Deepti Karthik
Guest Article

The grand Indian D2C sale

Our guest author delves into the world of D2C sales, unraveling the monthly dance between ambitious targets and strategic planning.

Every month and sometimes twice a month every D2C company is planning for the “Biggest Sale Ever” with “Offers like never before” that consumers have a “Last chance to Loot”. Let’s get into the anatomy of a sale comes to be

D2C sales insider chatroom

Monthly sales planning starts - with the Business-as-Usual (BAU) number which is the average daily run rate of the platform hypothetically if it is 1 lakh then in a month we can do only 30 lakh but our target is 45 lakh. Now to bridge such a gap of 15 lakh the answer is SALE. But SALE is not approved easily hence the ball goes to the marketing team's court – can you increase visits on the page that will help us increase sales!!

D2C marketing insider chatroom

The team is busy planning its brand campaign, launch campaign, social media growth and everything else that’s aligned in the AOP call but the CEO calls for an urgent meeting with CMO and Online Sales Head – We need to increase visits, but we can’t increase budgets.

The CMO immediately calls for a meeting, and solutions emerge of increasing CTR of creative through “Click Baits” but they won't lead to conversion and will be qualified as junk visits by the online sales head.

How about a unique event like a topical, the newly appointed brand manager says, “Something we can own as a brand, it will be a destination where consumers come to engage and are retained by the amazing options that are presented to them”- a Brand platform!!!

The CMO presents this to the CEO who agrees this is indeed an “Out of the box” idea but to get so much traffic and not have them convert will be a waste, thus we must sweeten the deal with good offers.


If you miss one sale don't worry there is another sale coming always!!

January: Republic Day Sale

February: Valentine’s Day Sale

March: Holi/Colours Sale

April: Summer Carnival

May: End of Reason Sale

June: Monsoon Sale/Prime Day

July: Back-to-school sale

August: Freedom Sale/Rakhi

September: Onam Sale

October: Diwali Sale/Halloween

November: Singles/Black Friday

December: Christmas Sale/EORS

Let’s be realistic if you are a D2C brand and these are the sales when the marketplace will peak and website sales go down, leading to cannibalisation. To meet all channel objectives, one has to play the channel game and hold the website sale pre-marketplace to make hay.

If you must have a SALE, here are 3 handy tips to plan one

1) TDP: Ten-day period, map the month out as 1st TDP, 2nd TDP and 3rd TDP and look at how much sales come in each of them. Have a sale to increase contribution from the highest TDP, never put a sale during the lowest TDP cos your consumer doesn't like buying in that TDP for a reason. If the first TDP contributes 35% or more, have a PAYDAY sale.

2) Look for the day of the week when the sale is maximum. Is it a Weekday/weekend / a particular day of the week, always end the sale on that day with CRM on full blast of the Last day of Sale. Nothing works like urgency.

3) From SEM POV it makes sense to name your sale closer to whatever the marketplace has chosen, ride that wave. However, from a Brand POV I would urge brands to create a naming convention for the 12 sales of the year, Sale is also a branding opportunity.

D2C brands who are doing SALE differently!!

Bombay Shaving Company recently announced its 18-hr shop aka sale leveraging the infamous LinkedIn post by its founder and has now announced its intention to make it a monthly event. A standard practice for D2C companies is to have anniversary sales.

CRED for the longest time planned its sales around IPL every year, this was timed to their media spending but given it became an annual occurrence the sales cycle was also coordinated. Lenskart has planned its sales around the premiere of Shark Tank where the founder features to leverage the association and cross-sell/upsell to their consumers on their own app.

However, a word of caution must be raised and said about brands that go into sale and realise that while their value share went up so did discount and hence net profit didn’t see any upswing- SALE makes sense if it helps the bottom line too not just the top line. And if Sale is a topline enabler then on BAU it should be the bottom line, ensure you have weightage for products sold at full price vs discounted price to ensure the economics works!!

Happy Sales Jayanthi!

(Our guest author is Deepti Karthik, founder of Decision Pinnacle, a growth and marketing consultancy)

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