Even as e-tailers gear up to rain discounts on the eve of the festive season, expect flat growth compared to last year. Despite the upcoming Big Billion Days sale from Flipkart or Amazon’s Great India Festival or Paytm Mall’s raft of offers, industry watchers say that the gross merchandise value (GMV) this year would be 10% below last year’s festive season.
Data released by market research and advisory firm RedSeer Consulting suggests that the e-commerce industry clocked $210 million per day for a period of five days from October 1-6 in 2016 during last year’s festive season, which resulted in the market posting an overall GMV of $2.2 billion in the same month.
“Fatigue factor has seeped into the market, thanks to the pre-GST sale, which saw e-tailers offloading their entire stock at a discounted rate. Hence, consumers residing in Tier 2 and 3 cities may refrain from buying during the festive season sale, even as customers in metro and top 10 cities are expected to spend,” said a senior analyst.
Much of the action will be restricted to Amazon and Flipkart. According to RedSeer, while Flipkart registered a mere 43% growth in market share in October 2016 from 42% a year ago, Amazon India’s market share more than doubled during the same timeframe. Amazon India’s market share stood at 32% in October 2016 compared to 15% in October 2015. Moreover, Snapdeal, which was the third-largest player until last year, has been replaced by Paytm Mall, for which it will be the first festive season.
“A lot depends on factors, such as how fast e-commerce firms are able to fulfill shipment this festive season by bettering of logistic services through addition of new warehouses, etc, besides adding new brands and stock keeping units (SKU). The more options e-commerce players add, the more they will be able to sell,” said Sreedhar Prasad, partner, Internet and e-commerce business, KPMG.
E-tailers have already started to add new warehouses, apart from on-boarding more products. Early this month, Amazon India nearly doubled its warehouse capacity at 13 million cubic feet by launching its largest warehouse at Jamalpur, Haryana. The company now runs 41 fulfilment centres across the country. Till December 2016, it operated 27 warehouses across the country with a 7 million cubic feet capacity.
Meanwhile, Flipkart, which will be rolling out the fourth edition of the Big Billion Days sale, claims that customers will get as much as 90% discount on products across all categories. According to the e-tailer, categories such as fashion and large appliances, have also been revamped. “Our focus this year is to ensure a high uniqueness quotient to our selection across categories,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart.