NEW DELHI: As Indian consumers prepare for Diwali, the country’s biggest festival which starts on 19 October, e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon are reported to have already rung up strong sales from their promotions in September.

Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale ran from 20-24 September while Amazon India hosted its Great Indian Festival from 21-24 September – and according to RedSeer Consulting, both online retailers logged their best-ever performance.

As reported by Nikkei Asian Review, the Bangalore-based management consultancy estimated the two firms achieved sales of $1.5bn, up 40% from the $1.05bn recorded in 2016 and more than double the $720m sold in 2015.

Redseer further calculated that Flipkart and its fashion portals Myntra and Jabong accounted for 58% of the $1.5bn worth of sales, while Amazon took 26% and other online retailers, such as Snapdeal and Paytm, had 16% of the total.

Heavy discounting and attractive customer finance options were two successful tactics used by Flipkart and Amazon to win over shoppers, particularly new customers in smaller cities and remoter regions.

“We have seen an over 1,000% increase in orders from remote locations,” a spokesman for Flipkart revealed, adding that these included places such as Jammu and Kashmir in the north of the country and Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram in the north-east.

Meanwhile, Manish Tiwary, VP at Amazon India, said: “We are humbled that the latest version of the Great Indian sale was our biggest shopping event ever, with remarkable growth across categories, led by smartphones and large appliances growing multiple times [versus] last year.”

However, while both companies can be expected to look forward to Diwali with optimism, Nikkei Asian Review also reported that the outlook is gloomier for many of India’s traditional retailers.

With many still lacking even a web presence, a combination of weak sales amid a slowdown in offline consumer spending coupled with their difficulties coping with a new goods and services tax, is giving them little cause for cheer.

Sourced from Nikkei Asian Review; additional content by WARC staff