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E-commerce firms peg recovery on curated sale events

E-commerce firms including Flipkart and Amazon India are offering curated sale events for customers on their platforms, in a bid to clear old inventory and push up sales volumes, which took a big hit during the two-month long covid-19-led lockdown.

After the lockdown, Walmart-owned Flipkart kicked off its first sale event ‘Big Saving Days’ on 23 June. The five-day sale covers electronics, appliances, furniture, fashion, mobile phones, home essentials among others, offering discounts up to 70 percent on different items.

For e-commerce firms, a large part of their gross merchandise value (GMV) continues to be focused on smartphones, consumer electronics, apparel and large appliances. Now, these e-tailers, which were forced to limit themselves to grocery deliveries, and witnessed a 90% drop in orders during lockdown, are relying on online sales for recovery.

Amazon India is hosting a curated annual sale event ‘Small Business Day’ (SBD) on 27 June which it said will help small businesses, artisans, weavers and micro-entrepreneurs and start-ups to rebound from economic disruption created by covid-19.

The SBD event will offer customers products from start-ups, women entrepreneurs, artisans and weavers under its various programs such as Local Shops, Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Saheli, and Amazon Karigar, the company said.

“…We work with sellers, brands & partners to regularly create events, making it easier for customers to shop on Amazon.in. Given the lockdown, customers are looking to buy more while sellers who have been severely impacted are looking to restart their business,” said an Amazon India spokesperson.

Fashion marketplace Myntra concluded its EORS sale hosted between 19 June to 22 June, on its platform.

In a bid to rival Flipkart-owned Myntra’s End of Reason Sale (EORS), Amazon India also simultaneously launched its ‘Amazon Fashion Wardrobe Refresh Sale’ focussing on apparel, starting 19 June. Amazon said it’s a first-ever global savings event featuring a selection of brands and unique selection from thousands of sellers

Smaller e-commerce platforms like Nykaa and Paytm Mall are also basing their recovery on discounts to customers.

“We are currently live with our End Of Season Sale with over 500 brands participating. Our commercial calendars are back on track and we are looking to launch our flagship sale soon. This month we are seeing online sales recover to more than 80% of pre-Covid levels and we expect complete recovery by July,” said a Nykaa spokesperson.

Paytm Mall, which just concluded its five-day end of season sale, for apparel, witnessed increased demand for categories including fitness bands, smartwatches, comfortable leisurewear, and open footwear.

“We recently organised an End of Season Sale event for our fashion category. We believe the consumer electronics category would be a big draw (and focus) during future event-based sales,” said Abhishek Rajan, COO, Paytm Mall.

E-commerce marketplace Snapdeal is also looking at sale events starting late-July, on apparel, electronics and home as well as kitchen products.

While large e-commerce firms claim orders to be back to pre-covid levels, consumer sentiment on spending continues to be low, according to industry experts, causing these platforms to also bleed margins in offering big discounts.-Livemint

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