Flipkart and Amazon gear up for holiday season sales

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Walmart-backed Flipkart signed Amitabh Bachchan, Alia Bhatt and MS Dhoni for its selling campaigns, while Amazon cut selling fees for new sellers on its platform by 50% earlier this week.

Estimates from consultancy RedSeer suggest overall online sales during the 2022 festival season are expected to grow 28% year-over-year to $11.8 billion. He also expects a significant increase in the number of online shoppers.

Retailers said post-pandemic normality could help demand. It is the first Diwali in three years where the feeling is very optimistic. “A lot of our sellers have been struggling due to the shutdowns, and most of our sellers are doing business offline and online. I think that’s all behind us. So in some sense, we’re back to a normal festive period,” said Manish Tiwary, Country Manager, India Consumer Business, Amazon India. This Diwali promises to be bigger and better than the last, Tiwary said in a virtual interview.

E-commerce companies are pulling out all the stops to take advantage of the extended festival period when shoppers across India upgrade home appliances, buy new clothes and gift items.

Companies are also preparing for the back-ends by stepping up temporary hiring, increasing distribution center capacities, integrating new brands and strengthening their assortments. Earlier this month, Amazon announced the launch of its largest sorting center in Gujarat. Flipkart, on the other hand, is recently increasing the capacity of its largest fulfillment center in Haringhata, on the outskirts of Kolkata.

Amazon said Great Indian Festival sales will include more than 2,000 new product launches and selections from brands including Samsung, iQOO, Mi, Redmi, OnePlus, Apple, LG, Sony, Colgate, BoAt, HP, Lenovo, Fire -Boltt, Noise, TCL, Allen Solly, Acer, Biba, Max, Puma and Adidas. The online marketplace will work with over 150 influencers to generate 600 live streams

Meanwhile, Flipkart will feature 130 Big Billion Day specials, curated by over 90 brands in fashion, electronics, cellphones, major appliances, personal care, and crafts. However, high inflation may force Indian households to be cautious about discretionary spending. “While the inflationary pinch on the consumer’s wallet could be a drag, the holiday season promises strong results for gamers thanks to increased spending across all categories as normality is restored post-pandemic,” said Angshuman Bhattacharya, Partner and National Leader, Consumer Products and Retail Sector, EY India.

Flipkart and Amazon have asked sellers to increase stock keeping units (SKUs) despite slow online sales over the past two months, says the founder of a gadget company that sells its products on both platforms, seeking anonymity.

Ahead of the holiday season, Flipkart introduced a 50 fee for customers who have a history of returning products, the seller added.

E-commerce growth has slowed due to last year’s high base, revenge buying in offline channels and inflationary pressures, said Deloitte India partner Anand Ramanathan. The slowdown is pronounced in categories such as smartphones, consumer staples and personal care, which face higher volume pressures. However, several brands could still expect a 30-40% increase in sales, Ramanathan said.

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