Covid-hit online sellers hope faster recovery in festive season as majority shoppers look to back them

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Updated: Oct 06, 2020 4:28 PM

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The festive season, which begins from nine-day Navratri and lasts till the year-end, might prove to be a lifeline for micro and small sellers who have been facing Covid headwinds ever since the pandemic broke out in February this year leading to negligible or zero business activity apart from witnessing a shortage of workforce.

bank deposits, bank credit, liquidity surplus, NBFCs, industriesThe moderation in bank deposits on a fortnightly basis indicates that with the nearing of the festive season, the depositors have started spending.

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Covid-hit small businesses selling goods online might be pleasantly surprised this festive season as the majority of online shoppers looks to buy from them including emerging brands and artisans. Micro and small businesses constitute a majority number of sellers selling on e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal etc. In fact, there have been a number of initiatives rolled out by Amazon and Flipkart such as Amazon Karigar, Flipkart Samarth in the past few years to bring on-board sellers, artisans, craftsmen from across India and enable them to reach out to the growing number of online shoppers.

The festive season, which begins from nine-day Navratri and lasts till the year-end, might prove to be a lifeline for micro and small sellers who have been facing Covid headwinds ever since the pandemic broke out in February this year leading to negligible or zero business activity apart from witnessing a shortage of workforce. According to a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles receiving responses from over 3 lakh e-commerce shoppers based in more than 330 districts, 80 per cent shoppers said that they will consider buying festive items online from small businesses, artisans, weavers, etc. if they are listed. 54 per cent shoppers were also certain that small retailers and kirana stores will see increased sales if they sell online.

Multiple sellers Financial Express Online sellers spoke with also hoped that festive season will expedite their business recovery. “Covid has changed the mindset of people living in small cities towards online shopping. They at least want to explore the channel simply because they are hesitant in buying goods offline. My usual sale during festive season used to be up 30-40 per cent in comparison to non-festive days. This year, I am hoping it to increase by at least 60 per cent,” an e-commerce seller selling handicraft items told Financial Express Online.

Also read: In a first, Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sale to be ‘month-long’ this year starting October 17

Amazon and Flipkart have already announced their dates for their festive sale. While Flipkart will host its Big Billion Days between October 16-21, Amazon will host a month-long sale starting October 17. Both e-commerce companies have onboarded additional sellers and delivery partners to cater to expected rush and are likely to enable multiple discounts offers to clear any unsold goods with sellers since the lockdown period.

“There’s a complete set of the new product range we will be launching during the festive sale to attract more customers. We usually refresh our products and designs every month or two. This year we are expecting more customers than last year and hence, we are also planning to offer discounts on almost all products,” said another seller who e-retails home décor items.

The survey noted that 51 per cent shoppers this festive season are likely to have e-commerce as their primary shopping channel – significantly up from 27 per cent last year. “This is all Covid related. “The number has shot up to 51 per cent which is a major jump. This is all Covid related. Very sizeable e-commerce shoppers also said that if their favourite bakery, namkeen products are available online then they would love to shop for that as well. Another major trend was that people this year are looking to send gifts instead of travelling which is huge. So, there is strong demand for gifting,” Sachin Taparia, Founder and Chairman, LocalCircles told Financial Express Online. The survey claimed that 37 per cent online shoppers will use e-commerce for gifting purposes during the festive season since only 19 per cent are likely to travel this festive season.

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