Ananya Pathak

What did India shop for on Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra during the big pre-festive sale?

While ‘kurta’ was the most sought-after item on Myntra, other e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart saw a surge in the demand for large appliances, smartphones and consumer electronics.

This time of the year is festive season in India. It is time to clean, shop, pray, dress up… It is also the time when most e-commerce giants host their biggest sale of the year. The Big Billion Days by Flipkart, Great Indian Festival by Amazon, Big Fashion Festival by Myntra, to name a few.

Given the ongoing (COVID) pandemic situation, the pre-festive sales across e-commerce platforms (held last month, i.e., October) entertained more consumers than in any of the past seasons. Fashion e-commerce platform Myntra catered to a million new shoppers this time around. Over the course of the seven-day event (October 16-22), Myntra registered 105 per cent growth in new customers over the last edition, and over 106 per cent rise in traffic (on the platform).

The company registered 2x growth in orders as well as customers over the previous edition, Ayyappan Rajagopal, head of business, Myntra, tells afaqs!. This roughly translates to 5.67 million orders placed by four million customers, and close to 13 million items sold across categories.

“We also saw 180 per cent growth in new customers from non-emerging metro cities,” Rajagopal shares. The new customer base on the platform was skewed towards Tier-II and III cities, with 50 per cent sales coming from these markets. Tier-III cities, led by Imphal, Udaipur, Shillong, Karimnagar, Muzaffarpur, among others, witnessed a growth of 180 per cent in new customers.

Ayyappan Rajagopal
Ayyappan Rajagopal

Among the emerging non-metro cities that contributed to the new customer growth on the platform were Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, Surat, Nagpur and Bhopal.

Says Rajagopal, “The festive season continues to draw a significant portion of shoppers to the ethnic section, with demand for ethnic wear doubling during the Big Fashion Festival, when compared to the last edition.”

“Kids wear posted even more impressive numbers, a remarkable 130 per cent growth over the previous edition, while demand for beauty and personal care products continued its eye-catching run this year, with 72 per cent growth.”

The top three categories that sold the highest number of units on Myntra were men’s jeans and street wear, women’s western wear, and ethnic wear. Apart from these, accessories, sports footwear, winter wear, home and decor, watches and handbags did exceedingly well. “Kurtas were extremely popular among both men and women,” Rajagopal mentions.

Another interesting trend, he shares, was women’s contribution, which was 51 per cent of the overall sales on Myntra this year.

Among the new customers, T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, casual shoes and kurtas were popular with men, while kurtas, kurta sets, tops, dresses and jeans were popular with women.

Rajagopal also mentions that Bengaluru bought the most number of masks, while Delhi bought the most number of sanitisers.

On Amazon, more shoppers and sellers participated in the opening 48 hours of the Great Indian Festival (October 17-22) than ever. “This year, the Great Indian Festival was the biggest ever opening for our sellers and brand partners, bringing happiness to millions of customers across all corners of the country,” Manish Tiwary, vice president, Amazon India, shares.

With 91 per cent of new customers coming from smaller cities, this year saw the largest number of new customers shopping for the first time on Amazon.

Manish Tiwary
Manish Tiwary

During the first 48 hours of the sale on Amazon, the top sold categories were smartphones, large appliances and consumer electronics, with leading brands like OnePlus, Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi registering record sales. “Smartphones, fashion and consumables attracted the most number of new customers from across the country,” Tiwary points out.

“New products received a rousing response. The popular new products were OnePlus 8T, Samsung M31 Prime Edition, OnePlus Nord (Gray Ash), Xbox Series S, Maggi 2 minute Desi Cheesy Masala, Samsung 6.5 kg fully automatic washing machine, new collection from BIBA and Max, among over 1,100 new launches.”

Other top-selling products included laptops, headphones, tablets, cameras and smart watches, TVs, consumables, etc. Mi 43-inch TVs, along with TVs with Alexa, such as OnePlus 43-inch, OnePlus 32-inch and Samsung 32-inch, remained popular choices this season. Work from home (WFH) essentials, like study tables, chairs and dishwashers, continued to remain popular among customers.

iPhone 11, Redmi Note Series, Redmi 9A, OnePlus 8T, OnePlus Nord and Samsung M31 Prime Edition were among the popular smartphones on Amazon. Tiwary tells us, “Total iPhones sold on Amazon in one day were more than the total iPhones sold in the entire festive sale period of last year.”

Over 1.1 lakh sellers on the platform received orders, and 66 per cent of sellers, who received an order, were from Tier-II and III cities, such as Yadgir in Karnataka, Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu and Lakhisarai in Bihar.

The seventh edition of The Big Billion Days (BBD) on Flipkart (October 19-22) attracted over 250 million consumers from across 20,000 pin codes. It saw 2x growth in customers visiting the mobiles category. The electronics category witnessed a 2x YoY growth, with laptops, desktops followed by audio, IoT, camera and tablet being the top-selling items.

WFH furniture segment witnessed the highest growth in the furniture category, with 1.5 orders per second placed and 75 per cent of the customers making prepayments. Some key micro cities which drove significant demand were Chanasma, Barkagaon, Balijipeta, Chelakkara, Bhatpara, etc.

Nearly 3.5 million audio devices and accessories, and a million headphones were sold by the end of day one of BBD. Home theatre/soundbar was sold every two seconds on Flipkart.

Beauty, general merchandise and home (BGMH) saw a 100 per cent growth in units, as compared to BBD 2019, with 40 per cent of the units sold (in this BBD) contributed by BGMH. Flipkart also saw 1.4x growth in grooming, 3x for cookware, 2.5x for pressure cookers, 2x for choppers, 10x in bakeware, and 3x growth in cleaning supplies.

The home category saw a surge in new customers (53 per cent), and large appliances plus BGM each witnessed a near 50 per cent increase in new customers, all from Tier-III cities.

Flipkart also clocked 2.2x growth in units this festive season in food, nutrition and healthcare category, with customers buying festive offerings such as Cadbury Bournvita and Celebrations packages, along with daily needs such as Saffola Oil, Dabur Chyawanprash and Honey, Happilo and Granola California Almonds.

New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur and Kolkata led in terms of cities with the most demand during the festive sale on Flipkart. The top categories included mobile handsets, laptops, television, wireless earphones, Bluetooth headsets, smart watches, routers, power banks and furniture, such as beds, sofas and sectionals, amongst others.