The e-commerce festive sale Battle and what to learn from the Champions – Part 2

Yes, you guessed it right! We are talking about the most talked about e-commerce battle between the rivals Amazon and Flipkart. Flipkart’s Big Billion Days and Amazon’s Great Indian Festival are the best festive e-commerce sales on the run. The five day sale period pulls all the effort and attention in terms of planning, strategizing and executing record break sales!

Statistics claim Flipkart to be the unmatched champion of the recent festive sales season. Flipkart managed to make gross sales of Rs. 5000 cr., while Amazon had to set banks around Rs. 2500 – 2700 cr. gross sales in the five day Diwali sale period. Flipkart claims to be accountable for 70% of the total festive season sales in the e-commerce market.

The most sold category in the 5 days festive sale period was the smartphone category. It was followed by sales of VU televisions, big electronic appliances and fashion products (clothing and accessories), and finally home and kitchen. Flipkart sold 1.3 million smartphones within the first 20 hours of the festive sale, and this number is thrice as large as that sold by the nearest competitor, Amazon!

Flipkart’s Big Billion Days strategy

Flipkart sees 65% of its sales coming through male customers, and this sale season, it is trying to target female buyers to increase its customer base. It is observed that as compared to male buyers, female buyers have greater stickiness. The number of females using the internet is also increasing at an enormous rate. Flipkart’s internal data shows that women spend 2.2 times more than men, hence targeting female customers could be a smart move in terms of overall growth. Flipkart has focused on ramping up and signing new brands in home, fashion, and books etc., where the female customer base is more inclined. The aim is to push female customer base to around 45%.

Smrithi Ravichandran, Flipkart’s senior director said, “We are pushing certain categories and bringing top brands exclusively onto the platform to get a new set of women users during the sale season.“

Flipkart has also come up with exciting programmes to make shopping affordable. No cost EMI, debit card EMIs, product exchange offers, buy-back guarantees and buy now pay later are pushing sales of large electronic appliances and smartphones. Flipkart’s “Flipkart for India” campaign is about shipping festive gift hampers to families of current army personnel, army martyrs, border security forces, and central reserve police forces, posted in hostile locations.

Flipkart has also started “Flipkart assured” as a benchmark in online shopping and a badge of quality. As the name suggests, it assures customers of quality and high standard shopping experience, with six quality checks, and a faster and hassle-free shipping.

Amazon's Great Indian Festival Strategy

Amazon has promoted its “Amazon Prime” by starting the great Indian Festival sale on 20 th September exclusively for its Prime members. The sale opened for everyone on 21 st September, i.e., 12 exclusive hours of sale shopping only for Prime customers.

Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Category Management, Amazon India, told IANS, "We expect more customers to join the digital ecosystem and shop with us during this festive season. With expanded selection and a robust logistical support system, we are ready to handle the massive customer traffic that we are bound to receive this season.”

The emerging competition

This year the e-commerce festive sales were not just limited to these giants, i.e., Flipkart and Amazon. As mentioned by Ms. Swati Bhargava, co-founder of CashKaro, "What is interesting this time is that earlier, very often it used to be only Flipkart and Amazon trying to announce sales, but this time, all the main six to seven e-commerce retailers, like Jabong, Shopclues, and Myntra, Paytm Mall etc. are doing sales on the same day."

Apart from Big Billion Days and Great Indian Festival, we have seen some new names associated with online festive sales coming up this year:

It would be interesting to see that how these festive sales take shape in coming years and benefit their respective e-commerce retailers. It would also be interesting to see that what strategies these e-commerce retailers would come up with to compete with the two kings of festive season sales. Would we see a new contender in this yearly battle of festive season sale? Let’s wait and watch!

The Festival Economy and how to make most of it – Part 1

*Watch this space for the third part of article