E-commerce giants Amazon.in and Walmart-owned Flipkart on Friday said they have seen record growth in the first phase of their festive sales, on the back of new customers from 'Bharat' logging onto these platforms.
Amazon attributed its stellar performance to "availability of selection, convenience and affordability" on the platform, while Flipkart said its efforts around affordability constructs and engagement via video and Hindi language content had helped drive 50 per cent more new customers compared to its last year's Big Billion Days (BBD) sale.
Both e-commerce marketplaces started their festive sale on September 29 and is scheduled to end on Friday.
"There was almost 50 per cent growth in the number of new customers as compared to BBD 2018. On the seller front, over 40 per cent of transacting sellers during BBD were from tier II and beyond towns. There was a 50 per cent growth in the number of sellers participating in the sale this year compared to last year," Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy told PTI.
He added that there has been strong growth across categories like fashion, mobile phones, large appliances, furniture and groceries.
Amazon cited a report by research agency Nielsen to state that it had the "highest share of transacting customers and purchases across all online shopping platforms in the first five days" of its Great Indian Festival period.
"The first wave of the Great Indian Festival was our biggest celebration ever with Amazon.in -- witnessing highest share of transacting customers and purchases across all marketplaces in India. We received orders from 99.4 per cent pincodes and over 65,000 sellers from over 500 cities received orders in the five days," Amazon India Senior Vice President and Country Head Amit Agarwal said.
He added that small businesses across India are embracing technology and serving customers with a wide selection of products at great value and convenience through Amazon's platform.
Agarwal pointed out that sellers witnessed about 3X increase in unit sales from non-metro customers, while customers from over 15,000 pin codes joined its Prime programme (which is paid) with a 69 per cent increase in signups from small towns as compared to previous year's festive season.
Over 88 per cent of its new customers came from small towns. Fashion brought in the highest number of new customers (nearly 5X growth), while the smartphone segment saw 15X increase and large appliances 8X growth.
E-commerce companies, which see a large chunk of their sales during the festive season, start preparing for festive sales months in advance, ramping up logistics and hiring thousands of temporary workers to ensure timely delivery of products.
While the first phase of festive sale closes on October 4, these platforms are expected to bring in more sales as Diwali approaches.
According to Redseer, overall e-tailing is expected to clock gross sales of USD 3.7 billion (Rs 24,000 crore) between September 29 to October 4, a year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 60-65 per cent.
Total online shoppers during the event are expected to be 32 million, up 60 per cent y-o-y, primarily driven by shoppers from tier-II and III cities, it added.
Another e-commerce player Snapdeal said the orders received so far are 52 per cent higher than in the sale period last year.
"Snapdeal's continued growth and leadership in Bharat e-commerce is proof that value-priced selection is an evergreen attraction for shoppers across India" - Kunal Bahl, CEO & Co-founder, Snapdeal said