India festive season sales

Online retailers in India attained sales totalling to a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of $3 billion (Rs. 19,000 crores) between September 29 and October 4, the first six days of the festive season sales.

Gross Merchandise Value, aka GMV, is the total value of the goods sold by e-commerce companies during any specific period of time. This sum excludes discounts, cashback, returns, and any other fee deductions.

A report by Forrester Research predicted e-retailer sales to reach approximately $4.8 billion during this festive season. An estimated $3.82 billion were expected to be generated during the first five days owing to the Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sale and Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale.

This approximation was realized, RedSeer Consulting, a market research company based in Bengaluru, India confirmed. According to this report, the first six days of festive season sales generated a record GMV of $3 billion. Flipkart and Amazon’s combined sales held 90% of the market share.

Amazon and Flipkart claiming highest sale shares

Both Amazon and Flipkart firmly insist that they had the highest sales during this period.

Amazon backed its claim using figures from a report by market research agency Nielsen. The report suggests it was at the top of the leader board for the number of transacting customers with a 50% share.

Flipkart, on the other hand, supported its statement using market share figures, which totalled 63% according to their internal data.

Some other figures to consider and compare are Flipkart and Amazon’s order shares and value shares during this period. Nielsen reports that Amazon’s order shares in the market were the highest at 42%, whereas Flipkart’s were a close second at 38%. Value shares were equal at 46% each. Transacting shares, however, showed a significant margin, with Flipkart’s totalling to 37%.

Amazon’s market share is believed to be about 30% this year, less than half of Flipkart’s.

Neither shared the total number of sales.

Value shopping and a growing customer base

Flipkart and Amazon have pushed to expand their customer base to regions falling under tier-II and beyond, collectively known as Bharat. These regions include small cities and rural areas with populations of 99,999 and below.

A significant part of the growth of festive season sales this year is being attributed to customers in these regions. Both Amazon and Flipkart boasted of this feat.

We received orders from 99.4% of India’s pin codes, of which 88% customers were from smaller towns

Amit Aggarwal, Global Senior Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India

We doubled our transactions in tier-III cities.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group

Analysts ascribe this success to effective advertising, exchange offers, the attractive bank offers such as EMIs, discounts, and a vast catalogue of products to pick from. These strategies supplement and cater to the requisites of value shopping, a growing habit in Indian consumers.

The biggest theme of the festive season was ‘value shopping’ as indicated by a large chunk of customers from Tier 2 cities who shopped online

RedSeer Consulting

Estimates say that the Indian e-retail market will be able to generate up to $6 billion by the end of the festive season. This growth in sales is a relief in light of slow-moving sales in the first half of the year and strict FDI policies.

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