E-tailers log record sales as small-town India goes on shopping spree

N0ew Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) In what may appear as revenge shopping, India, led by Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, went on a shopping spree in the seven festive sales days — after spending nearly 200 days in pandemic-induced distress — as e-commerce platforms filled their coffers with Rs 22,000 crore in the first four-and-a-half days of the sales, with at least Rs 15,000 crore more to count when the figures for the whole festive week are out.

The money rain started on October 15 and this year’s online sales season saw a more explosive beginning as compared to last year.

According to Bengaluru-based market research firm RedSeer, $3.1 billion (about Rs 22,000 crore) of goods were sold online from brands and sellers in the first four-and-a-half days of the online sales event.

“It means that 77 per cent of our forecast online sales were already achieved in the first 4.5 days of the sales,” the research firm said on the eve of the close of the seven-day festive sale.

The key themes driving this year’s sales were affordability, smartphones and Tier-II growth, “resulting in more recovery for brands and sellers”, RedSeer said on Wednesday.

According to Satish Meena, Senior Forecast Analyst at global market research firm Forrester, the seven-day festive sales are likely to witness over $4.8 billion (nearly Rs 35,273 crore) in sales — an amount that took online retailers a month to reach last year.

Flipkart said that it recorded over 66.6 crore visits on its platform during the Big Billion Days, with over 52 per cent of these visits recorded from Tier-3 cities and beyond.

The company delivered 1 crore shipments in the first five days of its Big Billion Day sales, marking a massive 10 times growth compared to the last BBD when only 10 lakh deliveries were made by the e-commerce marketplace in the same period.

“The remarkable enthusiasm from the consumers has ushered in green shoots of recovery for everyone across the value chain,” said Nandita Sinha, Vice President, Customer Growth and Engagement, Flipkart.

“The revival in demand and resurgence of consumption is expected to remain even after the Big Billion Days, as we continue to uplift the entire ecosystem,” she added.

This year, BBD saw 1.5 times number of transacting sellers compared to last year, among whom, more than 35 per cent witnessed 3 times more sales in comparison to the BBD last year.

The number of crorepati sellers went up 1.5 times and the number of lakhpati sellers saw 1.7 times jump, Flipkart said.

Snapdeal said that during its five-day sales, 80 per cent of buyers chose a regional or a local brand for their Diwali purchases in comparison to 20 per cent who opted for national and international brands.

Th home category outpaced fashion as main festive sales driver and the popular gifting choices were kitchenware, watches, LED diyas, dry fruits, photo frames, sarees and festive masks.

“For us, it is extremely satisfying to bring the best selection across experienced online sellers and new sellers from physical markets right up to the doorsteps of our users. The extent and depth of orders received and shipped from non-metro cities illustrate the accelerated growth of online commerce in recent months,” a Snapdeal spokesperson said in a statement.

Amid Covid-19, millions of people returned home owing to the work from home scenario and some owing to job losses in the cities, according to Meena.

“The Covid-impacted masses who returned home are also buying household items for their parents. Those who did not lose jobs saved a lot in the last couple of months and are now splurging during the sales. The overall spending was pretty good,” Meena told IANS.

–IANS

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