It’s that time of the year again. E-commerce firms are in a mad scramble to get you to spend on their portals, and are throwing mad discounts your way to get you to do so.
Amazon kicked off its Great Indian Festival sale a day before its competitors, giving it a headstart before Flipkart and Snapdeal launched their sales on 2nd October. And the company claims that the strategy has worked. In the first 14 hours after the sale began, Amazon says that it’s received more unique visitors on its portal than any day of last year’s sale. That has translated into 1 billion hits on its site over the period. It says that it sold 1 lakh products within the first 30 minutes of the launch of the sale.
Flipkart, which had started its sale just last night, has just tweeted that it has sold 12 lakh products within the first 12 hours of the Big Billion Day Sale.
Update: Flipkart has provided additional details to OfficeChai about its sale. The company says that it saw its highest ever concurrent users online within 5 minutes of the sale going live. The traffic was 10 times higher than on regular days, making it the highest ever in Fipkart’s history.
The company says that it has sold 5 lakh products within the first hour of the sale. Additionally, Flipkart claims that it has sold more units in the first 6 hours this year than it had sold during the entire first day of the Big Billion Days sale last year.
Less than 12 hours into the sale and the response has been nothing short of phenomenal. We meant it when we said, "ITNE mein ITNAAAA milega" pic.twitter.com/517f0HhBGE
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) October 2, 2016
The other e-commerce unicorn, ShopClues has also seen a spurt in activity. “We have experienced about 90 percent growth in terms of visits and orders and about 190 percent growth in GMV and conversion rate. Overall, we expect a better festive season this year,” said Nitin Aggarwal, AVP, marketing.
While it’s too early to make comparisons, Amazon had been making rapid inroads in the e-commerce market in India. Mint reports that it has outsold Flipkart for the last two months, and Google Trends data suggests likewise. Snapdeal was neck and neck with Amazon until the beginning of this year, but has leveled off, and now is clearly in third place behind the two front runners.
E-commerce companies rely on their Diwali sales for a large chunk of their revenue – and that makes the next few days very crucial for the three main players. There’s a lot riding on these sales too – all three companies have gone all out for promotions, with media buys, large campaigns and billboards plastered across cities. Now’s the time for the great reckoning. Customers across India are going to be voting with their feet, and will perhaps determine the fate of these three companies in India.