Amazon.com said over the weekend that its festive season sale being held in India was off to a better start than a year ago, with three times the people signing up in the first two days as compared to the Indian holidays a year ago.
According to a report in Reuters, Amazon and Flipkart, which is now owned by Walmart, both launched promotional holiday shopping events last week, aiming to lure shoppers their way during the festive season between October and December in India. That’s when most households purchase big-ticket items, noted Reuters. “We are particularly excited by the three-times-higher new customer and Prime sign-ups,” Amit Agarwal, Amazon India head, said Friday (October 12), according to Reuters. The executive said the retail website has become the destination of choice for scores of consumers in India. Those comments fly in the face of Flipkart chief Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who Reuters reported said last week that Amazon was becoming less relevant in India. The two are in a fierce fight for eCommerce dominance in the country. The India eCommerce market is estimated to be valued at $200 billion a year, noted Reuters, citing data from Morgan Stanley.
Amazon currently has more than 100 million registered users in India and has been making a bigger push to add to that customer base. It is investing in infrastructure and is partnering with local companies to boost its delivery capabilities. The rollout of its Prime loyalty program in India has driven tens of million new customers to its platform, noted the report. Flipkart now offers a similar program. Agarwal told Reuters that during this year’s event, large appliances including refrigerators, washing machines and TVs have been popular. Meanwhile, he told Reuters fashion products is becoming the largest selling category. “Amazon remains the most visited, most transacted, most trusted online marketplace in India,” Agarwal said. “We look forward to maintaining this momentum for the rest of the holiday season.”