Amazon Sees Big Jump In Business During Festive Sale

Amazon India, which has emerged as the biggest challenger to Flipkart, the reigning leader of the Indian e-tailing market, said its amazonoverall business grew three times during its annual sale compared to last year. Amit Agarwal, country head for Amazon in India, told TOI that orders of about 1.5 crore units were placed on the web retailer’s platform during its much-publicized five day festive sale from October 1 to 5. This would roughly amount to Rs 3,000-3,500 crore of gross sales, without factoring in cancellations and returns. Agarwal, however, did not give out a gross merchandise value of GMV number that the company was able to rack up during the past few days.

Amazon’s arch-rival Flipkart claimed to have clocked its highest-ever single day sales on Monday at Rs 1,400 crore, as reported by TOI on October 5. Binny Bansal, co-founder & CEO of Flipkart, said the online retailer had surpassed its internal target for the sale event by 25% this year.The Bengaluru-based e-tailer is said to have set a target of Rs 4,500-5,000 crore in gross sales for the sale season at the group level which comprises Myntra and Jabong as well, sources said.

Indian e-commerce players are expected to shore up around Rs 12,000 crore from the sale season. Agarwal said Amazon’s Prime membership witnessed a strong adoption during the five-day sale after the free trial period ended. Prime is a popular subscription-based service offering free next day deliveries along with video content from Amazon. In the US, half of the e-tailer’s total users subscribe to Amazon Prime. Prime subscription has been priced at Rs 499 for a year in India, which is much cheaper than the US where shoppers shell out around Rs 6,500.

“Over 90% of pin-codes in India have placed at least one order during this year’s Diwali sales. Compared to last year, we delivered a higher scale of shopping experience with five times growth in new customer acquisition fuelled by tier II and lower cities,” he said.

Industry executives tracking the annual sale of e-commerce companies said that Flipkart may have trumped the Jeff Bezos-led company to maintain its lead of the market, in terms of overall value of goods sold. But a clear picture might emerge at the end of this week, some people said.For Amazon, fast moving consumer goods emerged as one of the largest categories in terms of units sold as the Seattle-based company has been using Cloudtail, among its biggest sellers, a joint venture of Catamaran Ventures and Amazon, to offer discounts and faster delivery.

To be sure, units sold in FMCG category would not necessarily result into higher gross sales value as average price is lower than other categories. For Flipkart, smartphones and other electronics coupled with large appliances emerged as the top grossing categories helping it increase its gross sales. Agarwal claimed that the fashion vertical grew four times while smartphones and FMCG categories grew five times compared to an average day on its platform.

While Amazon’s sale ends Wednesday midnight, rival Flipkart and Snapdeal will hold their final day of sale on Thursday.