Looking Back at Ecommerce Diwali Sales From 2010 to 2023

Looking Back at Ecommerce Diwali Sales From 2010 to 2023
Looking Back at Ecommerce Diwali Sales From 2010 to 2023

The history of eCommerce is closely entwined with the history of the internet. Once the internet was available to the masses, eCommerce was a step away. One of the first sites of eCommerce was Amazon, which began in the USA.

Since then, convenience, safety, and the enjoyable user experience have ensured the exponential growth of the industry with thousands of businesses following in Amazon’s footsteps. Over the years, eCommerce has slowly but surely gained prominence and the pandemic has catapulted it into becoming the primary medium of shopping.

The Growth of Ecommerce in India
The Ecommerce Diwali Festive Sales – History of the Decade

The Growth of Ecommerce in India

Market Size of E-commerce Industry Across India From 2014 to 2018, With Forecasts Until 2030
Market Size of E-commerce Industry Across India From 2014 to 2018, With Forecasts Until 2030

eCommerce in India has emerged from a buzzword to the current daily reality and has experienced remarkable growth. It has successfully changed the way people transact. According to IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India), the Indian eCommerce market recorded an exponential CAGR of 54.6% between the years 2007 and 2011. Within the four sectors of eCommerce, B2B (Business to Business), B2C (Business to Consumer), C2B (Customer to Business), and C2C (Customer to Customer), the B2C segment dominated the market with a 56% share in FY 2010-2011. The other segments, too, showed significant growth.

As the penetration of the internet and smartphones deepened, it directly affected the popularity and the volume of sales of eCommerce sites. Driven by the ‘Digital India’ program, the number of internet connections in India rose to 830 million in 2021. India’s online shopper base was the third largest globally, at 150 million in FY 2021, behind China and the US.

As per the reports, in 2022 the eCommerce market in India was USD 74.8 billion. By 2025 the growth is expected to touch USD 188 billion and to touch USD 350 billion by 2030.

The Ecommerce Diwali Festive Sales – History of the Decade

The festive season of Diwali has always been a viable one commercially as people indulge in retail shopping. During the festive time, indulgence-based shopping is more sentimental and tradition-centric. Physical retailers used this festive time to attract customers with newer collections being offered at discounts. Stores used to be decorated and lively, and the general atmosphere was of joy and happiness.

Enter the world of eCommerce into the market and it changed the face of festival shopping in India. Retail shopping in India has gained tremendous momentum in the last decade. The Diwali festive season is the happiest for eCommerce retailers as their cash registers ring by the minute. Over the years, customers have built expectations of offers and promotions and the eTailers are more than happy to comply by reserving the best promotions and discounts for that season.

By 2012, eCommerce was well entrenched within the retail shopping fabric of the country. The festival season of that year saw some sites offering free home makeovers, wardrobe offers, and gift deliveries, as well as additional products in lieu of discounts, in an effort to attract consumers. Big players of the time in the eCommerce space, like eBay, began offering gifts like branded headphones, iPod shuffle, mobiles, iPads, and laptops to customers shopping between specific dates just at the onset of the Diwali festival. It also offered gifts like LED televisions for a purchase value ranging between INR 20,000 and INR 30,000.

The year 2014 was, unarguably, the pioneer year for Indian eCommerce as its potential encouraged many offline sellers to have an online presence. Online markets began fine-tuning their marketing strategies and strengthening their operational capacities before the festive season to ensure a smooth shopping experience for their customers between 2014 and 2016. The festive season eCommerce sales figures for the two years of 2015 and 2016 provided ample proof that eCommerce had a firm foothold within the Indian market.

The category Manager of Browntape Technologies had said - “Over the past 3 years, we have seen a 1.5x increase in sales YOY during the festive season period. It is a time when ticket sizes increase and both niche and regular product categories get a boost. In addition to bulk orders from customers, there is also an increase in the demand for gifting products and gift-wrap items. Marketplaces plan some category-focused promos, which translate into equal opportunity for all categories.”

This was proven when eCommerce players registered a 400% increase in new customers and a 10X sales growth for the Diwali festival within a span of 3 years.

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By 2015, shopping malls across the country were registering a sharp drop in customer footfall as eCommerce sales were surging. A survey by ASSOCHAM revealed - "In the wake of an unprecedented surge in e-commerce, shopping malls, already under huge pressure due to large vacant spaces, are expected to see a sharp decline in footfalls to the extent of 55.58 percent during the ongoing festive season this year." eCommerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal recorded sales 3 times higher than in 2014.

By 2016, eCommerce sales began gaining traction with eCommerce recording online festival sales to the tune of INR 40 billion. India became the fastest-growing eCommerce market by seeing steady exponential growth with festive sales figures of INR 60 billion in 2017, INR 150 billion in 2018, INR 190 billion in 2019, and INR 290 billion in 2020.

The year 2021 was one that was still in the throes of an economic struggle under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival season of 2021 was driven by affordability. eCommerce players were carefully building discounts and schemes like BNPL and bank tie-ups to offer the most competitive prices of top brands. However, resilient customer demands saw the festival season ended on a high note of INR 1.25 trillion worth of sales, a 23% growth from the previous year.

According to a RedSeer report, the festive season in 2023 is expected to boost Indian eCommerce platforms, with projected sales totaling INR 90,000 crore. This represents a significant 18%-20% increase from the previous year, driven by an estimated 140 million online shoppers. These festive season sales are expected to contribute around 17% to the overall annual eCommerce sales for the year.

Mobile Festive Sales for Overall India eTailing from 2018-2022
Mobile Festive Sales for Overall India eTailing from 2018-2022


There is no doubt that eCommerce is here to stay, especially during the festival season. The convenience of shopping they offer, along with the discounts, offers, and promotions are far more attractive than what physical retail can offer. With that said, the oncoming festival season of 2022 is guided by high optimism, the euphoria of overcoming the global pandemic, and a celebratory mood returning to the general masses.

E-commerce retail sites have already begun or are on the verge of beginning their second phase of Diwali festival sale offers. The upward trajectory of eCommerce allows for a highly successful season, bypassing the sales figures of last year.


What was the Diwali festive sales revenue in 2021?

Diwali festive sales broke the record of 10 years and recorded sales worth Rs. 1.25 trillion in 2021.

What is the growth rate of e-commerce in India?

The eCommerce market in India is expected to increase by 21.5% in 2022 to reach USD 74.8 billion. By 2025 the growth is expected to touch USD 188 billion and to touch USD 350 billion by 2030.

When does the Diwali sale start on Flipkart 2022?

Flipkart Big Diwali Sale started on 11th October for all users and will continue till 16th October 2022.

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