With the one-week festive sales in the COVID-hit year set for grand finale on October 21, the online retailers and e-commerce marketplaces have seen a massive shopping surge coming from small-town India and into newer categories.
According to industry experts, the momentum is at an all-time high and the seven-day sales are likely to witness over $4.8 billion (nearly Rs 35,273 crore) in sales -- an amount that took online retailers a month to reach last year.
"There is huge demand from across the spectrum, especially the smaller cities and towns. The online retailers are set to witness about $4.8 billion in these seven days of the first festive sales. The traction is into newer categories that are beyond gadgets and fashion -- into groceries, home appliances etc.," Satish Meena, Senior Forecast Analyst at global market research firm Forrester, told IANS.
According to Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Amazon India, sellers, brands and ecosystem partners nationwide have come together during these unprecedented times to spread joy across the country.
"Over 1.1 lakh sellers receiving orders; 66 per cent sellers, 91 per cent of new customers and 66 per cent of new Prime sign-ups from small towns; shopping in five Indian languages; and orders from over 98.4 per cent of India's pin-codes in just 48 hours -- it's truly Bharat's biggest celebration on Amazon ever," Tiwary said in a statement as the Amazon sales began.
According to Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, the festive season sales this year will be bigger than usual, led by consumers in India's hinterland, including many first-time ecommerce buyers, who have adapted to digitalisation and will seek to do their festival shopping online.
"While traditionally apparel and electronics ruled the roost, with the new consumer personas, there will be an uptick in terms of demand for newer categories of goods," Ram told IANS.
Online retailers in India are expected to generate approximately $6.5 billion (Rs 47,751 crore) in sales during the festive month (October 15-November 15), with around 5.5-6 crore online buyers participating.
"The growth in online retail spending during the festive month will see a growth of 34 per cent (year-over-year)," Meena said.
The Flipkart's Big Billion Days in the first 72 hours witnessed over 60 per cent increase in digital payments transactions in comparison to non-festive event days.
"There is particularly strong growth in adoption of UPI-based instruments as a result of joint efforts with NPCI to bring the benefits of digital payments to customers, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across India," the ecommerce marketplace said in a statement.
In the first three days of the festive event, customers across India availed several unique and payment-based offers brought to them by Flipkart in partnership with State Bank of India, Paytm and other leading financial institutions.
Using various bank and wallet led offers alone, more than 40 lakh customers have saved Rs 300 crore collectively on the Flipkart platform.
According to Meena, millions of people have returned home owing to work-from-home scenario and some owing to job losses.
"The Covid-impacted masses who have returned home are also buying household items for their parents. Those who did not lose jobs saved a lot in the last couple of months and are now splurging during the sale. The overall spending looks pretty good," Meena said.