BENGALURU: Flipkart maintained its lead over rival Amazon India in the recently-concluded annual flagship sales where both etail rivals nearly doubled their gross merchandise value (GMV) from last year, several industry analysts said.
Homegrown player Flipkart clocked $1-1.1billion in GMV in its five days of Big Billion Days (BBD), compared to last year’s $660 million, industry experts estimated. Amazon India sold goods worth $700-800 million during its 6.5 days of Great Indian Festival, up from $380 million last year, as per industry estimates.
Flipkart’s employees gathered at their office on Monday evening as group CEO Binny Bansal said the company has done well and “sold almost two times more units when compared to last year.”
The company claimed that its GMV grew by 80% from last year’s sales and saw 50% growth in number of new customers over last year. Amazon India said it more-than-doubled sales over last year’s festive sale and also had thrice the number of Prime members as it did in last year’s festive season.
“We saw 2x-3x sales over last year, thousands of our sellers saw higher sales and more new customers joined us from smaller towns,” said Amit Agarwal, head of Amazon India.
The Seattle-headquartered company saw at least 67% of transactions done through digital payments, with two in three customers using one of its financing programmes.
“We saw at least one order from 99% pin codes in the country,” said Agarwal. Amazon saw more than 82% new customers from smaller towns and cities with its recently launched Hindi website also bringing in new shoppers.
Data shared by consulting firm Redseer Management showed that the online retail market has grown much faster this year at 64% to $2.3 billion in sales by all ecommerce players compared to last year when it grew by 43% to 1.4 billion. “Flipkart’s high GMV was mostly driven by smartphones and large appliances,” said an analyst tracking the online retail space, requesting anonymity.
Flipkart continues to hold 50% market share, while Amazon holds second place with 35%, according to an industry analyst.
However, a Flipkart spokesperson claimed the company (including Myntra and Jabong) cornered 70% market share during the five-day sales, while Amazon’s India head Amit Agarwal said “there was no correct market share data” in the industry.
This sale season was touted to be the biggest of all for both companies, as Wall Street was expected to watch both companies closely, following Walmart’s investment in Flipkart.
According to industry estimates, Flipkart and Amazon India are expected to spend about $300 million each over the next 3 months — starting with the annual flagship five-day sale — on marketing events, discounts and hiring additional staff. Last year, this number stood at $100-150 million for Flipkart and $200 million for Amazon India.
Other online retailers like Shopclues saw over 1.5 million orders on its platform during the five days, with 75% coming from Tier 3 and beyond, and 70% of the orders in the home and fashion category. The newest entrant in the Indian ecommerce space, Paytm Mall, said it sold around 12 million items during their Maha Cashback Sale.
Industry experts are of the view that companies such as Paytm Mall, Snapdeal and Shopclues did not account for a sizeable chunk of the overall industry sales.