Leading e-commerce players Amazon and Flipkart on Sunday said early trends during their respective festive sales - kicked off from October 3 - reflected upbeat consumer sentiment and the growth for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)and sellers. The e-commerce players are expected to clock sales worth $4.8 billion (Rs 33,600 crore) in the festive week.


Flipkart said it saw a 40 per cent growth in early access for Flipkart Plus customers as compared to last year, as the commerce platform kicked off 8th edition of 'The Big Billion Days' (TBBD) festive sales.


More than 2 million customers pre-booked close to 5 million products just prior to early access by paying just Re 1.


Nearly 45 per cent of customer demand has been from tier 3 cities and beyond, signalling a strong preference for high-value goods/items, Flipkart said in a statement.


"This year, TBBD has started off seeing upbeat participation by customers and sellers. We will expand and strengthen our ecosystem of sellers and MSMEs, enabling better income and livelihoods for millions and expand our reach across the country," said Nandita Sinha, Vice President, Customer and Growth, Flipkart.


One in five customers has chosen to exchange their smartphone for a new one, with 82.60 per cent of customers choosing to pay for their next smartphone using prepaid payment options.


Apple 12 and Apple 12 Mini are currently the favourite smartphone models, accounting for most of the 2 lakh Apple iPhone 12 devices sold so far.


"The pent-up demand for large appliances and electronics is evident from the fact that TVs are the largest-selling category in home appliances, with laptops recording top numbers in electronics," the company said.


Flipkart said it has onboarded over one lakh kiranas to date for its last-mile delivery programme.


On the other hand, Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Amazon India said that the 'Great Indian Festival 2021' received a strong start, with millions of customers buying from small sellers listed on Amazon.in, including local shops, start-ups and brands, artisans, weavers, and SMBs.


"During Prime Early Access on Oct 2, the number of local shops participating in the event more than doubled compared to last year. We also saw a 60 per cent increase in sellers who received their highest ever single day sales year-on-year on amazon.in," Tiwary said in a statement.


The number of sellers receiving an order from Tier 2 and 3 cities jumped by 21 per cent and 16 per cent more sellers received orders over last year.


"Prime subscription continues to be a customer favourite across India, with two out of three new Prime sign-ups coming from Tier 2/3 cities and customers shopping in 8 Indian languages," Tiwary said.


Indians are expected to buy goods worth a whopping $9 billion (Rs 64,000 crore) across online platforms in the festive season (October-December) this year, according to latest data from Bengaluru-based market research firm RedSeer.

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