Festive sales kick-in with e-commerce firms reporting higher demand from smaller towns
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Bengaluru: E-commerce companies including Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal, which kickstarted their annual flagship sales during the weekend, reported increased demand from smaller towns and cities this year.

Both Amazon and Flipkart began early access to the sale event for Amazon Prime and Flipkart Plus members starting Friday midnight (October 2).  

During early access, Flipkart said it saw close to 45% of customer demand coming from Tier 3 cities and beyond. Amazon India, on the other hand, reported a 21% increase in the number of sellers receiving an order from customers in Tier 2 and 3 cities.  

Flipkart said it reported a 40% growth in sales during this year’s early access event as compared to comparable sales a year ago. Amazon India said that almost 60% more sellers clocked higher sales during this year’s early access event, compared to last year.

Myntra and Snapdeal, which also kickstarted their festive sales on Sunday (October 3), saw a sizeable chunk of sales coming from Tier 2 and 3 geographies. For Myntra, 40% of orders on the first day came from small towns and cities, it said.

In a bid to reach discount shoppers first, both Amazon India and Flipkart advanced their sale dates from October 4 and October 7 respectively to October 3, as competition between the arch-rivals intensifies.   

“This year, The Big Billion Days (TBBD) sale has started off seeing upbeat participation by customers and sellers. E-commerce is clearly gaining increasing acceptance among the masses, and it is evident that user-friendly technical and financial constructs are helping to drive its adoption,” said Nandita Sinha, vice president - customer and growth, Flipkart. "We will continue, in the years ahead, to do what we do best – offer products that deliver the best value, and introduce features and solutions that make our platform more accessible and affordable," she added.

According to Filpkart, smartphones and electronics continued to dominate shoppers’ basket this year as well. During the first day of the sale, Flipkart claimed that one in five customers chose to upgrade their smartphone, with televisions and laptops recording top sales in home appliances and electronics category. It added that it saw sellers from 124 new cities transact in this years’ The Big Billion Days sale, compared to last.

Amazon India said that 16% more sellers received orders during this years’ ‘Great Indian Festival’ sale, compared to last.  

“Amazon Great Indian Festival 2021, our month-long festive celebrations has gotten off to a strong start [...] During Prime Early Access on October 2, the number of local shops participating in the event more than doubled compared to last year. We also saw 16% more sellers receiving orders over last year. Early data for Day 1 indicates a strong start across categories for the month-long festive season and we are excited by the momentum,” said Manish Tiwary, vice president Amazon India.  

Snapdeal also kick started it's week long festive sale on Sunday.

“Trends from the first day of our sale show that most orders have come from Tier 3 cities, followed by Tier 2 and metro cities. So far men's fashion (footwear and clothing), women's ethnic wear, and personal care and grooming are the most popular categories on Snapdeal. We have also seen an increase in automobile-related product sales as well” said a Snapdeal spokesperson responding to Mint’s queries.  

E-commerce platforms are expected to clock over $9 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) during the festive season this year, a 23% rise as against $7.4 billion last year, according to estimates by management consultancy RedSeer Consulting.

The projected gains are slower than the record 48% growth witnessed last year, when offline establishments saw sales plummet because of fear of covid and pandemic-related restrictions. Further, e-commerce companies are expected to clock $4.8 billion in the first week of festive sales alone, according to RedSeer estimates.

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