Black Friday 2021: how Indian e-commerce giants are catering to festive season

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Black Friday 2021: how Indian e-commerce giants are catering to festive season

The festivals like Durga Puja, Diwali and Dhanteras are always the centre of the discount and sales season in India. At least that is how things started. People are known to make most of their purchases around festivals to gift friends and family, and most of the offers are found over the festive season in India on clothes, jewellery and electronic appliances.

Online commerce platforms and brands have also aligned themselves to the schedule of local festivals to announce sales across platforms for consumers. These sales are so profitable that many online shopping portals like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Ajio, etc. are very profitable. Independence Day and Republic Days have been added to their sale roster, just like the July 4 sales in the US.

We are at a point where almost every platform and brand have a sale discount online at any given point in the year. You won't hear the consumers complaining, because everyone loves a discount offer. That is not where the e-commerce juggernaut stops. The country seems to be warming up to them as they start to make their presence felt on brands and e-commerce portals in India. Black Friday is for starters.

Black Friday is the first Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States and kicks off the Christmas shopping season in the West. This day is marked by very highly prompted discount offers across stores, with people often lining up to bag the best buys before midnight or even Thanksgiving. Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day in the United States since 2005, from people camping outside stores and malls to fights when shops are open, Black Friday at least in the US has seen it all, according to Wikipedia.

With the spread of the flu, most of the shopping online has been moved to online and all sites are flooded with deals. The Black Friday phenomenon has also been able to cross borders, making it felt as well as in other continents, where online shopping portals and brands have started offering deals and discounts on their sites.

Nykaa has given its spin on Black Friday sales, calling it the Nykaa Pink Friday Sales, with price drops on thousands of products. The beauty and lifestyle website, which recently made a stellar IPO debut, made its discounted prices live for Nykaa Prive members a few days in advance. There are many websites that offer discounts on electronic devices on Steam with discounts as part of the Black Friday sale.

It is not surprising to see international brands like Zara, H&M, Bath Body Works, Forever 21, Estee Lauder, etc. Indian companies are up and up and about to cash in on the hype, as well as announcing deals in India for Black Friday. This is one more day for them to get people to spend their money. There is a standing joke among Black Friday shoppers that reflected best in this meme:

This is not specific to this particular sale day and is very common for them all.

Cyber Monday is followed by Black Friday in the US, where discounts and offers are available online instead of brick and mortar stores. The pandemic has blurred those lines.

International sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become particularly popular in India over the last few years thanks to the Internet and are on the verge of becoming a part of the Indian sales ethos as all others.

According to D 2 C platform, the Black Friday sales event in India is expected to be bigger this year, according to Smytten's co-founder, Swagat Sarangi. Sarangi estimates that platforms that are expected to generate sales worth $200 million. Smytten has 500 brands on board for Black Friday sales events this year, he said. Close to a quarter million users have been transacted on Smytten during the sale that's still going on and the daily traffic on the app went up by 5 times.

The home-grown D 2 C brands in personal care and hygiene have been well received by the users and have seen a 4 X growth over the last couple of years. The international luxury brands are doing well in the fragrances segment with both online platforms and physical stores, according to Sarangi.

Sales connected to local festivals are going to make their way in with more and more international brands making their presence felt in India. These opportunities bring in more opportunities for e-commerce portals and apps to rake in money one more day week in the year and the customer, possibly a chance to get the exact pair of leather boots they were coveting for Rs 500 or less.