Taking potshots at Amazon, Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal has said selling churan, hing and memberships do not constitute real sales.
“We did not sell ‘churan’, ‘hing’, detergent, products of daily-need and virtual memberships. We sold products that people love to buy during the festival season such as smartphones, LED and apparel,” Bansal told HT.
The week-long sale has just concluded and the big three- Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal- have claimed to have posted stupendous sales performance over the previous year.
Retaining its lead, Flipkart alone sold 13 million goods. As a group, together with fashion e-tailers Myntra and Jabong, it sold 15.5 million products. Amazon was a close number two with 15 million products, which included daily needs, churan and hing, as well as its Prime membership. Snapdeal sold around 11 million units.
According to Bangalore-based consultancy firm Red Seers, e-tailers sold $1.2 billion worth of goods so far. Of which, Flipkart sold $451 million, or 37.5%, of the total festival season sales, reports said. Amazon’s numbers were not available.
In fact, according to Bansal, Flipkart has also sold more smartphones – 2.5 million during the five-day sale – than what is sold in the country in a week. It sold more LEDs during the period than what normally gets sold in the country in 45 days. “We crossed our internal target by 40%.”.
The company’s internal calculations also show that 95% of goods sold on Flipkart were above the selling price of Rs 300. Around 100,000 customers shopped for more than Rs 50,000. The e-tailer’s high point was on October 3, when it sold goods worth Rs 1,400 crore, which was more what all organised retailers sell in a day (around R868 crore according to industry estimates).
But it wasn’t easy for India’s biggest e-tailer.
Amazon was breathing down its neck. The Jeff Bezos-led firm has already pumped in $5 billion into India. Flipkart has invested $3.2 billion since it began operations in 2007.
Amazon has more money and a bigger war chest to offer more discounts to consumers. But Bansal says Flipkart used the six-month slowdown period before the festival sales to expand its reach to smaller towns . “We expanded out reach to the remotest towns… We sold mid-to-low value products in smaller towns, something we have never seen before,” he said.
More people from smaller towns shopped online than ever before.
The festival season, which goes up to Christmas, is far from over, and Bansal has more plans. “You will see more innovations as we penetrate deeper into the country,” he said.