Online retailers Flipkart, Amazon etc to woo customers with eye-popping deals this Diwali

09 Sep,2014

By Radhika P Nair


Online retailers, from biggies such as Flipkart and Amazon to niche players like FabFurnish and Bluestone, have lined up special catalogues, exclusive products, offers, contests and discounts to ensure a cracker of a Diwali season, with an eye on first-time shoppers.


Fashion portal Myntra will offer more than 5,000 new products across top brands like FCUK, UCB, Elle, SuperDry, Biba, FabIndia and Antony Moratto for the first time online, while online marketplace is working with brands across categories like fashion, electronics and home products to put together a special Diwali catalogue that will be out in the next few days.


Market leader Flipkart will put up exclusive products and offer heavy discounts while rival may introduce drone delivery in the country, as Diwali season is when most number of Indians try out online shopping for the first time. The four to five weeks until Diwali brings the largest sales spike for online sites.”For online retailers, you can say that the financial cycle is Diwali to Diwali,” said Saurabh Srivastava, director at advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India.


“Every project cycle and launch that an etailer works on during the year is geared only towards Diwali.” MrSrivastava said sales jump during this season can be double the regular daily order size. Sandeep Komaravelly, senior vice president of marketing at Snapdeal, said that unlike offline, Diwali momentum does not taper off in online retail after the festival.


“New customers who have tried online shopping for the first time during the festival season continue to do so even afterwards,” he said. No wonder then that portals big and small are going all out to woo new customers, backed by large marketing campaigns.


“For large e-tailers the marketing budgets will be as high as 10% of overall costs,” said PwC’s Mr Srivastava. Even niche jewellery site Bluestone has set aside Rs 6 crore for advertisement and marketing for the festive season. It will launch a consultancy feature for Diwali that will suggest jewellery items based on the user’s face, hair style and likes.


The typical Diwali shopping season starts from third week of September and goes on until Bhai Dooj, two days after Diwali. The online retail industry has grown rapidly in the past few years. While the overall industry was at $1 billion (Rs 6,000 crore) a couple of years ago, just the top three marketplaces in the country-Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon-are estimated to cross $4 billion (Rs 24,000 crore) in sales this fiscal.


Ganesh Subramanian, chief operating officer at Bengaluru-based Myntra, which was acquired by Flipkart earlier this year, said it’s setting up a special Diwali store on its site. The company has started a new warehouse in Gurgaon in time for the peak shopping period.


“We expect a lot of interest from tier-II and III cities and towns thanks to mobile. At least one out of two orders will be through mobile,” he said. Myntra is targeting sales of Rs 2,000 crore this fiscal.


Flipkart plans a single-day big-bang sale a few days before Diwali with new and exclusive products at big discounts, said a person with direct knowledge of the site’s Diwali plans. It will also launch exclusive brand partnerships-around one a week-as part of its Diwali line up.


“The company is expecting the largest sales in its seven years of existence,” said the person who did not wish to be identified. Flipkart declined to participate in this story. Samir Kumar, director of category management at Amazon India, said the portal will have exclusive launches and innovative gifting options. Amazon could also do drone deliveries in India during the period, as reported earlier. The company declined to speak on this.


Source:The Economic Times

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