E-commerce giants Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal have witnessed blockbuster festive season sales. The pandemic accelerated the shift to e-commerce, with an increasing number of consumers shopping online at a higher frequency.
The online festive sales received a strong response from October 15-19. New estimates by RedSeer Consulting on Wednesday showed that $3.1 billion (Rs 22,000 crore) of goods were sold from brands and sellers in the first 4.5 days of the event.
This means 77 per cent of RedSeer’s projected online sales were already achieved during the said timeframe. The firm had earlier projected total festive sales of e-commerce firms to cross $7 billion.
RedSeer said the first few days of this year’s online sale season saw a more explosive start compared to last year — and was on track to meet its forecast of $4 billion by end of the event. This would be a 50 per cent growth compared to the initial festive events hosted last year.
Flipkart witnessed at least 40 per cent growth for its flagship festive sale Big Billion Days (BBD) compared to the same event last year, said people in the know. The Walmart-owned firm achieved its target in just three days of the week-long BBD, which ended on Wednesday. In just two days of the BBD, marketplace sellers witnessed the level of growth they had seen during six days of the event last year.
Flipkart did not reveal the sales information but said that this year, BBD saw 1.5x the number of transacting sellers, against last year. Among these, more than 35 per cent witnessed 3x sales compared to last year.
“The remarkable enthusiasm from consumers has ushered in green shoots of recovery for everyone across the value chain,” said Nandita Sinha, vice president, customer growth and engagement, Flipkart.
In the first five days, Flipkart has already delivered 10 million shipments with over 3.5 million delivered by its Kirana partners (compared to 1 million deliveries last BBD). These shipments happened from October 16-21, across categories such as mobiles, fashion, electronics, and home furnishing categories.
These deliveries were made across the country ranging from the Indo-Pak border in Gujarat to 5,000 feet above sea level in Siliguri, and through the jungles of the Gir forest. The platform witnessed 110 orders placements per second.
Further, BBD brought forth small businesses from smaller towns. Within the 35 per cent new seller base this BBD, around 60 per cent of the sellers were from tier-2 and tier- 3 towns. Flipkart Samarth programme for artisans and weavers saw 7x growth in the number of sellers. The top-performing categories under this programme included handloom cotton saree and home decor.
This year’s BBD reached far and wide with digital and financial constructs such as EMIs and ‘Pay Later’. BBD witnessed more than 55 per cent increase in digital payments transactions on Flipkart with a sharp increase in the new to digital customer base.
Another e-commerce firm Snapdeal also concluded its Kum Mein Dum Diwali sale. The five-day sale was noticeable for the extensive involvement of sellers from the physical markets.
The impact of this was visible in the choices made by buyers. About 80 per cent of consumers chose a regional or a local brand for their Diwali purchases vis-a-vis 20 per cent who opted for national and international brands. The comparable percentage was 65 per cent and 35 per cent respectively last festive season.
Nearly 70 per cent of orders were received by sellers located beyond the top five metropolitan cities. There was a steady flow of orders to sellers in smaller centres like Avinashi in Tamil Nadu for textiles, Palitana in Gujarat for footwear, Rewa in Madhya Pradesh for gaming accessories. The other such places included Muktsar in Punjab for herbal products and Birlapur in West Bengal for home decor products.
“The extent and depth of orders received and shipped from non-metros cities illustrates the accelerated growth of online commerce in recent months,” said Snapdeal.
Amazon, too, witnessed the biggest ever opening for sellers and brand partners during its flagship Great Indian Festival, which started last week. More shoppers and sellers participated in the opening 48 hours than any opening two days before. It got orders from close to 98.4 per cent of India’s pin codes.