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Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal’s ‘Big Billion Spend’

According to experts, the three players invested about 20-30% more in marketing of their biggest annual discount festivals. Their total marketing spend is estimated to be in the region of Rs 350-400 crore

Raushni Bhagia | Mumbai | October 7, 2016

Amazon-Flipkart-and-Snapdeal

E-commerce giants Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are estimated to have spent nearly Rs 350-400 crore on the marketing of the biggest pre-festival online sale season of the year.

While Amazon’s The Great Indian Festival was held between October 1 and 5, Snapdeal’s Unbox Diwali and Flipkart’s Big Billion Days ran from October 2 to October 6. These were the biggest annual discount festivals of Amazon and Flipkart. Snapdeal launched it as a Diwali sale.

While all three players spent lavishly on the digital medium, too, buying a lot of product ads, Amazon grabbed the spot on the Indian Super League (ISL) opening ceremony.

According to market experts, Amazon alone spent approximately Rs 150-200 crore during the pre-Diwali sale and Snapdeal spent Rs 100-130 crore. Flipkart pooled in nearly Rs 70-90 crore to market its discount season. The promotions were largely done between September 25 and October 5.

While the overall annual marketing spends of e-commerce players are considered to be going down, market experts suggested the three players invested about 20-30 per cent more this year in marketing of their sale seasons.

Snapdeal, which also underwent a rebranding exercise earlier in September, stood third in the list of biggest spenders in BARC's Week 39 data. The data grabbed advertisement insertions between September 24 and 30. The e-commerce player had already announced a spend of Rs 200 crore in marketing their rebranding and festive season advertising.

The three players did not comment on their spends but Samardeep Subandh, Chief Marketing Officer, Flipkart, replied on e-mail about the promotions.

Subandh said, “As part of the marketing exercise for BBD, Flipkart rolled out a series of TVCs that attempted to inform the consumers that it is not just another sale event but the ‘Sale Event’ of the year. The key message that is derived from the campaign sums up the entire event – ‘Itne mein Itnaaaaa milega’. It communicates that no matter what one’s budget is, Big Billion Days will bring maximum value with the unbeatable offers it has across categories. So staying within budget, one can upgrade or buy more and not let the budget limit one’s shopping aspirations. As part of a larger outreach programme, Flipkart tapped as many platforms to promote Big Billion Days. We relied heavily on digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc., to drive home the bigness that the event brings along with it.”

Snapdeal has claimed to have sold over 11 million units during the five-day sale festival, while Amazon has sold over 15 million units.

According to Snapdeal, two significant changes in user behaviour were observed this time agasint the last one. There was an increase of 40 per cent in the number of women shoppers purchasing online on Snapdeal. The other significant trend was growth in prepaid orders. As much as 50 per cent of the total orders was prepaid.

Kunal Bahl, Co-Founder and CEO, Snapdeal, said, “The Unbox Diwali Sale has been a great success for us on all metrics. Our customers have given us very positive reviews on the quality of service that we offered with respect to our vast selection and speed of delivery. Hundreds of thousands of orders were delivered in 24 hours despite the massive surge in orders. We saw a four-time increase in new users who shopped at Snapdeal as compared to last Diwali. I would like to congratulate the entire Snapdeal family, including our team, sellers, brand partners and logistics partners who have worked day and night towards this grand success.”

On the other hand, Amazon, which entered India three years back, has some other interesting trends to share through the searches and purchases on the site. About 80 per cent of the total traffic on Amazon was on mobile phones. Compared to last year’s The Great Indian Festival, seven times more units were ordered on mobile this year. Close to 70 per cent of new customers came from tier II and tier III geographies.

As reported by The Economic Times in its various reports earlier, Flipkart was expecting to clock sales of over Rs 3,350 crore while Snapdeal had targeted sales of Rs 1,700-1,800 crore in the five-day sale of 2016. It also said that Flipkart and Myntra (fashion portal of Flipkart) sold 2.25 million units within the first 12 hours of the launch of the sale, while Amazon India claimed to have sold 1.5 million units. Snapdeal said it had sold 1.67 million units in the first 16 hours of its sale.

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