Written By Deepti Chaudhary
Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart. The ambitious targets from the e-commerce platform come at a time when several consumption driven sectors are reporting a dip in sales. Bloomberg
Walmart-owned online retailer Flipkart hopes to double sales during its flagship Big Billion Day (BBD) event, two people aware of its sales targets said. The company is also aiming a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of about ₹1 trillion (about $14 billion) this fiscal year, up at least 45% from a year ago, the people said on condition of anonymity.
According to RedSeer Management Consulting, a research and advisory firm focused on the consumer internet market, Flipkart had a 60% share of the $2.5 billion sales by e-tailers during the five-day event in 2018. The Flipkart Group—including Jabong and Myntra—had posted a GMV of $7.5 billion for FY18, according to British investment bank Barclays.
When contacted, Flipkart refused to comment on its financial targets. Flipkart, however, confirmed that the upcoming Big Billion Day sale will be its biggest on the back of increasing sellers’ base, new products and pocket-friendly financing options, among other reasons. The Big Billion Day is Flipkart’s flagship annual festive season sale, where discounts are sometimes as high as 80%.
“The Big Billion Day for us brings forth all the values we stand for in our customers’ mind — access and affordability. With innovation as our rallying call, we are confident that this BBD will be one of the biggest that the ecosystem as a whole will experience. From our nurtured sellers to our trusting patrons, there is something for everyone,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart.
Nandita Sinha, head, customer growth and engagement at Flipkart corroborated that “this will be our biggest BBD in terms of number of customers transacting and engaging with us”. “We have been working with brands to create really exciting propositions. Our share of wallet across categories will increase,” she added.
In the run-up to BBD and the festive season, customers will have the opportunity to earn what the company calls SuperCoins, earned by shopping on Flipkart or on any of the SuperCoin partners, and use them to avail of deals during the sales period. It has also increased the number of sellers, particularly from tier III cities, by 50,000. “There is a 40-50% increase in the number of sellers participating in the festive season sales,” said Nishant Gupta, head of marketplace, Flipkart.
During this year’s festive season, Flipkart will provide credit to close to 50 million customers through innovations like Flipkart Pay Later, Cardless Credit and Debit card EMI. Customers will also be able to avail of no-cost EMIs on many products. Flipkart, under its co-branded card programme, will also be offering cashbacks and no-cost EMI options through co-branded credit cards.
Nearly 50 new fashion brands will be available during the festive season sales. Flipkart and Myntra customers can browse across 11 private label brands from Lifestyle including brands such as Forca, Code, Fame Forever, Nexus, Juniors, Melange and others.
Flipkart’s ambitious targets come at a time several consumption sectors are reporting a decline in sales. The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India on Sunday reported a 32.7% decline in sales at 1,06,413 units in August. A Parle Products Pvt. Ltd official recently said the biscuit maker might lay off up to 10,000 workers as falling demand and slowing economic growth in the rural heartland could lead to production cuts.
Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of retail consultancy Third Eyesight, says while GDP growth has gone down, it’s still growing and that individual businesses can still grow. “It is possible for Flipkart to grow this year too, particularly if they are going to be aggressive with pricing. If a customer feels she/he is getting value at this platform, then they will buy. When there is a perceived slowdown, people are primed to look for value. Flipkart might step up aggression on EMIs, and other financial options, which help will in the cash flow of customers. With aggressive discounting, EMIs, and advertising, once can push traffic and conversion,” Dutta said.
It will, however, boil down to how much Flipkart promotes the offers now. “The question is – net, net, will it be a profitable season after promotions for Flipkart? Only the company can tell,” says Dutta.