Diwali sale bonanza: Shoppers set to pay some $3 bn to Amazon, Flipkart
With the festive season looming ahead, the battle between Flipkart and Amazon to outdo one another will blow out in full swing.
With the festive season looming ahead, the battle between Flipkart and Amazon to outdo one another will blow out in full swing. The two ecommerce giants are expected to not only dish out the most attractive discounts and offers, but grab eyeballs through extensive marketing efforts. As per RedSeer Consulting, ecommerce firms are set to generate sales of $3 billion during the five day Diwali sale bonanza, of which Amazon and Flipkart will corner the majority. Experts feel besides their heavy marketing, Amazon and Flipkart hold another major advantage in terms of alliance benefits that smaller rivals do not.
"The recent EMI on Debit Card scheme or any cashback by wallets, etc. is easier for Flipkart or Amazon to offer. But other ecommerce players really don't have that kind of flexibility," says Harsh Shah, co-founder of e-fashion platform Fynd. But at such an exciting period, smaller ecommerce startups and brands remain unfazed by the noise that the big two will supposedly make, and are instead looking at upping their own game. Shivani Poddar, co-founder of online fashion destination FabAlley, says the heavy discounting by marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart helps to grow the overall customer base as people plan their annual shopping around the festive season.
"This benefits all online retailers. As long as the product is relevant, the price is affordable and there are Diwali offers, everyone should be able to compete and sell well in this season." According to Ratnesh Jaiswal, co-founder and CEO of home and lifestyle products platform Kautage, while the ecommerce giants lure customers with heavy discounts, smaller players have a niche market of loyal customers who aren't swayed by excessive discounting. Jaiswal thinks a lot of customers may switch to shopping at brick-n-mortar outlets due to longer delivery timelines. "We appeal to both online and offline shoppers, which gives us an edge over other brands."
This Diwali season is predicted to attract over 20 million e-shoppers, compared to 13.5 million last year. Startups are looking to counter the Amazon/Flipkart juggernaut through various mechanisms. Firstly, by introducing a multitude of innovative products, intricate designs, sparkling colours and zesty themes. Online marketplace ShopClues is launching a festive range of in-house brands in various categories like fashion, electronics, home care, etc.
Secondly, startups have planned out customer engagement activities both online and offline at stores. Poddar says their other brand Indya, which is an ethno-fusion brand, assumes greater relevance during the festive season and hence ''we are doing a lot of in-store activations such as having a mehendi artist come during Karwa Chauth, while during Diwali and pre-Diwali, we will do promotions like fashion shows at our stores to increase footfalls. At the online level, there will be contests and we will reward customers with vouchers or credit points in return.''
Thirdly, startups are working out the metrics to enhance their delivery experience for customers in terms of quicker delivery and more engaging customer support. Shah says customer service is the key, and that is the reason "we have more than 35 percent repeat purchase per month, despite having a smaller user base when compared to Amazon or Flipkart. We are tightening our processes so that orders reach well before the occasions." Fynd is expecting a jump of 3x in their order volume with delivery time coming down by 25 percent. FabAlley predicts a 2x growth in sales during festive season each year, ''and we are targeting similar growth this year as well,'' says Poddar.
Moreover, like Amazon and Flipkart, other ecommerce players are also gearing up with discounts. Kautage is offering a flat 30 percent off on their entire product range, while expecting revenues to grow 5x during the period, says Jaiswal. While ShopClues is launching its own sale with a flat 50-80 percent discount across categories, says Ritika Taneja, head – category management.
Like Amazon, Flipkart, other e-commerce players are also gearing up for thefestivities with discounts This Diwali season is predicted to attract over 20 million e-shoppers, versus 13.5 million last year.
Source: DNA Money