sale: Ecommerce sales boom this festive month

sale: Ecommerce sales boom this festive month


The share of e-commerce in the overall sales pie touched new highs in the first fortnight of this month, market trackers and companies said, with several categories, including smartphones, consumer electronics, apparel and daily necessities, growing faster than last year.

The share of smartphone sales online surged to around 60% in the first fortnight of Navratri-Dussehra from around 55%, early estimates by market tracker Counterpoint Research showed. Televisions grew to 40% from 31% in the same period last year, while refrigerators, air-conditioners, washing machines and kitchen appliances rose to 9-10% from 6-8%, industry executives said.

The Covid-19 pandemic, a supply shortage and more days of pre-Diwali sales turned the tide in favour of online channels, said Tarun Pathak, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

With the reach of e-commerce expanding, several customers from tier III towns bought expensive products online, said Panasonic India chairman Manish Sharma.

“Reach, coupled with behavioural changes accelerated by Covid-19, is driving adoption. For instance, online AC sales this month have doubled over last year, led by premium models,” Sharma said.

The two dominant e-commerce marketplaces, Amazon India and Walmart-owned Flipkart, began their festive season sale events from October 2 and are
running it for longer this time round unlike in previous years. They are also offering higher discounts during the first 2-3 days.

Even Tata Cliq, Reliance Digital and Croma ran promotional offers on their online stores and apps, leading to a surge in buying through e-commerce entities.

Market research firm RedSeer Consulting said the overall online shopper base has grown by around 20% this festive season compared to last year, with tier II markets contributing to almost 61% of all shoppers.

RedSeer estimates that around Rs 68 crore worth of smartphones were sold every hour across online platforms during the festive sales period.

The rapid sales via e-commerce channels has been due to price drops in e-commerce marketplaces, with consumers getting around Rs 2,000-3,000 in discounts, said Avneet Singh Marwah, chief executive of SPPL, which sells the Thomson, Kodak and Blaupunkt brand of TVs online.

According to RedSeer, smartphones, TVs and appliances together formed the largest selling category in e-commerce, accounting for 73% of the total gross merchandise value (GMV) across platforms during the first week of online sales.

Daily necessities, fashion

Fast moving consumer goods and apparel companies also said the first fortnight witnessed a bigger surge in online shopping, led by higher discounts.

This festive season, most e-commerce marketplaces have paid attention to all categories equally, including groceries, instead of the typical focus on electronics and apparel, said Krishnarao Buddha, senior category head at Parle Products.

“We have seen record growth from online channels, with its contribution increasing 300 basis points compared to a year ago, mainly driven by offers and deals. In fact, we are seeing a massive surge in orders for their sale events in December, indicating that online growth is sustainable,” Buddha said.

For consumer goods makers, the share of online channels in their overall sales mix has tripled since March last year, as lockdowns led to thousands of consumers clicking online for essentials as well as non-essentials.

At present, e-commerce accounts for 6-10% of their total sales, compared to 3-5% a year ago.

“The growth in e-commerce continues to be robust and the run-up to the Diwali festival season, coupled with demand buoyed by the big annual tent pole e-commerce events, have seen strong consumer traction in the last couple of weeks,” said Sanjeev Mohanty, managing director, South Asia – Middle East and Africa, Levi Strauss & Co



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