Ama­zon & Flip­kart Jos­tle for the Ecom­merce Throne

Ama­zon said it has sur­passed Flip­kart in terms of value and vol­ume, while a Flip­kart exec said co was ahead of Ama­zon In­dia by 30% in terms of gross sales. Both de­clined to share ex­act nos

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Q1 growth Q2 growth Gross mer­chan­dise sales in the June quar­ter com­pared to same pe­riod last year

Unit terms

In terms of value reg­is­tered in the March quar­ter

In terms of vol­ume in the same quar­ter Ben­galuru: Ama­zon In­dia and Flip­kart both assert they are out­do­ing the other in the growth-starved In­dian ecom­merce mar­ket, rais­ing the stakes ahead of their an­nual festive sea­son bout.

Ac­cord­ing to Ama­zon In­dia, the com­pany has sur­passed Flip­kart, not in­clud­ing fash­ion units Myn­tra and Jabong, in terms of value and vol­ume over the past 18 months. As for Flip­kart, a com­pany ex­ec­u­tive said the on­line mar­ket­place was “grow­ing at 65-70% in terms of gross mer­chan­dise value the last few months, and (was) ahead of Ama­zon In­dia by 30% in terms of gross sales (ex­clud­ing Myn­tra and Jabong).” Ama­zon In­dia said the com­pany’s gross mer­chan­dise sales grew 59% in the June quar­ter as com­pared with the same pe­riod last year, and in unit terms, at 88%. In the March quar­ter, the com­pany reg­is­tered 68% growth in value and 85% in terms of vol­ume. Ama­zon In­dia cal­cu­lates GMS af­ter elim­i­nat­ing the tax com­po­nent on each unit and ac­count­ing for prod­uct re­turns and can­cel­la­tions. “We are the mar­ket leader and have grown con­sis­tently across all pa­ram­e­ters in­clud­ing traf­fic, new cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion as well as things that mat­ter to custo- mers — se­lec­tion, value and con­ve­nience,” an Ama­zon In­dia spokes­woman said in an email. “Third-party data also cor­rob­o­rates that we have seen sig­nif­i­cantly more vis­its on desk­top, app and mo­bile web.”

Both com­pa­nies de­clined to share ex­act num­bers.

Their growth fig­ures, how­ever, beat the over­all ecom­merce in­dus­try’s 5% gross sales growth in the cal­en­dar first quar­ter and 20% in the next, ac­cord­ing to data from RedSeer Con­sult­ing. In terms of sales vol­ume, the in­dus­try reg­is­tered a sim­i­lar 5% growth in the first quar­ter and 16% in the sec­ond. Ecom­merce growth for the in­dus­try re­vived in the AprilJune quar­ter af­ter stay­ing dull post last year’s Di­wali. This was mainly due to an in­crease in the num­ber of sale events held be­fore the new goods and ser­vices tax was rolled out last month, and as cash started com­ing back into the econ­omy post Novem­ber’s de­mon­eti­sa­tion. An­other big con­trib­u­tor to the in­creased sales at both Flip­kart and Ama­zon is Snapdeal’s dras­tic fall in sales. “Snapdeal was a prom­i­nent player till 2016 but has seen a dras­tic fall com­pared to the first quar­ter of last year. Its sales have par­tic­u­larly nose­dived since Fe­bru­ary,” said Kr­ishna Choud­hury, se­nior busi­ness an­a­lyst at RedSeer Con­sult­ing. Other on­line mar­ket­places, too, have re­mained stag­nant, he said.

Ama­zon In­dia said it reg­is­tered faster growth in cat­e­gories such as home, fash­ion, kitchen and sports than in mo­bile phones, and that it con­tin­ued to in­vest in more cat­e­gories, es­pe­cially in con­sum­ables. In the mo­bile phone cat­e­gory, Ama­zon had exclusive tie-ups for OnePlus 5, Redmi4 and 4A, and Moto G5, among others, this year. “Con­sumer sen­ti­ment and pref­er­ence shows that Ama­zon is strength­en­ing its hold while Flip­kart and Jabong have not been able to hold up as much in the sec­ond quar­ter,” said Satish Meena, se­nior fore­cast an­a­lyst at mar­ket re­search firm For­rester.

The Flip­kart ex­ec­u­tive quoted above said the com­pany has main­tained its mar­ket lead­er­ship in both the fash­ion and smart­phone seg­ments. Ama­zon, the world’s largest on­line re­tailer, has ag­gres­sive plans for In­dia, which the Seat­tle-based com­pany re­it­er­ated dur­ing its re­cent earn­ings call. Ama­zon’s in­vest­ments in In­dia, how­ever, in­creased its in­ter­na­tional losses five­fold in the sec­ond quar­ter to a record $724 mil­lion.

Ecom­merce growth re­vival in the Apr-Jun qtr was mainly due to an in­crease in the num­ber of sale events held be­fore the new GST roll­out

Over­all ecom­merce in­dus­try’s fig­ures from RedSeer Con­sult­ing

GROSS SALES

SALES VOL­UME 20% 16% Flip­kart’s claims Ama­zon In­dia’s growth claims

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