firms may sell over $1.7 billion or Rs 10,880 crore (as per current exchange rate) worth of goods during the festive sale this year, as large firms, such as Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm Mall, line up products and offers to woo customers on their platforms.
This year, the sale is expected to grow by over 60 per cent, as e-commerce
firms look to tap the increasing number of new consumers who have come online due to the aggressive push by telecom major Reliance Jio
in increasing data access.
In the 2016 festive sales, Indian e-commerce
firms saw sales of $1.05 billion as home-grown Flipkart used the sale period to fight back an aggressive Amazon to retain its top slot. It also witnessed Snapdeal being edged out as a serious contender in the e-commerce
marketplace model before looking at a different model, after it rejected an attempt to merge with Flipkart.
Since last year’s comeback, Flipkart has got strategic investors such as Tencent, eBay
and SoftBank, the world’s biggest Internet investor, to back it, building a war chest of over $4 billion to take on competition this festive season. It looks to double or treble sales this year.
Amazon, which has built a loyal base of users through its Prime subscription service, is also hoping to double its business. Paytm Mall, backed by Alibaba, has expanded its online play to bring offline players to the Internet and offer their products and services to customers.
“This year is likely to be the biggest sales event in the history of online retail. With a much larger online user base, higher than ever exclusive product selection and likelihood of attractive discount across categories, this will truly be a bonanza of sorts for all industry stakeholders alike — sellers, consumers and e-tailers themselves,” said Anil Kumar, CEO of RedSeer
Both Amazon and Flipkart are signing up deals with mobile manufacturers, looking to capitalise on demand for smartphones. Over 55 per cent of the sales in terms of value is from smartphones for India’s e-commerce
players. Flipkart leads smartphone sales with 53 per cent share, with Amazon contributing 35 per cent and Paytm Mall
a little less than five per cent, according to RedSeer
Flipkart expects smartphone sales to grow over 2.5 times this season. Paytm Mall
is spending over Rs 1,000-crore marketing spends for its inaugural festive sale.
Flipkart will begin its five-day ‘Big Billion Days’ sale from September 20 and offer discounts and deals on every handset sold through its platform. Amazon will host its sale between September 21 and 24, with Prime consumers getting exclusive offers and deals a day earlier. Both firms have been preparing for the season by beefing up their logistical and warehouse teams. Amazon has opened a 400,000 square feet fulfilment centre in Hyderabad.