Amidst the outbreak of the pandemic, the panic and coronavirus scare upsurged the demand, especially on e-platforms, as people abided by the social distancing norms. Now, as we approach the festive season, it is anticipated that the sales figures of e-commerce companies will touch the sky, irrespective of the economic slowdown or cash crunch in the market.
Redseer, a market research firm has estimated that the e-commerce players will post nearly 50% jump in gross sales which will be to the tune of $4 billion this Diwali, a two-year high, during the five-day sale events of Flipkart, Amazon and others.
As the pandemic further accelerates digital adoption and compels more traditional offline shoppers to move online, the festive season is expected to see an over 70% jump in consumers with 45-50 million digital buyers. Out of these, over 50% are likely to be from tier-II cities and beyond, said Redseer. The entire festive month is expected to clock gross sales of $7 billion in 2020 against nearly $4 billion last year, a 75% jump.
While the dates of the much-awaited festive season sales are yet to be announced, e-tailers have started working with brands, sellers and logistics players in the run-up to the events likely next month. Industry executives are also working with sellers and brands to overcome supply-chain and investment issues to meet the surge in demand.
As per some industry experts, COVID has come as a blessing in disguise for the e-commerce platforms. The industry players are expecting to handle around 7.5 million shipments per day during the peak season.
Last year, the average shipments during the festival season were under 5 million.
It is anticipated that segments such as grocery, FMCG and general merchandise will drive higher volumes due to COVID-induced demand. Typically, smartphones, electronics, small and large appliances and fashion dominate Diwali sales.
“The estimates are very realistic. There is significant higher adoption of digital in non-metro cities. In terms of consumer behaviour during the pre-COVID-19 era, we had seen some spurt in online penetration but this is the first time that there has been a sustained and significant movement towards digital – with e-commerce penetration jumping to 5% compared to 3% last year,” said Ujjwal Chaudhry, associate partner, Redseer.