To speed up deliveries, Amazon India has also set up 200 new delivery stations across the country before the festive sales
E-commerce marketplaces usually hold up to 3 festival sale events leading to Diwali, with usually the first sale event driving almost 60% of their total sales
With the festive season round the corner, e-commerce firms such as Amazon and Flipkart and third-party logistics firms are ramping up their delivery capabilities, by investing in warehousing infrastructure as well as hiring more on-ground staff.
As the pandemic pushes the needle towards digital, online festival sales are expected to touch $7 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV), as shoppers flock online, leading to a creation of 3 lakh jobs, according to consulting firm Redseer.
Daily e-commerce shipments in the country have also grown from 3.7 million during the pre-covid months to 5.1 million, post the virus outbreak. Now, this number is expected to rise to 22 million daily shipments during the festive season, shows RedSeer data. Last festive season, daily e-commerce shipments averaged around 12 million.
Preparing for this demand, e-tailers are stepping up hiring, particularly across supply chain and logistics functions, as they expect bumper sales.
Walmart-owned Flipkart recently said that it will hire 70,000 people in its supply chain operations ahead of the festive season sales and its flagship Big Billion Days sale event, expected in October.
Flipkart is already undertaking digital training of these new hires, educating them across functions of customer service, delivery, installation as well as safety and sanitisation measures. Flipkart’s rival Amazon India is also ramping up its hiring across supply-chain functions.
To speed up deliveries, Amazon India has also set up 200 new delivery stations across the country before the festive sales.
RedSeer Consulting estimates that 60% of the new hiring now, will be across delivery and logistics, with the remaining demand being driven by customer service and warehousing functions. E-commerce platforms, like Amazon and Flipkart will constitute 70% of the overall hiring this festive season, while logistics firms like Delhivery, Ecomm Express and Shadowfax, will drive the rest of the job creation.
“E-commerce logistics will have to cater to the changing expectations of the customer. On one end, metro shoppers don’t mind paying premiums for quicker deliveries; while value shoppers in Tier 1 cities focus on good deals and are ready to wait an extra day or two for fulfilments. Hence, e-commerce firms through third party logistics partners will have to balance these expectations, while running trials for hyperlocal deliveries," said Mrigank Gutgutia, director, e-commerce at RedSeer consulting.
Gutgutia added that the share of hyperlocal deliveries might constitute 10% of overall e-commerce shipments, post the festival sale season.
E-commerce marketplaces usually hold up to 3 festival sale events leading to Diwali, with usually the first sale event driving almost 60% of their total sales, during this period.
According to RedSeer estimates, almost 50 million shoppers are expected to come online during the first festive sale, which includes Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale event and Amazon’s Great Indian festival sales.
“…Earlier this year, we announced over 70,000 seasonal opportunities across our fulfilment and delivery network and for roles in our customer service teams. We will continue to create thousands of additional opportunities across the network to support customer demand across the country this upcoming festive season, so customers can stay and stay safe," said an Amazon India spokesperson.
“Our logistics partners are in the process of augmenting their delivery capability through additional hiring and expansion of their delivery fleet to ensure time-bound pick-up and delivery of our shipments," said a Snapdeal spokesperson.
Gutgutia added that the disruption of offline commerce (due to the pandemic) along with e-commerce firms offering value-offers will lead to a lot of first-time shoppers coming online, especially from Tier 2 cities.
“The festive season might also see the return of dormant shoppers, as e-commerce firms continue to add low-ticket categories to its assortment list. Hence, this festive season will lead to diversification of the e-commerce market," he said.