Online retail giants Amazon and Flipkart are both claiming top honours at the festival-season discount sales that concluded on Friday. But both companies are in agreement that a surge in orders from the tier-2 and tier-3 towns across the country helped them record the biggest festival season sales ever.
Amazon said its biggest Great Indian Festival sales in smartphones and fashion grew 15-fold and fivefold, respectively. Flipkart's Big Billion Days also saw record uptake of in the fashion and smartphone segments, a media report says.
Flipkart's The Big Billion Days sale started on September 28 (8 pm) for the Flipkart Plus customers, while Amazon India's Great Indian Festival sales began by noon the same day for Prime subscribers. Both companies opened the sales for general customers at midnight, a report on the Livemint website said.
While both top players claim victory, research agency Nielsen says that between September 28 and October 3, Amazon had the highest share of transacting customers, order share and value share across all marketplaces in India. It had a value share of 46 per cent, order share of 42 per cent and a transacting user share of 50 per cent. The Flipkart Group that includes Myntra and Jabong had 46 per cent value share, 38 per cent order share and 37 per cent user share, according to Nielsen.
While the question of who won the match for top honours will take some time to settle, the good news for e-tailers is that users in smaller towns are shedding their traditional scepticism about online marketplaces. That would be the most important takeaway from the festival slugfest of the two giants for all e-tailers, including the new entrants.
Flipkart said it was an "extraordinary" period of sales for the company. "We have more than doubled our transaction units, customers from tier- 2 and 3 cities, which was the biggest focus for us. We believe we are closing the six days (of sales) with 70-75 per cent of the festive market share. New customer growth is 50-60 per cent," the report quotes Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, as saying. Krishnamurthy, however, did not reveal the total volume or value of the transactions. According to company sources, the online retailer clocked 70 billion views during the six days.
"Whether it is the uptake of the Hindi interface or the adoption of our affordability constructs, engagement constructs like gaming, consumers have engaged with brands they love like never before," Krishnamurthy said.
Amazon said smartphones and fashion segments grew 15-fold and fivefold, respectively, during the Great Indian Festival Sales. The large appliances category also grew eight times and nearly half the sales came from lower-tier cities, according to the report
"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," Amit Agarwal, senior vice president and country head, Amazon India, in a statement. Orders were received from 99.4 per cent pin codes with over 65,000 sellers from 500 plus cities receiving orders in just five days and customers from over 15,000 pin codes joining Prime, he said. "About 50 per cent of Amazon India's customers purchased appliances via EMI. Echo devices saw a record 70-fold growth in what is the biggest sale ever for Amazon devices in India," the statement said.