Amazon’s Big Impact On India’s Big Shopping Festival

Amazon might still be a baby in the grand scheme of Indian eCommerce markets, but it’s giving well-established local companies such as Flipkart and Snapdeal a run for their money with its special offers for Diwali, the widely celebrated Indian festival of lights.

The Seattle, Washington-based company, which was launched in India in June 2013, is gaining the attention of new Indian shoppers every day with its marketing schemes like exclusive next-morning delivery for late night offers, and a prize of 2.2 lb. of gold for shoppers everyday during the five celebration days of Diwali.

Such offers are striking a chord with the Indian shoppers, who are well-known for their insatiable appetites for gold, which makes India the largest importer of gold in the world. Also, Amazon India’s next-morning delivery seems to be well in tune with the schedule of festivities that extend well into the night for the five-day period of celebration.

“It would be great deals for customers, ensuring that sellers have a blockbuster time, ensuring that we provide a great experience. We believe that this will be the greatest sale India has ever seen,” said Amit Agarwal, head of Amazon India.

Amazon India’s five-day sale, which it has christened as the “Great Indian Festive” sale reportedly saw record high number of transactions on its launch day, Reuters reported.

But the path to winning big means fighting hard with local eCommerce companies that have launched their own version of the “Great Indian Festive” sale. For instance, Amazon India’s biggest competitor, Flipkart, which was launched in 2007 and has long been a popular name in India, launched the “Big Billion Days” sale that is only accessible through mobile phones.

A look at the Web traffic of the companies gives a peek into their competition. Amazon India currently ranks as the 6th most visited website in India and 83rd on a global ranking. On the other hand, Flipkart ranks 5th locally and 79th globally, according to website analytics firm Alexa, Reuters reported.

While Amazon has an edge over Flipkart with access to a larger infrastructure — constituting 21 warehouses in 10 states across the country, with a storage capacity of 5 million cubic feet — Flipkart still remains big competition to Amazon. An example of Flipkart’s popularity is evident in its mega sale, which Flipkart launched last year and couldn’t host after its website crashed from overwhelming traffic.

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