Notwithstanding the sluggishness that has crept into Indian economy, Amazon.in is quite positive about toting up huge numbers through its grand online festival sale. In conversation with Shipra Srivastava, Manish Tiwary, Vice President-Category Management, Amazon India, elaborates about how this will happen.
There’s nothing like a festival to get consumers on a shopping spree. And this is something that Amazon India has not only understood well but has also made the best use of over the years. And now that the receding monsoon will give way to several festivals, it has geared up for its festive sale that will start from midnight on September 29 and close at 11:59 pm on October 4. With the theme ‘Now Budget Won’t Hold Back India’s Celebration’, this year the e-commerce giant claims to offer never-seen-before deals by lakhs of sellers for the widest selection of products.
This includes smartphones, laptops, cameras, large appliances and television sets, home and kitchen products, fashion wear, consumables such as groceries, and beauty and consumer goods. Amazon.in is also offering a wide range of finance options from ‘no cost’ EMI on debit and credit cards and through Bajaj FinServ along with 10% instant bank discount on SBI debit and credit cards, exchange offers, and lots more. Excerpts from the interview:
Amid the present economic slowdown, how hopeful is Amazon India about consumer spending with this festive sale event?
The share of e-commerce is relatively small as compared to the overall market in India. To create any sort of impact you have to be very large player. Like always, this festive season will focus on a growing selection of quality products as well as value-addition by assuring consumers that our sellers are offering the best pricing ever. We also offer convenience with fastest delivery. Just as our tagline states, budget should not be the constraint to shop this Diwali.
Which categories do you expect to uptick during this season?
Largely it will be fashion because people buy clothes and accessories during festive occasions such as Diwali and Durga Pooja. Fashion is closely followed by consumer durables information technology (CDIT) and grocery. On the electronics front, all the large brands including Samsung and Apple, amongst others, are launching new products during Diwali, mainly due to consumer demand and brands doing things which create more consumer demand. Overall, brands across various categories are now gearing up to make the most of this festive season. From the Amazon point of view, we are very hopeful about the recently included furniture category, which is already picking up. The festive season will give it a further push.
Due to a huge number of orders, timely delivery is believed to be the biggest challenge during any festive season sale. What initiatives are you taking to ensure on-time delivery?
We are extremely conscious that our values should not be diluted during the festive season because of people or infrastructure. We plan for this event several months in advance so that the shopping experience is not hampered in any way.
How would you ensure seamless fulfillment in Tier III and IV cities?
Well, we have already created the infrastructure. We have warehouses in 17-18 states and in key cities of these states we have developed delivery stations. During and one month before Diwali, our maximum effort goes into developing infrastructure. However, the time for order fulfillment might be slightly higher in a smaller city.
What generates better traction – the top eight cities or the Tier IV and newer towns?
We are getting many new customers from small towns and we have many regular customers in Tier I. Hence, both are equally important for us.
Is Amazon India planning to introduce any new private label this festive season?
There is nothing significant happening in that aspect. Furniture is the latest addition which we introduced two months ago.