By Nishant Arora
New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) There is no slowdown when it comes to consumer spending and online retailers like Amazon and Flipkart in India are expected to generate about $4.8 billion in sales from September 25 to October 29, mitigating the impact of the general economic gloom.
About 80 per cent of these sales will occur between September 29 and October 4 – the period in which Flipkart and Amazon will hold their ‘Big Billion Days’ and ‘Great Indian Festival’ sales, global market research firm Forrester said on Thursday.
As a result, the growth (year-over-year) in online retail spending during these five days will take a hit, from 93 per cent in 2018 to 32 per cent in 2019.
“It’s not only customers in tier 1 and tier 2 cities that will spend more online during this festive season; buyers in tier 3 cities and beyond will too,” said Satish Meena, Senior Forecast Analyst with Forrester.
According to Amazon India, with a selection of 200 million products by over 500,000 sellers and 1.5 times more fulfillment capacity to deliver orders faster across the country, the company is geared up for the ‘Great Indian Festival’ sale.
“The Great Indian Festival is important for us to bring the next 100 million customers online, many of them from tier 3 or even tier 4 towns,” an Amazon India spokesperson told IANS.
The online e-commerce giant flagged off #AmazonFestiveYatra — a unique “house-on-wheels” initiative that showcases unique products from small and medium businesses, startups and artisans – from September 16.
“With three special trucks, #AmazonFestiveYatra will visit 13 cities covering over 6,000 kms throughout the festive season, providing a great opportunity for Amazon customers and sellers to engage, and share insights and opinions,” the spokesperson added.
According to Meena, smartphones will account for 36 per cent of all online spending during the festive season, followed by fashion at 24 per cent.
“Fashion will also replace smartphones as the category with the most buyers and orders. TVs and smart speakers are the categories to watch this year, especially with Motorola, Xiaomi, and OnePlus launching new TV models to cater to customers looking to upgrade their current sets,” Meena told IANS.
Forrester expects around 20.2 million TVs to be sold in India in 2019 – 30 per cent to 35 per cent of these will be sold online due to pricing and products with better specifications.
Nandita Sinha, Vice President, Events, Engagement & Merchandising said that with the ‘Big Billion Days Specials’, Flipkart has partnered with 40 key brands to co-create unique offerings.
“This unique range will feature an interesting collection of limited edition products across categories, all available under one roof,” Sinha told IANS.
“We anticipate the first edition of Big Billion Days Specials to resonate well with our consumers who are always on the lookout for something special and unique to add to their cart every festive season,” the Flipkart executive added.
This year, after spending some time on online marketplaces, people in small cities and towns are expected to buy products in categories beyond fashion and smartphones — like TVs and appliances.
“Online buyers in Tier 3 cities will spend more online during this festive season as compared to last year as they become more comfortable for online channel and getting access to brands and affordable financing options,” informed Meena.
In 2019, 74 per cent of Indian online buyers research products online before purchasing them in store.
“Marketplaces are a leading source of this research leaving behind search engines like Google. This makes marketplaces the dominant players for product discovery, ensuring that brands and sellers spend money on advertising on these platforms,” Meena elaborated.
Online buyers will spend more during this festive season, shifting spending from offline to online in categories like smartphones, consumer electronics, appliances, and fashion.
“The ‘Big Billion Days Specials’ have been created to make this festive season bigger and better for our consumers across the country,” Sinha noted.
(Nishant Arora can be reached at [email protected])