What slowdown? Flipkart, Amazon ready for great 200-million customer chase

The economic slowdown has little to no bearing on sales for e-tailers Amazon and Flipkart during the upcoming festival season. Both the e-commerce companies have already announced their grand festival sales starting from September 28 to October 4. From exclusive brand launches to expanding their delivery services beyond metros and tier-1 and 2 cities, the e-commerce giants are all geared up to target nearly 200 million customers ahead of the festival season in India.

Despite markets slowing down over the past consecutive years, the e-commerce sector has posted progressive yearly growth, which stood at Rs 15,000 crore last year, registering 64 per cent increase from 2017, according to market research firm Redseer Consulting.

According to Rajneesh Kumar, senior VP and chief corporate affairs officer, Flipkart, the domestic e-commerce sector has the potential to fire up the current low growth/low demand situation, given the consumption it fuels. “When it comes to e-commerce, we at Flipkart don’t see sellers and consumers holding back at all. In fact, sellers and brands are looking to e-commerce to drive consumption sentiment, leveraging its continued growth,” Kumar said.

The e-tailers also try to quash reports of slowed demand and decreased buying patterns, claiming that the jump in sales during the festival season would serve as an impetus for consumption.

Kumar said that the effort has been to not only bring customers to the online marketplace but also to support the lakhs of sellers who look forward to the festival season as an opportunity and a landmark moment in their financial year.“We empower our sellers with business insights that allow them to decide the best value for their own products, so they can deliver benefits and savings to consumers and scale their businesses at the same time,” he added.

Analysts say that the economic downturn effect would not be felt at least in the online space during the upcoming festival season. Shailesh Shah, co-founder and senior partner, STRTA Consulting Services, said the current downturn impact wouldn’t be massive.

“There is a huge pile-up of inventories that would result in prices crashing in both online and offline markets. When the 2008 downturn impacted the world in multiple ways, India sailed past the crisis, thanks in part to domestic consumption. I believe the same will hold for the most part (this time around). However, prices do need to come down if those large inventories need liquidation,” he said.

As the countdown to the big sale days begins, the e-tailers have begun their marketing exercises to reach out to customers.

Amazon on Monday flagged off its 13-city tour called Festive Yatra from Delhi — a house on wheels roadshow showcasing 600 products from small and medium businesses from all over India.

Flipkart, on the other hand, announced an expansion of its supply chain network, especially for large appliances, to nearly all serviceable pin codes, expanding its delivery capacity 14 times as compared to last year.

“Every year, we are entrusted by our millions of customers and lakhs of sellers from across India with delivering a blockbuster Great Indian Festival Sale to them. We are humbled that 5,00,000 diverse businesses that include brands, small-and-medium-sized businesses, artisans, weavers and tech start-ups from across India have chosen Amazon.in as their marketplace of choice to celebrate this festive season. We are providing customers with irresistible deals on millions of ‘best of India’ products across categories,” said Gopal Pillai, vice-president (seller services), Amazon India.

A fillip to ailing economy
Despite markets slowing down over the past consecutive years, the e-commerce sector has posted progressive yearly growth, which stood at Rs 15,000 crore last year, registering 64 per cent increase from 2017, according to market research firm Redseer Consulting.

The e-commerce sector has the potential to fire up the current low growth/low demand situation, says Flipkart.

Drumbeats get quicker as the countdown begins
As the countdown to the big sale days begins, the e-tailers have begun their marketing exercises to reach out to customers. While Amazon on Monday flagged off its 13-city tour Festive Yatra from Delhi — a house on wheels roadshow showcasing 600 products from small and medium businesses — Flipkart announced an expansion of its supply chain network, especially for large appliances, to nearly all serviceable pin codes, expanding its delivery capacity 14 times compared to last year.