E-com­merce fes­tive sales to cross ~10,000 crore: RedSeer

Business Standard - - FRONT PAGE - ROMITA MAJUMDAR

In­dia’s e-com­merce firms may sell over $1.7 bil­lion or ~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 etail­ers them­selves,” said Anil Ku­mar, CEO of RedSeer Con­sult­ing.

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 data.

Flip­kart has al­ready de­clared 2.5 per cent ex­pected growth in smart­phone sales dur­ing this sea­son. Paytm Mall has for­ti­fied its in­ven­tory with a ~1,000-crore pack­age of prod­ucts for their 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.

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