With the first round of great e-commerce festive sale bonanza coming to an end, all eyes are now set on logistics for the timely and proper delivery of products ordered during the five-day e-shopping jamboree.
In 2014, a large section of the customers was not too happy about both the order-placing experience and the delivery bit. This year, however, the e-tailers say they are better prepared.
Snapdeal, which ran its five-day Diwali Sale alongside Flipkart’s Big Billion Days and Amazon’s The Great Indian Festive Sale, claims it saw a 17-fold increase in its order volumes. Anand Chandrasekaran, chief product officer of the New Delhi-headquartered online marketplace, said 98.9% of the orders were dispatched within 24 hours of order placement. “100% of the orders purchased during the Diwali Sale last week have been shipped within the promised period,” he added. With the huge surge in sales volumes, over 5 million orders were shipped out by Snapdeal within the first three days of its Diwali Sale.
Regarding deliveries, Chandrasekharan said this was an area which Snapdeal had been working on pretty much since last Diwali. “The average period of delivery currently stands at two-three days, across all locations. This is up from the average of four-five days that we saw in January this year,” he said.
In order to make this happen, Snapdeal created about 63 fulfilment centres that are in close proximity to buyers and sellers. “Our warehouse facilities, which we call SD Plus, now cover about 60% of the orders, which is up from 7% in January this year. So we have seen some absolutely game-changing numbers which have happened as a result of our preparations since January,” he added.
Its strategic partnership with last-mile logistics company GoJavas in March also apparently helped matters. In just about six months, GoJavas has become one of the highest-performing partners for Snapdeal.
“As a result, our orders have been reduced to 24 hours for 350 cities across India. This number was 200 in March. Then there are other initiatives like our four-hour delivery system for our new launches, which we call Snapdeal Instant. We had also introduced a pick-up service for our customers within 90 minutes, which has again been possible due to GoJavas,” Chandrasekaran said, adding: “As regards talent improvement, we are now over 1,000-plus supply-chain team, a five-fold increase since January.”
Amazon India, which ran its The Great Indian Festive Sale from October 13 to 17 alongside Flipkart’s Big Billion Days, claims to have already shipped 60% of the customer orders within six hours of their placement. For those who chose fast-track delivery (7%, till the end of day 2), all the orders were fulfilled on time, as per an Amazon India spokesperson.
This year, customers from Tier-III towns flocked Amazon in great numbers through multiple platforms – PC, mobile and the app. “In the first two days of the festival sale, over 30% orders were received from Tier-III towns across numerous categories including apparel, shoes, home decor, kitchen appliances, TVs, consumer electronics, books, FMCG products and sports equipment, among others,” spokesperson added.
To ensure efficient delivery, Flipkart has put in place close to 20,000 delivery boys during the festive sale season. It has also ramped up the number of fulfilment centres from 13 to 16 this year so that it can cater to customers even from smaller cities.
Amazon India too launched eight new fulfilment centres recently, taking the total number to 21 across 10 states in India.