E-commerce majors Flipkart and Amazon India said they have witnessed a strong start to this year’s festive sale, with demand from Tier-II and -III cities driving the momentum. Flipkart said early access for its ‘Flipkart Plus’ programme (loyalty programme) saw a 40 % growth this year compared to last year, while about 45 % of customer demand has been from Tier-III cities and beyond.
Manish Tiwary, Amazon India Vice-President said the platform saw a 60 % increase in sellers who received their highest-ever single-day sales year-on-year on Amazon.in. He also added that “Amazon Great Indian Festival 2021, our month-long festive celebrations has gotten off to a strong start, with millions of customers buying from small sellers listed on Amazon.in, including local shops, start-ups and brands, artisans, weavers and SMBs.
“During Prime Early Access on October 2, the number of local shops participating in the event more than doubled compared to last year,” he added.
The competition between the two giants is expected to be intense, similar to previous years. Flipkart’s The Big Billion Days Sale and Amazon India’s Great Indian Festival (GIF) has started from Sunday. Both the platforms offered early access to Plus (Flipkart) and Prime (Amazon) customers.
While Flipkart’s The Big Billion Days (TBBD) sale is an eight-day event that will end on October 10, Amazon India’s GIF will be a month-long affair.
Other players like Myntra, Snapdeal and others are also holding similar sale events on their platforms.
Flipkart, in its statement, said the eighth edition of its TBBD started on a positive note, with early trends reflecting upbeat consumer sentiment in the country.
“Early access for Flipkart Plus customers saw a 40 % of growth as compared to last year. Interestingly, about 45 % of customer demand has been from tier-III cities and beyond signaling a strong preference for high-value goods/ items,” it said.
Flipkart further added that “the anticipation for this festival was evident as more than two million customers pre-booked close to five million products just prior to Early Access by paying just Rs 1”.The curated offerings of “BBD Specials” had over one lakh customers placing orders for these products in the first 12 hours of early access, it noted.
Nandita Sinha, Flipkart Vice-President (Customer and Growth) said “This year, TBBD has started off seeing upbeat participation by customers and sellers. E-commerce is clearly gaining increasing acceptance among the masses, and it is evident that user-friendly technical and financial constructs are helping to drive its adoption,” .
She added that the company will expand and strengthen its ecosystem of sellers and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), enabling better income and livelihoods for millions and expand its reach across the country.
Sharing initial trends, Flipkart said one in five customers has chosen to exchange their smartphone for a new one, with 82.6 % of customers choosing to pay for their next smartphone using prepaid payment options.
“There are 124 new cities/towns from where sellers transacted in the first 24 hours; these included Hingna (Maharashtra), Baghpat (Uttar Pradesh), Attingal (Kerala), Sambhal (Uttar Pradesh) and Dewa (Uttar Pradesh), and others.
“Top categories for marketplace sellers are grooming, mobile protection, home furnishing, household and women ethnic contemporary,” Flipkart said.
E-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart line up new launches and offers to woo shoppers during the festive season, holding multiple sale events that are timed around Dussehra and Diwali.
According to consulting firm RedSeer, e-commerce platforms are expected to potentially clock over USD 9 billion GMV (gross merchandise value) during the festive season this year as against USD 7.4 billion last year – a growth of 23 %.