New Delhi, (Asian independent) Online retailers in India are expected to generate approximately $6.5 billion (Rs 47,751 crore) in sales during the festive month (October 15-November 15), with around 5.5-6 crore online buyers participating, a new report forecast on Thursday.
About 75 per cent of these sales will occur from October 15-21, the period in which Flipkart will hold its ‘Big Billion Days’ event and Amazon’s ‘Great Indian Festival’ sale will start on October 17, according to the report by global market research firm Forrester.
“The growth in online retail spending during the festive month will see a growth of 34 per cent (year-over-year),” said Satish Meena, Senior Forecast Analyst.
There has been a fundamental shift in buying behaviour, with consumers having developed a general averseness to go out and latched on to online channels.
“The inhibitions of buying online are gone, and a transformation that would have taken two years has happened in five months. With sharp contraction in the economy and a pressured job market, consumers flocked to online channels to get the best bargains,” Meena elaborated.
Some pent-up demand from the lockdown period was let out during the Prime Day sales event in August, but “we expect a lot of demand in consumer electronics, home appliances, smartphones, and home furnishing to drive more sales during the festive month”.
“We also expect an increase in share of purchase from tier 2 and 3 cities due to migration of employees to smaller cities as offices are closed,” said Sanjeev Kumar, Forecast Analyst at Forrester.
Due to Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown, retail and recreation-related mobility saw its highest decline for the month of April.
There was a marked improvement in September, with mobility recovering by at least 40 per cent for all cities.
“While we are optimistic about the online channels doing well during this holiday season, some of it will come at the expense of offline retail,” the report mentioned.
E-tailers will be actively addressing increased online demand on multiple fronts, with e-tailers and online sellers making big investments to ramp up infrastructure, workforces, and technology across lower-tier cities and metropolitan areas to drive overall fulfillment.
This year, Amazon has set up 10 new fulfillment centres and with these additions, it will have 60 fulfillment centres across 15 states.
“We also see strong traction in terms of growth for its online seller base: Amazon has reported 30 per cent growth for online merchants as compared to last year and a 60-80 per cent increase in new seller registrations since February,” Meena informed.
Most of these are likely to be micro, small, and medium enterprises, which are increasingly recognising a greater potential for sales as the pandemic drives more people to shop online.
“Attractive festive deals and product discounting along with flexible payment options will boost affordability for consumers, hence making it another successful festive-year period for e-tailers in India,” he added.