The two huge players that have shaken retail businesses all over. Can they actually make a better place for itself in India?
Currently, out of 500 internet users, less than 20% shop online. By 2020, this user base is expected to rise to 200 million, with new categories coming in every now and then.
Initially, e-commerce grew with mobiles and low-value, low-involvement categories like mobile accessories. Today, the focus has been on various other things like fashion, décor or even groceries!
Amazon is purely an e-commerce company, while Walmart is the grand-daddy of retail.
On 9th May 2018, Walmart bought a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 billion, pitting it directly against Amazon, that launched India operations in June 2013. Till date, Amazon has already spent $3 billion of its committed $5 billion to grow in the Indian market.
Although there is a place for both the markets to exist, there will soon be a time when they cross each other’s territories – just like- when Amazon strengthens its fashion and apparel where Flipkart has an edge, at the same time Walmart could eye new areas such as food, which Amazon started in India in February 2018.
Vidhyashankar, executive director, Grant Thornton India says, “Expect them to outbid each other and make a big splash. The festive season bonanza could actually become bigger around Diwali this year”.
- Amazon Prime Day battle with Walmart.
"India is one of the fastest-growing and promising geographies," an Amazon India spokesperson told CNN Business.
On the launch of the Prime Day that runs for 48 hours, Walmart kicked start Flipkart’s ‘Big Shopping Days’, which lasts for 4 days i.e. 48 hours Prime Day. Despite the increased competition, Amazon is confident that India will play a big role in its annual shopping bonanza, as it has committed more than $5 billion over the last three years towards growing its India business.
Apart from juicing its quarterly sales, the main moto of Prime Day is to increase Prime memberships and subscriptions, which have successfully doubled in the past 18 months, making it one of the fastest-growing markets.
Along with Flipkart’s ‘Big Shopping Days’ as an act of spoilsport to Prime Day, Filpkart - owned by Walmart has yet another big annual sale that competes with Amazon. It is called ‘Big Billion Days’. It usually takes place in August/September.
It has also been noted that Amazon tried to crash this party last year by hosting its ‘Great Indian Festival Sale’. Both companies sold millions of smartphones in less than a week!
This is just the beginning. Currently, Amazon has taken over and become a dominant company, but it's just about time. Walmart has just started to play catchup with Flipkart.