Industry experts pointed out that a lion’s share of the GMV was accumulated in the first week of the sales as consumers were looking to buy large appliances before Diwali.
It’s one up on Octoberfest. Going by RedSeer Consulting data, there’s enough to cheer this year as e-commerce retailers Flipkart and Amazon spooned up a 32% jump in gross merchandise value (GMV) for the September-October festive season at $2.9 billion as compared to $2.2 billion garnered in the October-long festive season sale last year. The festive season sale includes the first leg of sales from September 20-24 contributing $1.5 billion in GMV, the second leg of sales from October 4-8 contributing between $500 and $600 million and the third leg from October 14-17 contributing about $700-800 million in GMV. About 80% of the online GMV was led by Flipkart and Amazon. Traditionally, the festive season, while continuing through December, contributes to over 40% of the total sales volume of the year.
Industry experts pointed out that a lion’s share of the GMV was accumulated in the first week of the sales as consumers were looking to buy large appliances before Diwali. Sreedhar Prasad, partner (e-commerce) at KPMG added that since there were multiple sale periods during Dussehra by the leading players and with not much new product launches during the Diwali sale, the online sale appears to be more during the first part of the sale period than in the latter. Industry experts said electronics continued to garner the largest share of GMV during the festive season sales.
Mobile continued to be the leading category with 48% share, followed by fashion with 23% and large appliances and home furnishing with 10% each, according to Shubham Anand, head of retail-consumer packaged goods at RedSeer Consulting.”Companies need to identify categories that are usually not big on discounts and use them as bait to attract higher sale during this period,” said Prasad. Pinakiranjan Mishra, partner and national leader, consumer products and retail at EY India, added that e-commerce companies will continue to record larger share of sales from consumer electronics and smartphones during the festive season sales. “However, the festive season sales this year were more broadbased and e-commerce companies were seen giving discounts on categories, such as apparel and even grocery,” Mishra added.
Meanwhile, the category mix in offline retail shifted to food and grocery items with 65% share followed by fashion and lifestyle with 10% and consumer durables and electronics guarding 7% share in the offline retail industry. According to Anand, sale in organised retail grew 15% during the festive season sale while it was lacklustre for unorganised retail. Market observers pointed out that a substantial part of the sales in the consumer durables category was absorbed during the pre-GST sales where retailers were in a rush to clear old stocks ahead the implementation of GST.
“Yes, surely, GST implementation has deterred the sale of all domestic appliances this year. And the reason is trade partners (distributors and dealers) are operating with less stock this year. Additionally, because some of the provisions of GST were not cleared so the sentiments were bit low towards festivity,” Jitendra Chauhan, CEO and country manager of INALSA India, said. “During this festival, we also introduced Alexa and the All-New Echo to India and are excited with the strong response to this world-class product tailormade for India. We launched with a great offer and the trends for invite requests and purchases are very encouraging. Our customer-friendly initiatives such as no-cost EMI options saw an increase of 31x. Customers took to AmazonPay and we witnessed 36x increase in top-ups,” said Manish Tiwary, VP of category management at Amazon India.
“This season, 86% of new customers were coming from lower tier towns, more than a third of our customers shopped across categories — for everything from smartphones, large appliances, to fashion, everyday essentials and baby products,” Tiwary added.