Amazon sells 15 mn units in 5-day sale, claims market leadership

By Alnoor Peermohamed , Business Standard, Bengaluru | In Digital | October 06, 2016
Prime is star of the show, getting tens of thousands of users to pay Rs 499 for subscription.

Prime, the Amazon subscription-based loyalty programme, drove a third of all orders on its platform, its highest sales so far in India, during its five-day festive season sale which concluded on Wednesday.

The US-based e-tailer shipped a little over 15 million items to customers across the country and got tens of thousands of users to pay Rs 499 for its Prime membership. Overall, more customers bought Amazon's Prime subscription than the best-selling smartphone on the platform.

Amazon in the US counts nearly half of all households as Prime Customers, who spend nearly double ($1,200) than regular users to buy goods on its platform.

"In the little over three years we've been in India, we've probably created the fastest ramp up for e-commerce in this eco-system. This Diwali (sale) was three times bigger than last Diwali. We've been growing at 150 per cent year-over-year even though the landscape was flat and Diwali saw an even bigger acceleration," said Amit Agarwal, country manager.

Over the past week, Amazon and local leader Flipkart have been competing to garner higher share of the customer wallet, offering discounts, better product quality and faster delivery. Flipkart and smaller rival Snapdeal close their five-day sale on Thursday. The sale is expected to garner $1.5 billion (Rs 10,000 crore) across all e-commerce platforms.

In terms of reach, Amazon said it was able to bring five times as many new customers on board during this year's sale when compared to last year. More, over 70 per cent of all new customers came from Tier-II cities and below, allowing the company to receive orders from 90 per cent of all registered postal pincodes.

"I've been saying that we've been leaders in India for a while in terms of parameters that customers care about. I don't have any benchmark with other players in terms of sales but with 150 per cent growth all through the year and a three-time jump in Diwali sales, I would not be surprised if we are the leader," added Agarwal.

Electronics, fashion and fast moving consumer goods continued to be the biggest three categories for Amazon during the sale. The company said it saw growth across all its categories, a healthy sign for the e-commerce segment.

"Our vision in India is to transform the way the country buys and sells. When I see 90 per cent of all pincodes shopping on Amazon, it gives me a lot of satisfaction that we are making a small step forward in that direction. We will invest whatever it is and aggressively for many, many years, to ensure we fulfil our vision," said Agarwal.