The Indian e-commerce industry has already witnessed plenty of fireworks much before Diwali crackers have started bursting. As the online festive discount season draws to a close, it seems Flipkart is ahead of the rest in terms of traffic, in spite of the consumer backlash that it had to face on October 6.
The biggest rival for Flipkart, Amazon, which concluded its week-long Diwali Dhamaka on October 16, witnessed a 200 per cent (two-fold) jump in its traffic on the first day of the week long sale, the company said. For Flipkart, the growth in traffic was 10 times that of a normal day on October 6. Incidentally, traffic growth doesn’t always translate into higher sales as one might not finally order a product after visiting the site. On actual sales, Flipkart said it had a GMV (gross merchandise value) of $100 million on the Big Billion Day (October 6). Given that Flipkart had achieved sales of $1 billion in annual GMV in 2013-14, its average daily sales last financial year should have been about $2.7 million. So, Flipkart recorded almost 40-times growth in sales on October 6, going by the numbers given by the company. Amazon does not share its GMV.
Experts say that Flipkart as an Indian brand generates more expectations when it comes to deals and discounts. “They are seen as more street smart as a brand when compared to Amazon which is known internationally for quality service and consumer satisfaction rather than discounts,” Santosh Desai, MD & CEO, Future Brands, had told this newspaper recently. However, many are also of the view that loyalty is rarely witnessed in online buying patterns and the cheapest deals would find the highest takers. And, Flipkart mostly offered deeper discounts than its rivals.
While the guerilla campaign over Diwali sales were primarily built by Flipkart and Amazon, Delhi-based Snapdeal turned out to be a smart gainer. Snapdeal not only gained positive reviews on social networking sites, it was also the top trending topic on Twitter on October 6.
It witnessed a 15-times growth in traffic on Flipart’s Big Billion Day and announced sales worth Rs 1 crore a minute.