Bengaluru: The ongoing festive season sales have turned to be the latest battleground for India’s top two online retailers to achieve supremacy of this fast-expanding market.

Walmart-backed Flipkart and Amazon India have both claimed record sales on the first day of sales on the back of strong demand from cities beyond the major metros.

Flipkart’s The Big Billion Days (TBBD) started on Saturday night (8pm), while Amazon India’s Great Indian Festival sales began on Saturday noon for Prime subscribers and opened for all 12 hours later.

Flipkart claimed that it recorded two times sales growth on the first day of the festive sales, compared to last year’s opening day sales of the TBBD, as the number of transacting customers from Tier II, III, IV cities doubled. Travel is the fastest-growing category on Flipkart, with 12X growth compared to last year, according to the company.

“We started this festive season by setting audacious targets for ourselves and our teams. By all indications, this is going to be the biggest festive season that India has witnessed," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive, Flipkart in a statement. “There is no doubt that e-commerce has not only lifted consumer sentiment but has also driven the industry to set new benchmarks. Affordability and value-driven themes clearly are the pulsating chords for India and Bharat. We are in the centre of it all and are able to serve the ecosystem for their unique needs"

On 2 September, Mint reported that Flipkart hopes to double sales during its flagship TBBD event because of an increase in sellers’ base, new products and pocket-friendly financing options, among other reasons. The company is also aiming at a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of about 1 trillion (about $14 billion) this fiscal year, up at least 45% from the previous year. Flipkart is yet to start its mobile and electronics sale, but Amazon India said fashion and smartphones were its top two selling categories. “Because of the availability of very strong affordability and exchange programmes, a record number of customers upgraded to premium phones on Amazon. When we just look at the slice of premium phone brands OnePlus, Samsung, and Apple on Amazon, their sales exceeded 750 crore within 36 hours," said Amit Agarwal, global senior vice president and country head, Amazon India, over phone on Sunday evening. Amazon Fashion recorded a 4.6 times jump in unit sales compared to its unit sales on day one of Great Indian Festival sale last year. It did not specify any unit numbers. The first day of the latest Great Indian Festival has been Amazon’s biggest opening ever wherein it also had a record number of Prime signups, Agarwal said, without elaborating.

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