From disco lights beaming to Bollywood music, the midnight before the Big Billion Day sale was undeniably a party scene in the Walmart-owned Flipkart’s Bengaluru headquarter. Costume parties to Zumba classes to galore of food supply, everything that was humanly possible was bored by the company to keep up the spirits of its employees to not succumb to the pressure of the sale. This was not a regular sale. It was a sale where two e-commerce behemoth - Walmart (Flipkart) and Amazon were going to fight a big battle for the first time in India. It might be a war for the e-commerce giants, but it was definitely a win-win situation for the consumers.
Earlier Flipkart had claimed to create history by outperforming and setting new benchmarks. Referring to amazon, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy had said
Flipkart is expecting a big spike in ‘Big Billion Days’ sales over last year. Do we worry about them? On a scale of 0 to 10, it is close to 0 today. We don’t see that much of relevance for the Indian user coming from our competition today. We see them as becoming a global platform for premium Indian books and home goods buyers.
The war for authority over the e-commerce space in the country is tremendous. However, the most amusing part was the fact that both decided to share similar tagline with Budget being the underlined idea. “Ab India ki khushiyon ke beech budget nahin ayega” was Amazon’s dramatic tagline for Great Indian festival. While Flipkart summed up its campaign- ‘Big Billion Days’ with “Ab India hoga budget se mukt". Budget is something that is very close to every Indian’s heart. And the two giants have aptly cashed it on the same.
Amazon is all set to return with its second phase on 24th October while flipkart is also gearing up to host its second phase with Festive Dhamaka. The dates are not announced as yet.
Commenting after the sale, Amazon India Senior Vice President and Country Head Amit Agarwal said
More than 80 per cent of the new customers came from small towns, and we received orders from 99 per cent of the serviceable pin-codes in the country in just four days.
One of the flipkart spokeperson, after the event, said
Flipkart has recorded over 70% share of entire Indian e-commerce market in the 5 day event, matching scale with global marquee retail events. Gross merchandise value (GMV) grew 80% over the last year, whereas units grew by close to two times year-on-year. Around 25 million people to have visited the platform durring the period.
While it’s not known as to who gained the upper hand, the two companies did use some absurd metrics to measure their data. From Mount Everest, to Empire State Building, to Eiffel Tower to International Cricket Stadiums to elephants, anything and everything but rupees. This not only helped the companies to remain vague about the actual sales figures but also make ludicrous but otherwise interesting comparisons.