E-commerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon as well as Myntra have launched their annual flagship festive sales. According to a report by Redseer, sales are expected to grow 18-20% to around $11 billion during the upcoming festive season. This is higher than the gross merchandise value (GMV) growth seen by ecommerce marketplaces during the first half of the year but less than last year’s festive season sales.
The e-tailing sector in India is booming at a rapid pace. In the coming five years, it is anticipated that the Indian e-commerce sector will witness a growth surpassing 300-350 million customers, driving the online Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) to reach between US$ 100-120 billion by 2025.
These platforms in India experienced a moderate uptick of approximately 10% in year-on-year growth from January to July in 2023, as compared to the corresponding period in 2022. Therefore, the upcoming festive season sales hold particular importance, as businesses aim to generate a substantial portion of their revenue during this period.
India’s e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon are locking horns–as is the tradition every year–in order to leverage this once-in-a-year opportunity. With Flipkart going live with its “Big Billion Days”, Amazon again this year locked in the same dates for its annual “Great Indian Festival”. However, the juggernauts of e-tailing are not alone when it comes to harnessing the festive season to drive up their sales. Other players like Tata Neu, AJIO, Meesho and Myntra are making their own efforts to ensure a boost in sales this festive season.
Campaigns to boost sales
To ensure maximum reach of its Big Billion Days sale, Flipkart launched a campaign consisting of ad films, OOH, digital ads, posters, print ads and television ads. The campaign featured Alia Bhatt, who has been associated with the company for a long time. Along with her, Amitabh Bachchan and Allu Arjun were featured in the campaign.
Flipkart has been actively engaging consumers with its campaigns throughout the year. Its campaigns Pehle Flipkart Karo, Flipkart Karogey Toh Badhogey, and India Ka Fashion Capital created a brand identity while keeping the consumers in the loop. Its IP Expert Of The Experts features analysis of celebrities’ styles by experts in that area, focusing on one particular characteristic feature of a particular star. Two seasons of the series have been produced with the second one proving to be a massive success garnering a total of 11.4 million views on YouTube till now.
Amazon, on the other hand, took a slightly different route with its Great Indian Festival sale campaign. The company decided to not go with featuring a prominent face and instead focused on delivering a story through its campaign films. Its campaign “Open Boxes of Happiness” was created in different Indian languages and ran across platforms to propel the campaign’s reach.
Amazon’s Nahi Toh Mehenga Padega campaign plays on the company’s affordability and emphasizes the platform’s cost effectiveness. The platform’s IP Amazon Fashion Up involves unique celebrity pairing who talk about their styles and dissect fashion in general while playing games and conversing casually. The series’ two seasons have amassed enormous views for the platform.
As per a report by Redseer, Meesho emerged as the largest e-commerce third-party logistics shipment contributor in India, beating the likes of Flipkart, Ajio, and Amazon based on the average share of the e-commerce third-party logistics shipments in Jan-Aug 2023. This could be attributed to the platform’s focus on affordability and growing popularity in Tier II and Tier III cities.
Riding on the festive season brandwagon, Meesho is coming up with its Maha Indian Savings sale right after Amazon and Flipkart’s sales end. For the campaign last year, the platform tied up with Pooja Hegde and featured her scrolling through an e-commerce application when the model (Kapil Sharma) popped from her phone screen asking her to check out the prices on Meesho before making the purchase. Earlier in September, Meesho had gone live with its Mega Blockbuster Sale to leverage the pre-festive season and build momentum.
Similarly, Myntra went live with its Big Fashion Sale to boost festive season sales on its collections. The platform featured celebrity couple Kiara Advani and Siddharth Malhotra as the campaign's primary faces.
Along with them, the campaign also featured Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor as its star-studded artillery. The platform also has a large number of IPs that constantly engage the audience including Celeb Looks 101, Would You Rather, Myntra Fashion Superstar, Myntra Masterclass, Hack It, and Vibe Hai Desi. With such a large number of IPs Myntra stands out for its fashion advice and consumer engagement.
Tata Neu went ahead with its The Grand Sale to leverage the festive season hype and solidify its consumer base. The platform came up with a campaign in which a giant animated bag with Tata Neu’s logo can be seen hanging famous bridges such as the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and the Howrah bridge.
AJIO played a steady hand going live with the festive edition of its All Stars Sale. The platform came up with a humorous campaign featuring The Great Khali wherein the pro wrestling star can be seen holding a giant AJIO parcel box.
Battle of the billboards
Flipkart also launched an OOH campaign which involved a series of billboards cleverly placed at sites of traffic. These asked people to perform a particular task following which the price of iPhone 14 will be dropped by a specified amount on the platform.
Bosses of India, you helped drop the price of #iPhone14OnFlipkart during #TheBigBillionDays.— Flipkart (@Flipkart) October 4, 2023
🧐 the price on https://t.co/doHeG6upcO and watch this space to see how you can drop it even further!
<agla challenge Police ko khush karega🤫>@MumbaiPolice @BlrCityPolice pic.twitter.com/yUobdekYNQ
Following this campaign, Meesho entered the conversation by placing its own billboards under Flipkart’s billboards telling people that they will get a discount regardless of whether they complete a task. This billboard rivalry/banter went viral on social media drawing a number of comments and tweets.
Meanwhile, Flipkart took on Amazon by sharing a picture of a Google search wherein “Big Billion Days 2023” has been typed as the prompt but the first sponsored result features Amazon’s page. The caption on the picture read, “Jab apne naam pe sabka sale chalne lage..”
Giving special emphasis to the festive season, platforms employed several interesting strategies to draw public attention.
Flipkart took an innovative route while promoting the sale of iPhone 14 on the platform. The company collaborated with SpiceJet and made a surprising announcement to passengers during a flight. The announcement asked passengers to stay securely seated during the entire duration of the flight to avail an additional discount of Rs.3000 on the iPhone 14. The video of the announcement went viral on social media.
To drive up public intrigue, the platform also shared a video clip which features a delivery vehicle moving fast while cash is seen dropping from behind with its door open. The caption of the post raised further intrigue reading, “We didn’t see this baarish coming. Our DMs are flooded, We’re solving the puzzle.”
This festive season promises an increase in revenue for e-commerce platforms from previous year. With Tier III cities making larger contributions, an increase in D2C segment as well as some of the biggest discounts of the year, this year's festive season is slated to become the biggest yet.
At Social Samosa, we are running a parallel Festival of our own. To discuss the possible ways for maximizing your festive marketing efforts, join us for Social Samosa's Festive Marketing Camp on October 11 at Taj Santacruz starting 10:30 A.M. It will feature Keynote Sessions, Panel Discussions, Fireside Chats & Workshops that offer actionable insights into Shopping Behavior, Consumption Patterns, Content that enables Commerce, Media Avenues which drive performance, emerging Trends & Technology, and more.