E-commerce players have clocked a gross merchandise value of $9.2 billion this year, an increase of 23 percent compared to 2020.
Also, a number of new players joined in the Diwali festive sale and existing players scaled up their efforts to make the most, according to data released by research firm RedSeer.
“Historically, when we look at the festive season sales, we largely end up looking at Flipkart, Amazon as the drivers of the sales. What we have seen this time is that the sale is much broader than usual: players such as Meesho, Reliance, Tata Cliq took part in the sales,” Ankur Pahwa, Partner and National leader (E-commerce and Consumer internet), EY India.
While Tier-II, Tier-III cities accounted for most of the sales this year, it has been much more in the last one and a half years as people have become accustomed to e-commerce channels as a source to buy.
During 2021 festive sales, there has been a shift in the demand for product categories as well. Among all the categories, mobile accounted for 41 percent of overall GMV clocked by e-commerce players this festive season, according to the RedSeer report. Considerably, the fashion category picked up momentum after a year of slow growth and accounted for 23 percent of overall GMV.
“It is a very positive trend that fashion and apparel have picked up again. A large number of consumers held back off on such purchases last year. Apparel coming back strongly is itself an indicator that the digital economy is going in the right direction,” said Sreedhar Prasad, Internet Business Expert.
In fact, the year, cash-on-delivery (CoD) has reduced significantly, especially on the back of rising of digital payments like the unified payment interfaces (UPIs). “Many existing consumers have moved to prepaid payment through cards, UPI, and BNPL. The mix of COD may not have dramatically gone down but new buyers will also eventually move to prepaid once they build trust,” Pahwa further said.
Along with an increase in the number of shoppers, gross sales, e-commerce platforms also reported a growth in the number of sellers as well. E-commerce shipping and enablement platform Shiprocket claims a 213 percent increase in terms of the percentage of first-time sellers who joined the sale in tier-3 cities.