Consumers may be feeling blue but Flipkart is hoping they will loosen their purse strings during the e-retailer’s six-day Big Billion Days sale starting on September 29. The Bengaluru-headquartered firm is looking to clock gross sales that are 11 times more than on a normal business day, persons in the know said. That’s a stiff target by any yardstick but the onset of the festive season with Navratri might spur them to start spending.
Sector watchers point out that at a time when big-ticket purchases — homes and cars —are few, it’s possible spends on apparel, phones and consumer durables could be high. “Since people aren’t making big buys they will look to cheer themselves with smaller purchases,” an expert explained.
Flipkart’s corporate affairs chief and senior VP Rajneesh Kumar told FE the e-commerce company is a “value player.” “When there is softening of demand, the requirement for a value player increases. Customers want to be very value-conscious,” he said, adding the bulk of the investment ahead of the festive season is made in physical and digital infrastructure.
Nishant Gupta, head, marketplace at Flipkart, told FE there would be a 50% increase in the number of sellers participating in the Big Billion Days sale this year. Flipkart has added about 800 cities in the last two quarters to allow vendors from areas like Kathua, Karimganj and Jharkhand to participate. Over 40% of sellers participating in the sale are from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, sources said.
Flipkart’s strategy is to tap into ‘Bharat’ — consumers from Tier 2 cities and beyond who are increasingly opting for the convenience that e-commerce brings with it. In a statement earlier this week, the firm said it has more than doubled the number of pin codes where it offers pick-up facilities. Morover, it has added around 30,000 kiranas to its network. To broaden its reach, the company has also introduced an app in Hindi; the number of users in Hindi is expected to outgrow the users in English by 2021.
At a townhall on Thursday, CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy was confident the sale would do well despite the slowdown. He said Flipkart and e-commerce will buck the trend, sources added.
Earlier this week, Flipkart India received Rs 1,616.12 crore in fresh capital from its Singapore-based parent company Flipkart Private Ltd, according to documents sourced from business signals platform paper.vc. The company has been preparing for festive day sales for the past six months and has taken a multi-pronged approach to meet aggressive internal targets, said Ankur Pahwa, partner at EY.
As many as 530 million people had been active internet users in 2018, of which 110 million people shopped online at least once, according to an estimate by market research firm RedSeer Consulting. This number is expected to touch 250 million by CY2022, the firm said.
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Source: Financial Express