Diwali, the Golden season of Indian ecommerce – What did the past years’ sales reveal?


Diwali festive season, the happiest days in the ecommerce calendar is fast approaching, when online sellers find their cash registers ringing by the minute. Over the years, customers have come to expect offers and promotions, and they are only too happy to reserve their festive season purchases for then. And etailers are only too happy to reserve the best discounts and promotions for that season. Sellers would use self-service tools such as lightning deals to set up these offers.

Diwali over the years

The highlight of the growth trajectory of Indian online retail for the years 2014-2016 is the surge in sales during the Diwali season. Unarguably, 2014 was the pioneer year for Indian ecommerce when potential sales opportunities converted many-an-offline-seller into an online seller. 2015 and 2016 proved that online retail had won over customers’ hearts for all their festive season wants.

Devashish Naik, Category manager of Browntape Technologies (multi-channel order and inventory management firm) opines,

“Over the past 3 years, we have seen a 1.5x increase in sales YOY during the festive season period. It is a time when ticket sizes increase and both niche and regular product categories get a boost. In addition to bulk orders from customers, there is also an increase in the demand for gifting products and gift-wrap items. Marketplaces plan some category-focused promos, which translate into equal opportunity for all categories.”

Online marketplaces have been fine-tuning their marketing strategies and strengthening operational capacities way before the advent of the festive season to avoid any glitches. Amazon India spent Rs.150-200 crores in advertising last year to promote their Great Indian Festival Sale during the Diwali season. Additionally, they ran special imaging and cataloguing offers to incentivize sellers, old and new, to prepare for Diwali. While the etailer registered close to 400% increase in new customers daily, sellers were rewarded with 8-10x sales for their daily orders.

Are sellers ready for Diwali 2017?

Online seller Mayank Goyal says,

“Diwali is the main event in the whole year for buyer as well as seller. Sales differ from the rest of the year, as the buyers want to celebrate Diwali and are in a festive mood to spend money on the products that they want. This is the peak season for any seller when orders and sales increase drastically. Seller can sell a variety of products and also give discounts to lure buyers.”

Multi-category online seller Sugam Jain shares,

“Diwali season sales are definitely something that we look forward to. There is already a buying sentiment in the market and marketplaces spend millions on their marketing and promotions, which results in manifold increase in sales. I have seen sales jump even 3-5 times in many categories especially electronics, home appliances and fashion.

With increased sales, issues like delayed pickups, deliveries etc. arise. But over the past 3-4 years, marketplaces have learnt how to best prepare to handle increased volumes. Everybody starts preparing 2 months in advance now. We have already started getting emails from marketplace operations teams about the best practices and guidelines to handle Diwali orders. “

Why is the festive season a winner in ecommerce?

Along with a spike in sales, sellers can expect the following with the festive season sale events:

  • Increased visibility for products

  • Liquidation of slow moving/old season stock

  • Introduction of new range

  • Better ROI on ad campaigns

  • Higher sales volume = More products = Lower production cost

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