Amazon, Flipkart could get 20 mn shoppers, make $3 bn during festive sale

An advertisement for Amazon's Diwali Sale in 2017
About 20 million people are expected to shop on various e-commerce platforms during the festive sale next month, translating into sales of around $3 billion for players like Amazon and Flipkart, says a report.

The report by RedSeer Consulting stated that about 13-24 million shoppers had transacted on e-commerce sites during the five-day festive sale last year and 10 million in 2016 around the same time frame.

The festive sale not only brings in discounts and deals for customers but is also an annual showdown of sorts between the two largest players -- Flipkart and Amazon India.

While the two companies are yet to announce the sale dates for this year, it is likely to be held in October.

According to RedSeer, the daily gross merchandise value (GMV) during the five-day sale period is expected to be around $527 million. GMV refers to the total sales value of merchandise sold through the platform over a certain period of time.

During May-July 2018 period, the GMV was around $62 million, while it was about $280-300 million during last year's five-day festive sale.

The report also said the share of items like electronics and furniture during the sale could be higher this year due to affordability initiatives being undertaken by the e-commerce players.

Also, while mobile phones would continue to be the bulk of the sales (52 per cent), categories like fashion are expected to be about 15 per cent, RedSeer said.
Like in offline retail, e-commerce companies see a major bump up in sales during Dussehra and Diwali. The September-November period typically generates a majority of the annual sales of these companies, who prepare months in advance for the sale event.

The competition between Flipkart and Amazon this year is expected to be even fiercer as both companies have invested significantly through the year to ramp up product offerings as well as logistics infrastructure to ensure speedier delivery.

While Flipkart now has the backing of US retail giant Walmart (via a $16 billion deal signed earlier this year), Amazon India too has received funding through the year from the US parent across operations like marketplace and payments business.