In the last few years, the war for supremacy in the Indian e-commerce space has turned into a two-sided battle between the nation’s home-grown ‘Flipkart’ and Jeff Bezos’ giant ‘Amazon’. The two companies have gone head to head over the last few years – conducting flagship sales on same dates on every possible occasion. Only, there is no loser in this war despite both parties using every arsenal in their armour. The recently concluded ‘Big Shopping Days’ sale from Flipkart and ‘Prime Day’ sale from Amazon are yet another reminder of the fact.
Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days were conducted from July 16 to July 19 – coinciding with Amazon’s Prime Day which started at 12 noon on July 16 and ended on July 17. During these three days, Flipkart offered discounts across various segments like mobiles, laptops, TVs, fashion, furniture, and books, among others and generated 4 times the daily revenue and sold 2.5 times the daily units, according to a survey by RedSeer.
The 80-hours sale that started at 4 PM on July 16th, generated sales that equal to 15 non-sale days in terms of value, and sold as many units as 10 non-sale days. The survey said that Flipkart’s traffic increased by 150% during this period.
The sale got a better response from Tier 2 and 3 cities than Metro and Tier I cities. About 48% of customers shopped from Metro and Tier 1 cities and 52% of the customers shopped from Tier 2 and 3 cities.
It also established the fact that customers are done with ‘try before buy’ thinking and are more inclusive about brands that are available only on online platforms. 86% of the total sales of TVs came from Flipkart exclusive brands – Mi TV, Vu Tv, MarQ, Thomson, iFFALCON. The number of TVs sold in a price range of less than Rs. 50,000 was 4 times the number of TVs sold in Flipkart’s last Big Shopping Days in May.
Talking about the response, Smrithi Ravichandran, Senior Director, Flipkart, said, “The success of the sale is a testimony to our customer’s faith in us, making us as the destination where India shops. We are overwhelmed to see the RedSeer survey findings that reinstates our commitment and celebrates this success.”
The data showed that Flipkart had an upper hand on Amazon during this period with a 60% mind-share during sale days compared to 40% for Amazon. In fact, 69% of respondents bought on Flipkart while 41% bought on Amazon (10% overlapping on both).
But, this doesn’t mean that Amazon lost this battle. The e-commerce giant witnessed the biggest Prime Day ever. More new Prime members joined the program in the one week leading up to Prime Day than any week since the launch of Prime in India. Additionally, more members than ever enjoyed Prime Video and Amazon Prime Music content, with the week leading up to Prime Day having the highest number of streamers ever.
Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India, said that Prime Day offers the company a unique opportunity to thank Prime members with a celebration of best deals, exclusive selection as well as new Prime Video and Prime Music content.
“Extending Prime Day to 36 hours this year allowed us to further reward members with unbeatable deals, access to exclusive new products and unforgettable experiences that highlight the many benefits of a Prime membership. We also want to thank our sellers, brands and our content partners who helped to make Prime Day bigger and better,” he added.
During the sale, Amazon saw a nine-time rise in the sale of large appliances, four times growth in consumer electronics and a seven times increase in Amazon Pay balance top-ups than a regular day.
The week leading up to Prime Day was Prime Video’s best ever, with the highest number of streamers in India ever. Comicstaan, launched in the run-up to Prime Day, broke the record to become the most watched Amazon Prime Original series in its first week on Prime Video in India.
The sale turned out to be a festival for small and small and medium-sized businesses which saw an average growth of 240% this Prime Day over an average day in June. In the new Prime exclusive launches, RoadGods (Xator backpack), Leaf Wearables (Beast headphones), Spruce Shave Club (beard oil & beard wash), Fego (motor bike air suspension seat) and Smartivity (DIY educational toys) were among the most popular products.
“Being a new start-up on Amazon Launchpad, this was our first Prime Day experience and we couldn’t have asked for more. Our brand saw more than 10X sales growth over business as usual in less than two days. And the cherry on the cake was to get mattress orders from all across the country, from Faridabad to Mysore,” said Ankit Garg, Co-Founder and CEO Wakefit.
The star player, however, for Amazon was OnePlus. The smartphone manufacturer witnessed record sales for OnePlus 6 Red during the Prime Day this year.
“Red as a colour emotes a sense of self-confidence and positivity, and with the OnePlus 6 Red Edition, we aim to deliver a vivid sensory experience that will last for years. Amazon’s Prime Day is a great opportunity for our community to get their hands on this special edition in India. Last year, we received record sales for OnePlus 5 during Prime Day and this year, OnePlus 6 Red has crossed that mark by miles.” said Vikas Agarwal, General Manager – India, OnePlus
Apart from exclusive deals and discounts, Amazon also offered ultra-fast 2-hour delivery on Amazon devices, consumer electronics and everyday essentials through the Prime Now app for members in Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
While this war is far from over, the only winner here seems to be the customer.