Tuesday 24 September 2019

E-commerce can boost consumption, expect strong demand from small towns, cities: Flipkart

E-commerce can boost consumption, expect strong demand from small towns, cities: FlipkartNEW DELHI: Walmart-owned Flipkart on Monday said it does not see its sellers or consumers tightening their purse strings during the festive season ahead and expressed confidence in clocking strong sales this year with demand being driven by Tier II and III markets.

Speaking to PTI, Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said this year's edition of The Big Billion Days (TBBD), which will be held from September 29 to October 4, will see the company taking its "expansive selection to about 19,000 pin codes in the country".

"We believe e-commerce has the potential to boost the consumption story and bring about good economic activity... We do not see our sellers or consumers tightening their wallet strings, in fact there is a great deal of festive frenzy that has kicked in," he said when asked if there were signs of a slowdown being seen.

He added that "a great deal of consumption appetite is coming from Tier II and III markets as well and the scale of this year's TBBD will touch everyone".

E-commerce companies, which see a large chunk of their sales during the festive season, start preparing for festive sales months in advance ramping up logistics and hiring thousands of temporary workers to ensure timely delivery of products.

Rival Amazon had also announced that it will host its flagship event 'Great Indian Festival' on the same dates as of Flipkart.

Krishnamurthy said over the last few months, the company has taken a number of initiatives like adding Hindi language capability, introducing videos to the platform and enhancing last mile-connectivity.

"We start preparing for TBBD months in advance and the aim is to solve the challenges for the long term. Our focus is on adding new customers and enhancing their experience while they are on the platform. The trends we see in TBBD become the new normal during usual business days," he added.

Krishnamurthy pointed to Flipkart's 'Samarth' initiative that will enable 1.35 lakh artisans and weavers to be a part of the festive sales this time. Through its marketplace, Flipkart has connected over a lakh sellers with around 160 million customers.

Flipkart has onboarded nearly 27,000 Kirana shops across 700 cities ahead of the festive sales to strengthen its pan-India supply chain. Also, it will enable access to credit to 55 million people this year through various financial solutions offered in partnership with banks and finanacial institutions.

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