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This festive season will give sellers a chance to get back on their feet and to multiply sales: Manish Tiwary of Amazon India

The #AmazonGreatIndianFestival will begin from October 17 and will be a month-long celebration. Tiwary, Vice-President, Amazon India, says the platform has seen a surge in customers across categories amid the pandemic

Amazon India has announced that the Great Indian Festival — its annual mega sale event — will start from October 17 with no clarity on the end date. In a virtual briefing, Manish Tiwary, Vice-President, Amazon India, said it will be a month-long celebration.  

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The e-commerce platform’s focus is ensuring a great festive season for its sellers and delivering products to customers safely.

“Our marketplace has always kept sellers and customers in focus. Our customer base has grown more than 200% in the last three years. Today, we offer close to 16 crore products that are GST-enabled. This festive season will be amazing for our business buyers and sellers in terms of right pricing, the right quantity discounts and getting a GST-enabled invoice. Our sellers are offering best deals and customers are supporting the SBMs, and all these will make this year really special,” he said.

Talking about how this year’s festive season will be special for the e-com player in many other ways, Tiwary said sellers have eagerly been waiting for this festive season as it will give them a chance to get back on their feet and to multiply their sales.

The platform is focusing more on smaller sellers, who, it believes, are very critical for the platform.

“We have been seeing a 60-80% spike in new sellers wanting to register with us. Apart from this, across hundred cities, customers now can shop from their nearby local shops as well,” he added.

More than 1 lakh local shops and kiranas have been enabled by Amazon to serve customers during the festive season. Starting today, customers and business buyers can support these (SMBs) businesses by shopping from SMB deals and save big with rewards that they can redeem during the sale.

Prime members will get 24 hours early access to the sale.  6.5 lakh+ sellers will offer crores of products to customers, who can shop from over 4 crore products from small and medium businesses (SMBs) and products from over 20,000 local shops across 100 cities.

Tiwary said the platform has waived off fees for smaller players in view of the pandemic.

The platform had also announced an initiative, 'Stand for Handmade', to help over 10 lakh entrepreneurs, including artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs, rebound from the economic disruption.

The campaign 'Stand for Handmade':

Besides Hindi and English, the platform will allow customers to shop in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam too.

He said the platform is seeing more new customers coming and buying across categories due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We obviously see this shift towards online buying, and its commonsensical because it is probably the safest at home to shop. We are seeing shifts from March till now both in customer and seller behaviour,” he said.

Talking about how he expects various categories to show greater demand this festive season, Tiwary said, “E-commerce still is very small portion of the shopping basket. However, being more specific to e-com, a definitive trend is that our customers are buying more, the frequency is up, and the number of categories from buying has gone up. And more and more customers are coming to e-commerce. In terms of categories, electronics, especially mid-range smartphones, are seeing greater demand. There is good demand even in terms of furniture and fashion. We expect these trends to continue and sort of multiply in the Diwali season.”

While the customers across the country will have the opportunity to shop for unique products from thousands of Amazon sellers under various programmes such as Local Shops, Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Saheli, and Amazon Karigar and enjoy deals and offers extended by lakhs of small businesses, they can look forward to over 900 new product launches from top brands.

A recent survey by Nielsen says more than 85% of SMBs sellers on Amazon.in are expecting to reach out to new customers and see an increase in sales.  More than 74% sellers are optimistic about recovery of business and 78% are positive about increase in visibility.

Tiwary said Amazon India has ramped up its delivery infrastructure, adding close to 200 delivery stations. It has more than 60 fulfilment centres in 15 states, offering a storage capacity of over 32 million cubic feet. It has created more than one lakh seasonal job opportunities ahead of the festive season across its operations.

“We have had two rounds of hiring amid the pandemic. Focusing on the fulfilment leg, when the marketplace opened up in May, we hired around 50k people to enable us to meet the surging demand,” he said. 

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