Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale to start 20 September, run till 24th
Bengaluru: India’s biggest online retail firm Flipkart plans to hold its annual flagship Big Billion Days sale from 20 to 24 September this year, and aims to more than double sales from the five-day event compared to last year.
This will be the fourth edition of Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale, which was first launched by the e-commerce firm in October 2014 and was partly inspired by the Singles Day sale that is held by China’s Alibaba Group every year.
During the five-day event, Flipkart is expected to woo new customers with deep discounts, no-cost EMIs and other new offers such as debit card EMIs.
Arch rival Amazon India is also expected to hold its Great Indian Sale around the same time in September in what will be the biggest showdown in Indian e-commerce, which has effectively turned into a two-horse race between Flipkart and the American e-commerce giant.
According to a top company executive, Flipkart will aim to grow sales by “two to three times” compared to last year’s numbers. Last year, Flipkart had generated gross sales of at least Rs3,000 crore (or close to $500 million) during the five-day event, Mint reported on 8 October 2016.
That would imply that Flipkart is aiming to touch sales of around Rs6,000-9,000 crore (about $1-1.5 billion) during the five-day event this year. If Flipkart does manage to hit those ambitious targets, or even get close to those numbers, it would put Big Billion Days in the same league as the Singles Day sale.
“The Big Billion Days numbers that we are looking for this year—coming on the back of last year which itself was a very successful BBD—we’re talking about a (figure that is) 2x to 3x of that,” said Smrithi Ravichandran, a senior director at Flipkart. She, however, declined to comment on the exact sales figures that Flipkart is targeting during Big Billion Days 2017.
“We’re in an industry where the competition is cutthroat and it is effectively a fight between two players... we want to ensure that we widen our gap with our nearest competitor,” Ravichandran added.
Sales during Big Billion Days would mostly be driven by key categories such as smartphones, large appliances and the newly launched furniture business, as well as fashion in which Flipkart is a market leader, including sales from its Myntra and Jabong units, Ravichandran said.
“The deals and discounts will be there, no two ways about it...this year we’ve also added new features such as buyback guarantee and debit card EMIs,” Ravichandran said. “We’re hiring rapidly on both the customer support front as well as the supply chain side (for BBD)... a lot of the hiring will not just be for BBD, but also for a lot of new differentiated offerings that we will launch post-BBD.”
Buoyed by its mammoth fundraising in April and July when it collectively raised close to $3 billion, Flipkart is yet again expected to bet the house on Big Billion Days as it looks to widen its lead on Amazon India.
Flipkart, which was started 10 years ago by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not related), has raised roughly $2.8 billion this year in two separate tranches from the likes of SoftBank, China’s Tencent, Microsoft and eBay.
Flipkart will head into the Big Billion Days flush with funds and a war chest of $4 billion—a far cry from last year, when it was under tremendous pressure to pull off a successful Big Billion Days in order to raise more funds.
“Our focus this year is to ensure a high uniqueness quotient to our selection across categories. We’re fully prepared to process a billion wishes in time through India’s biggest event of the year. This is all an extension of what Flipkart has done since it started a decade ago, when it created the e-commerce market in India and helped millions from small towns and villages benefit by shopping online,” said Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy in a separate statement.
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