Walmart-owned Flipkart said it will host its largest annual sale event – Big Billion Days – for six days starting from October 16, as it looks to record its highest-grossing sale days this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ecommerce marketplace said the focus of the sale would be on creating opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and sellers, thousands of whom have come onto its platform only in the last six months.
This comes at a time when offline retail sales have taken a hit due to the virus outbreak as consumers prefer to shop from the safety of their homes.
Flipkart said it will offer early access to deals on October 15 itself for members of its loyalty programme Flipkart Plus, similar to what Amazon does with its Prime membership.
“This festive event continues to focus on Flipkart’s commitment to provide value for consumers, opportunities for growth for MSMEs and sellers, and employment generation through e-commerce,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO at the Flipkart Group. “Through strong partnerships with brands and sellers we have tapped into the power of interconnected businesses and technology to bring consumers a wide range of products at great prices at their doorsteps this festive season.”
Flipkart said apart from enabling sellers and MSMEs, it has strengthened its finance offerings for customers by partnering with the State Bank of India to offer a 10% instant discount on purchases. It has also partnered with Bajaj Finserv and other leading banks for providing no-cost EMIs, and is even offering assured cashback to users of Paytm.
The company added that it will create over 70,000 direct and lakhs of indirect seasonal jobs through this year’s Big Billion Days sale, and has increased the number of kiranas it partners with to 50,000, from across 850 cities in the country.
While ecommerce is poised to perform well in the upcoming festive season, competition in the sector is expected to be hotter than ever with the entry of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail’s JioMart in the space. Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon have said they expect to see highest-ever sales during the festive period this year as well.
Last month, analyst RedSeer Consulting had predicted that the ecommerce market will register $7 billion in gross sales, up from $3.8 billion last year, during the month-long festive period, driven largely by the entry of JioMart, lack of recovery in the offline retail world and pent-up demand among consumers over the last six months.
Others say that growth will be in the range of 25% during the festive period, which will be healthy considering that India’s overall retail market is expected to shrink this year. Amazon and Reliance too are planning mega sale events to capitalise on this consumer preference for e-commerce this year, multiple people have told ET.