Though brick-and-mortar retailers put up a good show during the end-of-season sale in January, their online counterparts continued with their deep discounts and raked in significantly higher sales, especially during the Republic Day weekend.
E-tailers registered a 25% increase in sales during the Republic Day weekend compared to a regular day. Interestingly, this time around, the online marketplaces didn’t go overboard while trying to advertise the massive discounts as was the case during Flipkart’s Big Billion Day in October, followed by massive discounts on Snapdeal and Amazon during Diwali.
Amazon, for instance, rolled out a shopping bonanza on January 23. The e-tailer, which is vying for the top spot by overtaking Flipkart, offered a 33% discount on the Micromax Canvas A1 smartphone while the iPhone 5C was sold at a hefty discount of 46% on its website. This apart, Amazon offered up to 40% discounts on toys, 65% on books, movies, games and music and flat 40% on pet supplies.
Mobile phones were a big draw on Flipkart as well, with the e-tailer bringing back Xiaomi’s MI3 for a day, apart from doing away with registrations for sale of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4G.
A Flipkart spokesperson said the company did well in the fashion and lifestyle category over the January 26 weekend, where it offered a minimum discount of 55% across clothing, footwear and accessories. “The sale went off extremely well with turnover increasing by 50% over those four days (January 23-26) compared to the average sales during the rest of the month,” the Flipkart spokesperson said.
Another Delhi-based e-commerce player, Snapdeal, offered discounts between 21% and 56% on various models of the iPhone, between 28% and 40% on Samsung phones, besides discounts of up to 80% on women’s ethnic wear.
Sandeep Komaravelly, SVP – marketing, Snapdeal, said, “Keeping the occasion of the Republic Day in mind, we launched the Republic of Savings on the Snapdeal platform. We got a very positive response on this event. On the Republic Day, we saw a 100% increase in sales across different categories. Some of the top-selling products included mobile phones, women’s clothing, footwear and laptops. Tier II cities and beyond contributed to more than 65% of the sales during this period.”
Fashion and lifestyle was one of the biggest drivers of online sales during the end-of-season-sale period. Online fashion store Myntra said traffic increased four-fold during the January 26 weekend, and Jabong saw sales rise as well.
“Sales on Republic Day were 25% higher than the weekly average and 15% higher than the monthly average of January,” Jabong co-founder Praveen Sinha told FE.
According to cashback site CashKaro.com, transactions on Jabong Snapdeal, FashionandYou and eBay doubled during the weekend while Amazon’s republic Day parade saw a three-fold increase in transactions.
Swati Bhargava, co-founder of CashKaro, said that transactions on her company’s platform doubled during the first long weekend of 2015, compared to other regular weekends.
“The average ticket size was Rs 3,500 across categories including electronics, apparel and furniture. According to empirical evidence, Friday and Monday witnessed the maximum conversions,” Bhargava said. “Going forward, e-retailers will look to monetise other long weekends over the year such as those during Holi, Diwali and Christmas this year.”