Business News/ Industry / Retail/  Online festive sales expected to double in next two months

E-commerce companies are hoping for bumper festive season sales this year with consumers expected to continue shopping online due to the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

In recent months, as more consumers shifted to buying online, not just in metros but in the smaller cities and beyond, online retailers have sharply expanded their customer base, on-boarded thousands of new sellers, added warehousing space and stepped up hiring in the run-up to the festive season.

Festive season sales are expected to almost double in the next two months alone and touch $7 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV), rising sharply from $3.8 billion in GMV sales in the same period last year, according to estimates from internet research firm RedSeer.

This year’s online retail sales during the festive season will see more than half of the orders coming from Tier-2 towns and cities with 45 to 50 million users. This will mark a 70% year-on-year rise in seasonal online shoppers, RedSeer said in its annual ‘Online Festive Sales 2020 Forecast’ report.

Rajesh Sawhney, founder, GSF Accelerato, a technology accelerator and seed funding platform, said the expected spurt in festive sales is a result of pent-up demand due to suppressed spending in the last six months, and consumers still not willing to go to physical retail stores. “There is a decent economic recovery, especially in rural economy and small towns that link up with rural areas as feeder towns. More consumers are online now than last year and finally, on the supply side, both merchants and (online) platforms will step up on the offers and new launches," Sawhney said.

Festive season sales in 2019 was muted in a slowing economy and reduced overall consumer spending. The penetration of online retail also stood at 3% last year with around 135 million online shoppers, said RedSeer. This year will, however, portray a different picture for e-commerce. Besides growing participation from users in smaller cities, shoppers from metros and Tier-1 cities are expected to contribute 35% and 25% of sales respectively over the next two months.

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Updated: 18 Sep 2020, 07:52 AM IST
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