The grand Indian e-commerce sales are only a day old, but the salvos from the competing companies have already begun.
Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy today said that his company was head and shoulders above the rest as far as the holiday sales were concerned . “We don’t see any relevant competition in this festive season,” Krishnamurthy said in an interview with ET Now when asked if Flipkart had a lead over Amazon. He instead claimed that Flipkart will alone account for 75-80% of sales during the festive season. “There is no clear number two in the market after us,” he added.
His comments aren’t likely to go down well with Amazon, which has been claiming that it’s the biggest player in India’s e-commerce space. While Flipkart and Amazon both claim pole position, most third-party reports seem to hint that the two are tied neck-and-neck in India’s e-commerce stakes. This isn’t the first time that Flipkart and Amazon have sparred over their sales numbers — last year, Flipkart had said that it had a 70% marketshare during the sale, and Amazon had responded by calling the number poorly informed and speculated. The year before that, then-Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal had dismissively said that while his company had sold phones during the sale, Amazon had sold churan and heeng.
But Krishnamurthy’s claim of Flipkart garnering 75-80% marketshare during the sale this year does seem a little stretched. While neither company shares exact numbers around their sales, there are some publicly data points which suggest that Amazon might not only be neck-and-neck with Flipkart, but is slowly pulling ahead. Amazon’s website now gets 392 million visitors a month, compared to just 213 million visitors for Flipkart. Amazon also leads Flipkart in Google searches of their names.
While Amazon has yet to respond to Flipkart’s numbers, Flipkart’s claims right at the onset of the sale highlight how important the festive period is for the company. Krishnamurthy said that as much as 50% of Flipkart’s overall annual sales will happen in this month, and it’s clearly pulled out all stops to make sure it happens. Right before the sales began, Flipkart placed a battery of A-list celebrities to promote its sale, with names like Amitabh Bachchan, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhat, Saurav Ganguly all endorsing Flipkart. It remains to be seen if Flipkart’s push will pay off, but if it can indeed manage the 80% marketshare that it’s claimed, it will consider the money well spent.