E-commerce firms expect 60% increase in business this Diwali season

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Almost 32 million users are expected to buy from the e-commerce firms during the upcoming mega Diwali sale, RedSeer Consulting has said. The firm claims the period will see users make 75 million transactions this year, against over 45 million in the last.

The estimate is in sharp contrast to the prevailing economic scenario in the country, with every other industry blaming slowdown for affecting businesses. A few days ago, however, the two e-commerce majors in India — Flipkart and Amazon — shrugged off slowdown stories.

RedSeer’s numbers show that might be true for the e-commerce sector in the country. During this year’s festive sale, e-commerce firms are expected to clock business of $3.7 billion, 60-65 per cent higher than $2.3 billion last year, according to estimates from RedSeer. Forester Research also estimates $3.8 billion in overall e-commerce sales. However, its estimate of growth is 36 per cent, given that it believes 2018 festive season sales were $2.9 billion.

“Our consumer and business research and prediction modellers clearly indicate that market is ready to grow significantly during the festive days of 2019,” said Anil Kumar, founder and chief executive, RedSeer. “This will be driven by strong growth in shoppers, especially from Bharat, which in turn is enabled by multiple themes that industry has been focusing and investing on viz vernacular, credit availability, wide selection and fast shipping.”

E-commerce majors host five-to-six-day annual flagship sales during Diwali, where they typically clock 10-15 per cent of their annual business. According to latest estimates, the e-commerce market may see gross business of $32 billion in calendar year 2019, 60 per cent higher than 2018, while total sales in the month of October is seen at $7 billion.

However, unlike previous years, mobile phone sales may be lower. Almost 29 per cent of the respondents of RedSeer’s survey said they would not be buying mobiles this time.

Both Amazon and Flipkart have announced dates for their respective events: Amazon Great Indian Festival will run from September 28 to October 4, while Flipkart’s Big Billion Days Sale is scheduled September 29 - October 4.

Flipkart Chief Executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy, in a recent interview to this paper, had said e-commerce is poised to boost consumption as the platforms have reached smaller towns and cities. “A great deal of consumption appetite is coming from tier-II and -III markets as well and the scale of this year's Big Billion Day will touch everyone," he said.

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