India's e-commerce festive sale season from October 15-November 15 this year delivered $8.3 billion (about Rs 58,000 crore) worth of gross sales for brands and sellers, up 65 percent from $5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) last year, research firm RedSeer said on Friday.
This was also higher than the pre-festive forecast of $7 billion, RedSeer said in its report titled 'The Festival of Firsts'.
About $3.2 billion (Rs 22,000 crore) worth of gross sales was registered in September this year, which zoomed to $8.3 billion in the festive period, the report said.
Of the $8.3 billion, $4.2 billion (Rs 29,000 crore) was logged in the first event, $1.2 billion (Rs 8,700 crore) in the second event and $1.4 billion (Rs 9,700 crore) and $1.5 billion (Rs 10,300 crore) in other events by e-commerce companies, including Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart.
Festive season sees players holding multiple sale events, timed around Dussehra and Diwali.
The report said Flipkart group (including Myntra) and Amazon accounted for more than 88 percent of the entire gross merchandise value (GMV) for the festive month.
Between the two players, Flipkart accounted for a larger share (66 percent), it added.
"The overall growth story has been very bullish this festive season. We had forecasted $7 billion of sales but the actual figures surpassed our expectations fairly comfortably, showing how comfortable consumers have become with shopping online even in this pandemic hit year," RedSeer Director Mrigank Gutgutia said.
He added that one clear lesson from this festive season is that e-commerce has become more mainstream than ever.
"And it has proven that with the right assortment at the right prices which is delivered quickly in the safety of customer's homes, the value proposition of e-commerce is very powerful," he said.
Gutgutia emphasised that it is imperative for brands and sellers to shift their focus to online quickly and enable a seamless online experience for the customer in order to thrive in a post COVID-19 world.
The report noted that 40 million shoppers came from tier II and beyond cities.
"This festive season was one dictated by affordability and ease of access to a wide assortment of products," it added.
Also, mobile phones continued to dominate the percentage share (at 46 percent) of all products across the different platforms, owing to a rise in aspiration among new customers.
The report pointed out that with affordability schemes increasing the share of users from tier II and beyond cities, GMV per customer dropped to Rs 6,600 this festive season from Rs 7,450 in the year-ago period.
RedSeer said the contribution of the fashion segment decreased from last year (from 16 percent last year to 13 percent this year), owing to factors like COVID-19-related restrictions on going out and gathering for weddings and other festive celebrations.
Interestingly, categories like home and home furnishings has "done better than anytime before" due to high demand for upgrading work-from-home/study-from-home environments.