Amazon on Tuesday said it will start its annual festive sale on October 17, and has planned a month-long sale event in India this year.
As the pandemic has disrupted routine, the country typically more prone to traditional shopping has added new online customers across age groups. Amazon did not mention an end date for the sale.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, Manish Tiwary, vice-president at Amazon India said, “It is going to be a month-long season of celebration, of festivities and that’s how we have designed the Great Indian Festival.”
The surge in online order volumes has prompted e-commerce companies to recruit fresh staff to service the orders. Amazon said its registered Prime members are buying more. While the frequency of purchasing has gone up, they are also experimenting with new categories and adding more items to their shopping carts. The company has also added new users, Tiwary said.
E-commerce firms are estimated to touch $4 billion in GMV (gross merchandise value) during the first leg of the festive sales this year, a growth of 50% year-on-year, according to estimates by consulting firm RedSeer.
Electronics as a segment is seeing considerable traction on Amazon, as study and work from home necessitated the addition of more screens and devices like smartphones and laptops by households. The demand also extends to supporting accessories like routers. Citing an internal survey done by the firm, Tiwary said there is a very strong demand for mid-range smartphones priced between `15,000-`25,000. “That is a sweet spot we anticipate for this festive season,” he said.
Sports equipment and yoga mats are among other categories that have recorded an “unprecedented spike” in demand of late. With home-bound consumers having more time to experiment in the kitchen and adorn their houses, segments such as kitchen/home appliances, gourmet foods and furniture have seen an increase in sales. Consumers are also buying essential clothing, open and sports footwear.
“Demand across categories is very heavy compared to what it used to be. In the Diwali season, we expect these trends to continue if not sort of multiply,” Tiwary said. While consumption of formal wear has taken a hit, Tiwary expects the festive period to create demand for formals as consumers would want to look their “festive best,” even while hosting Zoom parties.
Amazon India said it has created more than 100,000 seasonal job opportunities across its operations ahead of the festive period. The job roles are in addition to the nearly 70,000 temporary workers it hired across its operational network and customer service centres earlier this year. Besides, the firm claims to have also generated tens of thousands of indirect opportunities through its varied partner networks.
To tackle the estimated increase in order volumes, Amazon also announced the addition of 10 new fulfilment centres and added close to 200 delivery stations.
Amazon Prime members will get early access to the Great Indian Festival starting October 16, the company said in a statement. Customers and business buyers can now also support small businesses by shopping from SMB deals and save with rewards, which they can redeem during the sale.
Rival Flipkart is hosting its Big Billion Days sale from October 16 to 21.