Flipkart and Amazon plan mega summer sales in May

This summer will see the return of mega sales by Flipkart and Amazon. The rivals are set to once again lock horns next month, with scaled-down versions of their marquee annual festive event, when consumers are flooded with heavy discounts, four senior industry executives said.
 
The two marketplaces started stocking up for the sale last week and have purchased 70-80% of what they typically procure for their festive sales, which is an indicator of the size of the planned event, the executives said.
 
Heavy discounts will be offered on smartphones, televisions, apparel, home decor and daily-need items on the country’s two biggest online marketplaces, with their wholesale arms and sellers on the platforms negotiating lower prices with companies in return for higher sourcing of inventory and promising higher sales.
 
While discounts could go up to 70-80% in apparel and FMCG, there will be an additional 10-20% rebate for fast-moving categories such as smartphones and consumer electronics, which contribute over 60% of online sales in India. Flipkart and Amazon will also offer additional benefits to consumers through cashbacks and no-cost EMI options, the executives said. The sellers expect the sale to boost e-commerce demand. A Flipkart spokesperson confirmed the sale next month, but refused to share the dates.
 
“This will be a big sale, a smaller version of our flagship festive season Big Billion Days sale. It will be focused on summer products like refrigerators, air conditioners and will also have a big lineup on televisions, smartphones and other categories. There will bank offers, too,” the spokesperson said. An Amazon India spokesperson said that it has a strong cadence around its flagship event, the Great Indian Sale, with the most recent one in January 2018 and an exciting calendar for the rest of the year.
 
The Amazon and Flipkart events will be held at about the same time in May, according to Dhruv Goyal, co-founder of ExclusiveLane, an online craft brand that sells on both marketplaces. “The sales will be important for both the companies and customers as the next sales season will start around the festive season of Diwali,” he said.
 
Flipkart and Amazon have stocked as much as they do for their annual Diwali sale, said Adil Saleem, MD of Cart2India, another seller. “Since overall sales in the last few months have been slow; this will be big event for them,” he said. This is the second year that Amazon and Flipkart are holding mega sales in May. Last year, Flipkart had organised one to celebrate its 10th anniversary, which led Amazon to create an event too.
 
The television business in the mega sale may grow by 30-40% over last year’s event, said Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO of Super Plastronics, the licensee of online-exclusive Kodak and Thomson television brands in India. He said both brands will be on sale. The mega sales are scheduled in the second week of May, some sellers said. Flipkart’s sale may take place around May 11 to 14, with Amazon holding its event before Flipkart or at the same time. However, the dates are not decided, they said.
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On festive sales, Flipkart says 65% clients from Tier-II cities