Amazon holds biggest Prime Day sale in India amid Covid-19 pandemic

Amazon India closed its 48-hour Prime Day sale with a 10-fold rise in business from the pre-pandemic level, sources said. Without divulging the amount of sales during the annual event, the Jeff Bezos-led e-commerce firm attributed the success to small and medium businesses (SMBs) who participated in large numbers as sellers on the online marketplace.

Around 91,000 small and medium businesses, artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs across 5,900 pin codes achieved the highest ever day of sales during the Prime Day, the company said. Of these, more than 62,000 sellers were from non-metro and tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

While some 31,000 SMBs witnessed their highest sales, more than 4,000 such sellers registered sales of Rs 10 lakh or more each. In fact, 209 small and medium sellers became ‘crorepati’ during the 48-hour event that ended Friday night.

“This Prime Day was dedicated to our SMB partners, who have been increasingly looking to Amazon to keep their businesses running,” said Amit Agarwal, senior vice-president and country manager, Amazon India. “We are humbled that we were able to help as this was our biggest Prime Day ever for small businesses – nearly 100,000 SMB sellers (70 per cent from small towns) received orders from across 97 per cent of India’s pin-codes.”

Amazon Prime is a subscription membership for offering premium services to its customers. More than twice as many customers signed up for a Prime membership during Prime Day 2020 compared to the last Prime Day.

The data from the sale shows that more than 65 per cent of new members were from the outside of the top 10 cities. These included Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Leh in Ladakh, Dholpur and Sirohi in Rajasthan. The other such locations included Koraput in Odisha, Mokokchung in Nagaland, Garo hills in Meghalaya, Gadag in Karnataka, Nagappatinam in Tamil Nadu and Panna in Madhya Pradesh.

This year, the event was hosted in India before the US market. It was the first event that was handled by the Amazon India team virtually while working from home. It had a 48-hour war room set up on the communication platform Amazon Chime.

“One of the important elements at Amazon is to learn from each other. With everyone working from home, we created mechanisms which allowed our tools to operate well virtually,” said Akshay Sahi, director and head of Prime, Amazon India. “Our business and operation control rooms were all virtual. Of course, there are a lot of learnings from it and we would share those learnings with other marketplaces.”

The company sent snack boxes to core team members handling the event everyday to boost morale. What also kept employees and customers engaged was Amazon Funnies, a Prime Day Special where 14 stand-up comedians performed a set of 10 minutes each.

During the Prime Day sale, artisans and weavers witnessed a growth of 6.7 times and women entrepreneurs 2.6 times over average day sales. Similarly, startup brands under the Launchpad plan grew 2.1 times over their average day sales.

Over a 1,000 local shops from more than 100 cities made their Prime Day debut, doubling their average daily sales. Also, some 1 million Prime members shopped from small businesses in the 14-day lead up to Prime Day.

“I have witnessed the biggest surge in my entire lifetime of selling on Amazon,” said Arjun Sood, Dream of Glory Inc., an apparel brand under Launchpad. “We saw jaw-dropping numbers, exceeding our projections by 10X.”-Business Standard

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