The Festival sales season just wrapped up in India and, like Black Friday in many Western markets, retail and online sales were paraded by the three largest e-commerce competitors for the five-day celebration. We’ve got a marketplace sales and news update for readers.
With total sales of 15.5 million products to more than 100,000 customers, Flipkart claimed to be this year’s biggest Festival sales seller in its annual Big Billion Days sale. Amazon sold more than 15 million products to come in a close second while Snapdeal said it sold more than 11 million products.
Amazon said 65% of total sales came from tier II and III cities (less than one million population) and reached 90% of India’s postal codes. Flipkart reported 42% of sales in these same smaller cities. Flipkart said sales on October 3rd were more than $210 million alone.
Flipkart and Amazon engaged in a little brag fest over the value of small items like spices and their impact on unit sales. Snapdeal reported sales of more than 100,000 pairs of shoes on the first day alone. Despite that, Snapdeal is falling further behind its two bigger competitors. The big three vendors offered financial incentives to sellers to discount prices but few participated because of the cost.
While Festival sales closed for the big three, ShopClues continued its own mini-sales event for several days following. To add to the positive PR, Flipkart co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal played delivery guys for part of the day to the surprise of some customers. YourStory looked at how the big three leaders have redefined e-commerce in the Indian marketplace. And finally, Harshith Mallya wrote an entertaining article about buyers remorse after the end of the festival buying frenzy.
Flipkart – Big Billion Day
At midnight on Thursday, October 6, 2016, online retailer Flipkart finished its annual Big Billion Days sale — its third on the trot. The company, along with Myntra and Jabong, sold 15.5 million products, it said in a statement. Over 100,000 customers shopped for goods worth more than Rs 50,000. About 2.5 million smartphones were sold during this period, exceeding weekly total smartphone sales in India, the statement added. On a single day, October 3, the second day of this year’s Big Billion Days sale, the gross value of products sold topped Rs 1,400 crore ($210.44 million) — more than twice the value of goods it sold in the entire duration of last year’s Big Billion Days sale.
Its closest rival, Amazon sold 15 million units (the largest selling unit was Amazon’s Prime, its annual subscription service for cheaper delivery and on demand video). The company, however, did not disclose the value of goods it sold. New Delhi based Snapdeal said it sold 11 million units during its five-day sale, without disclosing the total value of goods it sold. (These numbers are big for Flipkart and Indian e-commerce but pale in comparison to ecommerce in China. For instance, in 2015 November Single’s day, Alibaba sold goods worth $14.3 billion.)
The 2016 online festival sale battle seems to have been won squarely by Flipkart, reversing recent hits it took under an onslaught by Amazon. It will bring the mojo back to the company and increase the cred of CEO Binny Bansal in the company and among its backers. This is the story of how the 2016 Big Billion Days sale was put together by a handful of Flipkart managers. Via factordaily.com
Three trends that show how India’s e-shopping has changed
Two years ago when Flipkart, the country’s largest web retailer kicked off its first flagship Big Billion Day sale, things didn’t quite go as per plan. The e-tailer wasn’t able to handle the unprecedented traffic and its founders were left apologizing to disgruntled shoppers for the snafus. A lot has changed since then, not only for Flipkart and for all e-commerce players, but also in the way India shops online.
Beyond the intense fight for capturing market share emblematic of the e-commerce sector, which reaches fever pitch this time of the year, what’s starting to emerge is a breed of seasoned shoppers who is as comfortable shopping for an expensive smart TV as ordering their dal-detergent online.
How small-town India saw a surge
If we were to believe data from companies, online retail’s march into smaller Indian cities seemed to have finally made progress this year after many attempts to amp up business from these towns. What’ll be interesting to watch is if these numbers sustain. Amit Agarwal, country head of Amazon India, says among the 15 million units it sold during its ‘Great Indian Festival’, orders came from 90% of India’s pin codes. The number of new customers increased five-fold over last Diwali with 70% of new shoppers coming from tier II and tier III towns, he adds. Overall, 65% of Amazon’s orders come from towns categorized as tier II (population of one million) and below. Rival Flipkart says sales from tier II and below cities went up to 42% from 34% in the past one year. Via timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Amazon’s Amit Agarwal says ecommerce not only about selling mobile phones
Amazon India boss Amit Agarwal countered Flipkart’s comment that appeared to poke fun at the Seattle-based company for selling small-ticket items like “churan and hing” to make up the numbers in the recently concluded festive season sales.
