Despite the shadow of demonetisation looming large, online businesses are all set to cash in on the last holiday season of the year. From hefty discounts and cashbacks to even delivery of hard cash to the doorstep, e-commerce majors, among other players, are leaving no stone unturned to bring the much-awaited year-end cheer
The initiatives assume more importance, as this is going to be the first festive sale period after the government announced the demonetisation of R500 and R1,000 notes and their replacement with new currency on November 8 that has led to a massive cash crush across the country.
Initially, the demonetisation announcement had led to a sharp drop in sales. As per data released by market research firm Redseer Consulting, the e-commerce industry had witnessed a fall of as much as 15-20% in transactions in November. But e-tailers have returned with a renewed vigour in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.
As per reports, Flipkart saw up to a four-fold jump in sale of electronic goods, including large appliances and mobile phones, apart from a 2.5-time increase in sale of fashion and lifestyle products after the rollout of its ‘Big Shopping Days’ sale from December 18-21. The e-commerce giant also said it was well on its way to cross its sales target for October-December period this year.
After running its ‘Unbox 2017’ sale from December 17-19, online marketplace Snapdeal is still offering a plethora of deals and discounts in the run-up to the new year, mostly in the smartphones category. From free movie vouchers worth R400 on purchase of handsets such LeEco Le2 (32GB) and Le2 (rose gold, 64 GB) to a flat R500 off on payment using credit or debit card on Asus ZenFone 3 Max (32 GB, gold), Zenfone Max (16 GB) and ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 (32GB), there are plenty of options to choose from. Iphone 5s is also available for a flat price of R18,999, said a Snapdeal spokesperson.
Following the footsteps of hypermarket major Big Bazaar and multiplex chain INOX Leisure, Snapdeal, too, has announced the launch of a ‘Cash@Home’ service, which allows users to order cash up to R2,000 and have it delivered at their doorstep. Snapdeal will charge a nominal amount of R1 as convenience fee, which will need to be paid through FreeCharge or via debit card while booking the order.
Meanwhile, digital payments platform FreeCharge has launched the ‘Eat-Shop-Love’ festival, a year-end campaign which will run from December 23 to 31. Some prominent offers include a 100% cashback on Zomato, Swiggy and Freshmenu, 50% on McDonald’s and 25% cashback offer on Foodpanda, among others.
FreeCharge users can also enjoy movies, music and book other year-end events through partners like Bookmyshow, TicketNew or Gaana, availing a 100% cashback offer across these merchants. There are also several other offers such as a 25% cashback on Oyo Rooms, 25% on Meru Cabs, 10% on Jet Airways and 50% at at HP fuel pumps, as per Sudeep Tandon, chief business officer, FreeCharge.
Paytm, too, is offering a number of offers as part of its Christmas and New Year’s sale. Through the digital wallet-cum-e-commerce firm’s ‘The Winter Ball Sale’, shoppers can get discounts up to 70% on men’s fashion and 60% on women’s wear. There are also discounts on power banks (up to 80%) and casual shoes (up to 60%). Paytm’s ‘New Year’ offers include 45% flat cashback on men’s winter wear and women’s saris, and up to 15% on DSLR cameras, among several others.
Gurgaon-headquartered managed marketplace Shopclues—the latest unicorn on the block, after Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Paytm— rolled out its end-of-season shopping bonanza on Friday and will go on till January 1, 2017. The sale period will see separate sections for men and women in 44 national brands across 24 categories. During this period, consumers can look forward to jaw-dropping deals and attractive discounts on the best brands such as 80% off on Optima, 60% off on Puma, American Tourister, Fastrack and Timex, among others, in the men’s section. Women shoppers can fill their virtual shopping baskets with 80% discount on Diana Korr, 70% on Catwalk, 60% on Caprese, Lavie and Tokyo Talkies, among others.
Nitin Kochhar, VP – categories, ShopClues, said: “This time around, we have rolled out one of the most exciting sales campaigns that are sure to gratify our large and growing consumer base. This is the time of the year when shoppers wish to indulge a little and check off things from their year-long wish lists and our endeavour is to make this possible and make their Christmas and New Year as merry as possible.”