As it has been all over the news, this festive season was the time for Indian e-commerce. As the industry matures, so do the consumers. While the major players like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, eBay started with the discount battles before the season hit, a full blown war started as the festival of Diwali came closer.
“During the Diwali season, sales were up roughly 35% up as compared to September, but there were days which saw very high peaks. While Oct 6th gave the highest peak in order volumes, people progressively started buying more expensive things and GMV touched a peak on 21 Oct (Dhanteras). Weekend of 11th and 12th Oct were also a lucrative for sellers. Karva Chauth gifts maybe” said Gurpreet Singh, co-founder of Browntape – an e-commerce SaaS provider for online sellers.
Like mentioned earlier, the online shopper is maturing too. The users did not just went for the items already on sale, coupons and cashback were other two lucrative factors that drove them to save money while spending on festive shopping.
The Coupon Mania
Vikash Khetan, CEO, CouponzGuru shared that over 150,000 unique shoppers came and saw almost 350,000 coupons in a week’s period from 18th to 25th October on the couponing website.
Electronics shopping lead the bandwagon. Based on the data shared with us by CouponzGuru, overall electronics was the leading category this Diwali with Amazon & Snapdeal leading the number of conversions neck to neck, with Flipkart landing on the third position here. “The prime reason we see here is that, Flipkart offered maximum discounts during the Big Billion Day Sale and during Diwali, Amazon & Snapdeal’s discounting was better than Flipkart.” said Vikash.
Also, Amazon India’s Diwali Dhamaka Sale combined with Citibank Cashback Offer was among the best converting offers during this period.
After Electronics, Fashion Category (Apparels, Footwear, Sunglasses, Watches etc) had the maximum takers. With Jabong, Myntra and Snapdeal prevailing at the topmost positions here. Beside these 2 categories the coupon aggregator saw good traction in Mobile Recharge Offers (particularly Paytm), Books (Amazon & Flipkart) and Baby Products (Firstcry & Amazon).
The Cashback Frenzy
Coupons were not the only cash savers online consumers went after, the cashback sites in India saw a great increase in visitors too. Since online shopping in India is still directly associated with buying at lower rates than brick and mortar stores, the discount hungry shoppers are exploring all the ways to best leverage the opportunity.
“The concept of cashback is indeed becoming more popular in India than it has ever been. This is evident from the fact that we have seen an increase of 4x in terms of the number of transactions that have been made through Pennyful. All three of the largest ecommerce players in India, i.e. Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, had great deals and offers during the festive season and this clearly bode well for us.” said Ravitej Yadalam, Founder & CEO at Pennyful.in – an online cashback site in India.
The company saw a 300% increase in the amount of cashback given to the customers during the festive season as compared to normal days and saw 3x more unique visitors during this period than usual. Similar to the data shared by CouponzGuru, even here electronics was the most popular category, with Amazon Diwali Dhamaka seeing the most traction.
“Among the offers Amazon gave out this week, we saw a huge uptake for their deal on the iPhone 5S, for which users got a 4% cashback as well” said Ravitej.
Another Indian cashback site, Cashkaro.com, got a similar response from the consumers. “We saw over 200% increase in transactions on Amazon.in, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues, Jabong, Myntra & eBay with Amazon.in seeing the most number of transactions. Order values during this period were higher across the board and CashKaro.com saw a 250% increase in revenues during festive season vs. rest of the year.” said company’s co-founder Rohan Bhargava.
Additionally, he added that Home furnishing portals like Fabfurnish, Pepperfry saw an increase of around 150%. Category leaders like Lenskart saw 165% increase and Zivame saw 130%.
Verifying the Trend
To tally the festive trends for other couponing and cashback sites we reached out to Sudhanshu Kapoor, CEO, PayOOM – an Indian affiliate network with roughly 400 coupons and cashback sites on board. He shared that “For most of our affiliates top converting category in recent festive season was Electronics followed by Lifestyle and Amazon was the biggest campaign for almost all big affiliates. “
The affiliate saw a very significant growth in festive season on campaigns run by Jabong, Paytm shopping, Shopclues and Myntra.
Looking at the response these affiliate publishers and network got, it won’t be wrong to say that India loves to buy electronics online, even much more than apparel. And when it comes to attracting customers via coupons and cashbacks, US based Amazon fared better than others with its Indian presence. However it is worth mentioning that in our interactions with these companies, it was pointed out that Flipkart took its share of the pie with its Big Billion Day sale and started the festive sales trend this year.
“In this Flash sale, they were offering certain inventory of specific products at deep discounted prices. The products and offers were changing almost every hour.This was a big hit among online buyers.” said Vikash from CouponzGuru.
Hence, the sales via affiliates need not be an indication of the actual total sales on the e-commerce portals. According to data shared by Browntape, sellers registered with the company saw more sales on Flipkart than on Amazon. Nonetheless Amazon India is surely keeping its affiliate partners happy, and Indian players should buckle up.
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