The fight to gain maximum pie of the Indian e-commerce market that is set to touch USD 84 billion by 2021, has begun as Indians loosen their purse strings during six days long festive season sale by e-tailers Amazon and Flipkart.
E-commerce companies that have been preparing for the festive season sale for the past two-three months–by forging new partnerships, preparing discount schemes, including exclusive product launches to attract customers–has been running for the past five years in India. This year the festive sale by both the e-tailers, Amazon’s The Great Indian Festival and Flipkart’s Big Billion Days is playing out between 29 September to 4 October.
Flipkart and Amazon said the sales on the first day went beyond their expectations due to many factors like latest product launches, deep discounts, and bank offers of loans and no-cost EMIs (equal monthly installments). Amazon revealed that the number of customers opting for EMIs has increased twice compared to last year and 75% of them were from tier 2 & 3 cities.
An Economic Times report said that sales of the top three premium smartphone brands Samsung, OnePlus and, Apple have touched Rs 750 crore (USD 106 million) in the first day of the sales. Flipkart said sales from tier 2 &3 cities have doubled when compared to last year.
Flipkart claimed this year the number of transacting customers from smaller cities doubled compared to the last year during the sale period. It added that travel has emerged as the fastest growing category on the platform.
This years’ annual festive sale of Amazon and Flipkart is a first after India’s revised e-commerce policy that bars online marketplaces from owning their vendors and preventing the sale and control of inventory sold on their platforms.
Both Amazon and Flipkart have invested in logistics for the last mile delivery of their products sold during the sale and have partnered with mom&pop stores throughout the country to strengthen their distribution network.
Domestic online retail players are collectively expected to clock almost USD 4.8 billion in sales during the entire festive period, as per Forrester Research.
Less than five percent of India’s USD 600 billion retail market is online, but the sector is expected to expand to 8 to 9% of the market by 2022, owing to the smartphone adoption and a rising middle class, according to RBC Capital Markets.