Flipkart, Amazon and anxieties over festive sales

Flipkart, Amazon and anxieties over festive sales

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Aditi Shrivastava

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Aditi Shrivastava

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After seeing a hockey-stick growth spurt for two years, Flipkart and Amazon are bracing for a modest show. Brands and logistics companies have already flagged headwinds from preceding quarters. With the crucial shopping season weeks away, where do marketplaces stand?

September 15, 2022

8 MINS READ

Covid-19 has spurred a permanent change in consumer behaviour, solidifying online buying habits. That’s been the dominant theme, a mood brightener if you will, in tech sectors for the past two years. What if the shift was only partial? A glass half full. 

Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy put in his two cents at a conference recently. Referring to the global tech rout in 2022 after a record two years, he said markets had overestimated the digital shift caused by the pandemic. The observation, if on the money, will worry consumer-internet businesses at an important juncture.

Ecommerce’s busiest period of the year, the festive sales season, begins in weeks. This is the month when major platforms usually record 18-20% of annual sales; anything lower is rated as underperformance.

Is the segment staring at a slow season this time since the pandemic-era demand surge, while real, hasn’t shaped up to be the ultimate inflection point? Have concerns about the economy dulled shoppers’ enthusiasm?

There is more than one way to pursue this conversation — it’s complicated.

The word from inside Flipkart is that it has forecast modest figures. The Walmart-owned company is counting on a 15-20% order increase during its flagship festive programme, ‘Big Billion Days’, compared to the routine monthly metrics.

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