Big Billion gains: Festival sparks new e-tail rush

e-marketplaces rake in $1.5 billion sales in the five-day festival sale period this month, up 40% over last year

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Big Billion gains: Festival sparks new e-tail rush


“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” These words of Jeff Bezos reflect exactly what e-commerce players are trying to do in India.

This year the Indian online marketplaces raked in $1.5 billion in the five-day festive sales period till September 24 on the back of bargain deals and heavy discounts. The sales were 40% up over the $1.05 billion generated during the festive sale days in 2016.

Paytm Mall gave cashback of Rs 501 crore during its recently concluded Mera Cashback Sale. The company claimed to have witnessed 25-30 times new users during the sale period. Customers from over 839 cities and towns ordered products from sellers across 270 cities during the sale, it said. “This is not always about profit but to encourage participation of more and more consumer offers. So it’s differently sustainable in that way because at the end of the day these sales and offers are helping to bring more and more new consumers,” Amit Sinha, COO, Paytm Mall, said.

Meanwhile, the number one and two spots were taken by Flipkart and Amazon, respectively. According to RedSeer Management Consulting data,  homegrown Flipkart’s Big Billion Days Sale has outrivaled Amazon’s Great Festival Season in market share. Flipkart has managed to grow its market share to 58% this year from 50% last year, while Amazon is now at 26%. However, Amazon India has termed its sale as the biggest shopping event in the history of the company.

“We are humbled that the latest version of the Great Indian sale was our biggest shopping event ever, with remarkable growth across categories led by smartphones and large appliances growing multiple times vs last year. We are especially excited about growing e-commerce in India with more than 85% of new customers from small towns,” said Manish Tiwary, VP-category management, Amazon India.

While none of the firms shared their data on gross merchandise value (GMV) or the number of units sold, they claimed a remarkable growth across categories.

The exact figures may not be out but the growth rate points to a turnaround that has already started in the country — a huge increase in online shopping. ‘’This is the very initial stage of the e-commerce and there is a lot of growth in this space. India is literally in its day one. There are lot more opportunities and we are focused on the customers. We are making sure that they are getting fantastic experience,” said Gopal Pillai, director and GM of seller services, Amazon India.

From humble beginnings in 2000, the Indian e-tailing market has grown leaps and bounds. India is the third-largest market for e-commerce globally.  

A report by PayPal and Ipsos says that India’s online spend is likely to touch Rs 875,600 crore by 2018 from the estimated Rs 492,500 crore in 2016.

This also answers the questions on why e-commerce is running through their reserves of cash at a rapid pace as they attempt to outwit opponents.

The e-commerce bandwagon is likely to burn over Rs 2,660 crore this festive season, says a report by RedSeer Consulting.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh rightly puts it, “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”


  • These companies are bringing more shoppers online in a marketplace
  • E-tailers have managed to get consumers from Tier-II and III cities
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