Flipkart Extends Lead Over Amazon In Six-Day India Sales Festivals, Says Report

Online retailers sold goods worth $3 billion during Sept. 29-Oct. 4, a 30% rise in gross sales over last year.

Flipkart’s application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5c in an arranged photograph in Hong Kong (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)
Flipkart’s application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5c in an arranged photograph in Hong Kong (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Walmart Inc.-backed Flipkart extended its lead over rival Inc. during their six-day India sales festivals that concluded on Friday as customers from smaller towns join the online shopping frenzy.

Online retailers in India sold goods worth $3 billion during Sept. 29-Oct. 4, an increase of 30 percent in gross sales over last year, a survey by research firm Redseer Consulting showed. The ‘Big Billion Days’ sales of Flipkart, including Jabong and Myntra, accounted for 63 percent of the business, the report said. Higher sales of mobiles, among others, helped the online retailer to maintain its leadership.

Amazon—which hosted the ‘Great India Festival’—could only garner about 30 percent of total gross sales. Last year, its share stood at nearly 31 percent. Sales of Amazon and Walmart, however, rose 22 percent and 58 percent, respectively, over the last year, the report said.

“The first wave of the festive sale event has seen record GMV (gross merchandise value) of almost $3 billion despite challenging macro environment, indicating that consumer sentiment on online shopping remains bullish,” Anil Kumar, founder and chief executive officer of Redseer Consulting, said in a statement. The online retailers across categories, including mobiles, showed a surge during the sale event despite relatively slowing down during the first six months of 2019, he said.

E-commerce firms generate nearly a third of their annual sales in India during the festive season. Online shoppers in India, according to Barclays, are expected to more than double from 80-90 million in 2017 to 180-200 million by 2020. And the online retailers try to attract buyers by offering massive discounts, launching products and promising faster delivery. The battle for supremacy intensified after Walmart invested $16 billion in Flipkart last year. Amazon, too, has invested nearly $5 billion in the country.

The dominance of Flipkart and Amazon has also grown over the last year in the Indian e-commerce market as the duo now enjoy a market share of nearly 90 percent, the report said. That’s mainly because the overall market share of other retailers, including Paytm Mall, Shopclues and Snapdeal, has gone down from 18 percent to 10 percent this year, it said.

While Flipkart has yet to respond to BloombergQuint’s queries, Amazon said it won’t comment on “speculative reports that lack robust and credible methodology”.

“During the Great Indian Festival, Amazon led with the highest share of transacting customers at 51 percent, order share of 42 percent and value share of 45 percent across all marketplaces in India according to Nielsen’s E-Analytics,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Biggest Ever Discount War

Earlier this week, Amazon said the festive season has been “its biggest celebration ever yet”.

“Over 65,000 sellers from 500 cities sold products,” it had said in a statement. Citing a Nielsen report, it said witnessed the highest share of transacting customers and purchases across all online shopping platforms in the first five days of the Great Indian Festival.

Flipkart, on the other hand, said it recorded almost 50 percent growth in new customers over last year and clocked 70 billion views in the six-day period.