E-commerce firm Amazon has preponed the launch date of its biggest month-long flagship event ‘The Great Indian Festival’ (GIF) 2021 to October 3, 2021. Rival company Walmart-owned Flipkart is also launching its biggest flagship event, The Big Billion Days (TBBD) on the same day.
Amazon had earlier said that the GIF 2021 would start on October 4, 2021 for a month. Interestingly, after that, Flipkart which had said it will kick off the TBBD, a 6-day event, from October 7 to 12, preponed the launch date of TBBD to October 3 on Saturday.
“Our top priority remains customer trust and the interest of our sellers, especially the lakhs of small sellers and the tens of thousands of local shop owners across India," said Amazon India spokesperson. "We continue to innovate for our partners, small businesses and customers, as they gear up for the upcoming festive season. The Amazon Great Indian Festival will now start from October 3, 2021 and as always, Prime members will have early access.”
Amazon said GIF 2021 is dedicated to lakhs of small sellers including over 75,000 local shops from 450 cities, offering their unique selection of products to customers across the country. The event will also showcase products from Amazon sellers under various other programs such as Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Saheli, Amazon Karigar, as well as top Indian and global brands across categories.
“This year’s Great Indian Festival is a celebration of the resilience of local shops and small and medium sellers,” said Manish Tiwary, vice president, Amazon India. “We are humbled by their spirit and delighted with the opportunity to partner and enable their growth, especially in view of recent challenges owing to the pandemic.”
During this year’s GIF, over 850,000 sellers are offering crores of products to customers on Amazon, including unique products from Indian SMBs and local shops. The GIF event this year would include over 1,000 new product launches from top brands such as Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Sony and Apple. The other such brands include boAt, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Fossil, Levi’s, Bajaj, Lakme, Maybelline and Tata Tea.
To ensure safe, fast and reliable deliveries, and to serve customer demand during GIF, Amazon India has created more than 110,000 seasonal job opportunities across its operations network. The company has expanded its fulfilment network by increasing its storage capacity by 40 per cent with more than 60 fulfilment centres in 15 states offering 43 million cubic feet to its sellers. It also ramped up its delivery infrastructure and has close to 1,700 Amazon-owned and partner delivery stations, close to 28,000 ‘I Have Space’ partners and thousands of Amazon Flex delivery partners to serve customers in the farthest parts of the country.
As per a recent study commissioned by Amazon India and conducted by Nielsen, sellers on the marketplace are optimistic about this festive season. About 98 per cent of the surveyed sellers said that technology adoption and e-commerce have positively impacted their business. More than 78 per cent of the surveyed Amazon sellers expect to reach out to new customers, 71 per cent mentioned an increase in their sales and 71 per cent mentioned a recovery in their business as their top expectations from the festive season.
In an email addressed to the employees, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive officer, Flipkart Group said the company has the potential to make a deep positive impact on the lives of everyone who engages with it. Keeping this in mind, he said the firm is standing true to Flipkart’s values, being audacious, biased to action, and customer-centricity and have decided to make this Big Billion Day Bigger for all stakeholders.
“To enable this we are going to make some changes to our plans for Big Billion Days 2021,” said Krishnamurthy, in an email to the employees and which has been seen by Business Standard. “We are now kick-starting this event on October 3 and making it an eight-day event, ending on October 10.”
E-commerce firms Amazon, Flipkart, and others are expected to witness blockbuster festive season sales of about $9 billion this year surpassing the pre-pandemic sales of $5 billion witnessed during the festive month in 2019, according to research firm RedSeer.