The first leg of the five-day online festive season sale held from October 9-14 appears to have been a fairly big success. E-commerce players are estimated to have clocked in a combined gross merchandise value (GMV) worth $2.3 billion, data from market research firm RedSeer Consulting reveal. This is about 64% higher than the value reported during the five-day festive season sale in 2017. Last year, the e-commerce industry had raked in a GMV worth $1.4 billion. Ujjwal Chaudhry, engagement manager, RedSeer Consulting, said sales have been clearly more buoyant this time around. One reason for this, Chaudhry pointed out, could be the bigger universe of shoppers from tier II cities. \u201cAffordability and loyalty schemes introduced by e-tailers also played a role in converting the visitors into shoppers,\u201d he said. The data show the number of online shoppers was higher this time. Mobile phones have been among the most popular items with 4.6 million units worth $800 million bought. Moreover, 0.6 million units of large appliances worth $170 million were purchased during the sale period. Other popular categories were apparel and fashion accessories. Amazon India claims that the smartphones category lead the sale on day one, with Xiaomi selling more than a million devices in a day and OnePlus clocking booking worth Rs 400 crore. In terms of volume of sale, Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 8 recorded a 12-fold increase in sale. Motorola witnessed an incredible start in the Amazon Great Indian Festival selling more than 36X of a regular day\u2019s sale in just 36 hours. \u201cOur efforts to bring the next 100 million customers online have paid off as we saw more new customers acquired on this day than any day in the last three years. This was also helped by various financing options which ensured there were no budget constraints for customers,\u201d Manish Tiwary, vice-president, category management, Amazon India, said. Meanwhile Walmart-backed Flipkart claims that about one million users have accessed the app at any given point during the sale period. Moreover, as per the platform on the first day, about a million mobile handsets were sold in an hour and more than three million by the end of the day. Also, Flipkart claims that it sold three headphones every two seconds during the sale. \u201cFlipkart is selling one laptop every minute, fourfold of what India sells in a day,\u201d it said. Flipkart, which runs a subscription programme called Flipkart Plus, said it sold 100 books every minute during early access provided to its members. According to RedSeer, new affordable schemes and bank and wallet offers helped in converting visitors to shoppers in large numbers, besides loyalty schemes and subscription services which provided exclusive offers. Early access also drove repeat buying, it said.