Online shopping carnivals give fillip to eCommerce in India

Sales worth three billion dollars during week-long online shopping festival underscore the success and wider acceptance of eCommerce in India

Flipkart and Amazon—the two eCommerce giants in India—have shown how big a success eCommerce in India is. Both these eCommerce players together sold items worth ₹19,000 crores (around $3 billion) in just under a week during their online shopping carnival between 28 September and 4 October 2019.

The success story

As expected a major chunk of the revenues came from the sale of mobile phones. According to RedSeer, mobile phones constituted more than half the gross merchandise value (GMV) generated during the sale duration. According to Flipkart, it sold over a million units each of nearly 20 models.

The bulk of the entire sale—across product categories—occurred from tier-2 and tier 3 cities. Amazon has said that of all its new customers, 91% came from these cities and towns, while Flipkart says over half of its buyers came from tier-2/3 and smaller towns. This reach may be attributed to the efforts the two eCommerce players have made to localize the reach. Flipkart had recently launched a Hindi interface to tap into a large non-English speaking prospective customer base.

Besides expanding their reach beyond metros, Flipkart and Amazon offered multiple payment options to enable customers shop conveniently during the online sale. Apart from credit card, internet banking, and cash on delivery, these eCommerce players also offered no-cost EMIs, card-less credit, exchange offers, cashback, and pay later facilities to make shopping relatively affordable.

With festival season reaching its peak around Diwali, RedSeer projects that the sale period will linger on till then and will likely witness sales worth $6 billion.

Key takeaways

There are multiple takeaways from the success of this online shopping carnival—the most important being the rise and rise of eCommerce in India.

  • Shoppers increasingly prefer shopping online overspending offline during the sale period.
  • The value of their ticket items is increasing.
  • Ecommerce has made inroads into tier 2 and 3 cities and smaller towns.
  • Ecommerce players are offering multiple payment options.
  • Merchants can access a larger customer base.
  • The future of eCommerce in India looks bright.

Future is bright

According to Statista, currently active eCommerce penetration in India is 74% but ecommerce sales constitute only 2.2% of the total retail sales. However, since India is a fast-growing ecommerce market, it is projected that by 2020, around 329.1 million will likely shop online—which means nearly 71% internet users in India would have shopped online by then. The growth prospects of eCommerce in India are, therefore, bright with a projected CAGR of 23% during the five year period 2016-2021.


The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant

She can be reached on LinkedIn.

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