Home >Companies >News >Amazon expects surge during Diwali sale season

New Delhi: Online retailer Amazon India, which plans to host its flagship Diwali season sale, the Great Indian Festival, from 10-15 October, expects gross sales across all its businesses (excluding grocery) to jump two to five times compared to last year, said a top company executive.

In 2017, Amazon posted about 2,700 crore in gross merchandise value during the four-day sale, Mint had reported. This Diwali, Amazon looks to have an edge over arch-rival Flipkart, which has been the dominant player during festive sales for the past two years.

“Most of our businesses will grow two to five times overall as compared to last Diwali keeping grocery aside which is growing many folds," said Manish Tiwary, vice-president of category management at Amazon. “We are expecting a bumper Diwali in every sense. We believe we have a very complete portfolio of best-sellers making it bigger and better," he said.

Mint had earlier reported that Flipkart was targeting sales of $1.5-1.7 billion in its annual Big Billion Days sale, nearly double of what it did last year.

Together, Flipkart and Amazon are expected to record sales of $2.5-3 billion during the five-day events this year, according to Redseer estimates.

Amazon is also expecting a significant jump in the number of customers from tier 2 and 3 cities, following the launch of its Hindi website. Last year, more than 70% of its customers came from small towns. “With Hindi in play this time, the number of people shopping online will be much more. Going by the logic of the Hindi heartland, intuitively it will be more comfortable for people to shop," said Tiwary.

Large appliances, smartphones, Amazon’s Kindle and Echo devices, fashion and wireless devices will drive sales, according to Tiwary.

The Seattle-headquartered company expects television sales to grow 10 times compared to last year with brands ranging from TCL to Sony, finding favour with customers. It also claims to offer installation of large electronic appliances within 48 hours of delivery.

Amazon India boasts of a greater assortment of products during the festive sale, unlike Flipkart, which focuses on putting together a compelling collection of exclusive brands. This festive season, however, Amazon has also stacked exclusive launches and partnerships with brands such as OnePlus, Xiaomi and LG, to woo customers.

The festive season typically sets the scene for the biggest annual showdown in Indian e-commerce between Flipkart and Amazon and is also a key indicator of growth for the coming quarters.

“We are not worried about competition. We have so much going on at this point in time and we are focussed on our customers," said Tiwary.

The company now uses 20 million cubic square feet in infrastructure space, which includes fulfilment centres, an increase from the 13.5 million cubic square feet last year. Private labels currently account for only a small percentage of Amazon’s overall sales, but the company will push private brand sales and focus on customer reviews and ratings for feedback. “We are not trying to build a private label business or anything, but if we see a gap and our partners are not interested we will enter," said Tiwary.

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