Ecommerce: This Diwali, online sales will be bigger & better

By: | Published: September 27, 2015 12:20 AM

E-commerce sites like Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, Shopclues are increase products lines to offer huge range to customers

Shopclues, which is next in the pecking order after Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, will offer three times more products this festive season.Shopclues, which is next in the pecking order after Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, will offer three times more products this festive season.

Ecommerce firms expect to have a grander festive season this year with 50-100% more products on sale. As per various estimates, this festive season, e-commerce websites together expect to make transactions between $4-$6 billion — more than a fourth of which will be driven by the top three e-commerce companies, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon.

E-commerce firm Snapdeal has taken a lead over its rivals by starting its preview sale on Monday. Soon after that, Snapdeal, which is ready with a 10-fold product line compared to last year, will start its mega festive sale. That would mark the opening of the big fight to get more customers and showcase higher sale numbers, commonly called the gross merchandise value. GMV is the total value of products e-commerce companies sell on their platform.

The festive month accounts for 30-40% of a year’s sale for e-commerce companies. Evergreen product categories like electronics (including mobiles) and apparel will continue to be offered on discounts. Then there is emergence of new categories like home and kitchen and furniture, which have seen huge traction. Furniture companies like Pepperfry and FabFurnish have already started offering heavy discounts — to the tune of 25-40% — ahead of the festive season.

Shopclues, which is next in the pecking order after Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, will offer three times more products this festive season. “On Shopclues about 200% more products will be available for sale. We will offer people in tier-II and tier-III towns what they wouldn’t find in shops otherwise,” said Nitin Agarwal, company senior director, marketing. The company expects 80% surge in traffic during the festive season.

The big three are far ahead. “This year the customers will be happier than last time… The Diwali sale will be bigger than ever before. Brands see e-commerce companies as a way to save overhead cost, and so they can offer attractive prices to customers,” said Tony Navin, senior VP, partnerships and strategic initiatives, at Snapdeal, when he was asked if the discounts will go down during the festive season.

He said all categories, including electronics, will see ‘value’ prices. Wide assortment of products, big discounts and new product categories will be a common feature for e-commerce companies this festive season.

Last year, US-based e-commerce giant Amazon saw a 200% increase in traffic during the Diwali week. Since last year, Amazon has increased its total number of unique products to 30 million from 18 million. It also has five times more sellers — 50,000 in number.

“In the past few months, we have added seven new fulfilment centres, of about 1.6 million sq ft. About 60% of the demand is coming from tier-II and tier-III towns. This year we are prepared for a multiple surge in traffic,” said Samir Kumar, VP, category management, at Amazon India.

However, companies said they would stay away from price wars that would impact their profitability.

“We will stay away from price wars that will hit our bottomline. We are looking at providing a wider range of products at a higher discount,” said Agarwal of Shopclues.

Snapdeal has added four times the number of sellers compared to 50,000 last year, and has 15 million unique products. “This Diwali will bring out new players in the market, and we are sure we will emerge as a stronger player,” said Snapdeal’s Navin.

Shopping bonanza
* Amazon increased total number of unique products to 30 million from 18 million. It also has five times more sellers
* Snapdeal has put together 15 million unique products
* On Shopclues 200% more products will be available for sale

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