must consider both the ups and downs of seasonal sales before you begin your campaigns! 

What is a seasonal demand?

Seasonal demand refers to the changing buying habits of consumers depending on the time of the year. For example, consumers typically buy different clothing for the summer and winter seasons, creating different product demands.

How do we frame a seasonal strategy?

When you want to market products for a specific time of the year, like Diwali or Christmas, you should study the market for product trends and prices. You should connect with suppliers for the same and adapt marketing strategies for the buyer demography. 

How to handle seasonal demand in eCommerce?

Preplanning and strategies are essential to manage seasonal demand. Before the launch of seasonal sales, you need to identify the products, forecast the market, create reserve stock inventory, and use technology to give you the best visibility of your stock movement.

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