Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Amazon disputes data that Flipkart is ahead in festive sales

Bengaluru: Amazon India has disputed a market research report that claimed its arch rival and Walmart-controlled Flipkart received majority of orders during last week’s festive season sales that was fiercely-contested by the country’s biggest online retailers.

RedSeer Consulting said on Thursday Flipkart contributed more than half of the gross merchandise value (GMV), or the overall sale price of goods sold on a site, for the entire e-commerce industry during the sale. Overall, online retail surged more than 60% to $2.3 billion during the five-day event, from $1.4 billion a year earlier, RedSeer said in a report.

“Flipkart accounted for more than half of GMV for the entire industry. Between Flipkart and Amazon, the share was 62-38. Higher share for Flipkart was driven by higher sales in both mobiles and fashion verticals," RedSeer said.

Strongly disputing the figures, Amazon said its gross sales nearly doubled from last year’s Great Indian Festival sale.

“We cannot comment on speculative reports that lack robust and credible methodology," a spokesperson for Amazon India said in an email. The company “received an overwhelming response to the Great Indian Festival, with first 36 hours nearly surpassing the entire first wave last year and the entire wave growing by 96% versus last year", she said. “With orders from 99% of pin codes in just 4 days, Prime member sign-ups surging nearly 3x, over 60% new customer growth with more than 82% from lower tier cities, the festive season so far has exceeded our most aggressive plans," she said.

Amazon India mostly runs neck-and-neck with Flipkart (on a standalone basis). However, Flipkart has traditionally stayed ahead of its rivals during big sale events such as the Big Billion Days (BBD).

This year, however, Amazon posted what was easily its best-ever performance during a festive sale since it entered India in 2013. Mint reported earlier this week that Amazon closed the gap with Flipkart, driven by strong sales of smartphones during the Great Indian Festival. While Flipkart continued its lead over Amazon in terms of GMV, or the overall sale price of goods sold on a site, Amazon exceeded its internal sales targets.

Flipkart, on the other hand, said the company’s sales grew 80% over last year’s BBD sales. Chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy had set aggressive targets for his top lieutenants and wanted overall GMV to more than double from last year. While Flipkart recorded a strong performance during the festive sale, the battle against Amazon was much closer than anticipated.

Under Krishnamurthy, Flipkart has, in the past two years, typically displayed tactical astuteness at big sale events especially around Diwali.

While Amazon has a broad product assortment, Flipkart focuses more on assembling a compelling collection of exclusive brands and products for such sale events. These are identified months in advance, and Flipkart sales executives and employees are pushed to secure them exclusively.

The company offers attractive prices on many of these products, which are prominently placed on its app and websites.

Amazon has also been aggressively ramping up its own capabilities in the past three years as seen during this year’s sales faceoff, as they ran Flipkart close.

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