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Ecommerce players’ Diwali battle marks the rise of new trends in India

FlipkartFlipkart rolled out its ‘Big Billion Day’ sale amid much fanfare on October 6, where the ecommerce giant offered large discounts and deals across 70 categories of products. But to shoppers’ disappointment, which was well voiced on social media platforms, the website crashed within hours of the shopping bonanza. Shoppers complained that Flipkart inflated the marked price of products to flash a higher discount at the sale. Also, the error message on the internet platform played party pooper at this Diwali sale.

Vineet Gupta, Tribal DDB

Vineet Gupta, 22feet Tribal

The Indian ecommerce biggie claims over one billion hits in terms of online traffic and business worth of INR 600 crore on Oct 6—the ‘Big Billion Day’. “The one billion hits show that there were a lot of first time e-shoppers as well. The reach of ecommerce is expanding with initiatives like this as consumers are getting more familiarised with issues related to security, logistics, convenience, thus improving the overall shopping experience, “said Vineet Gupta, Managing Director of 22feet Tribal Worldwide.

An overwhelming response was awaited on back on full-page advertisements in print national dailies and flood of offers on social media platforms. But Flipkart’s arch-rival– Snapdeal wasn’t far behind and rushed to seize the attention on the front page of the same national daily saying –“For others it’s a big day. For us, today is no different”.

Avinash Jhangiani, Omnicom Media Group

Avinash Jhangiani, Omnicom Media Group

According to Avinash Jhangiani, Managing Director of Digital and Mobility Head at Omnicom Media Group, “This is a phenomenon of people moving moving to smart phones in the last six months or a year. Two years ago the landscape wasn’t right but now people are accepting ecommerce as a way of life.”

Old competition, new trends
Offline retailers may be far behind in competition but peer ecommerce retailers such as Amazon and eBay were seen following suit and offering heavy discounts to e-shoppers. Snapdeal has announced ‘Diwali Bumper’ sale with offer such as ‘Buy one get one free’ while Amazon is calling its sale as ‘Diwali Bazaar’ for a limited time period amid the backdrop of Diwali.

Snapdeal promises to offer better deals than Flipkart at its Diwali Bumper sale and its marketing campaign includes 50 short ad films and 28 film and television celebrities. Meanwhile Amazon has been making efforts to expand its consumer base in India and there could be no better opportunity that the Diwali festive season.

The ecommerce war is reasonable between Flipkart and Snapdeal as both the e-tailers maintain decent level of inventory unlike Amazon and eBay. Flipkart is attributed to be the largest e-tailer in India but its field staff of 10,000 was put to test on the ‘Big Billion Day’ and it failed to deliver if its consumers’ grievances on micro blogging website Twitter are to be believed.

However, despite the complaints and error message regarding the unpleasant online shopping experience on the ‘Big Billion Day’, sales numbers will be seen shooting up this festive season with attractive discounts offered by the online retailers.

Further, in tune with the festive season, CouponDunia has collaborated with ecommerce websites to offer 30 exclusive discounted deals across travel, apparel, electronics, and food outlets. Its ecommerce merchants include Flipkart, Amazon, eBay, Myntra, Jabong, MakeMyTrip, GoIbibo, and BookMyShow among many others.

Sameer Parwani, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CouponDunia said, “ Our core brand value lies in helping consumers save money.Festivals are about celebrating with your family and loved ones, rather than worrying about expenditures or burning a hole in your pocket. Our ‘Deal-Wali Diwali’ will allow every household to keep their savings intact by making the best of our exclusive offers from all leading ecommerce merchants”.coupondunia

Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon will be seen battling each other and seeking a larger market share deploying their own set of marketing strategy with aggressive discounts and advertising. The India consumer will experience no dearth of choices but only sales figures can determine which marketing strategy earned itself the Diwali bonus.

“For the Indian ecommerce industry, this shopping festival among ecommerce players marks the start of a trend. Competition among e-tailers will be as aggressive as it is among offline retailers. It will ultimately be in the interest of consumers as more people will be seen transacting online,” added Mr Gupta.