Pandemic? Small-town India set to drive record festive sales

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS)
While the ongoing pandemic has left crores of Indians in deep financial trouble who are struggling to make ends meet, the aspirational Bharat — riding on the pent-up demand and discretionary income — is all set to embark on a record online festive sale journey that begins this week.
E-commerce marketplaces Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are ready with festive discounts and mega offers that will begin raining on the consumers from October 16 and those five-six days are set to defy the pandemic-induced economic distress that has engulfed the masses, according to industry experts.
Driven by the small-town India, the festive sales are looking to break earlier records. According to Bengaluru-based management consulting firm RedSeer, the forthcoming festive season sale is projected to generate a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $7 billion — a massive 84 per cent growth compared to $3.8 billion in GMV sales in the same period last year.
Based on the expected strong festive sales performance, ecommerce is anticipated to grow and reach $38 billion in sales in CY20, up 40 per cent year-on-year.
As experts debate the impact of the pandemic in small-town India, RedSeer said in its annual ‘Online Festive Sales 2020 Forecast’ report that this year’s festive season sale will see more than half of the orders coming from tier-2 towns and cities with 45 to 50 million users.
According to Prabhu Ram, Head- Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, the festive season sales will be driven by two broad consumers’ cohorts.
“On the one hand, premium buyers will seek to engage in impulsive shopping to make-up for the lost time. On the other hand, there will be the value buyers, including many first-time ecommerce shoppers from aspirational bharat,” Ram told IANS.
Over 1 lakh Amazon-enabled local shops, kiranas and neighbourhood stores across India will serve customers in the upcoming festive season on the e-commerce platform.
More than 20,000 offline retailers, kiranas and local shops from “Local Shops on Amazon” programme will participate in the “Great Indian Festival” sales for the first time, that starts from October 17.
“This festive season we are focused on helping our sellers and other MSME partners grow their business and bounce back from the recent challenges,” said Manish Tiwary, VP, Amazon India.
More than 6.5 lakh sellers are ready to offer crores of products on and customers can shop from over 4 crore products from small and medium businesses (SMBs) and products from over 20,000 local shops across 100 cities.
Flipkart is not far behind. It will unveil over 200 special edition products in partnership with more than 100 leading brands during its ‘Big Billion Days’ sale that begins from Otcober 16.
The ecommerce marketplace has also on-boarded over 50,000 kiranas to bring festive cheer to consumers across 850 cities.
Called ‘Kum Mein Dum,’ the Snapdeal sale selection is built around the choices indicated by more than 1.25 lakh participants across 92 cities.
Snapdeal said it worked closely with manufacturers to bring products for its customers at prices lower than last year, adding over 10,000 sellers in the last three months to increase its inventory of value-priced merchandise.
According to industry reports, the festive season shopping is going to witness huge demand from consumers with over 45-50 million shoppers coming online.
“The focus of eCommerce platforms will be to drive accessibility, availability and affordability for consumers in tier II, III and beyond (including smaller towns), with the intent of driving sales,” Ram emphasized.
According to RedSeer, the 2020 e-commerce festive period is set to witness 1.8 times more shipments compared to last year’s festive period.
“Covid has enabled massive growth in new shoppers as consumers now more than ever prefer to shop in a manner that is convenient, safe and hygienic and the e-commerce space meets these requirements. Consumers show positive sentiments to purchase during this (festive sale) period,” it said.
According to Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, this festive event continues to focus on Flipkart’s commitment to provide value for consumers, opportunities for growth for MSMEs and sellers, and “employment generation through e-commerce”.
“Emerging from the throes of the pandemic, all the indicators point to a bigger than usual sales during the festive season. This may seem definitely at odd with the overall economic scenario, low consumer confidence and curtailed discretionary spending,” Ram told IANS.

(Nishant Arora can be reached at

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