E-commerce websites are looking at increasing the frequency of online sales as well as discounts on products. Online retailers Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and Ajio could soon launch "safe months" mega sale events fearing a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic that could affect sales. The online retailers are now planning a sale every fortnight and category-specific sales every 7-10 days in the coming months according to an online report. The aggressive push from the companies comes as online retailers faced a shortfall in April and May because of lockdowns.
ET quoted the chief executive of a global lifestyle brand who said e-commerce companies are planning sales starting July in case the third wave of the pandemic strikes. It is because of the lesser number of infections and the leniency in current guidelines that the e-commerce companies are planning a month-by-month approach.
The report noted that in addition to the regularity of sales, the number of days and offers would be steeper in the coming months. It further noted that June recorded more sale days for consumer electronics and smartphones as against January and March. The publication further quoted executives who noted that there will be 15 to 20 days of discounts on e-commerce platforms until September compared to the average 10-12 discounting days in the January and March quarters.
According to the report which cited market trackers, E-commerce accounts for 45 per cent of smartphones, 30 per cent television, 15-20 per cent home appliances and 20-40 per cent of fashion brands. The fashion and lifestyle e platforms are selling products at 60- 70 per cent discounts as compared to the 50- 55 per cent.
E-retailer companies like Ajio and Myntra are currently hosting sales that give up to 90 per cent discounts to customers. Ajio is starting its Big Bold Sale between July 1-5 and will offer 50 - 90 per cent discounts on fashion and lifestyle products. . Myntra is hosting an End of Reason sale between July 3 and 8 and is giving 50 to 80 per cent rebates.
The development comes days after the government announced its plans to introduce stricter norms for e-commerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. The government may not permit e-commerce sites to hold flash sales of goods and services. The Department of Consumer Affairs has sought comments/suggestions on the proposed amendments to Consumer Protection by July 6. Walmart-owned Flipkart, Amazon hold countless sales throughout the year which seems to be hampering the small businesses, under the new law such sales would be prohibited
"Certain e-commerce entities are engaging in limiting consumer choice by indulging in 'back to back' or 'flash' sales wherein one seller selling on platform does not carry any inventory or order fulfilment capability but merely places a 'flash or back to back' order with another seller controlled by the platform. This prevents a level playing field and ultimately limits customer choice and increases prices," the Ministry of Consumer Affairs had said in a statement.
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