Amazon, Flipkart set to witness business worth $600 mn during sale events

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The e-commerce majors have bounced back on better delivery and improved last-mile connectivity during the ongoing sale while discounts have remained largely minimal

E-commerce companies Amazon and Flipkart are expecting to witness a total business of about $600 million during their ongoing sale events. This is at least 25 per cent higher in terms of sales compared to the business these firms would have generated for such small scale events during pre-Covid times, according to the industry insiders and analysts. They are also witnessing an increase in volumes (number of orders) which is 40 per cent higher than the normal times. Walmart-owned Flipkart is running the 5-day ‘Big Saving Days’ sale till Monday, coinciding with Amazon’s 48-hour Prime Day sale which ended on Friday night. But Amazon started another event on Saturday called ‘Freedom Sale’ which would end on Tuesday.

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“These are not dominant sale events compared to Flipkart’s Big Billion Days and Amazon’s Great Indian Festival, but these companies are expected to witness a total sales of about $600 million,” said a person familiar with the sale events of Flipkart and Amazon. “In normal times these events would not have been big, but now there is less competition as shoppers are avoiding to visit the stores due to fear of catching the virus.”

The e-commerce majors have bounced back on better delivery and improved last-mile connectivity during the ongoing sale while discounts have remained largely minimal. Sources say both Amazon and Flipkart are seeing a huge demand for electronic goods.

Amazon India witnessed bumper sales of smartphone handsets during the two-day sale with “many items getting out of stock,” according to a person familiar with the development.

“There has been a good response for brands (on Amazon and Flipkart) especially in categories such as electronics, appliances and smartphones as more number of people are working from home,” said Satish Meena, a senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research. “The sales value would look good as the ticket size of these categories is big. However, this time companies are not focusing much on discounts on these categories as they are not seeing competition from the offline stores.”

Instead of making the sellers bleed, experts say, both the e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart have roped in banks to offer discounts to buyers in order to make the deals more attractive.

Ankur Pahwa, partner and national leader, e-commerce and consumer internet at consultancy EY India, said the offers on the platforms and tie-up with banks, especially for discretionary spends categories are indicative of the efforts being made to reboot sales and liquidate stocks in those segments. “ Also, smaller cities are seeing a fair uptick in volumes in this sale period both from value-conscious buyers as also from new users,” said Pahwa.

Flipkart works with over 200,000 sellers and 250,000 small sellers such as artisans, weavers, and craftsmen. On Amazon.in, there are over 600,000 sellers. Industry insiders said that there is also some push from sellers to offer deep discounts on Chinese products and sell them quickly due to the campaign to boycott Chinese goods. The government has also asked these firms to make it compulsory for sellers on their e-commerce platform to reveal the ‘country of origin’ of new and existing product listings by the middle of August this year. The sellers are also making efforts to quickly sell products in categories focused on summer including vacation and travel as the season is getting over.

During the sale events, these e-commerce firms are offering deals on products ranging from smartphones, laptops to televisions and refrigerators. During Amazon’s Prime Day sale, several handsets such as the OnePlus 7 range were sold at a discount of up to Rs 10,000 on Amazon. Among Amazon devices, Echo Dot was available at up to 50 per cent discount. Headsets and speakers including that of Sony, JBL and Boat were available at a heavy discount of up to 70 per cent.

This was the first event that was handled by the Amazon India team virtually while working from home. “We had a 48-hour war room set up on Amazon Chime which went smoothly without any technical slowdowns. The employees managed to keep things up and going virtually,” said a company spokesperson.

Sachin Taparia, founder and chairman of community platform LocalCircles said while its consumer spending survey on e-commerce during Prime Day and Big Saving Days sale is still running, initial indication is that approximately 2 per cent of e-commerce shoppers have spent more than Rs 10,000, while another 9 per cent of them have spent up to Rs 10,000 to purchase the products. “Based on consumer feedback, just because the sale was on and many don’t want to visit markets and malls for non-essentials they need, they have ended up placing orders during these sales,” said Taparia

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