“People not only bought mobile phones, upgrading through an exchange offer or the appliance that they could not get access to in their city or a TV… or furniture they couldn’t or the home appliance or the fashion they were looking to buy but they also bought churan and hing,” Agarwal said.
Flipkart had claimed victory on Friday in the sales sweepstakes with 15.5 million units against Amazon’s 15 million. The ecommerce company made the point that this was without offering groceries or Prime memberships. Via economictimes.indiatimes.com
How much did Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal sell this festive season?
Spread over five days, the online festive sales by the three e-retailers—Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal—this year (2016) claim to have registered a manifold growth in sales compared with last year (2015). Via indiatimes.com
Decoding the “millions” sold by Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal in the festive season sales
Below are the headline numbers shared by each company, with some context about what all the “millions” mean:
Interested Indians: Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal together sold 41.5 million items during their five-day sales. Assuming that each of these items was bought by a different buyer (highly unlikely), only around 10% of India’s 402 million internet users participated in the events.
Unit sales and user base: Flipkart said it sold 15.5 million items during its Big Billion Day (BBD) sale, higher than the corresponding figures of its closest rivals, Amazon and Snapdeal. But even if each of these items was purchased by a different consumer (again, highly unlikely), only 15.5% of the company’s 100-million registered users actually participated in BBD. Snapdeal, on its part, sold around 11 million items during its five-day sale. This is only 7% of the company’s last-disclosed registered user base of roughly 80 million. Amazon said it sold 15 million items but hasn’t disclosed its registered user base in India.
Smartphones: Flipkart said it sold 2.5 million smartphone handsets during BBD. This means that in less than a week, Flipkart’s customers bought far more smartphones than the total number of mobile phone users in countries like Bhutan and Mauritius.
Shoes: Snapdeal said it sold 100,000 pairs of footwear on day one. That’d be enough for all the passengers visiting the Mumbai airport each day. Via qz.com
Snapdeal slips against its two main rivals, Flipkart & Amazon. Can it get its mojo back?
A year ago, Kunal Bahl, CEO and co-founder, Snapdeal declared that the e-commerce startup will overtake arch rival Flipkart in sales. Since then, Amazon India, which launched three years after Snapdeal, has overtaken Bahl’s company in sales.
What was not long ago billed as a two-horse race between Flipkart and Snapdeal in the $12 billion Indian e-commerce market has now become a two-horse race between Flipkart and Amazon. Snapdeal’s market share dropped to 14% from 19% a year ago while Amazon’s gained from 14% to 24% in the same period.
Flipkart remains the leader despite a fall in market share to 37% from 43%. Snapdeal, which moved to a marketplace model four years ago, is now playing catch up with its two main competitors. Bahl’s bluster has since dried, possibly a direct consequencee of the underwhelming performance of his company against competitors. Via economictimes.indiatimes.com
Not many takers for financial incentives offered by Snapdeal, Flipkart, Amazon to sellers
Most vendors felt that ecommerce companies have failed in explaining the benefits of the incentives announced. “Marketplaces get their commission for every loan disbursed, but the inconsistency of business on marketplaces poses a huge risk to sellers who avail of such loans,” said one of the sellers.
Another route adopted by companies to lure more sellers to their platforms is exclusive partnerships under which they offer them aggressive, and free marketing and publicity for their products. Promotions being an expensive proposition, most small-time vendors cannot afford to splurge on marketing themselves. So on the face of it, the offer seems attractive. Yet, most of the vendors stayed away from accepting these offers because exclusive partnership with one company mean a boycott from the others, which, being small players, they cannot afford.
Lukewarm response to their financial offers from sellers notwithstanding, most companies have announced unprecedented transactions on their platforms in the past five days of their annual festive sales. According to media reports, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon alone are expected to have generated sales in excess of Rs 10,000 crore ($1.5 billion). Via techcircle.vccircle.com
Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal sales end, but ShopClues still on: Here’s whats hot
After five days of online shopping frenzy, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal sales have closed, but ShopClues, whose ‘Top Dhamaka Deals’ sale is still going on is grabbing eye-balls for the kind of deals it is offering.
Among the top trends in terms of deals are Moto G Plus priced at 11,399, HP Pavilion Laptop priced at Rs 48,990, and Samsung Full HD TV priced at Rs 23,990. ShopClues’ #ItneKumMei Diwali Sale is on till October 10. While the above-mentioned hot deals are doing well, here are a number of other attractive Diwali offers under the ‘Dhamaka Deals’. Via financialexpress.com
Sachin And Binny Bansal Became Delivery Guys – What Happened Next Will Amaze You!
