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Flipkart chief executive officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy. Bloomberg
Flipkart chief executive officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy. Bloomberg

Flipkart says optimistic of meeting Big Billion target

  • To boost sales, firm to offer no-cost-EMI and pay-later offerings to 55 million users
  • BBD is Flipkart’s flagship annual festive season sale, where discounts are sometimes as high as 80%

Despite negative consumer sentiments, Walmart-backed Flipkart is optimistic about meeting its targets in the six-day Big Billion Days (BBD) sale starting 29 September. To boost sales, the online retailer will offer no-cost-EMI and pay-later offerings to 55 million users this time compared to 17 million users last year. Many customers will be accessing credit for the first time, said top executives.

“Affordability becomes a major focus this year given the economy and the offline retail numbers on how consumer electronic sales have slowed down—these have typically been our strong point," said Smrithi Ravichandran, head, fintech, Flipkart. “There is an expectation in the market that Big Billion Days will kick-start the festive season well."

BBD is Flipkart’s flagship annual festive season sale, where discounts are sometimes as high as 80%. Flipkart had clocked $1-1.1 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) during the five-day festive sale last year, according to industry estimates. This year, it is expected to double this number, Mint reported earlier this month.

The company is also aiming GMV of about $14 billion this fiscal, up at least 45% from a year-ago, according to a Mint report.

Until last year, Flipkart offered credit to existing customers of its financial partners.

However, this year, customers who do not have access to formal loans, will be offered credit on the platform. “We are not targeting the top 10% but the real India," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive, Flipkart. “And, during times of a slowdown, the customers look for value—which is when they turn to Flipkart. That’s why we haven’t seen a slowdown on our platform."

Use of financial services on the platform has also seen an uptick over the last several months. For instance, use of equated monthly instalments (EMIs), no-cost EMIs, pre-approved loans and pay-later schemes, has increased by 25% in the last 8-12 months.

BBD started in 2014 as a one-day event. In its sixth edition, Flipkart is planning a six-day sale between 29 September and 4 October. Flipkart expects it to be a grand event and the biggest of all past editions. And, e-commerce industry estimates are in favour of its targets as well. According to a report by consulting firm RedSeer Management, despite the slowing growth in the mobiles category, e-commerce is on track to grow 32% in 2019 to reach $82 billion by 2022.

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