As India’s festive season sales get under way, the initial signs are that both Flipkart and Amazon are succeeding in their efforts to attract more online shoppers from lower tier cities.

Flipkart reported that on the first day, the number of transacting customers from tier two cities and beyond had doubled from last year, while Amazon claimed record Prime sign-ups and more new shoppers than ever, of which 91% came from tier II and III towns.

Fashion was a major attraction for Amazon’s new customers, with category sales up fives times on 2018, while Flipkart pointed to travel as the fastest growing category in its platform.

Both e-commerce outfits pointed to the impact of new product launches along with deep discounts and the availability of “affordability constructs” like equated monthly instalments (EMIs) which have been attracting more shoppers.

Amazon said the number of customers opting for EMIs had doubled and that three quarters of them were from smaller towns and cities.

Flipkart, meanwhile, reported that customers opting for affordability options spent 2.5 times more than other customers.

Last year, premium brands tapped into EMIs to widen access to luxury goods beyond the big cities and luxury malls – a key marketing message for the newly launched iPhoneX, for example, was its availability on “no-cost EMI” – and it’s a trend that has evidently continued.

There are also potential media trends to be gleaned from sales of Amazon devices.

Its Fire TV Stick was one of the highest selling products with fifty times more sales than an average business day; the Echo Dot was also a best-seller – overall, four times more Echo devices were shifted than last year. 

Sourced from Economic Times, Exchange4Media; additional content by WARC staff