E-commerce giants Amazon, Flipkart, and others witnessed blockbuster festive season sales this year. The pandemic accelerated the shift to e-commerce, with an increasing number of consumers shopping online at a higher frequency.
India’s online festive sale for a month — during October-November — raked in $8.3 billion in gross sales, including for brands and sellers, up by 65 per cent year-on-year, exceeding forecasts, according to a report by consulting firm RedSeer.
“The overall growth story has been very bullish this festive season,” said Mrigank Gutgutia, director at RedSeer. “We had forecast $7 billion in sales but the actual figures surpassed our expectations clearly, showing how comfortable consumers have become with shopping online even in a pandemic-hit year.”
The festive season this year saw 88 per cent customer growth from last year, which was driven by 40 million shoppers from tier-2 cities and beyond. Mobile phones continued to dominate across all the products, and with the rising share of users from tier-2 cities and beyond, GMV (gross merchandise value) per customer dropped to Rs 6,600 from Rs 7,450 in the last festive season.
Additionally, the gross merchandise value (GMV) numbers increased from $5 billion last year to $8.3 billion this year. “According to our estimates, Flipkart emerged the leader during the whole festive month, with 66 per cent share of the total sale,” said RedSeer. “One clear lesson from this festive season was that e-commerce has become more mainstream. It has proven that with the right assortment at the right price, the value proposition of e-commerce is very powerful,” said Gutgutia.
Flipkart witnessed at least 40 per cent growth in its flagship Big Billion Days (BBD), compared to the same event last year, said people in the know. The firm achieved its target in just three days of the week-long sale, which ended last month.
Similarly, sellers at Amazon.in witnessed their biggest Great Indian Festival (GIF) festive sale, enabling them to reach millions of customers across all corners of the country.
Sellers from 6,387 pin codes received orders; 1 out of 2 sellers saw their biggest day of sales. Amazon said close to 600 sellers saw more than Rs 1 crore in sales and nearly 6,500 sellers saw more than Rs 10 lakh in sales. A significant chunk of customers came from Bharat (tier-2, tier-3 cities and rural parts of the country) to shop on Amazon. The company said it received orders from 99.3 per cent of India’s pin codes.
According to RedSeer, e-commerce players had a very high level of item availability maintained, despite risks from the precarious Indo-China relations that also affect the supply chain ecosystem.
Growth in sales from tier-2 cities this year are attributable to higher-than-normal migration from metros to tier-2 cities, on the back of work-from-home and school-from-home becoming common. Buyers preferred affordable price ranges this year for almost all product categories, instead of cheap or expensive.
The e-commerce platforms enabled affordability this year with aggressive tie-ups through brands and financing deals, coming on the back of a bleak, pandemic-affected year. RedSeer said online sales events have enabled sellers and brands to recover after Covid and contribute to demand-led economic recovery.