Diwali sales of $2.2 bn reveal positive signs of online retail progressing

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The Diwali sales are finally over but the gross sales figures for this period are still lighting up the ecommerce landscape. Consulting firm RedSeer claims in a report that ecommerce firms acquired gross sales of around $2.2 billion, that is Rs.13,500 crores, this October.

Before the festive sales period could begin, the main doubt in mad was FDI rules would bring down sales like it did during the months right after its introduction. Discounts are a major part of online retail and with the 100% FDI policy asking marketplaces to curb discounts and avoid influencing prices, it was time for a new online retail strategy.

Etailers found other ways to persuade online sellers to engage in the festive sales and offer attractive prices.

What did the festive sales trends reveal about the future?

According to the report from RedSeer, almost half of the sales were driven by the mobile and tablet product category. 10% of sales was captured by the large appliances category. The home and consumer goods category also displayed strong growth, claims the consulting company.

Anil Kumar, the chief consulting executive of RedSeer consulting says for the online retail segment, October is the biggest month. This is when online sellers record the highest GMV growth. However, this year there was more to this festive period.

Kumar states, “…the crucial development for the industry was that the growth came on the back of much lower marketing spends vs last year, and the category mix also showed signs of moving away from mobiles only dependency, both of which are very positive signs for the future of the industry.”

Etailer performance summary

Flipkart – Big Billion Days

Flipkart held its first festive sale from 2nd to 6th October. At the end of this period it managed to outsell its rivals Amazon and Snapdeal. The sales generated were 6 times greater than those it made during its first festive sale in 2014.

Amazon – Great Indian Festival

The US based etailer, Amazon held its festival sale from 1st to 5th October. And out of everything the etailer sold, Amazon Prime – its loyalty programme, sold the best on the marketplace. The etailer still saw record breaking sales numbers during the month. Compared to last year’s sales there was a 2.7 times jump this time.

Snapdeal – Unbox Diwali

Snapdeal began its festive sales at the same time Flipkart did. The etailer crossed records of its own. In 4 days it crossed gross sales of Rs.500 to Rs.600 crore.

From the sales point of view, the ecommerce festive season was a success. However, the percentage of product returns tells a more unsuccessful story.

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