Flip­kart, Ama­zon Set to Spark Fes­tive Sale Craze

GMVs may surge to $1.5 B as ecomm ma­jors plan flag­ship sales in Sept; other promo events also on cards

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Payal.Gan­guly@ times­group.com

Ben­galuru: If you are look­ing for­ward to an ex­tended an­nual fes­tive sea­son this year, so are Ama­zon In­dia and Flip­kart.

Ganesh Chaturthi ar­rives at the end of this month — nearly two weeks ear­lier than in 2016 — and the ecom­merce gi­ants are pre­par­ing to kick-off their an­nual flag­ship fes­tive sales in Septem­ber rather than in Oc­to­ber. Both Flip­kart and Ama­zon In­dia will host smaller events this month in the run-up to the fes­tive sea­son that peaks with Di­wali in Oc­to­ber and stretches till Christ­mas.

The head-start into the fes­tive sea­son, an­a­lysts ex­pect, could help stir up In­dia’s on­line re­tail mar­ket that has been tepid for most of this year largely be­cause of de­mon­eti­sa­tion and the in­tro­duc­tion of a new tax regime in July. At least one an­a­lyst pre­dicts up to a 66% GMV from the Big Bil­lion Days sale by Flip­kart and Great In­dian Fes­ti­val sale by Ama­zon ex­pected to jump to

this year from ship­ments likely to grow three times over last year, ac­cord­ing to lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies

BOTH THE

mar­ket­places have planned their flag­ship sales in Septem­ber surge in com­bined gross sales for Flip­kart and Ama­zon In­dia from their flag­ship sales over last year.

Flip­kart’s Big Bil­lion Days sale is sched­uled for mid-Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to sev­eral mer­chants on the on­line mar­ket­place.

Ama­zon In­dia’s ven­dors said it, too, is plan­ning its Great In­dian Fes­ti­val sale the same month.

Ahead of that, Ama­zon will host a smaller Great In­dian Sale from Au­gust 9 to 12. Flip­kart will have a sim­i­lar sale this month, ac­cord­ing to its ven­dors. Both Ama­zon In­dia and Flip­kart de­clined to con­firm the dates of their main fes­tive sales. Com­bined gross mer­chan­dise value (GMV), a proxy for gross sales, for Flip­kart and Ama­zon In­dia from their fes­tive sales events in­creased to $900 mil­lion in 2016 from about $300 mil­lion in 2015, For­rester Re­search said in a June re­port ti­tled ‘The State of In­dia’s On­line Re­tail Mar­ket in 2017.’

Both the com­pa­nies ex­tended their flag­ship sales to five days last year from three days in 2015.

“This year, we ex­pect the com­bined GMV to grow from $900 mil­lion to $1.2-1.5 bil­lion dur­ing the Big Bil­lion Days sale by Flip­kart and Great In­dian Fes­ti­val sale by Ama­zon,” said Satish Meena, se­nior fo- re­cast an­a­lyst at For­rester In­dia who au­thored the re­port.

Flip­kart clocked GMV of $500 mil­lion from its fes­tive sales in 2016 and Ama­zon In­dia about $400 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to the For­rester re­port, In­dia’s on­line re­tail mar­ket grew 33.7% to $16.3 bil­lion in 2016, sig­nif­i­cantly slower than its 114.4% growth in the prior year. For­rester fore­casts the mar­ket to in­crease by about 31% to $21.3 bil­lion this year.

FO­CUS CAT­E­GORIES

The fo­cus cat­e­gories for this year’s fes­tive sale will con­tinue to be smart­phones, fol­lowed by fash­ion in­clud­ing beauty and per­sonal care, and home ap­pli­ances, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts.

“Some of the top cat­e­gories cus­tomers love to shop for (on Ama­zon In­dia) in­clude smart­phones, fash­ion, large and small ap­pli­ances, con­sumer elec­tron­ics and TV, fol­lowed by FMCG,” said Man­ish Ti­wary, vice-pres­i­dent of cat­e­gory man­age­ment at Ama­zon In­dia. Last year, the com­pany re­ported a 2.7-time in­crease in sales over 2015.

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