An employee pulls a cart stacked with packages at the Inc. fulfillment center in Hyderabad, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

Online Retailers Mint Rs 15,000 Crore In Five Days Of Festive Sale

Indian e-commerce companies are estimated to have raked in sales worth Rs 15,000 crore in five days of their respective festive sales.

The online retailers saw sales grow about 64 percent this year compared with their festive sales in 2017, according to a RedSeer Consulting report. Amazon India and Flipkart particularly saw stellar sales across categories like smartphones, large appliances and fashion.

“The industry witnessed a higher growth this time compared to the last year. This was driven by multiple drivers, key being a larger shopper base from tier II (and beyond) cities,” Red Seer said. “Affordability and loyalty schemes introduced by e-tailing players also played a huge role in converting the visitors into shoppers.”

Amazon India surpassed last year’s total sales figures within 36 hours of last year’s sales, vice president and country head Amit Agarwal told PTI. “The event exceeded our most aggressive plans across all the categories. More than 80 percent of the new customers came from small towns, and we received orders from 99 percent of the serviceable pin-codes in the country in just four days.”

Fashion was also the biggest category in terms of acquiring new customers, with 63 percent orders coming from tier II and III cities. We also saw two out of three customers using schemes like exchange, EMIs and bank offers.
Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India.

Agarwal said that smartphone sales accounted for the largest portion in terms of value, while fashion was the biggest in terms of the units shipped. Interestingly, Amazon’s Hindi Website, which was launched recently, saw 2.4 times new customers shopping on the platform as compared to a non-sale day.

Rival Flipkart said their latest edition of the Big Billion Days sale “smashed all the existing records to set new benchmarks for the entire Indian retail industry”.

Also read: Amazon Sets Sights On Its Next 100 Million Customers As Festive Sale Starts

"Flipkart has recorded over 70 percent share of entire Indian e-commerce market in the five-day Big Billion Day ‘18 sale, matching scale with global marquee retail events,” a company spokesperson said. “Gross merchandise value grew 80 percent over the last year, whereas units grew by close to two times year-on-year.”

Walmart-backed Flipkart claimed to have cornered 85 percent of India’s online fashion market and 75 percent share in large appliances category during the sale. It added that three-in-four smartphones bought between Oct. 10-15 in India were through Flipkart.

The spokesperson said there was almost 50 percent growth in number of new customers coming in, while one out of two shoppers used payment schemes like equated monthly installments and bank offers.

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Flipkart pointed out that it saw close to 25 million people visiting its app on one of the sale days. This is the first mega-shopping event organised by Flipkart after Walmart acquired 77 percent stake in the company in a $16 billion deal earlier this year.

Paytm Mall, which is backed by investors like Alibaba and SoftBank, said that over 12 million items were sold on its platform, led by categories like mobile phones, consumer electronics, fashion and groceries.

It said that it registered five times increase in transactions and sales compared to regular days with over 60 million visitors coming to the platform during the week-long sale. Also, over two lakh shopkeepers participated in the sale.

ShopClues, which crossed the 1.5 million-order mark, said over 75 percent of its orders came in from tier-III and -IV towns, especially, from Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Gujarat, and Punjab. For Snapdeal, new buyers accounted for about 38 percent of all the orders placed during the sale so far.

Also read: How Snapdeal Survived A Failed Merger With Flipkart—In The Words Of Its Founder