Online retail sales in the first week of the festive month (from October 15 to 21) are expected to have crossed $4.5 billion, according to early estimates from consultancy firm Forrester. This is nearly 20 percent over and above the festive week sales last year.
Smartphone sales were around $1.7 billion, the consultancy firm said, while demand in fashion was muted.
Flipkart held its annual Big Billion Day sale from October 16 to 21, while Amazon kicked off its month-long festive sale from October 17, with early access for Prime subscribers on October 16.
"Online retail sales have been in line with our expectations, and in the first week, sales have been between $4.5 billion and $4.8 billion," said Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester.
The firm had estimated sales to touch $4.85 billion between October 15 and 21, and said that the overall festive month would see online retail sales of up to $6.5 billion, with around 50 percent coming from smartphones (34 percent) and consumer electronics (17 percent).
Meena added that there were certain supply and inventory disruptions this time due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which could have dampened spirits, leading to a loss to brands and platforms.
"TVs were the main category to be impacted, and some large appliances were also not available in a few small towns, as per our data," Meena pointed out.
"In previous years, there would usually be some issue about logistics, but this year, the issue was about product availability among some brands," he added.
According to Redseer, in the first four days of the festive week, between October 15 and 19, $3.1 billion (Rs 22,000 crore) of goods were sold online from brands and sellers.
"This means that 77 percent of our online sales forecast was already achieved in the first 4.5 days," Redseer said.
"The first few days of this year's online sale season saw a more explosive start vs last year. The key themes driving this year's sale were affordability, smartphones, and tier 2 growth resulting in more recovery for brands and sellers," the firm said in a report.
Amazon India VP Manish Tiwary told CNBC-TV18 earlier this week that the platform had seen strong demand during the first 48 hours of the sale, with the 24 hours of Prime access last Friday being the biggest ever when it comes to Prime members shopping in the country. Amazon had also said before the festival that 900 new products would be launched by brands such as Samsung, OnePlus, Titan, Xiaomi, Max Fashion among others.
Meanwhile, Flipkart said 10,000 sellers became lakhpatis (rupee millionaires) in the first three days of the sale itself, with over 70 sellers seeing sales of over Rs 1 crore each.
The company said it saw more than 36 million new app downloads by customers across the country, mainly from smaller cities such as Ranchi, Medinipur, Cuttack, Guwahati and Darbhanga.
First Published: IST