Flush With Funds, Flipkart, Amazon And Paytm Mall Kick Off Sale War
What makes this year’s annual sale season of Indian ecommerce companies, which begins on Wednesday, special and possibly the biggest?
The big boys are flush with capital to take on each other. Flipkart last month raised $2.5 billion from SoftBank and Paytm Mall received $200 million from Alibaba in March. Seattle-based Amazon has no shortage of ammunition, particularly after Jeff Bezos committed investments to the tune of $5 billion in India.
Big discounts and cashbacks are on offer as each player looks to expand its business amid cut-throat competition.
While Amazon will aggressively push to close the gap with Flipkart, Paytm Mall, the re-branded avatar of Paytm’s e-commerce platform, will go out all guns blazing to leave its mark. For Flipkart, to retain the top position is a matter of reputation.
Money, Money And More Money
Paytm has already announced a Rs 1,000-crore budget in the run-up to the festive season. On the other hand, Flipkart has a cash reserve of $4 billion. In June Amazon, pumped in Rs 1,680 crore in its Indian unit, Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd.
Shopclues, which focusses on unbranded product categories, said it spent nearly 35 percent of its annual marketing budget on the sale.
Indian e-commerce companies generated gross sale of $1.05 billion during last year’s sale event, according to a Redseer study. This time, it is expected to touch $1.7 billion. “This year is likely to be the biggest sales event in the history of online retail,” Anil Kumar, CEO of RedSeer Consulting said.
What’s On Offer?
Flipkart will offer discounts up to 90 percent on products across all categories, according to an an emailed statement. The Bengaluru-based company declined to comment on the investment it has made for the event, but said it has launched a marketing campaign across various platforms and struck deals with online and offline partners.
Amazon is launching its sale for Prime members on Wednesday, and the offer will be available to other customers the following day. The company has expanded its fulfilment footprint to 41 centres in 13 states to help storage and quicker distribution.
The two big players are banking on equated monthly installment schemes and other easy financing options, including a buy-now-pay-later plan, to boost sales volumes.
Paytm Mall, which is in its first festive season, said that it will dole out an overall assured cashback of Rs 501 crore during its sale from September 20 to 23. Through the sale, Paytm expects to add over 5 million new users. According to Mrigank Gutgutia, engagement manager at RedSeer, Paytm is the one to watch out this season. “After Snapdeal’s fall, Paytm is close to number three player in the Indian e-commerce story.”
While other players are offering four- to five-day sale events, the party for ShopClues, which will start on September 20, will go on for nine days.