Ecommerce war: Flipkart clocks record Rs 1,400 cr in single day sales; can Amazon match up?

While the big-bang online festive sales season is still on, e-commerce companies are going all out with their declaration of record sales in comparison to the previous year.
Even as a raging battle brews between the top three e-tailers (Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal) to outperform each other, Flipkart, the Bengaluru-headquartered company seems to be in an advantageous position as of now. The company’s Big Billion Days sale is on between 2-6 October.
Flipkart, India’s largest online retail company, said the company recorded its highest-ever single day sales on Monday and sold products worth Rs 1,400 crore, a Times of India report said.
“Crossing the Rs 1,000-crore mark was a milestone for the company which began life by selling books nine years ago,” the ToI report said quoting Flipkart’s co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal.
Monday’s sales was more than double of what the company achieved in a single day sales last year. In 2014, Flipkart had clocked sales of about Rs 650 crore, but the event was marred by technical glitches due to unanticipated large volume of orders.
However, both Amazon and Snapdeal have so far not shared their gross merchandise sales numbers.
Flipkart’s record single day sales numbers comes at a time when the online marketplace company’s dominant position in the country’s e-commerce industry is being threatened by US online retail giant Amazon.
As reported in Firstpost earlier this week, the company claimed to have sold over half a million products within one hour on Day 1 of the sale. “Within the electronics and gadget category, we sold more Apple watches in 10 minutes than the total sale of Apple watches online and offline in a month,” Flipkart said in a statement.
Flipkart also said that the number of product units sold in the first 6 hours of sale surpassed the total units sold in a day during the first day of its The Big Billion Days in 2015.
Not to be left behind, Amazon also said it has seen six times growth over its regular business. The US-based company’s 5-day special online sale started on 1 October. Snapdeal, too, claimed that nearly 11 lakh buyers from over 2,800 cities and towns across India bought from Snapdeal in the first 16 hours of its sale.
These numbers do indicate that by the end of this online festive sales event, all the three etailers could post record sales numbers.
One needs to understand that the Bengaluru-based firm’s strong one day sales comes despite a subdued spending commitment ahead of the start of festive sale season. Flipkart had said it would spend Rs 30 crore on marketing and advertising on this year’s Big Billion Day sale, while the marketing and advertising budget of Amazon India was expected to be two-three times more than Flipkart at around Rs 125-130 crore.
However, Flipkart’s record one day sales figure provides the company a major boost, especially given the dwindling online sales numbers witnessed in the current year so far.
To give a perspective, Flipkart had reported gross merchandise value of sub Rs 2,000 crore in July even as reports said Amazon’s sales surpassed the Rs 2,000 crore-mark. This helped the US online retailer to edge past Flipkart to become the largest e-commerce company in India in July.
Even as Flipkart is cruising ahead with robust GMV sales so far this festive season, there’s no denying that Amazon continues to improve its performance month-after-month on most of the parameters, and aims to soon become the country’s number one online retailer.
Amazon has already made a commitment to spend $5 billion on its Indian arm, and a recent media report said the company will invest another $2 billion here, taking its total investment to $7 billion.
On the contrary, Flipkart has faced challenges on its fund raising plans and the constant valuation downgrade by investors during the year didn’t help it either. However, the company’s fund raising woes could soon come to an end after recent supports suggested that the world’s largest retail giant Walmart is in talks with the company to invest $1 billion for a minority stake in it.