“We have had a flawless Big Billion Days this year. Starting from marketing, merchandising to supply chain and technology, all teams came together to deliver and the results have been stunning. Some of the key landmarks of the sale were when we made a history in the Indian ecommerce by crossing 1400 crore in a day. Big Billion Days are nothing without the billion people of the country. We dream of making all wishes affordable, and these are only initial steps in that direction,” said Binny Bansal – CEO, Flipkart.
Flipkart embarked on its five-day Big Billion Days sale earlier this week and claimed to mark history, crossing $210 Mn (INR 1400 Cr) sale in on October 3 alone. With both its acquired units, Myntra and Jabong together, the Bansal founders reported to sold a total of 15.5 Mn units, including 2.5 Mn Smartphones.
Not only this, on day one, the company sold over half a million products within one hour of opening the sale. The sale witnessed the highest number of concurrent users in five minutes of going live. This was 10 times more than any given day, making it the highest-ever in the history of Flipkart. Via inc42.com
How Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon redefined the festive season for consumers
Over the past couple of years, the online players have shown that they are here to stay, and are assured of getting a chunk of festive season sales, which Indians celebrate as much as the festival itself. With a huge seller base, variety in products, efficient logistics and tens of thousands of delivery boys, and even financial startups to back their customers, market leaders Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon are each putting their best foot forward to attract customers.
Flipkart’s Big Billion Sale, which started it all, started on October 2nd, along with Snapdeal’s Unbox Zindagi sale. Their competitor, US-based Amazon, launched their Great Indian Sale a day earlier. With the sales nearing completion, YourStory looks at what these three companies have done differently from last year, when they claimed a meteoric rise in their daily sales figures.
Bigger baskets and marketing tricks
The Great Indian Festival, which Amazon has re-christened Tyohaar Bade Dilwala this year, has offers on a considerable variety of products like smartphones, consumer electronics, stationery products, books, baby products and beauty products. Manish Tiwary, VP – Category Management, Amazon India, had said that the basket size this year would increase significantly, with customers buying at all price points, and in a greater number of items from multiple categories like home and kitchen, electronics, fashion, beauty, health and personal care. Sure enough, their consumer electronics, smartphones and fashion categories have grown sevenfold already, a statement from the company has claimed. Via yourstory.com
Hing, Churan Becomes The New Warfare of Indian eCommerce – What Exactly Happened Between Amazon, Flipkart?
Overall, Flipkart managed to ship 15.5 million units during their festive day sales period, spanning 5 days. However, challenging Flipkart’s dominance came Amazon from behind, which claimed to ship 15 million units during their own festive day sales period of 5 days. Now, a difference of just 0.5 million between these two ecommerce portals was something which irked Flipkart.
Hence, to negate the Amazon effect, Flipkart came out saying that Amazon achieved such huge numbers by selling low-value commodities such as hing and churan, which are priced below Rs 50; whereas they sold high-end products like mobile phones, TV and gadgets.
Indirectly, Flipkart was saying that Amazon’s 15 million units doesn’t compare with their 15.5. Million units, because of the price/quality of the units shipped. Via trak.in
Buyer’s remorse post-Big Billion Days: How I learnt to stop worrying about discounts and love MRP
It was 11:59 pm on October 1, 2016, and I had three devices – a laptop, tablet and smartphone – spread out in front of me, signed-into three different e-commerce portals. (I could have opened three different tabs on my laptop, but where is the drama in that?) My fingers were ready and twitching to pounce on any interesting deals that would be revealed at the stroke of midnight, as part of the festive season sales that different e-commerce portals were running.
There were no real products on my ‘wishlist’, but the fear of missing out (FOMO) kept me glued to the multiple screens. By 12:02 am, I had scoured all three platforms and found reasonable deals, unlike the outrageous ‘Steal Deals’ that had gone out of stock within milliseconds back in 2014. I was about to call it a night when one particular deal that I had missed earlier flashed before my eyes and I immediately felt ‘buyer’s remorse’ – the sense of regret after making a purchase.
In front of me was a product I had purchased for Rs 4,000 more just two weeks ago, without giving too much thought. The product had been shipped and reached my doorstep within 24 hours and I was happy with the product and quick service. But in light of the new information, I started going through the different stages of buyer’s remorse. Via yourstory.com
US holiday retail sales planning in high gear
Planning for the holiday sales season is at full speed. On Friday, we’ll look at sales expectations and how Amazon’s retail and e-commerce competitors hope to keep up with the global giant. Challenges ahead!