Flipkart CEO says Amazon is losing relevance in India

Donna Miller
October 12, 2018

Indian online retailer Flipkart, owned by Walmart Inc, expects bumper sales during the annual festive season that just kicked off, as it boasts that US rival Amazon Inc is losing relevance in India.

From smartphones, televisions to power banks and wearables, Xiaomi claims that it was the best seller across categories on Flipkart and Amazon.

While Flipkart may believe that Amazon has no relevance as their competition, the fact can not be ignored that latter's Great Indian Festival sale is in close competition with Big Billion Days, as consumers often compare prices on both platforms for the same product, and relying on the large user base of prime, Amazon does manage to divide the market keeping a major share for itself. It is also claimed to be the highest number of Mi LED TV units Xiaomi has sold in a period of 2.5 days. Amazon's Great Indian Festival started on 10 October and ends on 15 October.

Snapdeal, which was a year ago in talks for a buyout by Flipkart, said its "Mega Diwali Sale" is sharply focused on products that are traditionally a part of annual Diwali shopping by families across the country.

Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the company is expecting a big spike in its "Big Billion Days" sales over previous year, helped by increased presence in smaller towns and cities, expansive selection of high-quality private label products and availability of big brands on its platform.

Raghu Reddy, Head of Categories and Online Sales, Xiaomi India said in a release, "We have witnessed tremendous success during our festive season year on year, and this year has been yet another incredible one with our products seeing wonderful performance in less than two and a half days".

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But with a business point of view, it would be interesting to see how the reality of this race pans out between Amazon and Flipkart, and how much the claims made by the native etailer turn out to be true and fruitful for the company and the industry in the longer run.

E-commerce companies in the country are estimated to have clocked sales worth Dollars 1.5 billion (Rs 11,085 crore) in less than three days of festive sale with both Flipkart and Amazon India claiming to be leading the tally.

It also sold one laptop every minute, 4X of what India sells in a day, and 500 worldwide branded perfumes were sold every minute, up from 100 a day during non-TBBD business, according to the company.

An earlier report from Counterpoint Research had indicated that the online sale of smartphones is likely to cross $1 billion during the five-day festive period, with a majority of them being sold on Flipkart and Amazon. Over the last two years, Flipkart has come in ahead of Amazon in terms of overall sales.

"In the first 36 hours of the sale, the shipped volumes have more than doubled and the trend continues to grow rapidly", Snapdeal said adding that consumers shopped across categories like electronics, home decor and fashion. This year, our beauty products business has done extremely well. "We've sold 500 perfumes per minute throughout the sale so far", said Smrithi Ravichandran, senior director at Flipkart.

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