The festival season in India seems to be the biggest sale period of large e-commerce sites. Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm Mall have already announced lucrative offers to lure consumers to their sites. The pre-Diwali sales that concluded last month spiked revenue of e-commerce websites by 40% since last year’s sales. In the five days from September 20 to 24, during which many e-commerce websites held festive season sales gross merchandise value (GMV) for the industry reached Rs.9000 crore.
Flipkart’s Big Billion Days & ‘The Big Diwali Sale’
Flipkart rolled out its annual festival sales called Big Billion Days from September 20-24. Up to 50-60% offers in categories like fashion, accessories, home furnishing and décor were announced by the site during this period. For smartphones, televisions and home appliances discount were around 10-30% for online exclusive brands or online exclusive models of big brands like Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG. It has informed the brands that they want to sell double the units of televisions at around 2.25 lakh units and other appliances during the festival season. Flipkart also offered additional discounts in the form of cash backs either on the usage of specific credit and debit. To boost the sales, Flipkart announced that there will be deals on 80-plus categories at prices never seen before.Apart from that it will also offer consumer finance programmes such as no cost EMI, debit card EMIs, product exchange offers, buy back guarantee and buy now pay later to make quality products affordable.
The Big Diwali Sale of Flipkart will run from October 14 to 17. It will offer up to 80 per cent off on electronics, up to 70 per cent off on TVs and appliances, 50-80 per cent on fashion products, and more. It has listed exchange values for phones such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Lenovo K4 Note, Moto G4 Plus, Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy On7, and more. The exchange value on a users’ old phone put out by the site, will be deducted from the price of the new device that they’ll buy. Popular smartphones will also get discounts during the sale. Additionally, Flipkart will host one flash sale at 12 noon from October 14 to October 17. Panasonic Ray X will be up for grabs at Rs.6,999 instead of Rs.8,999 during flash sale. Flipkart is assuring up to 50 per cent value on old smartphones with its Buyback guarantee. Close to 38 smartphones are currently listed under the Buyback guarantee offer.
Amazon’s The Great Indian Festival Sale
Amazon ‘Great Indian Festival Sale’ for Diwali festive season ran from October 4-8. Some exciting deals on smartphones and other electronics goods were offered and exchange offers and no cost EMI options along with discounted rates on them. On clothing and apparel 40 to 80 percent off were announced. A discount of up to Rs.2,000 is offered on Mi smartphones. Whereas, up to 40 percent off is offered on other mobiles. Apple MacBook Air had a discount of 29 percent and Dell Vostro 3468 14-inch Laptop available at a discount of around Rs.4,000 (11%).
Watches and hard disks had a discount of 40 percent. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch (Stainless Steel had 16 percent off). Portable hard drives had almost 51 percent discount. Up to 40 per cent off on TV and appliances and up to 70 percent were given on home and kitchen products. Amazon India also had app only offers to its customers. These deals were available only through its official app. Up to 60 per cent discount was offered on computer accessories and games. Similarly, on earrings and other fashion jewellery, over 80 percent discount was offered.
For Amazon, the Prime subscription programme continued to be a big growth driver. However the reports show that Amazon dropped in market share during this year’s festive season sale to its competitor Flipkart. Although Amazon India claimed that this Diwali Sale was the biggest shopping event ever for them in terms of units, sale value, sellers, number of customers, number of pin codes they served etc. the reports clearly indicate that Flipkart had the larger pie during this festival season sales.
Paytm Mall’s The Diwali Maha Cashback Sale
Paytm Mall is the newest entrant in the Indian e-commerce space. Gearing up for its major sale event this Diwali season, Paytm Mall announced The Diwali Maha Cashback Sale running from October 10-14. Altogether the company offers a cashback of Rs.500 crore this festive season.Up to 70 per cent cashback across various categories are announced including appliances, mobiles and fashion including apparel, footwear and accessories among others. The platform will also host limited period flash offers that will run from 12 pm to 4 pm and 8 pm to midnight during this four-day sale and bring customers handpicked offers across all categories.
The offers include up to Rs.20,000 cashback on refrigerators, up to Rs.15,000 cashback on washing machines, up to 50 per cent cashback on kitchen appliances and up to 40 per cent cashback on personal care appliances like trimmers, hair dryers and more. Intel Core i3 laptops will feature minimum Rs.4,000 cashback, DSLRs will host minimum 20 per cent cashback and printers will be available at up to Rs.8,000 cashback. In apparel and accessories, jeans from top brands will sell for up to 70 per cent off plus flat 50 per cent cashback, shirts will be available at up to 70 per cent off plus flat 40 per cent cashback.
One advantage of Paytm Mall over two other e-commerce sites is that customers can avail similar offers across online and offline as Paytm Mall has installed QR codes at a majority of its partner outlets. This will help its 30,000 strong partner retailer network to drive seamless product discovery and a greater volume of transactions ahead of Diwali. Industry is closely watching how their O2O model (offline to online) will work.
According to industry experts Paytm Mall’s QR Codes have also helped brands in multiple ways. It has increased the drive in-store purchases. Also brands have started putting out full page ads with their Paytm Mall QR codes to encourage customers to purchase products from their online store on Paytm Mall.
Consumer is the king
With all the offers, the ultimate winner is however the consumer.The fight between e-commerce sites enables consumers to save heavily during purchases through their channels. For the festival season, both e-commerce giants- Flipkart and Amazon India advertised heavily on print and TV advertisements. Driven by their sharp advertising, robust offers and flawless execution, e-tailers have managed to largely match their pre-sales expectations and deliver the biggest sale period ever for e-tailing industry. Another trend seen this time around was that both e-commerce giants targeted customers from tier II and III cities which accumulate around 50-60-million customers which currently comprise 120 million online shoppers. Both increased their sellers and delivery points so as to reach these customers.
Paytm Mall on the other hand is targeting the offline consumers through its new model- O2O model. They want to transform consumer behaviour and leverage technology to empower retail partners of them. It also enables Paytm Mall to cover smaller cities and towns as well saving warehouse costs and challenges around the complex distribution network. Consumers are also delighted as they receive similar offers and deals across online and offline.