Flipkart outsells Amazon during festive sale

Flipkart records unit sales of 15.5 million during the Big Billion Days, Amazon sells 15 million units in the five days of its Great Indian Festival

Flipkart generated gross sales of at least Rs3,000 crore during its Big Billion Days. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Flipkart generated gross sales of at least Rs3,000 crore during its Big Billion Days. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Bengaluru: Online marketplace Flipkart outsold arch-rival Amazon India during the first sale event of the all-important festive season, recording unit sales of 15.5 million compared with 15 million units for the US-based online retailing giant.

Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd generated gross sales of at least Rs3,000 crore during its five-day flagship sale Big Billion Days (BBD), which ended on Thursday, three people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

Mint couldn’t confirm the sales value of Amazon India (Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd) but half a dozen e-commerce executives said Flipkart’s numbers were far ahead of Amazon’s. Flipkart’s numbers include those for its fashion portals Myntra and Jabong.

Gross sales are net of discounts but before product cancellations and returns, which tend to jump during sale events.

Flipkart’s performance signals a sort of comeback to its heydays when it was known for offering an unrivalled product assortment and the biggest discounts. The performance will erase doubts about the company’s ability to take on Amazon and marks a big win for chief executive Binny Bansal and in particular, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who moved back to the company from Flipkart’s largest investor Tiger Global Management earlier this year to run its key retail business.

The three people cited above said that Flipkart’s best-selling products included Apple Inc.’s iPhones, Motorola phones, Xiaomi phones and VU televisions.

“Flipkart’s Big Billion Days is one of the signposts that defines our vision for transforming commerce in India by delivering high quality products to every customer that shops on Flipkart and to make these products accessible and affordable,” a Flipkart spokesperson said by email.

Flipkart and Amazon didn’t respond to queries about their sales numbers.

Flipkart, however, did take a dig at Amazon. On Wednesday, Amazon said it received orders for 15 million units during its BBD rival sale event, the Great Indian Festival. Amazon said then that its single highest-selling product in the sale was the Prime subscription, and groceries were among its other big sellers. Flipkart doesn’t offer groceries or have a fully-developed paid subscription service such as Prime.

“(Flipkart’s) total units sold include only physical goods and do not include virtual membership and low-cost items like churan, hing, candy, detergent bar and eggs!,” the Flipkart spokesperson said by email.

This festival season is the most significant period for Indian e-commerce companies, particularly for Flipkart, which had bet on BBD to revive sales growth and win back market share from Amazon, which generated higher sales than Flipkart on a standalone basis for two months in a row. Including sales from its fashion websites, Flipkart was still ahead.

A successful October for Flipkart may give the company the platform to keep improving its results and raise a fresh round of funds.